Listening in a pandemic

The events of the past weeks and months have brought me back to certain ways of listening.  Doing so brought me closer to that shifting prism of feeling in myself and in others. One surface turns a sudden, sharp edge of panic (“what do I do if….?!”; “what about…..??”); then it dulls to a hard, achy regret (“why didn’t I look after that sooner”).  Another surface settles into something like relief (“no more oppressive obligations for a while that take me away from what matters”); sometimes relief grays into resignation (“nothing I can do about that”) – both replacing struggle.

Some who live with grief feel a kind of resonance with the stalling of things: losing something or someone, some vital part of their internal lives had already screeched to a halt.  It had turned away from the busyness of the world, and scurried out to sea. 

Mostly I hear the worry about being alone, even with others.   

In the day to day adaptation to things, I am also wary of a thick dulling, a blunting that comes with too much media emphasizing statistics; receiving message after message of reproduced text in mass email communications; waiting in massive, masked lines with others hastily roped into large new systems, makeshift yet inflexible.  

In the face of all of this, I am re-committing to re-humanization, especially through practices of sentience, our deepest internal capacity to feel and be alive.  Genuinely.  Peacefully .

Here’s how I am doing this in my practice.