NEW AGE MASKING


Why do we wear masks? A mask hides, protects our identity. It keeps us safe from prying eyes. People have worn masks throughout history for one reason or another. The masked ball in olden days conveniently hid the wearer from the dance partner, creating a false sense of titillation while wondering who may be the chosen partner. It lent a gay feeling of excitement to the music. It put the moment of exposure in jeopardy. Suppose your assumption were wrong>

Muslim women may go about their daily tasks comforted by the knowledge that they did not have to [ut their makeup on, while their most devout sisters wearing head coverings and floor length clothing, stay completely hidden from the public.

Small goblins ringing doorbells on Halloween, can masquerade as anyone they choose for an hour or two. The local bank robber covers his face because he recognizes that he is comnmmitting a crime and wants to be sure that no one recognizes him while in the process.

These are all understandable reasons for face coverings. They protect us from perceived discovery.

In this new age it is apparent that masks also can protect us from disease.

But also consider the masks we all wear as a matter of choice. Invisible masks which conceal our true selves from public scrutiny. To answer the old psychological question; sho are we really> Do we honestly understand that question ourselves? We automatically take on different roles depending on our questioner. These are our masks’ and we all wear them. We see what we want to see when it comes to these personal masks.

today’s masks fulfill another function’ they protect both the wearer and those he comes in contact with, from possible harm. We cannot argue that the wearing of a mask is beneficial while in public.

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WHEN THERE IS NO TURNING BACK


We all reach a point when it becomes apparent that the road is ending. Like Robert Frost, who famously wrote about two diverging paths; which shall we take?

In this new age of cobid virus, sometimes we have no choice.Without knowing where that path may lead, we are set upon it.

Lack of choice is something we asa humans are not accustomed to believing. But what happens when one person is forced to take the left hand path and the other sets out on the right?

These dilemmas are being faced by people all over the world right now. So what happens now? Suppose the outcome is not good, as happens far too often?

My daughter is asking those questions right now. Her dear husband with whom she she was to celebrate one year of marriage two days ago, took the right hand path through no choice of his own.

We all wait. We hold our communal breaths and listen for the phone to ring. Is there good news today? What transpired in the night? Why am I kept away? These are not her questions alone.

This man who lies hooked up to tubes filling every body cavity, and who blessedly is unaware of the benevolent torture going on inside him, seems to have been sent to heal the broken heart caused by the death of another husband. He fulfilled that chore admirably, while gaining joy miossing from his own life. It was all too short in time. A friendship of seven years, a marriage of one year. It hardly seems fair.

But consider those seven years’ filled with travel, fun, and a previously unknown sensitivity. Some are not that fortunate.

Her questions are familiar to anyone going through this pandemic. They are endemic to all of us’ what will I do? What happens to me”?

My daught comes from strong female stock. She is a strong woman who will grieve for a time and then he better angels will take over, and allow her to feed on the good times and know that she has been blessed with a good and kind man who brought her much happiness. And life will begin once more.

THE WORLD’S GREATEST LIAR


It is a known fact. All children lie. They lie to keep away from perceived punishment; usually where none exists. They lie to make themselves feel important or to convince others that they are invincible. They lie to improve their home situation. Sometimes they lie while alone inventing scenarios in which they are the undisputed hero. Parents understand this and all but the most egregious are ignored. It is simply considered embellishment.

At the age of four I was a master of the genre. We lived for a short time in San Diego in an apartment next door to a school ground. A good liar needs an audience, otherwise there is no point. My audience was a young playground director who taught me to hang by my knees on the steel bars which my mother referred to as “acting bars”. One’s first lie needs to be big and bold and mine, while imaginative, was totally unbelieveable. According to history I had four big brothers, none of whom were available because my tiny young mother kept them locked up and only fed them bread and water. My imagination never reached that level again, but it grew exponentially throughout my childhood.

It was an easy and available means to self identy to cushion the impact of our annual hegira. No one knew me. No one knew my parents who could be called to verify my wild tales. Actually, no one even liked me. I was the stranger who came uninvited to a well established clique of children. I was still creating history by the age of ten, living in Connecticut attending a country school with three grades in my classroom.

