The connections between things

My fiance Ken and I had a talk the other day about what we, as a world, are all facing right now.

As lifelong Nature lovers, we tend to see the connections between things all around us. How one action becomes a domino effect in the environment; pollution in the air for example, landing in our waterways, which then seep into our soil, and eventually into the fruits and vegetables we eat. Everything and everyone is interconnected in one form or another. Cause and effect, or the ripple effect.

So, when Ken finally acquiesced, and decided to wear a mask in public one day, we got something aesthetically pleasing to him…beautiful green forests across the front. Ken is literally the Tree Whisperer. I’m surprised he wasn’t born in the forest. He has such love and reverence for each tree, every sapling, even the tiniest of leaves, or buds, and cones, and even the rich textured bark, which he will respectively touch, when he thinks no one is watching. He even will make sure we don’t step on exposed roots, and taught me about the “wood wide web”, the subterranean social network nearly 500 million years old, made of microbes that connect trees, and send out warnings of insect attacks, fire, or drought.

So when he put this mask on, while we were on a walk, I asked to take a few photos of him, as he was checking on a couple of his Tree friends, he knows so well.:) At first he didn’t want me to, since he doesn’t want to live in a world where this is even a reality, and didn’t want me to memorialize it. But I explained it was a one time event.
Later when we looked at the photos, something struck us hard. The symbolism of this mask, with its beautiful forests painted across the front, as Ken gently touches the trees, is undeniable.

The word “mask” appeared in English in the 1530’s, from the Middle French “masque”, meaning to cover, hide, or guard one’s face. This word, in turn, derived from the Medieval Latin word “masca”, meaning mask, specter, or nightmare- an apropos  description of current events in our opinion!

And while the concept of masks has been around, for 30, 000, to 40, 000 years, according to experts of anthropomorphic art, and have been used in religious ceremonies, healing beliefs, war armour, sports, to name a few uses, it’s the protective aspect of them that struck a chord.

Regardless of how this pandemic started- man-made or not-  within a few short weeks of time, then a few short months of time, its effect had circumnavigated the entire globe, every continent, every culture, every group of people that thought themselves to be so different, so separate from one another, learned a different lesson. Mother Nature is a forceful Teacher.

Suddenly countries that didn’t talk to one another much were sharing their advice, and experiences, sharing medical equipment and other supplies.There’s still a lot of fear, and divisiveness about all of this, but there’s also a lot of connection being made, communication happening, and people have woken up to see how powerful our interconnection really is…what we do, has power, and far reaching ability, for bad or good. But we can change direction, make new choices each day, to start fresh.
As we recognize our link to one another in life, we are able to change things for the better, and  protect each other as well.

It’s the same with what we are each doing here at The One Project. Each of us is so very powerful, so creative, and so able to make a difference in our lives, in those around us, and in our world at large. Our voice matters. Our feelings and thoughts matter. And what we do with that….share it, reach out, let someone know they’re not the only ones feeling that way, all of that is incredibly safeguarding, and impactful.

As we go through these challenging times, it’s such a gift to be part of a community of people that reaches out, shields, and protects, and validates one another’s steps on this journey we call Life. I’m thankful for The One Project…where we can work on our lives as our One main project, and where we come together as One people, diverse, unique, and so similar in heart and spirit.

— Suzanne M.

 

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The One Project is a community of passionate creatives, advocates and caring friends or family members working to support each other and change the conversation around mental health issues like depression, anxiety and more with therapeutic photography.

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