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I’ll admit it. The person I am staying-in-place with sometimes irritates me. However, I smiled, when a friend reminded me: “The person irritating you may be the person you are irritating.” –Joy

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An inescapable network

One of my favorite Martin Luther King quotes is this one. “All life is interrelated. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality–tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” I heard someone repeat this quote last week on a TV news show. Doesn’t it ring true today […]

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Read a book

What do people need more than anything now? Books, says author Emma Straub. “What are we all doing in our quarantines? We’re figuring out how to walk out the door without walking out the door. Reading a book is the best way to do that.” Straub talked about her new book All Adults Here in […]

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Drink and be whole

Poetry helps me when I feel stressed or anxious. Recently—I can’t remember where or when—I heard someone quoting Robert Frost. “Here are your waters and your watering place. Drink and be whole again beyond confusion.” I like the message. What makes me feel less stressed and less anxious? A poem. A walk. A phone conversation […]

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I am not okay

I am okay. That’s what I frequently tell friends when they ask how I am doing during this coronavirus pandemic. And, I am okay—almost all of the time. But, sometimes I am not okay. Recently, a friend said that she had read an interview with a mental health expert who stressed that it is okay […]

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It’s okay to do nothing

I am cleaning the drawers in my desk. The task makes me feel productive—which makes me feel better. I have to remind myself that it’s also okay to do nothing. My husband, Jerry, read an article in The New York Times by a psychologist or psychiatrist who emphasized that message: All of us are feeling […]

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A gloomy day

I woke up Sunday feeling gloomy. The gloom surrounded me as I faced another day of stay-in-place during this coronavirus crisis. The gloom lingered until I took my afternoon walk and saw a friendly neighbor and some spring flowers starting to bloom. “Where flowers bloom so does hope,” Lady Bird Johnson once said. –Joy

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No man–or woman–is an island

“We are each other’s keepers,” writes William Falk, editor-in-chief of The Week magazine. “Deeper truths often are delivered in the envelope of a crisis. Falk quotes John Donne, who said: “No man (or woman) is an island. Every man (or woman) is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.”

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Waking dreamers

Edward Wilson, the biologist, explained why we sometimes feel stressed. “Humanity today,” Wilson said, “is like a waking dreamer, caught between the fantasies of sleep and the chaos of the real world. The mind seeks but cannot find the precise place and hour. We have created a Star Wars civilization, with Stone Age emotions, medieval […]

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Go easy, and be filled with light

The poet Mary Oliver speaks to me when I feel stressed. Here are lines from her poem “When I Am Among the Trees.” Around me the trees stir in their leaves and call out, “Stay awhile.” The light flows from their branches. And they call again, “It’s simple,” they say, “and you, too, have come […]

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