Category Archives: inspiration

Czech “dozinky” Festival on Radio

Listen in today at 2:30 p.m. to radio WOES-FM 91.3- Ovid-Elsie Community radio- home of the polka palace.

Costumed dancers at the Czech Harvest Festival in Bannister, MI.
The men carry ladies up in a traditional Czech dance.

Tom Bradley, one of the co-founders of the Czech Harvest Festival in Bannister, will be talking about the “Dozinky” festival. The festival always held on the first Sunday in August was cancelled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We could not take the risk,” said co-founder Diane Bradley.

The festival takes place at the ZCBJ Lodge in Bannister. in Cenral Michigan. It features a parade, costumed dancers, a festive dinner consisting of ham, chicken, dumplings, saurkraut, cucumber salad, mashed potatoes and traditional Czech desserts. The dinner is followed by a dance.

https://www.ovidelsie.org/woes-fm

Copyright (c) 2020. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

Happy Birthday Dad

Vaclav Konecny emanates inspiration

By Emma Palova

Whenever I seek inspiration for my writings, I look up to my father and I know I will find it. My father, former math professor at Ferris State University in Big Rapids, turned 86 on this lovely summer day. He is active, loving and most of all inspiring by his words and actions.

On any given day, you will find him either solving or proposing math problems for math journals or doing simple things like canning, picking blueberries and making jams and marmelades with mom Ella.

Dad is a typical Leo, strongly independent and likes to take charge of everything with great enthusiasm. Behind these character traits lies the fact that dad doesn’t trust anyone else would do an equally good job.

My father Vaclav Konecny (second from the right, first row) at the Archbishop Gymnasium-Boys’ Seminary in Kromeriz, Czechoslovakia in 1948.

And he is right. No one can beat his solutions to any problems, be it maintenance issues around the house, cars or plumbing. He is logical, rational and precise, always a step ahead of the game.

Dad has a good sense of humor and knows how to start a conversation at a party with strangers.

“How do you do it, dad?” I asked him.

“Well, if I know the guy is a dentist, I start talking about teeth,” he laughed.

Like a good Leo, he is always prepared for anything that might come his way.

He was born in Brest, former Czechoslovakia in 1934 as the second oldest child out of five. Due to the lack of finances, his parents, who were also educators, enrolled my dad and Uncle Tony in the Archibishop Gymnasium-Boys’ Seminary in Kromeriz right after the end of WWII.

To this day, my dad credits all his accomplishments to this renowned institution led by priests. Although he was bullied for his height, it didn’t leave any marks on him.

“I’ve learned discipline that stayed with me for the rest of my life,” he said. “I even got beaten up by other kids.”

It was discipline that carried him through the tough times of twice emigrating from former communist Czechoslovakia to pursue his dream of independence and teaching in the USA without the fear of being persecuted for his religious beliefs.

Dad is a true self-made man, not overly embellished with medals or honors, but with degrees from various universities in Czechoslovakia and the USA, achieved by honesty and hard work.

However, his solutions to math problems were published in Crux Mathematicorum of the Canadian Mathematical Society in the 1990s. Dad received an Honourable Mention for participating in the solutions.

Love you dad. May you continue to inspire all of us. We wish you many healthy and optimistic years ahead.

My father and mother are the main characters in my upcoming book- the “Greenwich Meridian Memoir” now available for preorder on Amazon.

day 31: poetry in the covid- 19 quarantine

Opening Michigan economy in waves

By Emma Palova

Lowell, MI – April is poetry month. The featured photo is a poem “Love’s Omnipresence” by Joshua Sylvester printed on an Almond Butter chocolate wrapper.

My hopes are high as we await Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s word on Friday about the possible extension of the stay-at-home order and mainly about the reopening of the Michigan economy.

Coronavirus isolation.

To the dismay of the most vulnerable people in the COVID-19 pandemic, protests have been sweeping the country to reopen the economies.

