Archive for March 18th, 2020

18
Mar
20

3.18.20 … “The main part of preparedness to face these events is that we need as human beings to realize that we’re all in this together, that what affects one person anywhere affects everyone everywhere, that we are therefore inevitably part of a species, and we need to think in that way rather than about divisions of race and ethnicity, economic status, and all the rest of it.”

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2020 Lenten Labyrinth Walks (22/40), MorningStar Lutheran Chapel-Mint Hill NC, 2020 Lenten Lists:

I am back at MorningStar Lutheran chapel. I noticed the sign on the road today. So I stopped to take a picture of it.

When I arrived the landscapers were working… So I assumed it was going to be a noisy walk. But they finished by the time I was at the Labyrinth. So the sounds that I heard were the water of the fountain which was going today and the chimes.

The weather was absolutely perfect today, 68°, slight breeze and sunny, with just a few clouds in the sky. It was the type of weather you cannot complain about

Although the landscape crew had finished at the chapel, there were several working in the neighborhood behind. So although I thought I might be without the sound of lawnmowers and leaf blowers, I was not.

I have always been drawn to the very old rock wall. And it always brings me back to the thought when I was in Block Island RI, and I asked who made all the rock walls there and was informed that it was by slave labor. This is such an old church, Could slave labor have laid the rock wall?

After a recent walk in Asheville, I learned that there is a registry for old trees. I wonder if any of these trees are on the registry. Another research project…

After for spending a few minutes at the center contemplating what trinkets and tchotchke items I might bring and leave, I headed out and was serenaded by both the birds and the chimes … Lovely walk…

And in light of COVID-19, i realize that I see the labyrinth as a metaphor for what i am experiencing, particularly in unsettling times, when life feels more circular than linear and change is a constant. And in such times, walking the labyrinth reminds me to take my time, to pay attention to the journey along the way.

I’ve always enjoyed history. And of course there is an expert on the history of epidemics.

“In his new book, “Epidemics and Society: From the Black Death to the Present,” Frank M. Snowden, a professor emeritus of history and the history of medicine at Yale, examines the ways in which disease outbreaks have shaped politics, crushed revolutions, and entrenched racial and economic discrimination. Epidemics have also altered the societies they have spread through, affecting personal relationships, the work of artists and intellectuals, and the man-made and natural environments. Gigantic in scope, stretching across centuries and continents, Snowden’s account seeks to explain, too, the ways in which social structures have allowed diseases to flourish. “Epidemic diseases are not random events that afflict societies capriciously and without warning,” he writes. “On the contrary, every society produces its own specific vulnerabilities. To study them is to understand that society’s structure, its standard of living, and its political priorities.

I spoke by phone with Snowden last Friday, as reports on the spread of covid-19 tanked markets around the world, and governments engaged in varying degrees of preparation for even worse to come. During our conversation, which has been edited for length and clarity, we discussed the politics of restricting travel during epidemics, how inhumane responses to sickness have upended governments, and the ways that artists have dealt with mass death.

I want to start with a big question, which is: What, broadly speaking, are the major ways in which epidemics have shaped the modern world?

One way of approaching this is to examine how I got interested in the topic, which was a realization—I think a double one. Epidemics are a category of disease that seem to hold up the mirror to human beings as to who we really are. That is to say, they obviously have everything to do with our relationship to our mortality, to death, to our lives. They also reflect our relationships with the environment—the built environment that we create and the natural environment that responds. They show the moral relationships that we have toward each other as people, and we’re seeing that today.

That’s one of the great messages that the World Health Organization keeps discussing. The main part of preparedness to face these events is that we need as human beings to realize that we’re all in this together, that what affects one person anywhere affects everyone everywhere, that we are therefore inevitably part of a species, and we need to think in that way rather than about divisions of race and ethnicity, economic status, and all the rest of it.

Source: How Pandemics Change History | The New Yorker, https://www.newyorker.com/news/q-and-a/how-pandemics-change-history

And then I came to visit my friends Carol and Mark. What a lovely friend was visiting … WHO, WHO?

Picture by Mark Fortenberry

3.18.20

2020 Lenten List –

Flowering Trees in Charlotte

* Brilliant magnolias, also known as saucer magnolias, tulip magnolias, or Mulan trees. …

* The showy redbud — a native plant you can see in the woods in early spring. …

* Dogwoods often look like pink or white clouds from a distance. …

* The black cherry, or wild cherry, makes a lovely contrast against broad, green leaves.




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