23 Jan

Birds in my Hair?

Like many of you, I’ve found the pandemic has clipped my wings. We used to travel internationally twice a year, gathering experiences, memories and inspiration for my paintings. We also enjoyed lots of cultural opportunities in Hartford – theater, art shows and concerts – when we weren’t relaxing at our shoreline home, where we’d sail, walk, or do yard work.

That balance of quiet times and city activities was ideal for me. In fact, we’d even tested the idea of renting in New York City, going to plays and museums several times a week while enjoying a variety of ethnic foods. However, during COVID we gave up our Hartford apartment and stared at the water, hoping this would all pass. Not a bad place to stay safe, but I felt disconnected and missed city energy.

This year, having acknowledged that neither NYC nor travel are in the cards for us any time soon, we rented in downtown Hartford again. A Chinese proverb, courtesy of my friend’s insightful blog http://www.bethgibbs.com, sums it up: “You can’t prevent the birds of sorrow from flying over your head, but you can prevent them from building nests in your hair.”

Downtown isn’t the same, of course, but it’s nice to have options again. A ball game, a play, a drink and dinner with friends are all easier now that they don’t involve a long drive home. The decision was reinforced on New Year’s Eve when we walked around the park to enjoy live bands, skaters, and a special takeout dinner. Then the fireworks provided a private show from our living room! No birds nests here, but I do feel a new painting coming…


  1. Sounds like you’ve made the right decision for now. We are all hoping that Covid will finally give us a break.

  2. Hi Beth–I ‘ve just copied the proverb onto a turquoise index card–where all things important reside. What a marvelous saying, not making light of the pandemic, but assuring one that we can make the best of it. Glad you have found a good way to feel more tied in. I am so beholden to seeing neighbors on my walks each day, and having some friends in for take out. The human connection each day is so treasured.

  3. Judy, you always find a way to stay engaged and active wherever you are. Thanks for reading, and I’m glad you’re enjoying the shoreline!

  4. Excellent and poignant blog. Glad you and Paul came up with a solution to preventing birds of sorrow from nesting in your wonderful hair LOL
    I am so grateful to be enjoying my rebirth in a spacious, scenic spot in North Madison surrounded by hiking trails, swimmable pond, ducks and birds. Discovering terrific restaurants and shops of all kinds in Madison and adjacent shoreline towns, Chester, New Haven and West Haven. Although I am rarely in Hartford, I am grateful for the years I enjoyed there! Look forward to seeing you around. xoxo

  5. To Beth,
    Sweet to know I’ve inspired this post! Thank you and I will put a link to it in my next newsletter – coming out in March. Be well and keep painting!!!
    From Beth

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