In the meantime, I moved ahead with the “Greenwich Meridian Memoir” formatting on Kindle Create. The manuscript is now available for reviews. Please email Emma at emmapalova@yahoo.com for Advanced Reader Copies (ARCs).

Visit the page for reviewers:

https://wordpress.com/block-editor/post/emmapalova.com/325962

Overall, it’s been a dark, cold and cloudy April in Michigan. We had an occassional frost in the morning. I managed only three walks to the Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist, two walks on the trails, and a total of four zoo room meetings. But the main thing that I really feared is done until the next formatting comes up for the paperback.

I also filed for the Library of Congress cataloging number for the upcoming “Greenwich Meridian Memoir.” If you wish to check that out go to:

https://www.loc.gov/

I have just found out that April is poetry month from the Library of Congress website. That’s good to know, since I love poetry, so I used Sylvester’s poem for the featured photo.

Hopefully, the economy will reopen to the satisfaction of everyone; I would be surprised if it did.

Introduction to the Greenwich Meridian Memoir

I wrote this introduction to the Greenwich Meridian Memoir during the unprecedented time of the coronavirus pandemic, as we celebrated the Easter Triduum in front of televised services in empty churches across the nation without audiences. 

More than half a billion people around the globe are under a stay-at-home order to slow the spread of the deadly COVID-19 virus. This includes my homeland, the Czech Republic. The coronavirus did not discriminate or recognized borders between the states, the countries or the continents. Time will show if this was a modern apocalypse. 

Our immigration story from former socialist Czechoslovakia to the U.S. has come full circle; from one history milestone to another one. 

The milestone that offset our journey across three continents–Europe, Africa, USA– was the reformist movement known as the Prague Spring 1968 under the leadership of Alexander Dubcek.  

The epic story of love and desire for freedom spans 52 years at the date of publishing of this memoir. The major characters, Ella and Vaclav Konecny, are my parents, to whom I have dedicated this memoir. Mom Ella was a happy pharmacist in former Czechoslovakia, while Dad Vaclav was an unhappy mathematician in the old country. 

Dad’s quest for his career fulfillment has been a constant source of inspiration for me in good and in bad times. Recently, I found out that dad was afraid in the old country of persecution by the communists due to our religious beliefs. He thought that he wouldn’t be able to fully realize his teaching ambitions. 

From the humble hometowns of Vizovice and Stipa in the hilly Moravia, we traveled to exotic places such as Khartoum in Africa, to the ancient Byblos known for its papyrus and the “City of Jasmine” Damascus in Syria with the Roman Temple of Jupiter. 

We were no strangers to dangers connected to travel in the Third World Countries. My parents had a few close calls: the tourist boat on the Nile capsized with all the people on board either drowning or the crocodiles ate them in the murky waters, a week after we were aboard the cruise. 

Then a cable car to the second highest peak in the Alps, Matterhorn, crashed also a few days after my parents were on it. 

An interview with my parents in Venice, Florida in March of 2013 revealed that the hardest trial of all was the separation from the family back in Czechoslovakia. Nothing can bring back the lost time or not being able to say the last good-byes to the loved ones, as we have recently found out during the COVID-19 quarantine. 

My parents both surprised me with an answer to my question about immigration. 

“Would you do it again?” I asked seated in their pretty white dining room with mirrors in Venice. 

The unison answer from both was a definite no. They both added their own written accounts of the immigration experience to the memoir, which I am grateful for. 

I structured the memoir in a way that all three of us tell our stories. I lead off each chapter with the storyteller part, as I remember it. Then follows either my mom’s account titled “In her own words” or dad’s experiences. 

I put emphasis on the phrase, “As we remember it.” 

The accounts may wary in details, but together they bring forth a cohesive picture of immigration through the eyes of both adults and a growing up kid. The immigration experience has left its scars on all four of us, but it has also transformed us. 

We lived through the hardline communism and the rolling capitalism. In addition to that, we are Catholics, so we have had the religious experience that is often tied to different regimes. Religion gave another dimension to our story, since it stood at the roots of our immigration together with the Prague Spring movement. 

