Burn…then better

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L. smiling & modeling her gifted mask

PLEASE! If you don’t want to read through my palaver, JUMP TO THE END. I have included links referencing legal guidelines and other world-views during this other-worldly time.

Warning! Anger response about to happen. Generally, I burn and then I bust: Loudly, unthinkingly. I might raise my voice, say something rough, stomp off. Such relief when I finally clear my brain and calm my emotions. Then, I figure out what shape my plan will take to ever-so-slightly scoot things in a more positive direction.

People are making a range of choices about mask-wearing. I have chosen to make masks for me, my husband, a number of family members, friends, neighbors, a local hospital, and anyone else who says they want one. Meanwhile, what a parade of non-social distancing, bare-faced risk-takers plays out before my eyes on my twice-daily walk with “Mr. Fuzzy” around the block in my neighborhood. I feel challenged. I cannot hold back my predictable response. I burn, silently. Can’t judge, out loud. Can’t lecture. Can’t stand giggles as people turn their backs on me. Come on, Sherri. Get to your plan, already.

Step #1– Research, experiment, and choose a mask pattern. Step #2– Unearth the clutch of cotton t-shirts ravaged for recent projects. Step #3–Pin, trace and cut out the two-layer masks during the day or in the evening or any time I set aside. Step #4–Batch-stitch separate sections. Pin ties and all parts together. Final stitch and turn right-side out. Smile……Oh, there’s the new, scooching hook.

Turn the frown upside down, said my grandmother. A new project is born. I now carry extra, fresh masks in closed plastic bags to offer up. When approaching a non-mask wearer, here is my basic patter: “Hi. I’m Sherri. I am a local artist and live in this neighborhood. My latest project is photographing people smiling in a mask to see how easy it is to notice your smile. How about posing in your mask for me?” My first successful approach is pictured above. The bright eyes and thumbs up are a give-away that L. is smiling. She even set down on the sidewalk a number of things she was balancing to accept and model my gift to her.

Thank you, L., for helping out me and the entire community. “…but you don’t have to take my word for it,” as the passionate LeVar Burton used to say on the t.v. show “Reading Rainbow.” https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/508482/levar-burton-legally-allowed-say-his-reading-rainbow-catchphrase

This COVID-19 virus is real and is devastating individuals, families, and caregivers. Here is a link to Chicago’s National Public Radio affiliate interviewing a nurse this week. https://www.wbur.org/hereandnow/2020/05/04/chicago-nurse-mourns-lost-patients

Another couple of news interviews offer a variety of responses to social-distancing and wearing face coverings:

https://www.npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2020/04/28/846684162/what-to-do-when-people-dont-practice-social-distancing

https://www.cnet.com/health/face-masks-in-cars-stores-outside-where-youre-expected-to-wear-a-covering/

Thank you for getting to the end. I hope that you felt that little scoot overtake you. I know I did.