Yesterday I mentioned the 7pm sound salute to hospital workers in NYC that I participated in, until the clapper in my Tibetan bell fell off and it was silenced.

If this was a different time, you may not have heard that story. But since these are such different times, here it is.

First, I would have called that metal part (the one that makes the noise when hit on the inner structure of the bell) a “clanger”, but thought back to reading  Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird where she talked about the importance of getting the right word when you write. She’d phoned a monastery during her writing time and remained on hold waiting to find out the correct term for that metal thing-a-mabob that goes over the cork in a champagne bottle. “Hood” was her reward after the monk finally got on the phone to give her the answer. Now, of course, you’d google it, but the author’s time on hold afforded her a rare moment to stare out the window and watch nature.

Fortunately I had heavy duty thread in my sewing reserves with which to re-attach the clapper to the inside of the bell. I’d bought a few yards at Michael’s when I’d hoped to repair a necklace I’d bought at Chico’s decades ago–one with different metals held together by leather loops–that had frayed and split apart. Which made me think of Scarlett DeBease who has helped me put outifts together for years. It was a sweet memory: watching Scarlett liven up tired combinations by placing that multi-strand necklace into the mix.

As I tried to fasten the clapper into the bell with the leather thread, Camp Chinqueka came into mind. That’s where I learned to tie square  and bowline knots in trailblazing classes. My first counselor there, Barb Ebner, was also the daughter of the camp owners. My daughter, who happens to know the current director at Chinqueka, passed on the sad news that Barb died recently and told me about the tribute to her on Instagram. (If you watch it, you can see me smiling over her left shoulder.) I failed at producing a square knot to hold the clapper in place, but whatever I accomplished is working for now.

I sent the IG tribute to my sisters who went to camp with me and also to two women I’ve known from Chinqueka and have continued to love for over 50 years. That opened up further conversations, like this post, that distracted me from the current situation for another 30 minutes on Monday.

There is opportunity in everything that is happening to you right now, where you are, with what you have. Allowing myself to enter these bunny mazes is so much more engaging, optimistic and encouraging than any that lead to gloom and doom. I urge and support you to capitalize your creative efforts in a positive way and share them with your loved ones. Count me in on receiving yours.



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