The immigration experience touched each one of us in a different way. Here is quote from my mom Ella: 

During my lifetime, I have met a lot of good people that I wouldn’t have met in Czech Republic, because of limited travel. USA has its pluses and minuses–the society is too materialistic. In Czech Republic, we didn’t make a lot of money, but we were all equal. We had basic rights: right to work, right to education and healthcare. USA does not have that. People are afraid of socialism, but they basically don’t know what it is. I lived in socialism and I will continue to live in capitalism; one must try both regimes to know what’s better. 

On the other hand, we most likely wouldn’t have houses, if we had stayed in Czech Republic. The majority of the population lives in apartments, that is if they are lucky waiting it out on long lists. I wouldn’t have realized my author’s dream in the old country. 

The Greenwich Meridian Memoir is by no means a treatise on either of the above- mentioned regimes, then or now.  

We each were free to return back to our homeland at any point in time during the 52 years. And we have. That is our story. Come along on a journey of a lifetime. 

April, 2020 

The latest COVID-19 tally in Michigan on April 22, 2020.

Total cases: 33,966

Total deaths: 2,813

Thank you health care heroes and essential workers for keeping us alive and fed.

Stay tuned for day by day coverage of the COVID-19 quarantine in Michigan.

Copyright (c) 2020. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

Day 26: COVID-19 quarantine insights

What I have learned in the quarantine

By Emma Palova

Lowell, MI- It’s a sunny Saturday in the quarantine so I write this with a light heart filled with hope.

As I journal through the Michigan Coronavirus quarantine, I have gathered some insights over the last four weeks. I’ve also learned new terms and words to enrich my vocabulary.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

PPE can take on many different shapes and forms.

For me PPE constitutes a box of chocolates,candy bars, a head band flipped into a mask and winter gloves. For my husband Ludek, it’s a box of red Cabernet, a respirator and gloves. And for our son Jake, it is a six pack of Bell’s Two-Hearted, Jelinek’s plum brandy, gloves and a mask. Our daughter Doc Em just alternates the real hospital PPE gear with sweatpants in France.

New normal shopping

Number one: shopping in the quarantine is a mission and a challenge. First, we have to get ready our PPE consisting of masks, gloves, a sanitizer and a list. I don’t think bags are allowed or returnables in the stores. Usually Ludek goes by himself, but this time I was brave enough to join the adventure. I suited up with an orange headband that I slid down my face for a mask; I couldn’t wear the respirator because I couldn’t breathe in it.

Some shelves at Ric’s on Belding Road were completely wiped out. Most shelves had signs with limitations on the number of purchases. The dairy aisle was half empty offering only real butter. The store offered no ads, off course.

“I couldn’t believe there was no fake butter spread like the brand ‘ I can’t believe it’s not butter.”

Meat was expensive and nasty. We’ll see what happens with pork next week in the aftermath of the Smithfield plant Coronavirus disaster in South Dakota.

Just to make sure we have meat, we drove out into the country to Jones Meat Market near Saranac. The family-owned butcher shop offered high quality meat and sausages. Ludek spent another $80 and I restocked the freezer. People were properly social distancing outside the shop, while the strong wind was lifting their bandanas aka masks. I felt like in a bandit movie.

On our way back via Potters Rd., I noticed the signs by the road:

“Pharaoh, let us mow.”

Liberate Michigan

I’ve learned that Gov. Whitmer is now a pharaoh ordering her subjects not to mow, not to golf and not to plant, in the wake of the protest rally in Lansing on Wednesday. But, I’ve also learned she is being considered as Joe Biden’s running mate in the fall presidential election.

How did a medical problem turn political so fast? The political game has started.

Contagion

I’ve learned that the contagion may have accidentally escaped from the U.S. biochemical labs, if it first hadn’t leaked from the Chinese labs or maybe European? Which will it be? The blame game has started.

