In my recent reader survey, one reader shared this (remarkably prescient) comment:
“The world moves too quickly now and we are expected to keep the pace but in my opinion it is far from healthy and we need to realize that.”
Here I am, in my home office, typing at my computer, surrounded by kantha blankets. This is nothing new; in fact, my work situation (and my husband, Wayne’s) is, on its best & most productive days, remarkably resemblant to “social isolation” or “social distancing”. Some weeks (most weeks?), I barely leave my neighborhood.
But the difference is the distant sound of piano keys pounded, the wrestling in the other room… the presence of three extra bodies in the house on an otherwise normal school week. And: the encouragement from both our government and our culture that we should not interact with the people or places we normally do, indefinitely.
Busy life, life full of movement and activity and hustle/bustle… it currently does not exist.
So, what to make of this? When the culture around us slows down to a halt, do we see the situation as an inconvenience?
Or, can we sift through the fear & frustration to embrace it as a gift?
I have been saddened by reading some comments (never read the comments! 🙉) borne out of pain, fear, & powerlessness. There was one list titled Seize the Opportunity of Home Quarantine and included ideas like "Learn to bake", "Write letters of love or thanks", "Phone old friends".
There were many frivolous & fun ideas, too, which inspired comments that lamented an inability to "just stay home" or actively participate in many of the "romantic" ideas listed.
It is completely legitimate to be in a financial or physical situation that doesn't allow the luxury of "free time" or ability. These are real concerns with deep implications. But, during wartime, if someone was at home writing letters and baking bread, does that imply they were not supporting the war efforts?
Seek the gift in your circumstance — whatever it may be — and let's cling to a generous spirit towards others, shall we? This unprecedented moment in time will bring a lot of pain.
But, I am choosing to do the little things I can and try to proceed, one step at a time, in the way of the good. Right now, those steps won't take me beyond my living room. ;)
It has been A MINUTE since I've written a book post! It's actually been over a year, which is a shock — I have read some excellent books this year, and I know many of you are avid readers!
In the past, I've shared book lists for: different points-of-view, family dynamics, & books to give as gifts... today's post/list is nothing more than a thoroughly biased list of books I've enjoyed recently & recommend!
Hasn't this been the refrain of the week?! "Hard to believe that it has been a year."
A year ago, I published a blog post, "A Kantha Blanket's Journey" : a behind-the-scenes look from creation of a blanket in Bangladesh to enjoyment in your living room.
But, the truth is that it was really a way to address the un-(or subtly-)spoken concern from people wondering if they would get COVID-19 in the mail with their blanket!
Somehow, impossibly, I travelled around the world one year ago!
I am deeply grateful to have taken a trip to Bangladesh when I did. I was at a stage of my life & business when the adrenaline had long worn off, and I was a getting a bit stuck in a cultural mindset trap: "I don't feel like doing this every day."
More details on that, I'll save for another day (or perhaps for a more intimate conversation!). But, let it suffice to say that my colleagues in Bangladesh do NOT operate from that mindset... it doesn't even factor into the conversation.
Being reminded of this, as well as seeing — in person — the inner workings and impact of the blanket biz on the production side... well, it was deeply regenerative for me.
If I had not visited in January 2020, I don't know when that trip would have taken place! Soooo thankful.
Here is one story of a woman artisan I met: Poli.