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“And the people stayed home. And read books, and listened, and rested, and exercised, and made art, and played games, and learned new ways of being, and were still. And listened more deeply. Some meditated, some prayed, some danced. Some met their shadows. And the people began to think differently.”

“And the people healed. And, in the absence of people living in ignorant, dangerous, mindless, and heartless ways, the earth began to heal.”

“And when the danger passed, and the people joined together again, they grieved their losses, and made new choices, and dreamed new images, and created new ways to live and heal the earth fully, as they had been healed.” ~Kitty O’Meara

“In exile, we must do as the goddess Innana did, surrendering layer after layer of armour and adornment, until we are bare. We must then undergo a symbolic death of the old life in order to be reborn with greater resilience and a holy assignment to carry forward.

The initiated adult has learned to withstand uncertainty, has paid a debt to the gods through his loss and his grief, and has decided to make beauty with his life as the future ancestor that he is.” — Excerpt from Belonging: Remembering Ourselves Home by Toko-pa Turner (

We live in interesting times, don’t we? May we prove equal to the challenge. It seems that the world is preparing to shed some of our customs that no longer serve us. Our ideas about who we are and how the world works suddenly seem irrelevant, childish, too simplistic.

I love these poetic descriptions of how pleasantly and easily we will make this transition, and perhaps for some of us it will be. I, for example, will change very little. I’m a stay-at-home introvert anyway. I read, I write, I draw, I talk with the resident goddess, my wife. It’s a simple low-pressure life.

There is an expansive terrace where we can take the sun and watch the theatrical sky. When it thunders and rains in the night, we smile in our sleep. We watch the large hummingbirds resting on the overhead wires. We hear the people singing in the street and smell their cooking in the evenings. Life moves slowly and with a predictable pace.

We read of the plague and how it’s only a matter of time before it reaches our neighborhood. We don’t have insurance here in Mexico, but running for the border looks more risky than staying put. We’ll take our chances here, in spite of the panicked gringos who predict anarchy when people start dying and nobody can work. We’re not ready to die, but we’ve had a full life, raised strong, creative children, and we’ve had many beautiful adventures. And we’re still creative. We still have much to contribute, yet we face our future with as much equanimity as can be expected.

So, yes, we have committed our lives to beauty, however we can find and fashion it. We are taken aback that we are now considered elders in spite of only having lived seventy-something years. Surely we’re just getting started here. There is still so much to learn and contribute. But there’s no predicting if we will emerge unscathed on the other end of this crisis. It’s a test, not just of the body; it’s a test of mental strength, soul-strength, you could say.

We are thrown back on our inner reserves. We shall see what kind of inner strength we have. It will become obvious how much we depend on externals, and how resourceful we are. This situation will show us who we are at deeper layers than we usually have to access. We may learn things about ourselves, about our social constructs, even who is and who isn’t a friend. We may be surprised, as people begin to show their true character.

The world we take for granted is probably finished. Things are going to change at their foundations. This crisis is going to touch things at such a basic level that we’ll be disoriented. It’s either going to be a better world or a much worse one. However things shake out, it won’t be the same as what we’re used to.

Creative souls have a chance to speak up now, to voice the principles of solidarity and kindness. Now is the time for caring people to assert a vision of the world that fosters life, that puts a humane vision forward. We can’t keep destroying life on Earth for money.

This is a great opportunity. May we use it wisely.

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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