Parade of Planets

Early in the morning before the day brought in disturbances, I watched the “Parade of Planets” as the morning planets Mars, Saturn and Jupiter perfectly lined up.

The morning planets created the “Parade of Planets.”

Planting in a professional greenhouse box

I used a brand new professional mini greenhouse to plant seeds for our future dills. The store- bought seeds for $2.29 looked exactly like the ones from an overgrown yellow cucumber I had discarded into our manure pile last year.

Bummer, I should have known better. I’ve been growing veggies from seeds for the last two decades.

It was another great day in the quarantine.

Thank you essential workers for keeping us alive. We salute you.

Stay tuned for day by day coverage of the coronavirus quarantine.

Copyright (c) 2020. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

DAY 25: COVID-19 QUARANTINE LIGHTENED BY INNOVATIONS

Gov Whitmer: “It’s better to be six feet apart than six feet under.”

By Emma Palova

Lowell, MI- It almost felt like a normal Friday: Work, journaling on Murray Lake and a dinner. Except it was a take-out due to the closing of the restaurants complying with the social distancing golden rule of six feet, as referenced by the governor.

The good news is, that there is a light at the end of the coronavirus tunnel. This morning Gov. Whitmer announced she is hoping to have some relaxing of the coronavirus limitations by May 1 in Michigan.

Coronavirus distance, isolation

As time flies by even in the COVID-19 quarantine, people are getting more innovative.

My husband Ludek came across this new invention during the COVID-19 closing of the restaurants and bars worldwide on Facebook. This comes from the Czech Republic and my friend Eva from Kromeriz told me about it as well.

The Little Beer Booth in Czech Republic- a complete self-serve. Photo by Tomas Babek.

It’s called either a beer booth or a thirsty window. The little beer booth allows you to serve yourself draft beer or soda, in gloves of course. There’s a slot for money and paper cups. It’s a lot like our little libraries in the U.S.

I saw on the news last night that the alcohol sales have skyrocketed by 300 percent during the state lockdowns. That’s not good, according to Dr. Mehmet Oz, since alcohol lowers body’s immune system to fight diseases.

Other innovations include buying a gift card from a local hair/nail salons, restaurant or a massage, and Canfield Plumbing & Heating will match it. Just send a pic of the gift certificate to office@canfieldph.com

Canfield COVID-19 matching

We even got a take-out from Vitale’s after the owner showed up on TV reminding us that they were originally designed for take-outs.

Geez, we almost forgot about them.

I knew I was in for a treat today when I read my horoscope this morning.

TAURUS HOROSCOPE

Behind your proper exterior beats the heart of a rebel. People would be very surprised to realize how offbeat you really are. Work is your favorite outlet for creative ideas and colleagues treat them with great respect. That’s because you not only propose new ways of doing things, but you have practical methods of implementing these concepts. As a result, you could get a reputation for being a mover and shaker in your desired field today. Blowing off steam with fellow visionaries may be appealing tonight. Call up some like-minded friends to share your experiences.

And the second cycle of Hope meditations by Deepak & Oprah started up again. Get rid of your anxiety and meditate for free at https://chopracentermeditation.com/

Stay tuned for day by day coverage of the COVID-19 quarantine in Michigan with an occassional glimpse from Czech Republic.

Thank you essential workers for keeping us alive.

Copyright (c) 2020. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

DAY 23: COVID-19 Quarantine sinks in

A long road ahead

By Emma Palova

Lowell, MI – Like on a transatlantic flight after four hours, the quarantine in its fourth week, is also beginning to sink in. After all just like aboard that jet, you have nowhere to go. You keep putting one foot in front of the other on the long road to full recovery from the COVID-19 global crisis.

Downes Road

By now you have found out that you can sleep in without feeling guilty about it, you can have a full sit-down breakfast rather than grabbing a granola bar and nasty coffee at the gas station, and you are the boss of each new day. You have polished up your cooking skills, that you feel like a chef at a first-class restaurant and you acknowledge your partner at the dinner table. Your relationships either get better or worse in the quarantine.

