• Jody Kussin

#60 Family Matters Capturing Time

In These Times by Dr. Jody Kussin May 13, 2020

Let’s start making our personal and family time capsules. Decide on the size – Amazon box, Costco box, or Best Buy new appliance box? (Have you noticed how all appliances are dying this month?) Next, hold a series of family meetings – perhaps one a week – to brainstorm what to put in it, and to articulate why to put in certain items.

I’m sure we’d LIKE to include both a roll of toilet paper AND some Clorox wipes, but, turns out those are too important commodities to give up for prosperity, so maybe an ad downloaded to represent them would work.

I’m sure we’d LIKE to include the invitations from our milestones these months – birthday invites, Mother’s Day invites, wedding invites, Bar/Bat mitzvah invites, Quinceanera invites, anniversary invites, graduation invites….but- most of those were ‘paperless’ so it would be hard to generate a print form to include.

So perhaps we can begin by making a list of the things we cannot include but would if we could:

1) Our collective anxiety. If we could make that into a form, what would it look like? Amorphous ‘blob?’ Slime with glitter? Spooky spikey dinosaur from the effects list on our various social media sites? Evil clown? Or a pinata of the actual corona virus?

2) Our collective grief. How to capture the immense sadness and mourning? A sheet of totally gray paper?

3) Our collective insomnia. What does that look like? A journal of our vivid pandemic dreams perhaps?

Here is what we CAN put in:


– of our pets, who love us unconditionally and who seem to enjoy their time with us altogether in the den.

-of our grandparents, who we have not been able to hug or greet with kisses for months, but who still love us and provide facetime stories and songs.

-of the garden we grew, for our first time, with shockingly yummy results.

-of the white board we used to list every zoom appointment each family member had per day.

Crafts Projects

-like our home-made face masks.

-like our new DIY placemats.

-like the decorations for every holiday we celebrated while sheltered.

-like the family tree we created going back eight generations, put together with our free time AND access to our relatives online, across the globe.

And what about the new recipes we learned and mastered. And the multiple memes and GIFs we either made or received from our children, who now, at age seven, are master computer whiz kids who soon will be able to hack into anything, anytime. Maybe we can include the letters from the incredibly thoughtful teacher who thought to mail missives to our children. Maybe we can include results from virus testing in which we participated, if we did (or maybe that’s considered bio-hazardous and we should not be holding onto it?) Newspaper clippings?

Fast forward a few years –– picture opening the capsule, or your children opening the capsule.

It seems impossible to imagine, but we will forget aspects of staying at home and lining up at Trader Joes and memories will fade, as we go forward. Such is the nature of human nature.

In these times, that’s a good thing to think about – the time when we are no longer ‘in these times.’

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