artNotes from Hyde House: Look for silver linings


We are collectively experiencing an exceptional time when we are all called to be creative, make necessary adaptations and look for silver linings “to bear the beams of light” (William Blake) wherever we find them!

While I continue artCentral’s work from my home studio/office, my husband David and I are still sticking to our morning schedule. We rise at 4:44 a.m. to do our daily coffee/meditation/ringing of our Tibetan singing bowl/breakfast rituals in order for him to ride his motorcycle, go through the sanitation lines and be at his station before 8:30.

David’s day job is working in a food production line at Ajinomoto just down the road from Carthage. He, like so many others in our essential service industries, is continuing to show up for the benefit of all of us. From behind the scenes, David and his colleagues work in teams producing products that help keep grocery stores stocked, so we can find what we need when we venture out for supplies.


 “Be sure to tell David ‘thank’ you for going to work every day!” was the message spoken by two Arkansas friends who called this week. Adding my own “thank you”, I immediately messaged David, so he would find our appreciation on his first break of the morning.

In these exceptional times, when many of us have become hyper alert to the importance of sanitizing measures, Ajinomoto has been way ahead of this curve with strict protocols and procedures that keep their food production safe. Definitely, a silver lining! I am truly impressed with their “no exceptions” standards, and with their proactively stepping these up—doubling their sanitizing efforts and implementing social distancing among their employees.  Daily they set the bar very high for all of us as we learn the practices we all must follow to stay healthy and safe and to flatten the curve of the COVID-19 pandemic. I am proud of David for choosing to work for a company with the integrity of Ajinomoto.

I also respect David for his effort to provide maximum protection for our family by naming himself as our designated runner. He is another of my silver linings! While I still venture out to take Lasyrenn, our Aussie, for her morning training walks in Central Park, David is the one who makes the food runs to restock our home supplies. He takes extra care to socially distance himself in public spaces, wearing protective gloves when he gathers supplies off shelves or fills our van with fuel. He puts his clothing directly into the washing machine as soon as he gets home. We both wash our hands lots and lots!

Across our country folks everywhere are getting creative. My son lives in Seattle, one of corona’s first epicenters, where effective facemasks have long since been unavailable for purchase. He tells me that his neighborhood has formed a group of those with sewing skills. In their individual homes they are collaboratively making highly effective “arty” facemasks that meet the highest standards for healthy protection.

On the East Coast as both my daughter and son-in-law are both working their long professional days while sheltering in place with their girls of six and one. Their school system was one of the first in the nation to shut down and send the students home. For six-year-old first-grader, Sophie, Mom Audrey quickly created a daytime schedule set up in half hour and one hour segments.

As the days flow one into the next, I am thankful for yet another silver lining. Audrey has engaged me in virtual homeschooling support. This is a splendid opportunity for Sophie and me to spend an hour or so on FaceTime doing the lesson her mother has set up for us.

The first day we went over all the ingredients that she prepared for her online group cooking. She mentioned the applesauce to be used in her brownies was not her favorite food ingredient. The second day I got to teach Sophie’s art lesson about drawing and painting a fish following the inspiration of the Paul Klee.
These precious shared creative experiences are definitely upsides to this very curious time we are all experiencing!

Stay home, if you can. Stay safe! Stay well! Look for your own silver lining.
“There’s a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in”. (Leonard Cohen)

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