In the morning when we wake up, the choices are the same but different than they were before . . . What should I eat? What should I wear? What kind of distraction next?
And the world slows, and the plants grow, and babies are born, and people die, and people laugh, and people cry, and all of this is worth it and not worth it. No one asks why.
Yet all of us do. Is this worth having? Is it worth buying? Is it worth my time? Does it take up too much space? The questions are all different, yet essentially the same. Let’s watch TV. Step out of the game. Who is alive, really? And who is dead? When we pick up the pieces and put them down again, will the pattern be rearranged?
And how about the play? What are we playing for? What are we praying for? Whom do we serve? Ourselves, the other, a god, goddess or mother.
These questions were looming before, but we faked it. We didn’t need the answers; now we do, or we’re doomed. We’ve always been doomed. What’s really important? Sunlight, rain, food security, smiles from friends and strangers, the comfort of touch, the sight of another person’s face.
Here’s the world we’ve built to stand between us and all that – a hard world where we struggle to make things grow, even a seed or the start of a friendship.
When we were kids, and when we lived in smaller towns, it was simpler, it was easier, it was required to make a friend of whomever. Time stretched out longer and stronger when it didn’t rely on the quick flicker of a screen.
We knew what it was like to be close, smelling each other’s sweaty bodies without developing an allergy, dropping by unannounced even, and not caring – that kind of intimate daring that really touches and walks, rather than just talking, saying, speaking, setting intentions, visualizing, capturing, photographing, and encasing a mere idea.
The way in – really in – is organic, it’s uncultivated, raw and giving. Its circle is round and ongoing, not shaped and structured and scaffolded. What is being given? What is being taken? What is being kept? What is being forsaken?
Can we choose our discomfort willingly? Can we welcome what is deeply unwelcome? And what can we learn from stopping everything, and gaining time?
Time to breathe, time to rest, time to withdraw from consumerism, time to nourish our bodies, spirits and relationships. Or maybe it’s just a time of waiting – waiting until we can shop properly again, all we want; waiting till we can get back to work; waiting till all the driving and jetting and polluting can begin again in earnest, and we can go back to vacationing on beaches somewhere far away?
There is nowhere far away anymore, though. We are the spokes of a great wheel, turning as one. We are the centre of the corona, the bright light, the source, the cause, the reason, the fear, the desire, the infection, the death, the hope, the healing.
We asked for this pause. We pursued it with all our vigour; now we take our refreshment in the measure of our feelings. And now, we choose again what we will be. As we always have.