Life in these strange times: voices of my readers

Since I started this “Life in these strange times” blogging project, I have been on so many different types of journeys. I have been traveling around the world, via to my imagination. I have explored the inner me in a world of social distancing and quarantine. And I have explored the joy of spring springing to life again. Every year, spring feels different, but it has never felt as different as it has this year. 

I have been focused on documenting this experience. Documenting it has helped me to gain perspective, to understand the world and to understand my own reponses to this situation. This is different because the end date to it is uncertain. The comments of readers have been helpful to me. Thank you so much for that. Your voices mean the world to me, and I am sharing some of your comments today.

“A jar full of hope”

This post was about catching hope where you can find it, as well as about the Sundarbans Mangrove Forest that straddles the border between India and Bangladesh. Part of my imaginary trip around the world.

from: pamtheamericandogrunner: 

Love your journey here….makes me take my imaginary journey
back to Basel, Switzerland, and walk the streets there…..meeting my first
true love! Going to the museums together, walking the promenade. Then taking my
journey with my business, my blog and unraveling all my thoughts, dreams and
hopes for my future through my writing and virtual actions if you will. This is
a time to take those journeys as we stay safe at home and at a distance!
Thank you for sharing- I have to admit you lost me with a
few of the references which I may go back to and google like: UNESCO?
But like I said I can GOOGLE that one! Keep the journeys
coming, and help transport us to walking among the tigers! I personally have a
tiger walking alongside me as I tame him with one hand as I join you in your
story today! Thank you! aah, the imagination!

Alice: Alphabet soup is everywhere, and it seems that I am afflicted with it, too! UNESCO stands for United Nations Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organization.

Martha: Oh I loved touring the forest with you today! As a bonus,
Lia went with me and she loved the butterflies or ‘fyy-fyys’ as she calls them!

Alice: Oh, I love fyy fyys!!!!  If only I could be arrayed in bright colors like them! And I bet that other people would love that, too!

“Living the dream”

It’s all about living in a world on hold and about letting my imagination take me on a tour of the wonders of Bangladesh.

Jeanine: It’s true – these are strange and uneasy times. And we don’t
know what’s coming. I feel like we will only fully understand it after it’s
over. The fog will clear and then, we’ll make sense of it all.

Alice: We might need the perspective of time to understand what is happening now.

Vidya: That snowmen painting of yours always delights me!! And I am
adding more places to visit on my list through your posts.. 🙂

Alice: Thank you so much! I am so happy that you like the snowhumans!!!

Cindy W.: I really enjoyed reading your post today. I loved the photos
and your words calmed me. Thank you.

Alice: Calmness is everything. Thank you.

“Miracles in miniature”

This is about finding miracles in the small, overlooked thing. Also, the imaginary journey takes me to Kuno Palpur Wildlife Sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh, India. It is a place that is waiting for new beginnings. It will become a sanctuary for lions.

From a reader (identified by an email address in the comments section):  I enjoy seeing Cranes, Egrets and other wildlife. I too, like to take trips out
and about in hopes of seeing the beauty of nature. (I definitely miss living in
the Hill Country of Texas) for that main reason or even in Illinois. (Deer
could be seen all the time).

Alice: Where ever you go, there are wonders of nature. I hope that you find them.

“Nameless Wonders”

I find random treasures as I clean and reorganize. It has become a treasure hunt.

From Elisa: Have you read Tidying Up by Marie Kondo? If it doesn’t bring
you joy, thank it for its purpose and then throw or give it away. I liked her
book until she had a chapter on only keeping 30 books in your home. 30? Not
going to happen! Great post!

Alice: Thank you. Thirty books? That’s not enough! Books are such treasures! I haven’t read Tidying Up yet, and I suppose that I will, but I’m not going for the thirty book thing!
From Arti: Your post flows like a gentle stream, meandering through
cleaning chores and flying fox bats and it takes me with it on a journey so
enjoyable that I want to read more.
Cheers for that.
Cleaning and organising is cathartic and nostalgic, I feel,
especially when one comes across forgotten treasures.

Alice: Thank you for coming on my adventure with me!

“Pennies from Heaven”

I clean, reorganize, and go on a journey that takes me from self-doubt and feeling cut off from the world to a feeling of being able to accept myself for who I am.

Roy: Glad you achieved that essence of self-analysis!

Alice: I am, too. Thank you, Roy.

