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A Published Essay on Lessons in the Time of Lockdown

Sometimes I need to gift myself opportunities to expand creatively. Whether it’s my 100 Day project or decorating a special event, I do well with having a deadline. And even though I’ve mostly kept myself accountable to writing three times a week for my blog ( a little understandable slacking during our lockdown), it’s been a while since I had an opportunity to write with this sort of impetus.  Julia Barnickle’s Lesson’s during Lockdown collaboration provided a perfect opportunity to write something bigger and better.

Julia had already hosted something about finding more Ease in our daily lives in January. And when, in her invitation to join, she spoke of her own experience writing for others’ community projects as a good way to feel a part of community, I got this. Absolutely. She wrote:

In July 2020, there will be a second free online community project “Lessons from Lockdown” which will result in another ebook / book, containing essays / quotes about positive things learned during the experience of lockdown during the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic.

One of my visions for “Lessons from Lockdown” is not only to describe how we’ve managed to stay sane during lockdown, but also to create a vision of a bright new future – a future that works for everyone.”

You can find my essay titled Lessons During Lockdown: Finding Ease in Uncertain Times Here. I truly enjoyed writing this because, when I did, I finally found ease in writing my specific story. Seems that writing is the place where I am mostly myself. Where I enter a world that I am uninterrupted with my muse and that is a place I want to live in.

Funny though how I have been here before and forgotten.

A Published Essay on Lessons in the Time of Lockdown on Shalavee.com

In March of 2018, I had an invitation to join the Wholehearted Living Project hosted by Terri Connellan on her Quiet Writing site. I was thrilled and proud of myself for that piece. I discovered more of myself within that project. I found that I believed in Non-Negotiable Creative Soul Living, a way of respecting the need for creativity and living within that space. You can find that essay title Gathering My Lessons: A Wholehearted Story Here on Terri’s site.

Then I offered an essay up for the Attract Readers’ International Women’s Day Challenge in March of 2019 titled Ceasing Our Self-Bullying & Befriending Ourselves which you can read here. I had the chance to truly speak to myself about compassion and kindness.

Point is that I enjoy writing these bigger essays. It gives me time to really find out what I think. And to take time to mold then and smooth them out until they are the best I can do. I am proud of all these pieces and have been reminded again that I’m an essayist.

Were you to want to read my other stories, they’re there for your enjoyment.

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

A Fictional Writing Piece on the Corona Virus by My Son Eamon Peach

I was not surprised when my children’s artistic talents began to emerge. My son could draw pretty well and at age 8, he began to play the piano. The rest is history. He took to it so fast, it was always what he’d been good at, he’d just not gotten a chance to play yet.

In addition to piano, he also plays the bass clarinet for both his high school marching band and a large local community band. And one night, he forgot to bring his instrument home from school. So while his fellow community band members were practicing, he spent the time writing the following short story on the subject topic that seems to be worrying the world currently; the Corona Virus.

She wakes, and looks at her phone. The news reports a “rapidly spreading plague” in China, supposedly set to become an epidemic. She laughs to herself, figuring this type of stuff happens all the time, in her modern world, this could never happen, just like WW3, it was an amusing thought, but it passed. She walks into her kitchen, pours herself some coffee, and sits down. Jumping to reddit, she notices quite a lot of memes and such about this new “corona virus”. She chuckles, this is definitely a joke of a disease.

About a month later…

She wakes, and looks at her phone, the news reports that the “corona virus” has several confirmed cases in the US, a few in Australia, and is still rapidly spreading in Asia. It supposedly gotten to the point where several smaller countries have stopped imports and transportation from China in an attempt to stop the spread. She shakes her head; “well that’s something” she tells herself, walking to the kitchen. Her roommate steps out from his room, coughing and bleary-eyed. He says it’s just a common cold, she reassures herself, a little scared at first.

At work..

Several of her coworkers are out today, believed to be sick. Her boss tells everyone there’s been a cold spreading about, nothing to be concerned about, use germ-ex or whatever. She sighs in relief and continues her day.