Surrounding oneself with a cushion of improvidation is a way to protect oneself from fear of rejection.

To my embarrassment and shame, This habit continued throughout my childhood, even including the use of substitute names. It was relaxing to introduce myself as someone else in order to protect Kayti Sweetland. Fortunately by the time I reached high school I understood that no one actually wanted to harm me. Unfortunately, it was the the time of the best name I ever thought up’ I thought!

Children DO learn that lying is not really a path to friendship or fame. Somehow the knowledge creeps in that they also have a real life and it ain’t bad. They also learn that the sun does not rise or set according to their wishes. They begin to get a sense of their peers. They begin to understand where they come from and where are their goals. It makes them aware also that there is a future for themselves and they may as well begin plotting it.

I am averse to people who strongly identify with the small word “I”. Unfortunately, that method has worked for some people however unpleasant it may be. President George H.W. Bush once told the story that throughout his life his mother cautioned him against talking about himself. We are after all, the constant object of our affections.

Any sdvice you might draw from this is; Get over it. Nobody really cares, and at the last hour, you will be the only audience left.

It is a kn own fact. All children lie. They lie to keep away from perceived punishmen

BATHROOMS


So let’s us talk about bathroom: specifically the toilets within bathrooms. During my advanced age I have visited all manner of bathrooms, both good and not so good.

In the days befor I knew the value of a bathroom, archtects were prone to design a fairly large space with a large and comfortable tub in which to laze away hours while reading a favorite book and soaking away the cares of the day. As a child, it probably included frolicking with a toy or two. Our bathroom had great acustics and I spent a lot of time singing at the top of my lungs preparing for hoped for career in the footsteps of an opera singer aunt.

The houses we have lived in during our marriage have all had bathrooms which scimped on useable space unfortunately. They were adequate, but not special. Ijn or about the 1980’s the bathrooms and kitcyhens grew exponentially while compromising the poor living sroom. Double sinks and footbath-type bowls appeared and people felt their ships had come in.

I was pleasantly surprised to find our new bathroom containing two bathroom sinks and a wall size mirror reflecting our advanced state of being. The guest bathroom while not as large, has an enclosed toilet which will be nice when we get a guest. I hung a nice oil painting in the tiny spce to entertain.

When I was ten years old we moved to the countryside in Connecticut into a rented place which not only did not have running water, but unbelievably had no bahroom.

I was immediately introduced to the wonders of an outhouse. Our place of business was situated quite far from the house which was good in one case but bad during the cold and snow bound winters. I learned early on that, thile having no acustics, singing whil occupying the outhouse not only kept the visit short, but certainly more pleasant.

During the war, we lived for a short time in Oregon, also in the country, and also becoming familiar once more with our friend the outhouse. The thing I found difficult to understand is why no one thought to make them mopre attractive.

We were fortunate to spend many years traveling throughout Europ-e and having the opportunity to see where they all went. France has always held a spot in my imagination whereby fashion and exceptional cuisine held high places. I cannot say the same for the difficult holes in the ground hold sway. Fortunately,,, for those occupying hotels, the going is up to snuff. We visited the Hermitage museum on a trip to Russia. The museum itself is magnificent with white marble and a king’s ransome in gold, at least when one enters by the front door. Those of us who arrive via a tour, often get the opening view from the rear door. Instead of describing the experience, let me say merely that omy two outhouse ex[eriences were far supior in every way, plus tissue was sparingly handed out to each occupant in exchange for a request for a few rubles.

It is convenient to know how the rest of the world goes.

GETTING TO KNOW YOU


We all remember the wonderful story THE KING AND I. During this time of isolation we are getting to know not only one another, but we find new truths in ourselves. Both of these are eye-opening. When forced or privileged to live in an enclosed environment, it can be difficult to maintain a certain civilized calm at times.

It is a great time to take stock of ourselves. A wise woman once told me that we are who we have always been, only more so. This is true. Consider anuy person of long acquaintance” Has their overall personality changed much during the years, or it it “more so”?

eIt ios a good thing for those who contemplate marriage. Do you like what you see in a time of panic or peace? And be honest. Do you like what you see in yourself?

