A Public Diary During the Coronavirus/COVID-19 Pandemic ~ Day 25

Passover with the parents-in-law. A scene similar to thousands of others yesterday…

No matter what we do, the days continue to pass by. We use these cycles of the sunrises and sunsets to mark a passage of time, plan events, organize our lives into some semblance of a reality that has separation points but really, it’s just one continuous journey with no pauses or breaks. Yeah, we sleep and then wake up, and that is a temporary pause or break from consciousness but it certainly does not pause or break the beating of our hearts or the rhythms of our breath. Those continue on until they don’t anymore. And then, well, who knows? Right? Back to source we go I suppose. Enter the afterlife? Maybe. Reincarnate into another living being? Possibly. Who knows though.

It’s now April 9th, the year 2020, the clock shows 1pm is here for us in the Pacific time zone. The time is different in all the other time zones but as I was mentioning above, there’s no real difference in what is going on in any of these zones that separates them in actual fact to the continuous reality that is flowing here on this planet and throughout the cosmos. What a trip it is to be alive, in human form, contemplating these things.

The sun is out and the heat has been turned on. A toasty day for these parts after a cool and damp spell. I haven’t been outside today, save for the cold shower I took after first waking up. I’m itching to get out there. I think I’m gonna make the potato bin that is going to be home to numerous varieties of potatoes that will grow in our yard. I love potatoes so much. SO MUCH. I’ve written a handful of poems about potatoes over the course of my life. One specifically about tater tots. If I get the gumption, I’ll go find it and post a pic of it in here. It’s pretty ridiculous. Anyways, stoked to grow some potatoes in the backyard. I strung up a bunch of lines for the hops to climb up the other day as well. They are already reaching for the sky at a rapid clip. I wonder if the snap peas are peeking their heads out of the soil yet. I will go check soon. They hadn’t as of yesterday when I was out watering them.

This morning, I had a great talk with a professor of a masters program I am aiming to attend at Schumacher College in January. The program is called Engaged Ecology and it is so right up my alley. It was so fantastic to connect with him and I’ve spent the past few hours working on and submitting my application.

Pleased as punch to have completed that and to be on the other side of it now. Getting to write these here words and check in for my 25th day in a row of this isolation situation we’re in. The pandemic continues. Yesterday it was announced that all Oregon public schools are officially closed for the remainder of the school year. They are doing a distance learning program but no in person stuff is going to happen. That is too bad but I think a necessary step to make sure we get this whole situation under control. But who the fuck knows, we are never ‘in control’ are we? Speaking of out of control, there were another 6.6 million unemployment claims this week. That’s nearly 17 million jobs or 10% of all jobs in the US lost in the past couple weeks. So you know, we’ll do the best we can, and some will do what appears to be the worst they can, like many of our current leaders in the White House…

Ah, what a world, what a life. I’m feeling okay right now but a little worn down with this whole thing. I’m getting antsy in my pants to go out into the greater world and connect with people again. Especially with my daughter. Oh do I miss her physical presence in my life! I may really go make a visit down to her and have one of those awkward social distance conversations with her. Or maybe we can do a bike ride? I don’t know. I just read another whole thing about how careful we need to be out on the streets with running and biking and how the aerosols can be transmitted this way as well. Which I imagined could be the case but I just don’t know what level of safety we can take with all of this, or how much the actual risk of riding by somebody, keeping a safe distance mind you, really is? But I don’t want to worry about this shit. I do want to be mindful and careful though.

Well, yesterday was Passover, we had a nice seder meal here at the house and did a FaceTime with my parents-in-law in LA. That was sweet. It was hard as well, or sad maybe is a better descriptor for what I was feeling. They were supposed to be here but we have ultimately decided it is better for them to ride out this initial shit storm of the pandemic from their home in LA. It was nice though to share that space with them, even though they weren’t physically here with us. It is wild to imagine the similar scene and scenario that was going on with families all over the country and world observing this annual religious ceremony.

And then after the meal, to help our boy understand the story of Passover a bit better, we watched The Prince of Egypt which was super trippy to watch. I haven’t seen that in a long while and I guess it is pretty surreal to watch this biblical tale through animation with songs and stuff, and you know, watch through a kids movie all the ways god smited the Egyptians. God is/was a vengeful deity. And now our kid has a better understanding of passover, and especially where that word comes from, because, if you are not aware, God’s wrath of killing all the first born children of families who didn’t have lambs blood on their doors was where that comes from. In the movie, this wicked swirl of light passed over these doors with the lambs blood and entered all the homes without the lambs blood on them. Hence, this is where passover came from.

Tonight we are going to have a friends passover meal with a couple other families and couples that we are close with. I think it will mark the first meal we will have shared with any of our friends. Last night was the first shared me with family now that I think of it. But this is a part of this isolation situation we find ourselves in. Now as we enter a month into this social distancing dance, and there is no really clear end in sight, we do what we can to keep our sanity. Right? The warmer weather is a double edged sword. At least we have the ability to get into the back yard and soak up some sun rays. And ride bike and walk a bit. But being super careful of course with that.

One of the ways that this pandemic has brought some goodness into the fray of this frightening scenario is that I have had a better connection with some of my family, especially my dad. While we still go in waves of connecting, the regularity of texting or talking to each other is above and beyond what it has been in something like 15 years or so. That is something I am so grateful for.

And now I cannot help but think about the whole productivity aspect of this pandemic. At times I feel as though it is easy to get active and inspired. At others, not so much. And this is a crisis unlike anything any of us has ever experienced before. I can’t be too hard on myself with trying to accomplish a bunch while this unfolds. I don’t know, I’m getting distracted from my thoughts, getting the itch to get outside. I will note that we now officially have the capacity to give and receive proper massages and accutonic healing sessions at our home and I am so stoked about that. My wife says I’m the best masseuse she’s ever had. That’s quite a proclamation as I have no formal training but I do like to give massages and have something of an intuitive way I approach them. I don’t know if certification is in the cards for me but on the gift/barter level, I definitely can see providing this to others down the road. In the meantime, my wife is thrilled beyond belief that she will be the sole receiver of my practice.

Alrighty, there are all sorts of things I could comment on about the political goings on and things happening around the world but I just don’t have it in me right now. Maybe I will tomorrow but I’m done for the moment. I wish you well wherever you are. This crisis and this isolation situation is difficult and I send you love. I also pray that I and we find the capacity to exhibit kindness, calmness, compassion, grace, and as much humor as we can muster as we navigate our way through all this.

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Writer, podcaster, international public speaker, Theater of the Oppressed actor, and lover of this precious intrinsically connected world we are all a part of.

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Joe Culhane

Joe Culhane

Writer, podcaster, international public speaker, Theater of the Oppressed actor, and lover of this precious intrinsically connected world we are all a part of.

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