A few weeks later…

She wakes, and looks at her phone, the news, reporting mass fatalities in China, and areas of quarantine in some of its urban regions. Other countries near China have done the same, some successful, some not. Other western countries, such as Greenland and Sweden have completely shut off all contact with infected countries, claiming they can sustain themselves, and that it’s: “worth the risk”. Economists worldwide are warning against this, saying although it will delay the plague, it will ruin the economies of some countries, making their contributions to the plague insignificant. She shudders, and walks to the kitchen, she hears a thinking from her roommates room, and peeks inside. He’s on the ground, face first, unconscious, and practically choking on his own vomit. She screams and feels a wave of nausea wash over her. Panicking, she tries to figure out ways to help him, before remembering reading somewhere that you  in these types of situations, you should roll them onto their sides, at least that’s what she thinks she remembers. She rolls him, taking several tries, onto his side, and a stream of green runs from his mouth onto the carpeted floor. She look away and dials 911, so many thoughts running through her mind, what if he died? What if she caught it? What if she died?

911, what’s your emergency?”

My roommate, I, uh, found him lying on the floor, I don’t know if he’s dead, he had a col-“

Ma’am we’ll be there as soon as we can, thank you.”

-click-

The next day, at work…

Welp, it looks like we’re shutting down, nobody can afford us anymore, not with the sudden depression the country’s been having, they all withdrew their money and left, haven’t had a single deposit anywhere in the system since Wednesday.” Her boss exclaims to her and the rest of the employees.

She walks slowly home, head down, slowly realizing how hopeless her life has become. She sees a man arguing with a figure in a business suit, the man seems extremely upset, and the suited person hands him a paper. The man crumbles to his knees and pleads. She turns away from the scene to bump into a cloaked man, who was running down the sidewalk, sputtering and coughing. A few seconds later, a pursuing figure, a police officer of a sort, runs after the man, yelling for him to stop. She decides to visit her grocery store later in the day, just in case anything were to… go wrong.

A day or so later…

She wakes, hungry. She is afraid to look at her phone, but does it anyway. The first thing she notices is a notification from her phone company saying data for the next month will have to be paid within the next week or the user’s phone will be shut off. She sighs, at this point, it’s not a surprise, just another problem in what’s looking to be the downward spiral of her life. The news reports that this will be it’s last report, as they will soon go bankrupt. The news however, makes her wish they’d gone bankrupt far before she read it. All of east Asia has fallen into anarchy, lucky countries, such as Australia, have managed to keep it to martial law, out of desperation. Business in Europe is rapidly declining, and border policies are infinitely more strict than at any time before. The claim to a nation with no infected citizens has become a bragging right, and cure research is few and far between, claiming they have been: “actively working towards a solution”. She walks to her kitchen, and prepares the breakfast she had rationed for herself the night before. She takes a glance at the door to her roommates room, it doesn’t even look like a room anymore, bundles of quarantine tape around it, with a smell of chemicals. Everything inside has been destroyed, tampered with to the point of destruction, or nabbed by she assumes to be the government for the cause of “science”.

A few days later…

She puts on her “outside” suit, as she’d come to call it, a combination of torn apart hazmat suits and other items she thought would help her not join the many millions of casualties in the massive quarantine zone that was her city. She takes a step outside, and looks upon the wonderful wasteland outside of her apartment building. Blood and other unusual liquids paint streaks in the road, and bodies litter the street as if dispensed from a chute in the sky. She begins her morning jog to the store, hoping to meet with the usual survivors to trade random commodities and talk about how miserable life was nowadays.

After a saddening encounter with a barely alive.. definitely infected.. thing, chasing her, she finally reaches the store. To her utmost surprise, the store is completely leveled, and there is evidence of the appearance government appearance on site, mostly the scorch marks and tire treads made from what was obviously the government’s “quarantine division”, whose job was to pick off all the citizens of a quarantined zone. She reasoned the government thought it was more  “efficient”. She was glad she’d been late to the meeting here, the quarantine division had most likely caught on to where they’d been meeting, and struck a couple of easy targets. Tough luck for them, she thought, and continued about her day.

That night…

She gasped, and awoke. Around her was not what she usually woke up to, she looked over a planet, the earth, or so it seemed. It was different, yellow and brown, she could sense there was no life there, nothing, just nothing.

It’s not impossible, just improbable.

