I miss the mundane freedoms a lot. I miss casually running errands and stretching a revolving door of meetings across a few hours in a cafe. I miss a casual text-message “hello” leading to impromptu nighttime gatherings and memorable moments. I miss crowded river trails and the bustling city center. I miss the increasing hum from people occupying the squares as you approach, Rittenhouse and Washington West. I miss people watching. (A lot.)
The ebbs and flows of this pandemic have transcended anything else I’ve ever experienced, or even dreamed of experiencing. (I know, I’m too young to have the scope of “some people” and too isolated to have a real right to complain but…) When was the last time everyone was called on to act in a matter of “life and death?” When was the last time the best “action” the public could take was no action at all? And, will there ever be a time when humans crack the code? When will we learn how to properly relay information with the utmost integrity, accuracy, and have it received with the right impact at the right time? Maybe never.
Never before has there been such palpable sense, saturated and heavy, that we’re in this for “the long haul.” And, yet, never before have I felt such a palpable sense, warm and calming, that we’re all (consciously) in this together.
There are a lot of (metaphorical) stones that we could throw at a lot of people, every day. There’s a lot to be disappointed about. There’s a lot of frustration to air. There’s a lot of ignorance that warrants proper, wide-spread enlightenment. There’s a lot of uncertainty to unpack and certainly a lot to be scared about. But, these are fingers we need to point once the pieces are picked up; once the proper information is collected, analyzed, and applied to a cure; when we’re in sight of a clearer vision; when we’re in a different time.
The time we’re in now is a very special one. Yes. Even in the disorienting and suppressing dust and through all of the transformations across commerce and healthcare, travel, technology, and everything in between, we need to hold space and have respect for The Process. A Process that will most definitely yield uncommon and totally unexpected results, even for today. This will likely be a process that’ll deliver equivocal advances in health care, communication, commerce, technology, and government as much as it compromises our personal comforts, mundane freedoms, worldwide economy, and, yes, most importantly, many (many) human lives.
The Process, I think we’ll all come to see, will not bring with it the casual learning style we’ve grown used to. This will be the last time the majority of the world’s population assumes that anyone has anything “handled” without proof or results. This process has awakened us on an unprecedented level with a shock to the global systems and infrastructures in which we rest the safety and security of our lives, casually and unquestionably – might I add. This process has brought with it cause for serious contemplation on the purposes and powers to which we accept and deem to be necessary, “essential,” and even lawful – as a civilization.
I think we’re lo(oo)ng overdue for the shock that ice-cold-anything, be it water or reality, brings with it. I think every new round of headlines needs to be followed by a daily reminder that the dust will eventually dissipate and settle, exactly when and where it’s meant to. I think, if it’s any comfort, the transformation we’re seeing is The Universe identifying a recurring void and deciding to fill it, itself, with a sweeping, mass (eventually positive) change. I think this is meant to be a healing and growing experience, on the larger scale. I think it’s our responsibility to find and claim our space and role, within ourselves and society; to identify our interests and passions and apply them towards tackling the immediate and most-pressing issues, one-by-one. I don’t think I’ve ever felt, as sensitive as I am, a better time to lean into our innate human connection; to call on topics like fear and uncertainty, loneliness, lack-of-love (to give or receive), and deep and valid and stronger-than-ever need for a sense of belonging. There’s nowhere else or better to be, for the vast majority of people, than in those places and in those conversations; expanding our capacity for love.
Thank you to everyone who has reached out, inquiring about the health and safety of myself and my family.
I am well and all of those around me are well, too. Thank you, especially, to all of the men and women still in uniforms of all kinds – from boots to latex gloves to lab coats. Your service and devotion to global relief is beyond inspiring. It’s profoundly motivating. These are trying times, for sure, but, as I say above, this dust will settle and the calm clarity that’ll follow in the wake will – certainly – be something to behold. Stay safe. Stay grounded.