Self-Islanding

I’m opening this newsletter with Robert Macfarlane’s Word of the Day from a few days ago. It doesn’t look like that island would have a very good wifi signal.


OUT: Behaving as if it were March 3rd

IN: Staying inside for the good of all, and for survival.


Becoming Softer

Each week I’m surprised at how life has changed in tone and spirit. More than before, I feel that I’m really HERE now. In this whole stay at home, social distancing time, I’d been feeling as if there is something to do, someone I’m missing, something outside that has to be attended to. Then yesterday, click, it all switched into a new mode. A stronger, calmer feeling announced to me that I was no longer needed outside these walls, nothing was calling me, I was permitted to live all my life here now. The outside pull was forgotten. Everything came home.

A loud horn woke me up at 7:30 this morning, honking in a pattern. As I got out of bed, I was reminded of the bell and call from plague times, telling people to bring out their dead. The before times were only a month ago. Like an iceberg encroaching on the Greenland villagers, the long shadow of the virus was felt in our dreams months and perhaps years before. Yet somehow it is our destiny to live now, in these days, and to be surprised.

I am still numbed by all these sudden changes. It seems like we’ve lived through some sort of warp-drive transformation in the past month, and I still need to evolve a personal vocabulary to express it. Until then I’m encouraged to stay home, stop doing and start deepening. I don’t mean stop doing everything. I tried that for a while but hunkering down waiting for it to be over isn’t a strategy for long-term situations like this. The doing is mostly in my very small personal sphere, and so it is linked easily to a deepening of perception, of experience and of meaning. Because now there is time, and that space is giving us just what we need.

As a thought experiment, let’s say a shift into kindness is accompanied by tenderness, sensitive revelation. It isn’t something that we DO, it is revealed, and love swings through it. I’d like us all to feel our being in a new way. Maybe we could be more softened because we are spending more time in the sheltered enclosure of home. In that softened state, we can more fully connect to nature.

My heart is still numbed. Open, but no tears, or not many. Inside each day that goes on as usual there is a portal of relaxation away from hyper-vigilant pinging around social media, gathering and comparing and participating and following.

In that relaxation, we have the time and resources to adapt, and learn to transfer hopes and plans into little projects and deeper awareness.

The global intensities bring us closer together on the inside.

New forms of being human are being traced like blueprints for us to follow as we become refugees from grief.


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