The photo was meant to capture sunlight falling through a window next to my art table. That was all.
But out of deep respect for these months of global fear, global grief, global love and global connection, I couldn't help but notice the amount of light versus shadow on the blank page.
COVID-19 has cast its shadow across our human family, both here and abroad. As we sit more quietly, think more broadly, feel more deeply, love less judgmentally, we are also being invited to listen.
To our lives. To our personal values. To our mode of living. To the humans we haven't met, but whose suffering brings tears to our eyes and pain to our hearts.
So as we listen, who are we in the face of a virus that looms so large and slays so many? We are creators of light. And of comfort. We are creators of light when we find our rope in the storm of this virus, when we nod at the person walking 6 feet from us on the walking path, when we consider our inside selves, and deal honestly with what we find there, sans booze, drugs, over-eating or judging others. We are creators of light when we consider ways we have survived prior storms or hard times. We are creators of light when we consider the things we've found comforting in the past: certain people, our faith, books, trees, sunlight, moonlight, birdsong, rainbows, fields of clover and corn.
We are creators of light when we surrender all the false parts of our lives, the way we have identified ourselves with the kind of car we drive, the amount of money in our bank account and when we consider the ways we have lost sight of focusing on spiritual practices rooted in just ordinary days and experiences.
We are invited to become (and remain) cheerleaders of humanity. All of humanity. Not just those who believe like us, look like us, act like us, vote like us,pray like us. Our set ideas about people are driven out by the faces of COVID-19. We need to create sacred ways of honoring all.
Yes I will stay home. Yes I will disinfect. Yes I will, as Max Ehrmann so beautifully claims in Desiderata, "be on good terms with all persons." I will speak my truth quietly and clearly and I will listen to others. And I will be gentle with myself, which allows me to be more gentle with others. And I will believe in the people of this world.
Stay on your path and continue to love differently. Love your life. Love the concept of peace and do what you can to create it. Do both as though your life and our global neighbors' lives depended on it.