In the old days (like two weeks ago), coffee in hand, hubby and I perused the newspaper, tossing stories back and forth across the breakfast field. You could count on a “hell in a hand basket” story periodically. Sad tales of planetary suffering, travesties perpetrated by leaders in a position of trust, indications that things were moving downhill at an accelerating pace. That a global crisis loomed was evident. Belly fear undercurrent always simmering for my children, my grandchildren, all youth. Calamity has hovered imminent, but I kinda assumed I wouldn’t live long enough to experience it.
Well, well, well. Right now even best case scenarios are dire. Truly an amazing time to be alive. We are all touched, feeling with intensity, experiencing repercussion in our world near and far. Slowed down enough to completely take it in, the “I’m so busy” mode has slip-slided away. In the old days (like two weeks ago), much of the population was asleep. Unaware of our impending unraveling, unwilling to let its prospect alter our behavior, conveniently looking the other way.
We are being slapped into wakefulness. The rawness and the vulnerability and the pathos of being human in this place at this time…there is no way to not feel this. We are a band of beings gravity-secured to the surface of a massive ball spinning through space. Our struggle to survive is usually masked by incredible abundance. Now it is naked and exposed. Truly this is an amazing time to be alive.
I fall into dark places every day. We all do. But I’m surprised by fierce bouts of ridiculous lightness, expansive wonder, jaw-dropping awe. Acute awareness of the situational silver lining. I choose to bring my attention to this right now. Not to make light of this predicament, people are dying, we will all suffer loss. But simply with the belief that we are capable of holding both….the beauty and the terror, with a nod to Rilke. This skill of holding polarity may be essential for moving through this with grace. And this slap into wakefulness, as painful as it feels, is maybe the biggest silver lining.
I see this: kindness as we greet strangers on empty sidewalks, concern as we distance from each other, seeking ways to stay in connection, compassion welling in the face of affliction. laughter at the absurdity, creative spirit abounding. Just in my own family. My daughter finding ways to be home with two rambunctious kiddos, keep her self-employment alive, stay in touch with elders. My son offering soup to go (Mom’s recipe!) at Recess. Hubby alone part-time in his office grinding out tax returns, there for client needs. Multiply this by the thousands. There is so much creativity alive in the coping.
Last night I read about “loss-proofing”, a wilderness survival term, in Jenny Offill’s new book Weather. “In order to survive, you have to think first of the group. If you look after the needs of others, it will give you purpose and purpose gives you the burst of strength you need in an emergency.” And so every day I devote some creative hours to loss-proofing. How to offer the medicine I am skilled at for you on line.
When ever spirit calls there’s a 5 SONG WAVE to move to for thirty minutes. And this week I learned to record a music set, upload to Soundcloud, run a Zoom meeting. We can keep moving “together” Wednesday 6:30 (LINK for tonight) and Sunday 10:00. Keep up to date and in touch with current links on FaceBook Event page.
This week my loss-proofing energy moves to Essentials. Friday morning several pioneering students test run a Zoom class with me. Hopefully next Friday March 3 10:00 the first official class will be live on line. This offering is for anyone who has worked with me in the past in these essential ways: fascial release with rollers, balls and stretching, subtle core toning, basic yoga asana. Once this is rolling, I hope to add introductory classes for those to whom this is a new experience. Stay tuned.
I’m closing today with this uber-inspiring quote from Howard Zinn from A Power Governments Cannot Suppress:
“To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness. What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places—and there are so many—where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction. And if we do act, in however small a way, we don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory.”
Imagining us, each in our own unique way, feeling the energy to act and sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction…..love, Bella