Jean: You don’t have to be anything except yourself. That is special

Alice: It is indeed.
Jeanine: Oh, that’s so beautiful, Alice!! And I’m so glad you were
able to open and escape through that door into the real you.

Alice: Thank you so much, Jeanine!
That reader who commented on “Miracles in Miniature”: WOW – – talk about insight into the inner being! Thanks for
sharing this. I could feel the convictions you must have felt while writing
this post through the words you chose. Reflecting on what was and what is
definitely hit home with me. (that was my post today, Reflection).
It’s interesting how something like a letter can stir up
things from the innermost depths of our souls. Whether it’s convictions, guilt,
conflict, permission to process, permission to accept – whatever it is…this
post of yours today was POWERFUL!
Give yourself some grace and create something beautiful
today. You deserve it!!! Maybe one day soon, a 2020 penny will show up.

Alice: Thank you for your insight. I will dance with glee when I find that penny!!!
Frewin55: Some people’s writing just captivates and you must read to
the end – you are one such Alice…

Alice: Wow. Thank you. I am… speechless…
Martha: What a powerful blog. I’m glad you pushed the door open and
saw that you are not only good but great! The penny will come along soon.

Alice: Yes, the penny will come along. I too am glad that I pushed open that door!!!

“Re-imagining our Earth”

It’s all about Earth day, taking care of our planet, and a bloggers’ tea party in Tajikistan!

Vidya: Thank you for that wonderful cup of tea, Alice.. And would
love to continue sharing this journey with you.

Alice: You are very welcome, Vidya! We will talk about books!!!

Cindy W: The tea was lovely – I’ll have another cup, please.

Alice (pours tea): Enjoy.
Jeanine: I love tea!! It would be neat to visit a tea house.

Alice: Yes! What fun!!!
Martha: So were you surprised when we all showed up?? I had a lovely
time visiting with you and the rest of our “gang!” Even Lia enjoyed
the tea and we both enjoyed being a part of your journey today!

Alice: It was so much fun! And a great surprise! I’ve got a big surprise waiting for the “gang.” It will include fun stuff for Lia! Stay tuned!!!

“Telling you about me”

I asked Pastor Kris Bjerke-Ulliman of St. Timothy Lutheran Church to interview me via email!

Jeanine: What a neat interview! And what sounds like a life
of adventure. You know, I wonderful what it would be like if you created a
movie review blog. Or astronaut or astronomy stories for kids. Thanks for
sharing information about yourself.

Alice: You’re welcome. And any of your suggestions would be fun!
Cindy Rae: Thank you for sharing your life with us, it is always great
to learn from the life experience of another.

Alice: It definitely is!
Martha: I loved learned about you from your childhood as you were
growing up! So interesting and what adventures you had!

Alice: Thank you, Martha. I hope that there are more adventures in the future!

Vivian: Oh my gosh, this is wonderful. So many wonderful experiences. So much imagination bursting out! I challenge your thought that you haven’t been successful. You have so much to share so keep doing it and never doubt yourself. And yes that house was a treasure except I have had nightmares forever about that scary weird basement. I’ll never forget my failure at being a juice guard against the cat…..

Alice: Thank you, Viv. Your comments are much appreciated. That basement was pretty wild. And that cat was determined to win!

Diane:  Excellent job. You probably should write your autobiography. Please make me look good, though. ????

Alice: All righty!!!!

Pastor Kris:  You took me into your life in such a beautiful, colorful and joyful way! Thank you for your answers – these weren’t easy questions and your answer reflect your amazing gifts and talents! Rock on my sister!!!

Lenore: This honest report has shown me much more about you than I knew!

“Understanding the incomprehensible”

What is happening to us? We are experiencing a lack of leadership at a time when it is needed most, which leads to panic, division, and toxicity. 

Jeanine: You are right about us having a problem creator, instead of
a problem solver. I really admire the introspection you are doing. My mind
feels scattered from stress. I will probably have to do my own soul searching
after it’s over, I guess.

Alice: Thank you so much, Jeanine. And I understand how hard it is to deal with stress.
Holly: I’ve been solving my problem by ignoring the fact that there
are any out there in the big, wide world. I can’t travel, but I can write
fiction. I’ve always enjoyed collaborating, riffing off other writers – when
our styles mesh and we’re on a similar wavelength – and I’ve been doing that
today. It’s what’s keeping me sane and happy.
I can’t fix our problem creators, not till November. Even
then, we have so many delusional people following him as if he were a real
leader, not a pretend leader – it’s disheartening. I have no idea what the
future holds, so I’m trying my best, for today, to enjoy the present.

