Finding the Joy

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Several months ago, April to be precise, I was given a series of reflection questions related to the losses I’ve had since the March 17th lockdown. I may have mentioned this in my original post, In the Midst of Loss about that retreat session and over the course of the month following that first hour I would bring up the subject to myself and think about those losses, the reasons for them, as well as trying to name my feelings about them, and then question how to say goodbye to what’s been lost. It is obviously much harder to say goodbye to a loved one who has died during this pandemic; that loss is astronomically deeper and more upsetting than the loss of work or routine or our regular habits, although the loss of work is catastrophic in its own way and those of us struggling with mental health issues like anxiety, depression, and others will feel that some of our losses are also catastrophic. How do we accept the losses we are experiencing and move forward even in the midst of the ongoing pandemic, a pandemic that will continue to be with us for many more months to come, if not at least another year or more? What strategies can be adopted and adapted to move on; to create a new ordinary for our lives?

There were two additional, important and hard to answer questions broached during that session. The first was do we really want back what we’ve lost? All of it? Are there some things that we have lost that we kind of want to stay lost? The second was to ask ourselves what was good about this time.

While we’ve all had losses, we’ve also had gains. There were good things that were perhaps only seen in retrospect. How do we find joy in the confusion and chaos of today?

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American Icon, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

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​When I saw this Pop Vinyl in mid winter, I knew I had to have it. Normally, I don’t order anything that takes more than a couple of days to arrive, but this wouldn’t arrive for weeks, nearly a month, but it was RBG. I could wait.

She arrived in late February, and I loved her. I kept her separate from my other Pop Vinyls, knowing this was only temporary, but I kept her near where I worked for inspiration. Every time I looked at her, I smiled and knew the world would be okay.

Back in February, things were relatively normal, at least for the Trump Presidency. The 2020 Election excitement was beginning to build. We Democrats had an embarrassment of riches in who we could choose for our nominee.

I should mention that I usually work at my dining room table, and that table is a repository for everyone’s junk. School supplies, mail, bread, cookies, a couple of candles, grocery store flyers, a prayer card on an easel, art supplies, my computer, my Zen Garden, and on occasion, family dinners.

Any time I turned around there was an avalanche either waiting to fall or having just fallen.

The candle (unlit) was on its side. The sand from the Zen Garden was strewn across the table. My other Pop Vinyl (Castiel from Supernatural) was flat on his face. The markers had fallen out of their box and were under the grocery ads. Every time this happened, I’d clean it up and hope for the best, knowing that this was an impossible mission.

Things fell all around, knocking over the prayer card and the easel, sand everywhere, piles of receipts flying with every fluttering breeze, but I noticed about two weeks or so ago that through it all, Ruth stood her ground.

Every couple of days, I cleaned up the chaos, but when I went to adjust Ruth’s Pop Vinyl, she was already righted, never having wavered in her place. I touched her stand, and I smiled at her, and I knew that everything would be okay because no matter what was going on around her, she would always stand, at the ready.

She still stands. On Friday night, I moved her to in front of the television. I added a vase of flowers I had gotten myself that morning.

Her life was well lived, and she made sure that my and my daughter are able to live our lives well. She was a giant long before she joined the High Court, and she will be remembered for never backing down, never falling down, always standing up for anyone who longed and looked for equality. 

My Ruth stands, and I stand with her and her ideals. She will always be with us.

Funko Pop Vinyl, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. (c)2020