Even So …#17
Day ? of the pandemic.
I woke this morning to the news that someone we know, who used to live two doors from us has passed away from Covid19. The circle of friends, acquaintances, and loved ones grows tighter, closer, in spite of everything.
I came across a quote from Peace Pilgram today: “With inner peace I felt plugged into the source of universal energy, which never runs out.”
If you don’t know Peace Pilgram, I urge you to learn about her. I offer this from her website:
From 1953 until 1981, a silver haired woman calling herself only “Peace Pilgrim” walked more than 25,000 miles on a personal pilgrimage for peace. Wearing a blue tunic and carrying just a few worldly possessions in her pockets, she shared her simple but profound message in thousands of communities throughout the U.S.: “when enough of us find inner peace, our institutions will become peaceful and there will be no more occasion for war.” Today, her words – captured in books, videos and other media – continue to inspire people around the world.
In this difficult time, her words resonate with me. It’s so easy to slip into anxiety, fear, despair, depression. But her message reminds me that I hold the key to my own peace, and thereby the ripples move out, to each one of us, every one of us, and it IS powerful, and it IS possible, even so.
Of course, Viktor Frankl turned our gaze to the same truths in his masterpiece, MAN’S SEARCH FOR MEANING. A survivor of Auschwitz, who could possibly be more qualified to persuade us of the truth that we alone, by virtue of how we respond to our circumstances, hold the key to our peace of mind.
He said, “In times of crisis, people reach for meaning. Meaning is strength. Our survival may depend on our seeking and finding it.”
This does not, of course, mean that we do not feel pain. Frankle said: “But there was no need to be ashamed of tears, for tears bore witness that a man had the greatest of courage, the courage to suffer.”
And so, today, I will look for meaning in this pandemic. Perhaps we have been given a glimpse of how the planet might heal itself, in spite of everything?
Or maybe it’s a wake-up call that the systems and institutions running our world, keeping the rich rich and the poor poor, have failed and should be dismantled, making way for a new, more equitable society, even so?
It might be an invitation from the Sacred to pay more attention, to live more in perfect trust and perfect love, in spite of everything.
It might be all these things, and more. What about you, beloveds? Are you safe? Well? Ill? Frightened? Are you able to find meaning? If so, I’d love to hear about it, even so.
Hi, Lauren, I was one of your students at your one-day workshop at Acacia in Lawrenceville. We are well, here, my husband and I. Our families have been fortunate, even my mother in her tiny nursing home. So I alternate between worry and gratitude, but gratitude usually wins. Today it’s warm enough to have the windows open. I can hear the birds singing. I am grateful that (most) people are willing to accept sacrifice and restraint in order to preserve lives. It’s extraordinary when you think about it.
Not so long ago I worked at a table in a windowless conference room with five others. Over the months we shared many jokes and one particularly nasty cold. I’m so happy that’s behind me, and I didn’t have to choose between safety and employment this year.
I’m working hard on the last couple of chapters of my novel. The work itself is a gift–it takes me away from all worries. I hope some day you’ll be able to offer another workshop.
Hi Debbie, thanks for your comment. I remember you.
I’m glad to hear you and your loved ones remain well. Who knows when any of us will be able to be in a room together again? But we keep on swimming.