Masking Tape

Play tape:

“Sew Veriola. Sew like the wind!” The Three Amigos

Those words jumped from my lips when I saw her sew. My wife Barbara looked up, smiled, put the pedal down, and the machine revved. The sound of it whisked me back to my mom mending and making clothes in the 60’s and 70’s.

Oh, Barbara’s not the only 21st century Rosie the Riveter hunched over a modern mending miracle. Yesterday she heard of a better filter for masks. Immediately she went on-line to secure some of the material. A moment after she secured a box, she checked again, and none was available. We know friends and relatives who are also making masks. It’s as if they were parachutes for Army Airborne Rangers so they can drop behind enemy lines to rescue humanity from invisible forces.

Masks. Who da thunk? Now we’re all encouraged to don them when out in public. This isn’t a fad like Beanie Babies or Tickle Me Elmo. This is a cover-up; a positive one for a change.

We had a good laugh a bit ago when hearing about transforming bras into PPE’s (Personal Protective Equipment). Side note… Every wonder why the bras are centrally located in stores? Anyway as we drifted through ‘that’ section I wondered if my face would be a double D or a triple A.

Don’t worry, soon we won’t have to go deep into the store to get our PPE. There will be vending machines everywhere and in them personal preferences displayed. I hope army men prints are among them. Just think for a moment, what style would you choose? Maybe they will be under lock and key at the party store. “Hey, give me a pack of Marlboro Reds and an Elmo n-95 please. Make it two.” What an irony.

When I go to work tomorrow I’ll see more eyes and less teeth. In the back of my mind George Benson’s “Lost in a Masguerade” will loop and loop. Honestly, I’m kinda okay with wearing one. My dental profile isn’t the greatest. I’ll be able to bare my teeth and all they’ll see is smiling eyes.

All jesting aside. I pray that the appropriate masks will flood the front lines where they’re needed the most. My brother is a nurse, and I’m sure we all know someone who is in a similar arena. Many companies big and small are retooling to make PPE’s and Ventilators and on and on for this war effort.

One last thought for now.

Isn’t it strange something invisible is changing so many visible areas of our lives? Think on this. I am.

Social Distancing and/or Emotional Distancing

By now, you’ve probably heard the term Social Distancing. Look it up here:

When I first heard the term my immediate thought was we have socially distanced ourselves for years. Well, maybe its just me.Taking such a broad mental swipe at this term without delving into its particular application now took me down paths of emotional, not physical, separation.

My aim is not to minimize the Covid-19 reality. We all need to pay close attention to directives and at the same time remain calm. Prayers and precautions will bode well as the professionals keep digging for solutions. What I’m wondering is how much social distancing will change our emotional distance.

Numerous studies, blog posts, and professionals reveal the distancing, isolating, and detaching emotional effect of social media. Now that’s a loaded sentence. Might our screens save us from spreading this new virus? Will skipping down the Skyping lane alter the quality of our connections? Will our diminished proximity change much of anything? I sure hope so!

I say this because my social media footprint diminished over the past few years. I distanced myself. The constant contact, all the likes, swipes, and emoji droplets seemed to cut my soul down to data points and comparisons thereof.

I’ll be perfectly clear, I am not a professional. I am not a doctor or scientist or counselor. I am a creative with an active imagination. My thoughts get away from me sometimes like a dog breaking its leash and sprinting toward a squirrel.

Nevertheless, thoughts are thoughts, and if it were possible, a cup of coffee and conversation on emotional distancing is a better solution than this old blog. Some eye-contact and body language between sips and syllables might bring a more wholehearted dialogue—six feet apart of course.

For now the only virus between us might be encrypted between these lines. So, a blabber blogging we go, eh?

Emotional distancing came to the front of my mind when I heard about empty stadiums and a postponed writer’s conference. What’s the big deal about the social element of it? Tucked into the social aspects of face to face, shoulder to shoulder connection is emotional attachment. This leads to thoughts of Reactive Attachment disorder (RAD).

Ours is a house of adoption, and as the number of additions rose, the reality of RAD rose to the surface. It’s a thing, just like social distancing is a thing. The short definition of RAD is the inability to form healthy emotional bonds with others. It’s like signaling another to come close and when they do, you stiff arm them. “Come here…that’s close enough.”

Emotional distancing is more subtle than what the health officials are advising concerning the Covid-19.

As RAD showed up in our children’s lives I became aware of my own RAD tendencies. It’s a manifestation of a virus. The virus of intimacy. “Into me see” as someone aptly coined. We all want to be seen on different levels. Yet we don’t. The game of hide and seek began a long time ago.

“Adam, where are you?” Genesis 3:9

Before that question, Adam and Eve were quite okay with skin as their only clothing; The epitome of social and emotional proximity. Then the cover-up was inaugurated. Did you know there are over seven hundred varieties of fig leaves?

Hiding places are innumerable. This century with all its fingertip knowledge dispensers, and screens depicting images of every imagination is comparable to “water water everywhere, but not a drop to drink.” Many have succumbed to techno-Tarzans swinging from vine to vine, deeper and deeper into the jungle of social media until no evidence of the sun hits the soil. With a loincloth flapping and lion claws flailing, humanity shrinks into the morass of social media without touching anyone. Sorry. Saw a squirrel.

All I’m saying is the blue light of our screens doesn’t give us the vitamin D we need.

Touchscreens aren’t the same as holding a hand, kissing a cheek, or letting body language fill in the blanks of a conversation.

I pray as we distance ourselves physically, we will feel the emotional separation. These are strange times indeed, hopefully not estranged. I pray our hearts will grow fonder, and when we draw close again our humanity will be on its best behavior.

I pray as our bodies isolate, our hearts will be insulated by the love of God.

God help us, and be near to us on all levels. Thank you for sending your Son Jesus to socially immerse himself with us to end our social and emotional separation from You. Amen.

Psalm 145:8