One: It’s the last weekend in April, and I realize I forgot to remind you (or myself) about National Card & Letter-Writing Month.
And then, conveniently, I was reminded of how important the U.S. Post Office is, for all of us, how getting a letter in the mail is one of life’s great joys, how much I treasure the postal carriers I’ve come to know over the years, starting with Harry, our mailman when I was a child.
So, before the month draws to an end, and since you might have the time to do it and also need to stay connected in ways other than Zoom and FaceTime with people outside your own home: write a note.
Already been writing notes this month? Great. You’re doing something awesome for yourself and for others. Keep it up.
Need a little help? Here’s a set of writing prompts for you to download, print, and post on your bulletin board or refrigerator (etc.): Larksome Goods daily note prompts.
Two: If you’re in Memphis, or if you follow The Bitter Southerner, then you may already be entranced by Jamie Harmon’s Quarantine photo series, and you may already know that it’s going to be featured on CBS Sunday Morning. If you did not know these things, now you do.
Harmon, of Amurica|Visual Anthology fame, is one of my favorite contemporary photographers. If Diane Arbus and Lee Friedlander had a Memphis-style baby, Harmon would be it. His work is poignant, weird, funny, and beautiful. Even photos from his iconic, canned-ham photo booth somehow have a magical element to them.
If you’re not a Sunday morning watcher and just want to see the portraits, here’s the link. (Not a link-clicker? Search “quarantine memphis” or visit quarantinememphis.com)
Last: “We’re all in the same storm but not in the same boat.”
The unattributed post that made its way around Facebook last weekend (via copy-paste) is still fresh in my mind. It is, to me, the most vivid way of describing the hyper-importance of empathy and the need to check our privilege.
Some boats in this storm have love but no food or money. Some boats with an abundance of money also have violence, alcoholism, or depression.
Every boat is different, and few — if any — of us will weather this storm in exactly the same way.
If your boat is reasonably sound and you have extra resources to share, please share them. Check the boats around you. Understand (and this is maybe the hardest part) that you cannot control someone else’s boat or how they steer it, no matter how much you love them.
Be kind to yourself. Check in. Look for the helpers. Be a helper. Do the best you can. Keep going.