It’s funny how time slips away. Isn’t there a song of that title? Just checked; there is. https://youtu.be/rOHlbchW-qs, if you are interested. It’s a love song by Willie, but seems pertinent to these times. Someone said to me the other day, when I suggested that we would do something in April, “Etta, April is almost over.” It was the 28th, and although I have been busy deleting canceled activities from my calendar, replacing them sometimes with live video events, it dawned on me, that six weeks had just slipped away. An awareness that I had been mostly focusing on surviving each day - eating, sleeping, and shifting to mostly virtual interactions - crept in.
While I consider focusing on the moment a good thing, awareness always spurs reflection, and that too is a good thing, in moderation of course. Once something is known, it is hard to reverse and not know it. So, the question came: Am I doing everything I can to help this situation or at least record it in some way, or am I just existing, letting time slip away? A seed, looking for the right spot was floating around in my head, wondering, what else can I do? Staying home, washing my hands, wearing a mask in public, continuing my volunteer activities virtually, video calling my family and friends, and occasionally cleaning something made the time fly by, but left me feeling like “Is this all there is?” And the Universe answered, as it always does.
That seed landed on fertile ground on May 3, during a virtual interview I gave for Artclectic New England, a podcast and blog which aims to celebrate the fantastic arts & culture in New England. The artful interviewer, Dennise Kowalczyk, started by asking me what I meant by the line on my website, “I am a realistic romantic who is passionate about living, loving, and learning.” Immediately, my neglected website and blog popped into my mind. Following the interview, I pulled up my website and read my old blogs, realizing how helpful that process had been for me and romanticizing that my words might have spoken to others as well. I also realized that this time in quarantine cannot been wasted, and that maybe Random Reflections by Etta could be cultivated again. The seed was germinating.
Luckily my hiatus from television since 2014 when I retired, especially cable news has served me well in this survival mode. Not watching the news, delivered by talking heads displaying facial expressions and gestures that reveal their network biases, but reading it, either online or in the newspaper (I am one of the last subscribers) gives me the facts without the emotion. I check the emotional pulse of the day with a little radio talk, mostly NPR, where politics is tempered with arts, culture, and human interest stories. The deeper we get into this Pandemic response of isolation, the more time I have to reflect and the more the questions come, driven by the inconsistencies of news reports, medical advice, and personal responses. I am left seeking the definitive truth to these burning questions.
- Why do we continue to elect politicians that cave into greed and corruption? This seems to me to be a common interest for all Americans.
- How does playing the blame game advance us toward a more peaceful life? We are like little kids on the playground.
- Do we really care about anything but ourselves? What happened to the common good and taking care of each other?
- Has science truly been corrupted by the Bayh-Dole Patent Amendment Act (1980)?
- Where did this COVID-19 really come from? The truth here could be very informative.
- Are the three branches of government that are supposed to check each other blurring into each other?
- Is history repeating?