The title of this book comes from an ancient parable about a farmer who, when greeted with fortune or misfortune has the same retort: "Good news, bad news, who can tell?" The parable provides some simple wisdom in approaching turbulence and catastrophe in life, such as living through a pandemic. This book offers a variety of touching stories, lyrics, and poems written by people who represent nine categories of those on the frontlines of the pandemic (educators, COVID survivors, artists, clergy, those who lost loved ones, students, physicians, restauranteurs, and journalists) from the U.S. and India, regarding experiences, lessons and wisdom they acquired. A novel interpretation of the parable is presented as well as a framing (a figure 8) that provides some perspective and guidance as we move through the various trials and tribulations of life, and through challenges of mental illness and substance use. There is also a chapter "signs of the times" which showcases a variety of creative and amusing signs that were all around us during the pandemic. Even some clever bathroom signs. The summary outlines lessons learned and wisdom gained by the editor from struggling through the pandemic in rural West Virginia, as a psychotherapist on the frontlines, and from reading the heartfelt stories and poems in the book. And perhaps the most interesting feature of the book is the last chapter, an opportunity to reflect and write your own lessons, story, poem, and space for your photos to add to the documentation of this experience called "the pandemic.
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