Liminal within a dream…
My own experience over the past four months has been a bit dreamlike. Nightmarish at times to be sure, but so complete in its overwhelm as to make it hard to pierce the swirling imagery. Like a lucid dreamer in a psychedelic dreamscape I have had simply to step one foot in front of the other, discovering with each new path stone, the nature and the stability of the ground in that moment.
Many of these moments, as I’ve said, have felt like falling, and others precarious with hope on one side and an abyss on the other. Truly dreamlike.
Today as I gaze out my office window, there has been sunlight and grey clouds and swirling mist. The rate of corona infections and deaths to need to boggle the mind and the California governor has just reported the expectation that 56% of Californians will have the disease within eight weeks.
My daughter the other day declared she was appending all of her text messages with the phrase “UEC” or, unless everything changes. In the midst of today, with grocery market shelves empty, staggering lines, the Dow Jones industrial average limping into a pause in the midst of the largest gash the chart has ever seen, the US government scrambling to write checks to cover the damage, one thing is certain… There is no going back, only forward, and from here, the path is uncertain, and the stones unstable, on one side the abyss, on the other some sense of fragile hope.
I woke last night at 2 AM, having forgotten to turn down the heat in the house and feeling the indigestion from the antibiotic I had taken just a few hours before. That was the end of sleep for the night. While I did manage to meditate a fair amount, the morning brought that familiar sensation of whole body weakness and exhaustion that comes with the devastation of the gut that comes with swallowing Cipro. I did rest a little, but no sleep to be found I forced myself to rise and take a little support to meet the day.
Once moving (a little after 9:30 AM), I churned through a few clerical bits; email, business billing, reconciling various vendor issues, jotting down the poem that came to me in the morning, and checking in on the new communication channel to which I have now returned.
Then feeling settled with the day’s organization I got on the phone with the new care partners and Cassandra to start smoothing out our new schedule, and on with Lisa and Elisa respectively to check in with how they are feeling on this new dawn in the period of madness and to elicit their feedback on my script work for the crowdfunding video.
I had started the day in the early morning reaching out by text to a handful of people. It feels important right now to participate in a new level of simply checking in and nurturing a sense of connection, particularly while we are all encouraged and somewhat uncomfortably I might add, to be staying at home and “away” from one another.
Whether in the morning newsletter, on the social media channels, or in personal connections, the field we are all inhabiting today is certainly a liminal one. Within that, I continue to walk this particular dreamlike path of my own, though now it doesn’t seem so particular to me, but just my own expression of this wider collective threshold moment.
Just as my phone calls were coming to a close, I got a notice that our friendly neighborhood Pope was encouraging a period of reflective prayer, so I took a few moments out to sit in silence before turning to the tasks of updating my mailing list, and continuing to refine the aforementioned video script.
Cassandra came by, having run to the market on my behalf, and we spent a moment catching up in the kitchen as she put away the perishables. She was on her way to meditate – not an uncommon occurrence but today the importance was ramped up after experiencing public places in the time of corona.
So many people are walking around stunned, turned inward and fearful – no eye contact, no smiles, nervous energy throughout. Collectively we must be careful not to implicitly alienate one another at this time when we more than ever need one another to be reassured that we are not alone in our concern, our confusion, and our longing for some clear path through this frightful forest of the dream…
In this time of solitude, don’t forget to reach out, share love, but more importantly, don’t forget to turn inward – paradoxically each of our own unique paths may be closer to the surface than ever before. I leave you with this, one of my favorite songs…
God gets to know things, we just get to ask questions…