If it’s improbable, it’s still possible.”

a short story by Eamon Peach

For fear that this never got published, I really wanted to put this here. Of course, I think it’s very good, I’m his mother. And I hope that college finds him polishing his writing skills. Meanwhile, he’s just an average American young man about to turn 15 years old.

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

Returning Inward After the Holidays

( Written days after Christmas ’19, it would seem this piece got away from me.. Yet I still feel the honor of the holiday purpose only a month gone. And I am in the process of picking up where I left off last year)

This year, the holidays were filled with more gratitude and family appreciation than they’ve been prior. We spent time together being us, laughing, eating, and loving. I wove this holiday with as much intention and family time spending forethought as I could handle. I threw my alone and writing time to the side so that all this could happen. And I do not regret one minute of it. And now I feel the shift to retutning inward.

And now as we wind down from the rush and worry of holiday tasks fulfilled, I feel the inevitable need to turn to the familiar work of my life. A need to return to myself and my creative work. A need to do some aerobic exercise and a few sit-ups. A need to re-channel my efforts inward instead of outward. And that feels scary.Returning Inward After the Holidays on Shalavee.com

It’s so easy to devote myself to my loved ones. My back might ache from standing in the kitchen for hours on end to cook meal after meal. I got dishpan hands from all the dishes washed. I wrote very few pages in my journal for wanting to be present while my sister visited. And I never felt resentful for any of it.

Now I must turn back in. To the voice that asks what’s the next lesson I need to learn. What calls me to be curious and what drives me to want to make changes to my life and the world. What’s squeaking that needs to be oiled. And I’ve got to do it like I mean it. Because as much as I find purpose in taking care of my family, I also need the balance of entertaining my own thoughts. Respecting that is tougher than it seems but it is where I need to head.

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

Finding a Way to Be the Most Me I Can Be

I’ve strayed off the path to myself. I’ve been an impostor for a long time. Maybe it began when I was a kid and I was told to be quieter and not draw attention to myself. Maybe that’s why I’m drawn to writing what I feel so honestly; so that I may rediscover my truer self. But I feel like the true destination is an ease within at being me that I have yet to feel completely.

Of course fear is to blame for keeping me in the dark. That “savior’ we hold in our breasts, that bestie for life. But what kind of friend keeps you from community and from your artwork ? Perhaps she will always be here but she needs to have a seat in the thinking chair every once in a while.Finding a Way to Be the Most Me I Can Be on Shalavee.com

Since asking for help and going on Lexipro, an anti-anxiety medication, I have had delicious thoughts of freedom. I am constantly considering how to be more me and what that looks like. The wheels are in motion for a re-engagement in my “work”, in what I do. Taking myself a little more serious perhaps with a little more challenge and a little more fun. I am always reticent to set goals feeling that perhaps I won’t be able to fulfill them and it’ll be a let down. But I know one thing about myself; once I set an intention publicly, there’s no going back.

Stay Tuned!

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

Setting the Record Straight About Authenticity

Being authentic, honest, or forthright is still considered a crime in our modern society. It’s understood that if you tell the truth about your background, heritage, or state of mind, you are asking for trouble. You could be judged and shunned for these truths. It’s crazy-talk to be outright honest.

Many African Americans “passed” as white and were glad they could. Being “dishonest” saved lives. The Irish weren’t treated any better. If only they could lose their accents. And women would use a male pen name just to get theur work published. In order to survive, we have asked ourselves and our children to be inauthentic for the greater good. You never know when a posse with pitchforks from the cul de sac may come looking for you because of the truth you gave over on Facebook.

But the problem with this life tactic is that we and the children we are raising are so out of touch with our true selves, that we’re neurotic and sick. Inauthenticity is a prison from which you’ll spend the rest of your life looking for permission to escape from.Setting the Record Straight About Authenticity on Shalavee.com

I’ll give you permission. You may be yourself whenever you want. Not just in the shower but at your parents for dinner. And when you say something that shocks them, let them know that you can either tell them the truth or get brain cancer, it’s up to them. They’ll pick you telling the truth I promise.

Don’t worry about giving me permission, I’m already upsetting the world and my parents with the permission I’ve borrowed from other authentic inspirational people.

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

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