Alice: I need to get more into writing fiction, too, and riffing off of other writers sounds like a good way to do it. And, for sure, we probably can’t fix our problem creators until November. 
Elisa: I couldn’t have said this any better myself. Yes, we have a
leader who is a problem creator, not a problem solver. He is also a complete
narcissist and sociopath. I wanted to leave the country when he was elected,
and in times like this, I wish I did. But don’t feel helpless – we can vote him
out in November.

Alice: Thank you. I struggle to maintain my optimism after three and a half years of this divisive stuff. But, yes, we can replace the problem creator in November.
Malachy: Thanks Alice for sharing this piece. Your inward journey
validates the need we all have and the importance for us to be embraced, to be
at one, with nature and the beauty of it. It is so easy to get sucked into that
which is negative so much so that we cannot see the forest from the trees.
Taking a walk outside we can see each tree one at a time. In The Light, Malachy

Alice: Thank you so much for your insights, Malachy.
Alana: I, personally, have little hope for our country. I’ve done
some reading on the 1918 flu pandemic and some of what you are seeing now
existed then, too (people refusing to wear masks, people claiming quarantines
stepped on their liberties) but this time, we have such a political divide that
we as a country seem paralyzed. And it isn’t just our President. How could
anyone even think for a minute that just because he talked about Lysol and
bleach that just maybe, there was something valid about drinking them? At least
some of them decided to call poison control to check, first! Meanwhile,
Congress can’t make up their mind about how to conduct business so business
doesn’t get conducted, while millions suffer out of work. We fear that many
businesses won’t come back and yet large companies grab at the bailouts meant
for the small businesses. I hope you can get out and walk soon, Alice. Walking
outside really lifts the spirits.

Alice: I too am feeling little hope for our country. I fear that we may have passed the point of no return. The natural optimist in me doesn’t want to believe that, however. So I get out and I walk so that I can be focused on nature, which is full of beauty and wonder.
Julie: Nature is a great reminder. This is how life is meant to be
– this is the world, as we know it… not the nasty politics. I am looking
forward to movement – but I want it done responsibly. I also have two college
aged children who do not like nor do they do well in “virtual
college” so… there’s that, too. And the college administration doesn’t
seem to consider that!
Anyway – very thoughtful post. Thank you.

Alice: Thank you so much. Nature is much more understandable than toxic politics! I hope that your kids come to a sense of peace at having to attend “virtual college.” I can imagine that it would be challenging. For some majors, virtually impossible, I would think.
Yvona: speak truth in love. We need nature. It is coming and
reassuring. There is still snow but the flowers will bloom Thank you.
We need to recharge, re-center, and the natural world helps
us to do that.

Alice: Thank you for your insights, Yvona. 

Rob: Your thoughtful musings and insights are appreciated. I hope you don’t mind if I take some of your ideas and rephrase them into my daily “failings in leadership” statements.

Alice: Thank you, Rob. I am honored.

Vivian: Very introspective and incredibly insightful. I, too, don’t understand demanding a haircut, or anything else for that matter. Yes thoughtful state preparation must be done so segments of society can reopen safely. How privileged people feel they are by demanding liberties for themselves. There are people living in this earth, desperate for the basics and who cannot stay safe during this time. Liberties are societally driven as well, and I’m sad to think people have become so self absorbed that a haircut, playing golf, etc, are more important than protecting the vulnerable among us. Instead of demanding, start by being a giver and a problem solver as you say so well. Care for others and caring shall come back to you.

Alice: Yes, absolutely. There are times when the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. This is one of those times, I think.

Susan: Awesome blog post. Agree with all. Front row at the Trump show, as is the title of Jon Karl’s book. Beautiful writing, Alice.

Alice: Thank you, Susan. I guess that I’ll have to read that book. By the way, what happened to intermission? This show seems to be awfully long!

4 thoughts on “Life in these strange times: voices of my readers”

  1. I love the way you honor people's comments! And it's fun to read them. I seldom do when I'm reading one of your posts, so it's great to read them this way.

  2. I enjoyed taking a tour with you, it was such an exciting way to help cope. And this blog, oh my, what a great way to thank all those that left comments.

  3. Beautiful and what a neat idea to post comments. Especially that you can provide context in a short blurb. Yes, to see the miracles and tiny moments and cups of tea! Thank you for bringing brightness into the world today.

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