You can schedule a zoom or a zoo room meeting to get business done in the morning, you can stretch it into the afternoon or not. You call the friends and family on your list. You are finally in charge of your own life.

The government stimulus check has arrived in your checking account at the bank; for once as promised. Instead of blowing the money, I decided to plant my seeds so I have veggies and I can also monitor time by the growth of the seedlings.

Planting seeds to also monitor the passage of time in the COVID-19 quarantine.

You now have time for your own well-being and your friend’s well being. You’re not killing your plants by forgetting to water them, and you can start new plants from seeds. Your dirty laundry pile is getting smaller and your clean clothes are neatly organized in orderly stacks.

All this said, your beard and your hair may be growing longer. You can also find yourself visiting the pantry with goodies more often. But, aha, you can finish reading or writing that long-forgotten book. You can spend more time on the phone with your friends.

That’s what happened to me today. I usually procrastinate before I start writing; anything serves as a good excuse. In front of my eyes I could see the TV commercial where Sam encourages “to call them, not Sam.”

I’ve been meaning to call my lifelong friend Eva from Kromeriz in Czech Republic for the last year. To my credit, I really did lose her phone number and I emailed her before Christmas without hearing back from her.

I quickly messaged her son John who connected us like a true phone operator after many years. I found out about a Czech quarantine invention. The conversation was priceless. More about that in another post.

Now, this all wouldn’t have happened if there was no COVID-19 crisis. I would have just continued to quietly think about my friend Eva without any action to “call her.”

Thanks, Sam, for connecting us.

Stay tuned for day-by-day coverage of the COVID-19 quarantine.

Watch for a story about Hastings woman infected with coronavirus. Her plea is.”

“Stay home, do not be selfish.”

Featured photo: Pixabay, coronavirus isolated.

Copyright (c) 2020. Emma Blogs, LLC. All right reserved.

Day 22: Protests brewing against The COVID-19 quarantine restrictions

By Emma Palova

Lowell, MI -As the winter returned this morning with freezing 30-degree temperatures, protests are brewing against the strengthened restrictions by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

Whitmer extended the state shutdown last week Thursday to April 30 doubling down on the previous executive order. This further impacted landscaping companies, construction and golf courses in Michigan.

The Michigan Conservation Coalition is planning a protest called “Operation Gridlock” for Wednesday, April 15 at noon. The goal is to cause a traffic jam in Lansing.

The following is from the coalition’s website:

Everyone, every citizen, every business owner needs to get out of their house, out of their chair and get in their car, or truck, or anything that is legal to drive on taxpayer funded roads.  Then drive to Lansing to circle the Michigan Capitol Building at 100 N. Capitol Avenue at noon on April 15.   

Come prepared for a traffic jam in Lansing!

Stay in your vehicle as the “Whitmer police” will likely be out to enforce social distancing.  That said we need to display our flags, take signs, make noise and make our unhappines known.

Among the accusations against Gov. Whitmer are the lack of plans for reopening of the state, as we enter the fourth week of the shutdown.

There seems to be no end to the struggles among the public: the farmers are dumping milk because the demand has dropped due to the closing of schools and the restaurants, clandestine golfers are parking their cars in the woods behind the golf courses, the offficials are encouraging snitching and the unemployment has reached one million.

The Monetary Fund warns of a recession bigger than the Great Depression.

The good news, that everybody seems to be ignoring, is that Michigan has already peaked in the coronavirus cases, along with New York and other states. While the other states are forming coaliations to reopen their economies, opposition is forming in the state of Michigan.

Airing on the side of safety are those who have come down with the coronavirus sickness.

Stay tuned for a story about a Hastings woman who has contracted the virus three weeks ago and has been sick ever since.

Her plea is:

“Do not be selfish.”

Featured photo by artist Tom Woodruff: “Past Pentagon Purchasers at Play.”

Tips for staying sane:

Do not protest against your own well being. Stay home, it’s not that difficult.

