This has undoubtedly been the oddest year of my entire life.
And this has been the most revelatory year of my entire life.
I am not alone in that. Yet it is only from my personal perspective that I can comment on what 2020 has truly been like. I was pondering this morning what it would be like if I could send postcards to someone who knew nothing of this Covid-19 experience. What would I say? How would I begin to describe the seemingly endless waves I have surfed inside of my own interior? How could I capture in words what it is like to stay mostly locked inside of your home, watching incredible levels of disturbance, disease, death, and despair all around you? Could anyone outside of this current dilemma understand my reporting that in order to go anywhere you need to wear a protective face mask, keep a several feet distance from other human beings, and repeatedly wash and sanitize your hands? How would they comprehend the notion that the primary way of connection and intimacy is occurring on a screen we call Zoom?
Wouldn’t the recipient concur that this is indeed the oddest year of my life, or of any life?
Would they think me mad? Would they suspect that I had been kidnapped by aliens and whisked off to a planet governed by science fiction and distorted fantasy?
What if I were to elaborate that the reality behind the masks and distancing and sanitizing were for the protection of myself and others? And that a goodly portion of individuals were refusing to follow the measures that were put in place to protect humanity? That countless lives were ending due to the lack of simple compliance and cooperation.
Would they believe me?
I still have trouble believing it all. And yet it goes on and on and on.
So, if I were to send myself postcards from a pandemic what would I say?
Dear Self: This is sure not how I thought I would spend 2020. I had such a feeling of potential and possibility when this new decade was beginning. I had vision. Inspired vision. As the years of my life roll by, I am increasingly cognizant that a new decade could be my final decade. I approached 2020 with enthusiasm and zeal. I asked that I be guided into the highest vision for myself and for the world. Wow. This sure was not what I thought I would see. And yet, I know I am seeing exactly what I need to see in order that a higher reality may be birthed within me. Even if it proves to be my final decade, I will be rebirthing myself day after day, for the duration. So self, I am having one hell of a ride here in 2020!
Dear Self: You would not believe how clarifying and prioritizing living through a pandemic can be! What I once thought was important has lost almost all of its luster. What pre-pandemic seemed almost meaningless has claimed centerstage within my being. Now that travel consists of heading only to my backyard the vistas, sights, sounds, simplicity is beyond what I could describe! Every leaf, bird, blossom, cloud appear as masterpieces in an ever-evolving wonderland of magnificent creation. To think that there were times I took this for granted! To think that I saw it only as a backyard that needed to be kept and most often ignored. Such magic! The moon plays peek-a-boo, and the clouds tease me with endless shapeshifting. The mockingbirds scoff when I fall into seriousness, and the butterflies wake me from the delusion that isolation results in loss. My God is a God of grandeur, and it is all right here beckoning me to join in. Where else need I go?
Dear Self: I have long suspected that prayer, meditation, contemplation of the sacred are the greatest joys in my life. This time apart has confirmed and solidified that priority. It is my passion. It is my central purpose. It is my reason for being. It is my contribution. It is what I am called to gift life with during this strange time of distancing and isolation. It is the context from which I spend my pandemic days. I know now that the Truth of Oneness is no mere concept. It is Reality. All is One. All has always been One. This is a time when that Truth is seeking realization, actualization. It is happening within me. Not theoretical. Actual. Intimate. All is One is my opportunity to pray and to stream grace, blessing with all other living beings. My quality of attending is why I am here at this time. We IS One, and so my presence impacts all that is. Knowing this, my days and nights are more meaningful, purposeful than ever before. 2020 has brought into being what I always sought to become. Imperfectly, admittedly. Yet relentlessly becoming. Radically focused. Undeterred by error. My conviction leads me to start again and again.
Dear Self: How could I have ever suspected that it would take medically enforced disconnection to teach me what deep connection is really all about? I have said my final goodbyes to several who did not survive the pandemic from which I write postcards. Indeed., my dearest, best friend did not survive this pandemic, How could I possibly report about that? Let me say to the self that I am writing to; love like you have never loved before! Risk it all. Open despite the fear. Take off the armor. Stripe away the defenses. Drop the dramas, the offences. Every interaction could be the last interaction. The words I speak could be the final words. The postcard I write could be the final missive. Humanity is running out of time. Decide how and with whom and at what level you will connect because ultimately connection is not an option. We are all, always connected. It is what we do with it that is variable. It is while we are apart that we can alter how we will come back together. There is one shared humanity. We are always contributing something to it. I am choosing to contribute love. This pandemic has taught me that I am here to contribute love at deeper and deeper levels.
And perhaps that is the only postcard from a pandemic that I need to write. That I need to send to myself.
This has undoubtedly been the oddest and most revelatory year of my life.
If I could send myself a postcard from this pandemic I would say, Dear Self: Love. Love now. Love yourself. Love the other. Love all of creation. And love every moment while you are still here.
And if perchance I forget to apply the postage on these postcards from a pandemic, a return to sender will still direct the messages to their intended recipient.
Oh, I forgot to sign.