The other night I had a nightmare of being covered with oily beetles in clumps all over my body. I could feel them crawl down my legs and up my chest, their pointy feet prickling my skin and their hard bodies clicking as they rubbed against one another. I woke up gagging, still trying to scrape them off my skin.
It took two days before I got it that the bugs were my dreamlife symbol of the Corona virus, and the dream was telling me that viruses were part of life itself, and always have been. We could not live without them.
In my dream, the bugs crawled down my knees past my feet and into a hole in the ground, gradually becoming compost for the roots of plants. They belonged here and had their own job to do, even if they gave me the willies.
I think about this a lot as I watch myself and all the rest of us respond to this pandemic. I only keep half an eye on death statistics and fear-based politics, but choose to focus on the creativity of the young ones coming out all over the world: the collaborations of music and dance that bring tears and laughter and such deep gratitude to me; the thoughtful information given freely; the Zoom choirs and theatrical productions.
I also am grateful to the virus that is stimulating this brilliance!
Collectively, we are being pushed into more of our innate creativity than we thought we had, and the scope of our imagination under duress is blowing me away! We are in this together and many of us are determined to have a blast being the geniuses that we actually are.
Yes, of course there are very real victims to this pandemic, and I may well be one of them before this is over. I do not make light of the suffering and dying, but victims of our inhumane policies have always been suffering and dying, hidden in plain sight long before we ever heard of Covid-19. Five million children starve worldwide on a yearly basis; innocent victims of poverty, war, and racial injustice hang onto life everywhere. I see them right here in the Bay Area, where I live, camping at the edges of freeways and huddled on city sidewalks, begging.
Unnecessary poverty and death in our societies are not an anomaly; the difference may be that now we are paying attention.
Since the virus crosses political lines – it even crosses oceans – nobody is left out of the picture, not you, not me.
It is an Equal Opportunity bug.
I find it fascinating to watch our collective response to shared fear as we greet one another from a distance, reading the expressions in our eyes above our masks, looking for kindness and melting with gratitude when we recognize somebody we know. I sense we are learning fast how strong our need to know one another is, because we’re all in this together, come what may. We may even be discovering how glad it makes us to feel needed, and how pleased we are to lend a hand!
An aside: I just learned that my friend Shadi has been bringing cat litter to her elderly friends – this is a woman who understands how essential a beloved pussycat is to someone living alone. I love this woman who knows how to see the bigger picture with generous humor!
I am gobsmacked (I love that word!) by how quickly we are responding to our shared threat with generosity! The feeling reminds me of the black-and-white film, THE SECRET GARDEN, I saw so many years ago, that moment when the children creep into the walled garden they have been secretly tending and the film bursts into full Technicolor! Climbing roses and apple blossoms buzz with ecstatic bees, purples and yellows and reds bloom out of the deep greens of leaves and grasses and velvety moss while the golden sun shines in a bright blue sky…I remember feeling ecstatic.
That is happening right now!
It is Spring here – though I learned today that it is snowing in Vermont – but here the caterpillars are swelling in their cocoons, fit to burst their skins and emerge as changed creatures and take to the air in flights of rare beauty.
Yesterday we had a rumble in our neighborhood – that is, infected by a similar impulse but not so graceful as the butterflies – ambulance sirens and honking police cars and roaring fire-engines stormed into our streets, blaring! I ran out of the house, as did many neighbors, looking for the perpetrators.
“I pray it’s not someone killed a police officer,” Kerry the mailman said, crossing his fingers, “We don’t need that now…”
“Not to worry!” shouted Marjorie, “I just read it’s a celebration to thank all the workers at the hospital!” We laughed together, waved to one another, and went back into quarantine.
Back inside I turned on YouTube and watched my musical hero Stejpan Hauser on his cello alone in the center of a huge Roman arena in his home town of Pula, in Croatia, surrounded onscreen by Zoom squares of workers on the front lines there, masked and doing their jobs on empty streets. I sobbed hard through the whole thing, grateful for the depth of my emotions. Then I watched a young tenor sing a Puccini aria in his pajamas – with changed lyrics, of course – and laughed until I was weak.
Laughter and tears…release.
We’re just past the full moon and in the midst of a huge turning point that has been in cocoon phase for much of our lives. In this transitional time, the old and the new coexist for quite awhile as the balance tips and the Light comes into ascendency. Even though the Negative forces are holding on with insane tenacity, time is on the side of the Positive. It is our task, I believe, is to be unafraid of the mystery of these world cycles and have the best time we know how to have!
Change happens, as the saying goes, and the Old Guard resists – of course, that’s its job – but it is being eroded daily by our world-wide collaborations based on love and connectedness such as we have not seen before. I learned it has been estimated that those working to exemplify Love as a template for the world outnumber the current power elite by a million to one!
I believe it is our ability to take on this time with a sense of fun and wonder, being wildly creative with everything we can think of, that will raise the frequency of the whole planet and shift, shift, shift our consciousness out of its limited material grayness and into the Technicolor garden of humanity’s next phase of existence.
What an amazing time to be alive in the world!
Do you suppose, maybe, we all wanted to be part of this celebration, and so chose to be here now…?