Find a new hobby, start a new virtual group, learn something new.

Lead by example. Help others.

Copyright (c) 2020. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

Day 21: Easter Monday in the COVID-19 quarantine

Czech and Slovak Easter Monday traditions

By Emma Palova

Lowell, MI – Celebrate Easter responsibly with a six foot long whip.

Those were the guidelines for Easter Monday from the Czech officials. Social distancing restrictions have also impacted some beloved Easter customs in Czech Republic known as the whipping of the women called “schmigrust” on Easter Monday.”

“How?” you asked.

“The whips just got longer to satisfy the six-foot social distancing requirement.“

On the night before Easter Monday, the men braided the whips from willow branches. The whip consists of eight, twelve or even 24 withies (willow rods.) They headed out early on Monday morning either individually or as a team. Even before social distancing, the leader of the team carried the biggest whip with the most ribbons. The team members had their personal whips and rattles. The noisy procession went from house to house seeking out the loveliest females, who had the prettiest ribbons. This custom is known as “pomlazka.”

Easter Monday whipping before the COVID-19 quarantine.

According to some accounts, (including my own) the purpose of whipping is for males to exhibit their attraction to females; unvisited females can even feel offended. I wrote about this Easter Monday whipping tradition in my upcoming book the “Greenwich Meridian Memoir.” Watch for excerpts coming up during the COVID-19 quarantine.

The lashing would take place at the doorstep to the famous Easter rhyme:

“Hody, hody, doprovody, give me a colored egg, if you don’t have a colored egg, give me at least a white one, the hen will lay another one.”

Depending on the household, the lady of the house, tied a ribbon to the whip, handed out eggs and poured shots of the famous plum brandy known as sliwowitz.

Festive Easter deviled eggs-casino style

The whipping custom dates back to the pagan times. It was meant to chase away bad spirits, sickness and bring health and youth to everyone for the rest of the year. In our Moravian region, we were told that it symbolized the whipping of Christ.

If the women of the household were popular and the Easter team arrived late, there would be no ribbons or shots left for them.

On the other hand, you could see drunken teams in the afternoon out on the streets.

We have always adhered to this “schmigrust” custom wherever we lived in the world, except for this year due to the Coronavirus quarantine. We still have the personal braided whips from Czech and the giant rattle.

As a renaissance tradition, I made deviled eggs or eggs casino style from the dyed Easter eggs.

You just scoop out the yolks into a bowl, mix it with butter and mustard, you can add chopped up ham.

Below is a video of the Czech prime minister Andrej Babis lashing his wife.

Thank you health care workers.

Stay tuned for day by day coverag of the COVID-19 quarantine.

Tomorrow: Hastings woman infected with Coronavirus struggles to get better.

Copyright (c) 2020. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

Day 19: Easter Vigil in the COVID-19 quarantine

“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Easter alone, Whites Bridge rediscovered

By Emma Palova

Lowell, MI -Due to the Coronavirus quarantine, we will not have our Easter family gathering with my parents Ella & Vaclav, and our son Jake. I spent the sunny day in my well-lit kitchen working on Easter preparations, even though it will be just Ludek and I.

Whites Bridge replica

I colored eggs in five different dyes with an attempt to draw a bunny on a few of them. The bunny showed up only on the green egg. I marinated lamb chops in herbes de Provence, garlic and red Cabernet from a box. And finally I made my famous red beet elixir to strengthen our immunity and to boost the spirit.

Ludek had no bread, so we drove to the Otisco Bakery to get a loaf of sourdough. In Slavic countries, there is a blessing of the traditional Easter foods , prepared in baskets onEaster Vigil held on Saturday night.

Fresh baked sourdough from the Otisco Bakery

Since we were in Otisco Township, home to the famous Whites Bridge, we took the gravel road to check it out. It was well worth the bumpy drive. There it was standing in its new beauty – the perfect replica of the 1869 Whites Bridge across the Flat River.

An arsonist, who has never been caught, burnt it down on July 7, 2013.