A sometime motto of mine has bee “know what to overlook:. Non of us are perfect, and within this terrible pandemikc, nothing much if perfect.

Three months ago when we moved into this lovely community, things seemed [erfect.. Our pur[ose3 was to have our family close and they are that indeed. However, we like everyone else, cannot tough or hug. So we are left with those we actually live with.

I understand that China has reported a surge of divorce. We wonder how that could happen, but maybe they have learned who they actually are.

Dr. Adsvice contrary to what I might have said, is calm and in most case, logical. He has become more demanding and cannot understand wjhy things have not remained the same. It can be confusing. I, on the other hand, though I try to reain just as calm, will on occasion raise my voice to a higher decibel trying to explain the unex[plainable. This is not a good trait, so I must give Dr. Advice a higher score and work on my own aailing.

It has rained a great deal of the time in the past 3 months and that makes it clear that we need to stay home and isolated awhile longer.Family has been bringin food for which we are so grateful

Stay safe and maintain calm and common sense. We will all get through stronger than ever. Perhaps isolation is a test?

Stay safe.

A TIME OF WONDER


I awaken to the realization that I am indeed 92 years old. How can it be, when I was but 29 when I went to sleep>

In this time of wonder for us all, we hunker down in our environmentshumble or huge, and plan another day of trying to get through safely.

We have been extremely lucky to have come to this beautiful place beside the mountains and in a lovely home. Family is very close also holed up in their homes. Today our daughter brought groceries and as she pprepared to leave in her mask and gloves, I entreated her to fix my Amazon password. In doing so, she realized that I had no e-mail password and so fixed that as well. Am I getting forgetful?

We arrange our days differently that before. A shower takes longer which is lovely because fill that space when Dr. Advice and Charlie are off for the morning walk. After which there is a coffee hour 9literaly) while we atare unbelieving at the TV to see the umbers rise from the virus. We all feel very fortunate of course and realize that stayin in and washing our hands may be a help.

There are hundreds of movies which can fill the afternoon hours, and of course inevitable arguments as to which to watch.

I can guarantee that houses, mikne at least, have never been so clean. Dr. Advice is in charge of rugs, and Charlioe contributes whatever he can. One problem has become clear” Charlie’s groomikng tools have never been found since we arrived three months ago.

Which reminds me that there are lots of boxes stored in the garage which are still sealed. I am sure that it would give extra jobs to fill the time, but Dr. Advice sees something in every box he wants to keep, while I want to donate to Goodwill. Though we have a good sized home, we are miossing an bedroom which gives a little less space to put things.

Ne[hew reminded me that had we stayed in Fremont, we wouldof necessity be living in a senior home, now locked in our room. With no one living nearby to call for help. How fortunate we are.

I received a great number of phone calls wishing me happiness, and a cccounter full of beautiful cards. I thank all of you who took the time to remember me on this day. IO miss you all, but when this [andemic has run its course, we’ll have a blast and paint the town red.

Keeep in balance in the meantime.

HELLO AGAIN!


It takes time to make a life change, and it doesn’t make it easier when you reach to so-called exalted age of 92 and 94. After living most of our adult lives in the Bay Area of Northern California, our family convinced us to move closer to them in Southern California, all of which was completed within October 2019 and January 2020.

We were cautioned to bring as little as possible, so between donating our long hoarded belongings and packing boxes for the moving company, we now find ourselves settled in a lovely home near the Santa Monica mountains just outside our back door.

Charlie, our obstreperous 13 year old Jack Russell Terrier has decided to like his new surroundings, which is a great help.

The actual moving was uneventful, but no one told me that addresses had to be changed etc. So much to think about let alone learning to cook on an electric stove. A few burnt pans later things seem to be shaping up.

My eyesight as failed miserably, so I ask your indulgence and [lease overlook typing mistakes. Our daughter got me a large keyboard from a blind organization. I can no longer see the keys, but after 80 some years of typing I know where most of themn are. It was time to make the move. Dr. Advice dragged his fet, but is adjusting.

