Updated: Jan 26
Brain Health. I was talking to someone yesterday about the fact that we're still alive. In my case, despite living in Brooklyn, despite daily walks, drop-offs at the mailstore, (mask on, social distancing), despite groceries and packages (wiping everything down), despite fear and isolation, despite almost 800 people a day still dying in my city. The conclusion I've come to is that precautions work. That means we can calm our brain down and start thinking about the future. We know what needs to be done. What will the world look like in the future? Although I couldn't have imagined this a week ago, I started to contemplate how I would navigate re-opening my shop vs maintaining this online presence. Either is possible, with precautions. It breaks my heart that so many have died, so many families have been traumatized, so much pain exists. Spring reminds us that life re-emerges every year, altered and unique and that this cycle of life and death will cause us to morph as well. We have a newfound respect for the landscape and the micro-beings with which we share it. We've gained a profound understanding that our existence is a gift. Ancient cultures understood that this gift was an exchange. Gifts created an endless cycle of reciprocity and an atmosphere of gratitude. It was expected that to honor our life, we took nothing for granted and gave something in return. We've forgotten these rules of engagement, becoming a culture of "I" instead of "we". If nothing else, covid is a wake-up call. The air is cleaner, the planet, and every being on it, is breathing easier. Earth is thriving in the midst of our health crisis because we've stopped imposing our one-sided needs on it. What do we owe this planet for its energy, its sustenance, its warmth, and light? What about the sea, the plants, and animals that feed and hydrate, allowing us to live? How about the solid ground beneath our feet, the acrobatic clouds overhead sanitizing our water? And what of sunsets, mountains, fall foliage, cherry blossoms? We are showered with gifts daily. Manufacturing and "non-essentials" have ceased or slowed. We travel less. We've shifted our focus off of material goods and talk more with family and friends, checking in, knowing their continued existence is also a gift. We have time to use our brains in new ways, time to slow down and think. We've stepped out of our routines and have the ability to imagine something different. We understand the importance of great leadership - people who surround themselves with great minds, who stay informed and calm us because we trust they are doing their best to ensure our safety. We understand that truth and transparency are not just ideals but crucial for survival. Great losses will continue for a while but in this moment, there is also hope. History has shown us that periods of suffering are almost always followed by light, beauty and shifting values. Remember this as we mourn what was. This will be our way forward. Let's use our infinitely flexible brains to imagine what can be. I don't know about you but I've been extremely busy despite my shop being closed. I spend my days making tinctures, salves, teas, and masks, ship daily, do consultations, write newsletters, update my online presence and take workshops. I'm also making sculptures. I don't have space for anything large in my apartment but using a mannequin head instead of a body, I created this sculpture and entitled it ... Brain Health. My respect for microorganisms and our microbiome has become the focus of both my Herbalism practice and sculpture. They are co-creations, overlapping and informing one another. Collaboration with these micro-beings is inextricably entangled with our health and well-being. Scale and proportions shift as I imagine the consequences of our unchecked shortsightedness and our bodies fill with micro-plastics and other toxins. Brain Health. 2020, 16 x 22 x 13 inches, Yarn, mannequin Head, up-cycled plastic waste. To see more of my sculptures, click here. *** And on a side note, after consulting with my daughter, I've re-organized my Spiral Herbal Remedies website and included a concise Covid Recommendation Guide, making it easier to find what you need. I'm going to do the same with my Instagram and Facebook posts.