Dear TRENDS Diary - 

As I settled into my new home in Lyons five years ago and began to meet new friends and neighbors, I was struck by how people marked time with “before” and “after.” I realized they were referring to the historic flood that devastated the town in 2013.

To me, that speaks of trauma. Much of my work as an artist has focused on the trauma of war. Through working with veterans and gold star families, I noticed that speaking of loss and recognizing the pain is one step toward healing.

I wanted to recognize the resilience of the Lyons community after the flood with a memorial: a large bronze statue featuring a bell and a great horned owl building a nest in the crook of a Y-shaped branch. I created it with fellow sculptor James Moore, and it was installed on the flood’s seventh anniversary on September 11 near the Fourth Street bridge, which was ground zero during the flood.


Dear TRENDS Diary -

I am fortunate to be pastor at the Light of Christ Ecumenical Catholic Community. We’re an independent group that experiences God with many of the “smells and bells” of traditional Catholic services, but we also practice “radical inclusion,” opening the sacraments to anyone who wishes to participate, including LGBTQ and divorced people, and female pastors, like me.

The pandemic has been hard on faith communities. We are a place where people come to connect—through Mass and fellowship, movie nights, book clubs, justice and charity work. When COVID hit, all of that was suddenly gone, and the sense of disconnect was profound.

We scrambled to adapt, learning to be creative with the liturgy and figuring out how to connect with older people unfamiliar with new technology and younger people using it so much that they’re burned out. Our theme became “Connection, Communion, Community”—helping people connect, sharing the experience of Communion even when we’re not together, and nurturing the larger community.


Dear TRENDS Diary -

I run the Outback Saloon in Boulder. I’d like to share my story so that more people take this virus seriously.

Way back in March, I got the chills, then a fever, due to COVID-19. Urgent Care wouldn’t test me at first because I didn’t have chest pains or shortness of breath. Those took time to develop. It took 20 days to get a diagnosis, including nine of those days in the hospital with pneumonia. 

A month into my discomfort, I felt a pop in my chest. My left side went numb, then my right side. My breathing shallowed. My back spasmed. 

I returned to the hospital. I had hydropneumothorax - fluid between my rib cage and my lung. I also had an abscess the size of a tennis ball on my lung.

Finally, two months in, I had surgery. That’s when it hit me: This is real. This is serious.

I walked out of the hospital for the third time, 10 weeks and a day after catching the virus. My pulmonologist believes I’m the first person in the world with this combination of illnesses.


Dear TRENDS Diary -

Each week for nearly 20 years, I have helped put on a free-form community dance gathering, called Conscious Dance Boulder. Until March, we rented space every Thursday night at Alchemy of Movement, a local dance studio, creating a habitat there for everything from contemplative movement to all-out tribal romps.

But then COVID came along and Alchemy closed its doors. The studio has reopened, but our Conscious Dance model didn’t really work with the limited numbers now allowed inside. We were wondering how to continue these sacred and necessary gatherings. We thought about moving them to the parking lot, but rejected that idea because of the aesthetic vacuum that it presents.

Then we learned about portable speakers that work on internal batteries and still have great sound. We bought one, experimented a bit, and then bought another, along with battery packs to power an audio mixer, a laptop and lights, and started dancing again.