The Village we have settled in is a resort of 2,000 hindidual homes with recreation, library, golf course etc. Much of which because of age and infirm bones will be unavailable, but lovely to see. There is a marvelous ceramic studio, akin to myy own which was sold.

Anyway, we find ourselves happy with family surrounding us—children, grandchildren and great grands. What could be finer?

So dear cyber friends I send greetings and love.

Peace.

,

EXEUNT


It has occurred to me that I may be the oldest blogger still out there at age 90.The blogosphere has been a pleasurable part of my life for the past eight years. Through it I have visited all over the world and become friends with so many wonderful people. I have loved reading about your lives and experiences.

Unfortunately this will be my last post, due to failing eyesight. Thanks to all of you for being interested in what I have had to say through the years, whether it was informative or nonsense.
The very good Dr. Advice has just informed me that he will be happy to read your posts to me, so we will still stay in contact.

TRANSITIONAL PAINTING


Like many of you, I began painting at an extremely young age. The act of putting color onto paper was intoxicating. It led to a lifetime of making art, for which I am forever grateful. I found my painting “voice” early when I began looking at people and what they were doing. Landscapes, flowers and fruit didn’t interest me, but Native American culture did interest me.

Painting is a personal form of communication, and as with all forms of communication, it has its imperfections. Therefore it finds agreement or acceptance with only a segment of the audience. The degree with which any art form succeeds is in part the responsibility of the viewer. As I have often said, “art if in the eyes if the beholder.” During the years I was privileged to teach art, it was wonderful to see recognition dawn in the eyes of students.

We tend to take our eyes for granted, and why shouldn’t we? They are as integral to us as our hands and feet or any other part of our body. In art, we talk about our “vision”. What sort of feeling does your painting or sculpture give? I have hoped that my depictions of our Native people have somehow portrayed the joining force of the human spirit rather than a left over segment of history.

My eyesight has dwindled to the point of being “legally blind” as so many of us older codgers become. It is annoying of course, and satisfactorily eliminates lots of those activities we have been taking for granted. Dr. A is my knight in shining armor and picks up the slack in so many ways. Magnifying aids are fine, but sometimes a bother, so rather than take one with me, I simply take Dr. A to do the reading.

It became apparent some time ago that I could not see lines that I had written or sketches I had made for a painting. Bummer! Throughout history, painters have lost their sight and continued painting what they could still see. Monet made some of his most beautiful work after he lost his sight.

Though our painting may not be the same as it was previously, there is no need to put the paint and brushes away to collect dust. Who knows, perhaps another Monet will show up. There are a number of sites on the internet of blind painters, some of whom have been blind from birth. They are still enjoying the act of creating, and a new form of communication. These artists are an inspiration.

METAMORPHOSIS


We all have stress in our lives; some is good stress and some is not so good. A prospective wedding can be both in terms of stress. I remember both my daughters stress level before their big day. While perusing Webster’s dictionary, I discovered that there were several definitions for the word “Metamorphosis. “a striking alteration in circumstances” seems to fit that situation. Nothing seems to go the way planned, but at the last-minute, everything perks along just fine. For some prospective brides or grooms, the sense of doom crashes down while walking down the aisle. Only the brave or the foolish continue walking.

It’s an unnatural time for most of us. The sometimes months long preparation, the economic guilt, the frayed emotions erupting into meltdowns should send the happy couple off to elope in a far away place by themselves.

The photos of the joyous couple with mile wide smiles hurrying to get on with things, were not photos of me seventy-two years ago. At eighteen and twenty, we were children who thought they were grown up enough to handle the adult world. I will admit that I for one, doubted it. It wasn’t the first time I was wrong of course, nor the last. We have watched too many marriages come and go, and I am pleases to say that after 72 years with the same handsome guy, and after producing children, grandchildren and great=grandchildren, life is still good. On September 7 I will make him his obligatory bowl of oatmeal, give him a kiss and wish him many more days sitting across from the same girl who wasn’t quite sure it would work out. Happy Anniversary Doctor Advice, I couldn’t have done it without you.