Instead of waiting, longing, hoping, praying for this pandemic to pass — which it will, as all things do, though we don’t know when, or how, or what our world will look like when it does — sit with the whole grievous, gorgeous, terrifying truth of it. Sit with it as you would sit with your sick child who’s throwing up all over your hair at 3 am.
Get to know who you are, in this pandemic. Get to know the fissures and fractures as well as the wound-binders and creative makers, both within yourself and in your world.
There is an opportunity here, not to be more productive or the most resilient, most brilliant, most anything, but rather, to be on intimate terms with the many shades of your own being. And the many shades of your community, your nation, our global family.
Trace the chiaroscuro of ideologies, power structures, and systems that have brought us to this point in history.
Embrace every curve and contour of your desires for yourself, your beloveds and our planetary home. Your vision for a life well-lived, a world well-nurtured, protected and cared for, is your soul’s wisdom and the heart of your humanity.
Do your research. Find the people and organizations that align with your vision and that have built or are building the infrastructure to bring it into being. Participate in their activity in whatever ways you are willing and able to, while maintaining your central imperative to remain whole in the midst of pain, fear, grief and fragmentation.
What are the ways in which the life you’ve been living is unsustainable? What price are you paying that you’re no longer willing to pay? What price is being paid by the earth and the millions of species who depend on her for their lives?
Define your No.
And clarify, focus on and devote yourself to your Yes.
A Yes that wraps around the tiniest bud on the most forlorn tree; the eagle soaring on elegant wings across newly clear skies; people struggling to breathe in overcrowded slums in Mumbai; people dying in palatial homes, in apartments and hospital beds, on the streets, in hogans and shacks and shanties.
Let your Yes shelter them all, even the ones who infuriate you, whose ignorance, fear, pain, hatred make them conduits for the forces of fragmentation and unwitting allies to the inflicters of global suffering.
May we offer the mercy we so desperately need ourselves. May we do it with love, sovereignty, and boundaries.