Updated: Mar 24, 2020
I have to admit, I was a little delayed in coming back to the blog post. There is a lot happening in our world, and all the things we cherish, all our our rituals, comforts and security have been banished and we are required not only to go inside our homes to help combat the spread of a virus, but I think we are also called to go inside our hearts and souls at this time and do a review. I am officially off work for the next two weeks, and possibly longer. Economic concerns aside, this is a time to tap into our creativity. Did you always want to play an instrument or sing more but just didn't have the time? When was the last time you sketched a picture, wrote a poem or asked yourself, "What would I do if I could be the BRAVEST version of myself?" Problem solving is greatly enhanced by engaging in creative pursuits, and anxiety over the unknown can be softened by losing yourself in a good art project.
Many parents will be home spending time with their children and helping them with homework as schools are shut down. Perhaps this will spark some empathy for school teachers! School teachers are now challenged to create engaging lessons that can be taught remotely. This requires a shift in the current way of doing things. Can we look at this virus as an opportunity forced on us to consider alternate ways of working, thinking and communicating with one another? Maybe we could use this time to learn another language. This country is a land of immigrants. Be Proud!! Embrace the mighty potential that exists in our diversity.
This blog features the work of two women: Anne Smith, my twin sister, and Edna Rueda Abrahams, a writer. Annie is an elementary school music teacher and also a gifted vocalist/songwriter. One of my favorite pieces she has produced is a song "Separated by Words", and it speaks to me of the current climate at our governmental level and the geopolitical conflicts which come about from just not understanding one another. Take a listen. (https://youtu.be/S5Nbam26BUg)
This week I received a beautiful passage sent to me via video. Originally written in Spanish, I found the translation. It is a poignant observation that calls upon us to open our hearts. At this point, words and language disappear...
"And so one day the world was filled with the dire promise of a viral apocalypse
And suddenly, the borders that were defended with wars were broken
With droplets of saliva
There was equity in contagion that was distributed equally between
Rich and poor.
The powers that felt infallible, saw how you can fall before a kiss, a hug.
And we realized what was important or not.
Then a nurse became more indispensable than a footballer.
A hospital became more urgent than a missile.
Lights were turned off in stadiums, concerts stopped
Filming of movies.
Masses and mass gatherings. So in the world there was time for
Reflection alone, and to wait at home for everyone to come
And to meet in front of bonfires, tables, rocking chairs, hammocks
And tell stories that were almost forgotten.
Three droplets of mucus in the air have made us care for the elderly,
To value science above the economy.
That not only the homeless bring pests,
That our pyramid of values was inverted.
That life always came first, and that other things were only accessories.
There is no safe place.
We can all fit in everyone's mind.
And we begin to wish the neighbor good, we need him to stay safe,
We need him to not get sick, to live long and to be happy.
And together with a paranoia boiled in disinfectants, we realize that
If I have water and the one beyond does not, my life is at risk.
We went back to being a village.
Solidarity is tinged with fear and at the risk of losing ourselves in isolation
There is only one alternative: TO BE BETTER TOGETHER.
If everything goes well......
Society will change forever.
Glances will be our greeting and we will reserve the kiss
Only for those who already have our hearts.
When all the maps are stained red with the presence of the coronavirus,
The borders will not be necessary, and the transit of those who
Come to give hope will be welcomed under any circumstances, language
And under any skin color.
It will no longer matter if I did not understand your way of life,
if your faith was not mine.
It will be enough that I encourage you to reach out
When no one else wants to.
It may be, it is only a possibility, that this virus makes us more human,
And from an atrocious flood
A new pact with an olive branch
Arises to start from scratch.
" Viral Empathy"
Edna Ruede Abrahams