Connecting, Interbeing, The New Story

This American Strife

Since everything is but an apparition,
Perfect in being what it is,
acceptance or rejection
Having nothing to do with good or bad,
You might as well burst out laughing!
~Longchenpa

No more death statistics.
People are dying; this is known. People who can are staying home. I am staying home.

Corona retreat, we call it. Life as a house cat. 
Making the bed is an achievement each morning.
Grateful to be comfortable. Realizing our luck and privilege.

This relatively isolated, ecological, Central American life I have chosen is not so different from what they call la cuarantena. Although the 4pm curfew (toque de queda—so much new Spanish vocabulary during these weird times) being enforced by the Guatemalan government is a tad bit early for me, for years I have ever so rarely left my house after 6pm. I do go outside though, everyday, all the time.

My work has gone remote, too, over the course of time. Further from the office or classroom. Mostly, it’s become manipulating English and/or Spanish words on screens. Most recently, it’s been correcting other people’s grammatical mistakes. Improving ebooks, essays and dissertations, one painfully bad sentence at a time.

My yoga practice has become intimate: just me, here, now. No Zoom classes for me at the moment, gracias. No Zoom anything. Breathing. Sitting. Basking in the quiet emptiness. No schedule, no plans, no goals. Slow flow has taken on a whole new meaning.

I feel like it would be a good time for fasting (for a few days, just drinking juice and tea), then I cannot stop myself from the comfort of eating.

I listened to the latest episode of This American Life this morning. I hadn’t listened to the podcast in years but was prompted to do so today by a writing teacher. (And now, I just want to listen to the archives all day long.) It’s a deeply emotional series of stories from people in NYC and elsewhere who have been most intensely affected by the Covid-19 crisis.

It made me feel greater compassion for everyone struggling right now, everyone having to go out to work, especially those who work at hospitals, and everyone who is sick and dealing with the gnarly symptoms of the virus itself.

Hearing the personal stories of a few can be so much more powerful than reading news articles full of statistics. I’ve signed out of social media for today, at least. I’ve made an agreement with myself not to compulsively read the news.

There’s nothing actually urgent in my life, at this moment. And there’s nothing I need to urgently know.

We are at home. We will be at home for the foreseeable future. Everything is indefinite, all bets are off. We are free falling, and there is no ground. This is a potent moment.

It’s also 10 Tijax in the Mayan calendar. A day for cutting away, letting go, releasing what no longer serves or benefits. Imagine any negative energy leaving your physical body and subtle energetic field, seeping down into the ground where it can serve as compost for new growth, new beginnings, new opportunities in this new world in which we are living.

photo of a cat sleeping on gray concrete bench
Photo by NICE GUYS on Pexels.com

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