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Aloha From Kauai

A Lifetime of Journeys
Past OR future Camino
April 3rd - June 3rd, 2022
The other part of my life, besides the work I do, is devoted to photography and writing. While the book project I am working on is not about the Camino, I would be grateful to anyone who would like to share their story, relating to the last two years of COVID. All genders, generations, beliefs (religious or political), etc. welcome to share. The title of the book is "A Lifetime of Journeys." I will include my Forward below for you to read and see if sharing your story feels right to you. I will wear something unique on my pack when I walk in April and if anyone here happens across me, I invite you to say hi and tell me that you'd like to share your story. Alternately, you are welcome to send me your thoughts to: jill@lifetimeofjourneys.org

Thank you for your consideration.


A Lifetime of Journeys - Forward

February 17 – 22, 2020 was our first Social Awareness Film Festival at Anaina Hou Community Park on the island of Kaua‘i. Within a week of SAFF’s final day, we began hearing of COVID-19, and by the first weeks of March, Anaina Hou Community Park had lost 90% of its revenue, followed by a shutdown, and the hills and valleys that the pandemic continues to carve out for everyone. I include a nod to my workplace and SAFF here because it so perfectly represents for me the time before and the time after, that perfect pause between normal, and the next normal.

After any disaster hits, and we later have time to reflect, we tend to automatically go back to the beginning and examine where the day went so horribly wrong. What were we doing when the disaster happened, should we have seen it coming, should we have done something different, turned left rather than right, stayed at home, gone to work, had lunch with a friend.

With a pandemic, the “disaster” happens every day to someone new and it continues to roll along until the virus runs its course. Every day for the last nearly two years, someone has gone through a similar litany in their minds, reviewing choices in business or health care or personal finance, or the examination of personal relationships.

COVID-19 spread fast, with each country unprepared for the speed and insidious way it permeated every aspect of life. Government and citizens are still wading through the mire of political rhetoric, conflicting medical messaging, vaccine debates, loss of life, and devastating economic loss for families and businesses, as well as the everyday norms we took for granted in education and health care, how we shop, travel, exercise, and who, where, and when we visit with friends and family.

As human beings, we are very good at self-torturing ourselves about things both within, and outside of our control. Hopefully and eventually though this turns into enough acceptance that we can begin to move forward. Whether we have been deeply affected or less so, the irrefutable truth, is that we have all been touched by this moment in history in some way.

The loss of life and the individual sparks that were extinguished sits with me. I spend an unusual amount of time thinking of the unnamed thousands and thousands of husbands, wives, partners, fiancés, grandparents, parents, children, friends, coworkers, neighbors, and community members who were here one minute, and sometimes within days, were gone the next. How is this loss absorbed in families, schools, neighborhoods, communities, and…in history, and I can’t help but feel the weight of lost promise, potential, talent, and yes, love.

In this, I do not think I am alone and it is the reason why I have chosen to write “A Lifetime of Journeys.” I wanted to create an anthology of first-person accounts of how the pandemic has affected individuals, what it has changed in their lives and for some, an opportunity to also tell us about who they have lost.
 
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