Late in the afternoon, I watched fishermen fishing from kayaks on Murray Lake. I feel blessed living in the country and having somewhere to go without traveling.

I pray for reprieve for people living in big cities during the COVID-19 shutdown. May there be relief for all of us soon.

Stay tuned for day by day coverage of the shutdown.

Copyright (c) 2020. EMMA Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

DAY 18: Good Friday in the COVID-19 qarantine

Easter Triduum

By Emma Palova

“Hope is definitely not the same thing as optimism. It is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out.”

                                                                                -Vaclav Havel

Lowell, MI – In early March before the official outbreak of the coronavirus in Michigan, we had a discussion with Ludek about the kissing of the cross on Good Friday. We we were wondering how are we going to handle that, since COVID-19 was already in the U.S.

During the catholic liturgies, there is a lot to come into contact whether it’s during a Paschal service or a regular mass. What seems to be like ages ago, we decided we will not go to Good Friday services protect our health .

Well, now we know that we’re not going, because all masses have been cancelled due to the stay-at-home order in Michigan. We will wath the service on WMXI Fox https://www.fox17online.com/ at 3 p.m. today.

From the Easter Triduum, the Good Friday liturgy is my favorite one because of the reading of “The Passion of our Lord, Jesus Christ, according to John.

The passion reading has inspired Mel Gibson’s 2004 film “The Passion of the Christ” and countless other works of art. Rightfully so, following is an excerpt from the Passion:

EXCERPT: The Passion of the Christ

The Passion of our Lord, Jesus Christ, according to John.

Narrator: Jesus went out with his disciples across the Kidron valley to where there was a garden, into which he and his disciples entered. Judas his betrayer also knew the place, because Jesus had often met there with his disciples. So Judas got a band of soldiers and guards from the chief priests and the Pharisees and went there with lanterns, torches, and weapons. Jesus, knowing everything that was going to happen to him, went out and said to them,

Christ: “Whom are you looking for?”

Narrator: They answered him,

Crowd: ” Jesus, the Nazorean.”

The above passage is very close to how you write a screenplay.

The reading of the Passion from the empty St. Andrew’s Cathedral in Grand Rapids gave a very powerful message of suffering of the Christ.

Earlier in the day I worked on the intro to my upcoming book “Greenwich Meridian Memoir.”

Introduction to the Greenwich Meridian Memoir

Here is what I have so far:

I am writing this introduction during the unprecedented time of the coronavirus shutdown, as we celebrate the Easter Triduum in front of televised services in empty churches across the nation without audiences.

Greenwich Meridian Memoir cover designed by Jeanne Boss.

 In Michigan, we are on our 18th day of the COVID-19 quarantine that has been extended through April 30, 2020. Coronavirus is now the leading cause of death in the U.S. It has caused 1,970 deaths across the country per day. As of early Friday, the U.S. had more than 465,750 coronavirus cases, according to data from John Hopkins University. More than 1.4 million cases have been reported globally.

More than half a billion people around the globe are under a stay-at-home order to slow the spread of the deadly virus. This includes my homeland, the Czech Republic. The coronavirus does not discriminate or recognize borders between the states, the countries or the continents. Some are calling it an apocalypse.

Our immigration story from former socialist Czechoslovakia to the U.S. has come full circle; from one history milestone to another one.

The milestone that offset our journey across three continents was the reformist movement known as the Prague Spring 1968 under the leadership of Alexander Dubcek.

The epic story of love and desire for freedom spans 52 years on the date of publishing of this memoir. The major characters, Ella and Vaclav Konecny, are my parents, to whom I have dedicated this memoir. Mom Ella was a happy pharmacist in former Czechoslovakia, while Dad Vaclav was an unhappy mathematician in the old country.

Dad’s quest for his career fulfillment has been a constant source of inspiration for me in good and in bad times.

Stay tuned for day by day coverage of the COVID-19 quarantine in Michigan.

Copyright (c) 2020. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.