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“If we can stay in touch with ourselves, if we can find the connection to our deeper selves, we can find this deeper level of hope that truly should be called imagination. The idea depends upon the sense that in the depths of each person, there is a greater self and a core imagination that is truly the source of one’s life. We may have to suffer a time of surprising restriction. But the old idea was that freedom is actually the active, imaginative mind. And another old idea stated that the unimaginative mind is paralyzed by its own doubt. And if we refuse to feel the doubt and suffer the despair, and if we deny the feelings flooding through us and flooding through the world, we may not find that deeper place.

There comes a time when we must allow something timeless to touch us in order to truly change and move beyond our fixed attitudes and limited understanding of the mysteries of life. When it seems like all might end in disaster, it becomes a question of finding the deeper imagination of life, the enduring patterns and essential stories that reunite us to the pulse of nature and the heart of culture.”

- Michael Meade

The masks are slipping now. We start to see the character of those who hold the reins of government and finance. We suspected they didn’t care about the lives of others but it’s still a shock to see the proof so plainly. Money is God to these people. We know we are warm flesh and blood, which is why it’s so confounding to realize we are nothing but shadows to them. Dispensable shadows.

Dan Patrick, the Lieutenant Governor of Texas believes any right thinking elder should willingly die for the economy. Trump is preparing to cancel the shelter-in-place advice to the masses because it threatens his hotels and reelection prospects. Never mind the deaths that would result. Any patriot should be glad to die for business as usual.

It’s not easy to write this without sounding sarcastic. I know I haven’t succeeded.

How have these psychopaths gotten into positions of powerful decision makers? We put them there because our insight is so shallow we don’t notice their facile facades. Our judgement is not up to the responsibilities of democracy. If we don’t grow up we’ll keep electing the worst among us to govern, and they’ll steal us blind every time if they don’t kill us in their bungling.

The problem of constructing a just and fair society is inextricably linked to our personal depth. The crisis is there, in our own hearts and minds.

This is a time to slow down and look at things as clearly as we can. This time can help us get closer to our essential selves, to let ourselves feel the beauty and tragedy of this life, to grow a bit in perception, to encourage those feelings of empathy we need to really “be here now.”

What if we could see that generous social constructs are cheaper and work better than punitive and distrusting ones? The American system is one of the crueler systems on the planet. No other first world system is so unhelpful to the general populace. Why? Because we believe that to “spare the rod is to spoil the child.”

We have somehow gotten the idea that the masses of people are easily spoiled, that if they have any extra money they’re sure to squander it on drink and fast women. I actually saw a senator claim this recently.

It’s time to start vetting our representatives a bit better. The problem is, we elect who and what we ourselves are under the surface. People who think in cliches, who are only capable of self interest.

Our lack of maturity has come back to bite us now. I’m afraid a lot of innocent people are going to suffer.

I hope we can learn from our mistakes, otherwise this won’t be the last time we’ll have to face this kind of debacle.

Here’s a poem that speaks to these ideas:

This is the time to be slow,

Lie low to the wall

Until the bitter weather passes.

Try the best you can, not to let

the wire brush of doubt

Scrape from your heart

All sense of yourself

And your hesitant light.

If you remain generous

Time will come good;

And you will find your feet

Again on fresh pastures of promise,

Where the air will be kind

And blushed with beginning.

John O’Donohue

Written by

I occasionally write fiction and also about creativity, loving, language learning and travel. I’m a longtime painter and reader.

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