Skip to main content

Writer Without a Clause: Live and Learn, an Essay

In his "Writer Without a Clause" articles, Chris writes about whatever is on his mind at the moment without research and without editing.


Author's Note: Focus on the Good Things People Do

I want to apologize for my absence during the recent past. I have not been writing, and I have not been reading here on HubPages. I'm a bit dried up regarding anything creative. But I have hope. I have a vision for myself and our world society. I see the possibility for good to eminate from the bad.

That is my focus. I will gain anything positive that I can possibly obtain. I will focus on the good things people are doing for each other.

Feel the Burn


The Deepest Truths are learned in Adversity

Feel the burn. That’s what we used to say when we were working out. You know, like at the gym or running. Feel the burn was a challenge to each other to endure the pain in order to reach the goal of a stronger body.

We need inspiration today. We need it now. I think we all can agree on one thing. We won’t get measurable inspiration from any level of government. But we will get it from each other as we learn what life is really all about.

I’ve learned a few lessons during the covid crisis. I’m sure you have too. I want to invite you to share those lessons in the comment area of this hub, or in your own hubs. Please, share so others can learn from your experience. This is the opportunity of the century for this world. The deepest truths are learned in adversity.

The Lie About Wealth


Weaned From the Obsession With Wealth

We are being weaned from our obsession with wealth. Many of us are nearing the end of our ability to meet even our basic needs. Some of us have already passed that point. Have you visited your local food bank? Don’t be ashamed. Accept the generosity of others, graciously.

My son and daughter-in-law set up a food bank in our little town. It is located under a pop-up canopy next to the cafe. People drop off food and money donations at the house. Scott and Kelly replenish the food bank every day. All food is quarantined in plastic bins for four days so that the virus, if present, will die. They are getting an abundance of donations, and the food disappears overnight. Giving and receiving are important lessons to learn.

Donations of money are put into a designated bank occount. Every dime spent or donated is accounted for.

My Son and Daughter-in-law, Scott and Kelly


Learning a Different Way to Live

We are learning a different way to live. That lesson is being applied in countless circumstances. I took my dog to the vet today. He has a couple of health issues. I pulled into the parking lot, parked my vehicle and called the office. I was sitting in their parking lot, but I called the office. We discussed my dog’s health history and current condition. A few moments later, a young lady approached my vehicle wearing a mask. We did our best to maintain 6 feet of distance while I removed my dog’s leash and she put hers on him.

I sat in the parking lot, surrounded by a dozen other cars with pet owners waiting. We fiddled with our cell phones and listened to our car radios as we grew more and more accustomed to this bizarre life.

Taking the New Way of Life Seriously

I’m in the midst of doing some selling and buying on CraigsList and FB Marketplace. These exchanges are interesting. Two of the last three have occurred in the parking lots of local stores. People seem to be protecting their homes in this way. We meet, wearing masks, and part quickly.

I go to the grocery store as little as possible, but still, it is a few times a week. I make my way into the store with mask in place. I manipulate my way to the produce section, then the bakery, deli and finally come to the aisles of processed goods. How wide are these passages of packaged food? Six feet? Seven feet? And in about three-quarters of the aisles is a person who is ambivalent to anyone around them. They stand in the middle of the aisle searching for some obscure variety of olives. They don’t move. Under normal, pre-covid conditions, I would simply have walked past them. But I take social distancing seriously, so I stand and wait for them to move on.


Dealing With Those Who Believe Differently

I had to have some work done on my vehicle last week. I took it to the shop and called a cab. When he arrived, the driver was behind the wheel, not of the promised van that would insure proper social distancing, but a compact car with only the front passenger seat available. He wore no mask.

I was hiking on a local trail with my son and daughter-in-law. We stopped at one point just to talk. Another group came up behind us. We moved an adequate distance off the trail to let them pass. One woman in the group told her people to stop until we moved farther away. We are all learning how to properly apply these necessary guidelines.


Setting the Pace for Future Generations

Five weeks ago, my son and his girlfriend went to the hospital where my first grandchild was born. A few days later, I returned home from my latest contract job in Wisconsin. I went directly to my son’s house and viewed my granddaughter from six feet away. I wanted to hold her. I wanted to kiss her head. But I had just returned from working in a hospital that was the covid center for that entire hospital network. I dared not go near the baby or her parents.

Today, after five weeks of keeping myself at a safe distance from other people, I held my granddaughter. I patted her bottom, rocked her, looked into her eyes, spoke to her, told her I loved her. I did all that while wearing one of my son’s shirts, which did not fit too well, and a face mask.


Live and Learn

I´ve learned that life will go on. It may go on in ways that are different from before, but it will go on. Children will be born. They will grow up in a different world. In my opinion, we will never be able to completely return to life as it was. These lockdowns and social distancing will need to be brought back regularly. But life will go on. My granddaughter will not have the same kind of life as her parents or me.

This hurts. All these things we are going through hurt. They burn. Feel the burn. The burn is a result of being forced to change our lifestyles. It’s like a couch potato stepping outside and beginning to train for a marathon. Feel the burn. Let’s find the new ways to live. Let’s find better ways to live.

This really is an opportunity for us to learn valuable lessons and new ways to live our lives. Once upon a time, we lived for money and wealth. For many of us, that has dried up. Now we live day to day and focus on our loved ones and friends. We give to others when we can, and when we need, we accept the gifts of our neighbors.

Live and learn, my friends. Live and learn.


© 2020 Chris Mills

Related Articles