May 2021: covid, journey, time-perception, memories, flaws-make-the-world-go-round

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Twelfth Pandemic Post May 2021

*“Pilgrimage is a kind of freedom that is also a sort of bondage, because when you undertake it, you’re bound to everything about the road.”

-- Anne Carson, multi-genre writer. (statement made in an interview) Literary Hub. May 2021.

Doug Ford, Ontario Premier, has just prolonged our lockdown until June2nd. Many of us have been longing for this pandemic to wain.

I subscribe to several literary and creative writing sites on the net. What Anne Carson has stated in an interview, which I have quoted above in red, has begun to be a profoundly truthful expression of my life.
It is especially pertinent for what we are experiencing now.
Why I chose to be what I am now when I was seventeen has much to do with my values and ethics to which I’ve remained embraced.
These principles have expressed themselves in diverse ways because what I considered ‘freedoms’ and ‘bondages’ have taken me in many different directions over more than seven decades.
There are paved roads, rutted roads, river roads, roads which change directions with many wide curves and that same road can suddenly spring a sharp change of direction.
These many diversions in direction have become the gyres I am today.
I believe many of us have realized that time is much more
‘phasal’ than ‘linear’.
What we have remembered from early childhood to the present
has been what is most significant and meaningful in our lives.
This pandemic has made me seriously consider what I will leave as a legacy.
There are so many challenges now facing us : our environment, poverty, human rights,
class, race, religious prejudices . There are also many lonely people in this world.
What can I leave behind to help alleviate those problems?
There are times when I become so frustrated with our society.
I also become fed-up at times with my own weaknesses,
especially when I keep making the same mistakes.
One of the issues I’d like to deal with is the ‘winners-losers’ competitiveness in our
Educational systems. Children from the age of four until university or college education
are evaluated from that time onward. Their humanity is not affirmed and celebrated
just for who they are. They are tested, marked, graded and averaged. Those who find
academic subjects easy are made ‘leaders. Those good in athletics win trophies.
Everyone wants to be their ‘friend’. They can win scholarships, get grants, and often
Are the ones who get into the most prestigious universities. They are often from the middle,
Upper middle and high classes. Those from the ‘working class’ and ‘low-income’ levels
are largely ignored in the classroom.
They are not invited to Birthday parties of those in middle class or even in the ‘working class’. They feel inferior. The school boards do nothing to help them.
I’m trying to find ways to alert my communities, (neighbourhood, musical, residents, philosophical) groups to realize this huge divide. So far, I have not been able to obtain help to enable those who are well-off to create public awareness and create programs to empower children on low-income, Children’s Aid, homeless YA’s to work with me.
Even our local Humanist Association and our local Unitarian groups have ignored this crucial issue.
These legacies I wish to leave are what my road has given me. In fact, I’ve noticed the many roads I could have taken, but my upbringing and education has helped me decide for the road which leads to teaching and serving others. By doing that I enjoy many moments and phases of my life.
For those who do not know me well, I hope this ‘blog’ has given you a little more knowledge of what I’m ‘about’.
I hope each of you to which this post will arrive, you will be healthy and encouraged.

Thank you for reading this. I am eager to receive comments.

Diane S. Schmolka

  • Half Lives and Long Drives:

An Interview with Anne Carson and Robert Currie

In Conversation with Sara Elkamel and NYU Undergraduates By Sara Elkamel

A film, 1h22m long:

An elderly Chinese woman had two large pots, each hung on the ends of a pole which she carried across her neck.

One of the pots had a crack in it while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water.

At the end of the long walks from the stream to the house, the cracked pot arrived only half full.

For a full two years this went on daily, with the woman bringing home only one and a half pots of water.

Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments.

But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it could only do half of what it had been made to do.

After two years of what it perceived to be bitter failure, it spoke to the woman one day by the stream.

'I am ashamed of myself, because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your house.'

The old woman smiled, 'Did you notice that there are flowers on your side of the path, but not on the other pot's side?'

'That's because I have always known about your flaw, so I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back, you water them.'

'For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate the table.

Without your being just the way you are, there would not be this beauty to grace the house.'

And so, while each of us has our own unique flaw, it's the cracks and flaws we each have that make our lives together so very interesting and rewarding.

You've just got to take each person for what they are and look for the good in them.

SO, to all of my crackpot friends, have a great day and remember to smell the flowers on your side of the path!


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