Ode to 2020

Dec 21, 2020 by Teresa Michael, in Essay

My friend, Gail Condrick, teaches connection with nature and observation courses based on her published journal, Walking the Grove. I took these courses to help spur my creative juices, connect more with nature, and enhance my observation skills.

Soul collage is only one section of these multi-week courses. To create the collages, you cut out images from magazines, use your own photographs, or create your own images through drawing or sketching. Once you’ve arranged and glued the images onto a blank card, the next step is to journal about the collage you’ve created.

This is an example of a soul collage I made during one of Gail’s classes.

At this time of year, our book club holds our holiday luncheon where we exchange small gifts. Usually, I give small items from my travels. Last year, I purchased hand-painted bookmarks and olive oil soap for our Christmas exchange on our trip to Greece. However, this year, we didn’t travel. It was L minus 4 (Luncheon - 4 days away), and I needed something. I had created a pamper-me package with nice lotions and bath salts for each person, but I needed an added touch or a nice card to go with it.

So, I decided to create a soul collage for each of my wonderful book club friends by recycling Christmas cards and holiday magazines. I put aside the research for my current book, turned on the Hallmark channel for holiday inspiration, and spent one entire afternoon creating holiday collages.

It was L minus 3 - I needed to create a holiday message for the back of the soul collage cards. I thought about leaving the backside blank or finding a nice holiday or friendship quotation, but I discarded those ideas. I decided to write a holiday poem. I’ve taken a poetry class, and I’ve even had one poem published. So, I did it! I created a 2020 poem!  

Finally, the gift bags were ready for our socially distanced, masked, outside 2020 Sarasota Ex Libris Book Club Luncheon with one day to spare.  

Here are the poem and a few of the collages. I called it Ode to 2020.  After this exercise, I’ve decided to stick to fiction.

Ode to 2020

Merry Christmas, dear book club friends

Here we are - another year ends

And what a year 2020 has been!

COVID, quarantine, and self-isolation,

Closed restaurants beget cooking frustration.

Some folks sorta lose their cool.

Thank God I’ve no kids to home school.

But what else do we see

But election rhetoric, riots in the streets.

Seriously, there’s 30 named storms.

This is way above the norm.

Western fires, economic woes, job furloughs,

Holy Smokes, this year really blows

And Murder Hornets – we can’t forget.

Oh Lord, please, is 2020 over yet?

Then we wonder where we’re at,

Guess what – it’s the Year of the Rat.

But it’s Christmas, my dear book clubbers,

Our hands chafed from gloves of rubber.

Our new fragrance is Eau d ’bleach.

Is normality even within our reach?

But, then why even ask?

Just wash your hands and wear a mask.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

2021 must be a better year



Happy Holidays, everyone!!

If you are interested in Gail Condrick’s Connection with Nature and the Art of Observation classes, contact her at gailcondrick@gmail.com or http://www.gailcondrick.com/events/default.htm

For more information on Soul Collage, go to https://soulcollage.com/


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