Things are scrambled. There is disorientation. My brother in San Francisco doesn’t drive. He relies on buses. The buses are running but it’s always a risk. Who else is going to be on the bus? What are their personal habits of cleanliness and responsibility towards others? He can’t get to his usual places to shop for the food he usually eats. He is eating more canned food. His health is suffering. He isn’t getting the exercise he normally gets. He lives alone, is a social being and feels cut off from his connections. His lifestyle has been severely curtailed. He lives minimally with a small carbon footprint. Even with that, this is rough.
After a recent conversation with him, I felt sad. I told him that he needed to eat healthy. That much he could do for himself. The stores where he usually shops are over-crowded making him less likely to shop there. I told him he could have fresh produce delivered. Regardless, he is down-hearted by everything that is going on right now. Living in San Francisco, he feels the impact more than I do where I live. Less freedom of motion. His is one story among many…one good reason for kindness towards one another.
This face came about from what I was feeling in the moment. The words that I wrote were:
There is so much that is going on that is challenging for many at this time. I wouldn’t know where to begin. An ongoing sadness and simultaneously, an awareness of the extreme beauty that surrounds us. Concern for self and family and community, the world–the earth. Humans haven’t lived softly on this planet. Why have we distanced from the earth who sustains us? There are so many questions hovering in the air. I like to think that where there’s a question, nearby is an answer. We have to pay attention–become conscious of the feedback that we are receiving from the earth and her other creatures. We aren’t alone in this. Why do we forget?
Then, yesterday, sitting in my tiny garden in the backyard, leaning into the uncertainty, a little hummingbird settled nearby, framed in a wire rectangle of the fenced enclosure. It visited for an indeterminate time and we studied one another. The rarity of such an experience always feels like an honoring.
This painting is a reminder to not run away from your feelings. As they arise, do acknowledge them, embrace them, sit with them, be patient with yourself through them. It is in this state of acceptance and bringing comfort to them that they are recognized and eased. Have you noticed that?
In the midst of uncertainty, some things feel right with the world. We look for those things.
Take good care.