“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” –Mahatma Gandhi
My grandmother was fond of adages, partly because of her absolutist personality and partly because she had to embroider them by hand on a sampler when she was a child. As a result, I ended up with many of them in my own vocabulary, including the one about clouds always having silver linings. That was a tough one for a child to accept. It seemed to me then that bad things were just plain bad and trying to pretend they weren’t was just a form of denial rather than clairvoyance. Yet now, I’m amazed to find there are some positives woven in with all the horror this virus has brought. The good things pertain to me personally, while the effects are specifically wrought upon us all. How odd. It’s the fact that this virus has leveled the playing field so effectively that I find strangely soothing.
I’ve long had an aversion to any sense of abandonment. I’m sure it stems from being ‘left behind’ so often as the youngest child in my family, older siblings and adults in our lives always trying to run off and ‘dump the kid’ who would only slow them down. I grew up with a sense that everyone was always going somewhere without me on purpose.
After my husband died, I had years of feeling that ‘everyone else’ except me had someone to be with, others to ‘party’ with, events that didn’t include me to be enjoyed with friends; someone special to go home to at the end of the day. It was the most fundamental sense of abandonment I’d experienced since early childhood. Yet now, suddenly, no one in the world has anywhere else to go with anyone else, and nothing else to do but live their own life. No amount of running to, from, or away, will change how the whole planet of humans must engage (or disengage) with each other. We are all the same, all just as scared and unprepared, all basically alone. And most importantly, everyone knows it. There is no denial that can change that and nowhere to run. Continue Reading