Pandemic Artifacts, Part III (of III)


Part I
Part II

Part III:

Looking Outward: spirituality, new things, and road trips.

The third third of the pandemic wasn’t what I expected. I imagine it wasn’t what any of us expected. We thought this was it; the end. It was going to be over. We didn’t realize that there were so many ignorant, selfish people who care so little about the rest of us. I know that sounds harsh, but I can’t help how I feel on this subject. Eventually, I’ll move past it without bitterness and bile. In the meantime, I’ll try to focus on my family and how we coped in this third third.

We’ve been blessed not to have gotten covid, and so far we have been passed over by the variants. We hope that it remains that way. We are still anticipating enjoying our vacation north of the border, but we wait for everything to align right and cross our fingers.

In this third third, the threshold of a new year was crossed and a brighter year was anticipated. The insurrection did put a serious damper on the new year and the new upcoming Presidency, but I do look forward to the day that those involved will be held responsible including those in power. Our entire family has been vaccinated and school looks to be returning to normal in the fall, although my kids will be wearing masks.

This third was a time of looking outward, thinking about new ways to do things. We took several road trips in all four cardinal directions. I walked labyrinths and drew pictures. I attended retreats, some even in person. I grew spiritually, and with the acquisition of a new chair, I settled myself into my sacred space with photo and candle and cool drink. A quiet space to read, to write, and to meditate on life’s blessings.

The Photos:

Timeline, Part III.
7-9: Supernatural flannel, Mary, Untier of Knots, Ceramic dish.

Supernatural flannel from set

Last year, Supernatural ended its fifteen year run with over three hundred episodes in that time. Even though I started late (about halfway in), I caught up. I’ve watched the entire series and I managed to hook my daughter in for the last couple of years. My friend asked if I wanted a couple of flannel shirts or t-shirts from the set.

YES! Of course. The only rule is you can’t sell them. No problem. Last fall, a package arrived tied with twine. She hadn’t told me she was mailing them so the package was unexpected. I started to open it and shrieked when I saw the flannel inside, wrapped in clear plastic. I was so excited! I hugged the package. I hadn’t even fully opened it yet. I planned on giving the shirt to my daughter around Christmas or her birthday, but I couldn’t contain my excitement. I called her and showed her the package, and she screamed in that teenage girl way.

It doesn’t really fit me, but I still love it, and I put it on backwards like one of those snuggies when I’m sitting and reading and it kept me very warm throughout the pandemic winter.

Mary Untier of Knots by Brother Mickey McGrath art

Mary, Untier of Knots is my favorite devotion to Mary. I was so excited when my friend and artist, Brother Mickey McGrath created this rendition of her. I immediately ordered it as a Christmas present to myself. It is hanging in my corner office behind my chair. Whenever I look at it, I feel calm and involuntarily stop whatever I’m doing to take a breath and pause.

Dish from our mini road trip to Vermont this past spring

This ceramic dish was one of those things that caught my eye. I kept coming back to it as I wandered around the store. I was drawn to the different styles and colors of dishes in a little gift shop just over the border in Vermont between Bennington and Brattleboro. This dish seemed to align with nature, and still had a really lovely green tint to it despite the amount of blue glass used. I walked away from it several times, but then gave in. I keep it on the table near where I’m writing on my laptop.

In looking at these items, these artifacts in timeline order it really speaks to how far we’ve come since last March. From the unknown of constant hand sanitizing to neighborly camaraderie of rainbows and prisms, to going on vacation and receiving a gift from a show that meant so much to my mental health these last few years to including prayer and beauty in art. There was so much to worry about and be discouraged about, but there was also much to be thankful and grateful for, and looking back on this timeline of items, it really is a microcosm of life throughout the pandemic year and beyond.

Things aren’t the same and normal is something else now, but there will be other things to do and to collect, and these will still be around as a reminder and an homage to what was lost in that year.

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