“From electricity, lightning, from lightning, illumination”

My appreciative thanks to everyone who responded to my last blog post. It’s encouraging to hear the perceptive insights and considerate voices of colleagues and friends. Here are portions of a few:

“My original intention was to express my thanks for the seminar last month, but I first want to thank you for your recent blog post and links – it was comforting to read your words. I could hear you saying them, and I could anchor them in the workshop experiences we have shared over the years. In times like these, a voice of calm and reason is so needed and valued. The Harvard guidelines were also good to read, again a calmer, more reasoned perspective than what we have been getting from the news media. I have decided it’s best for me to pay attention only to very credible and trusted sources for information on the virus (well, information on anything, to be honest!).

I wonder what is to happen, both to the vulnerable and the disenfranchised during this time, and to all of us afterwards, but one must retain hope somehow. It is surely a time when being present is imperative rather than a nice idea (and the circumstances actually encourage that, if we choose not to anesthetize ourselves with too many distractions). A time when everything we practice in our weekends together really comes to bear.”

~ Francesca

“Thank you for your thoughtful and so helpful balanced article about how we can better approach this critical and debilitating time. Instead of entering into the hysteria and political debate and blame as most all of the commentators in press and tv, you looked at what we can do — can easily do — to keep our soul and sense and body together through what might be a very, very long time. It was a perfectly worded, concise sharing of the essentials of well-being and what a good life in general is and certainly what is needed in this frightening time.”

~ Judith

“That is a wonderful post to your Blog regarding the coronavirus and what steps we can take to better deal with it. The links to the various extra information are also very timely and helpful. Many thanks for posting this extremely valuable contribution.

With the advised social distancing and shutting down of public arenas and places to gather, this might be a good time to submerge ourselves in quiet, still, re-examining of our day-to-day existence, perhaps along with some re-assessing and rebooting too. If there is any silver lining to this situation, this could be it.”

~ Paul

“I just read your blog concerning this virus situation. I found it most helpful and thoughtful. Thanks for your benevolence and great ideas to humanly deal with this problem. If there are positive side effects in all this, we will find them in the list you supplied on your blog as in reconnection with nature, close friendships, purpose and active body movement, etc.

Even though closures on many levels of society and countries are occurring, one can experience a unique moment where nations of the world come together and are on the same page despite their differences. In times of trouble it is good to turn to great quotes like ones from William Arthur Ward to keep our spirit high:”

“The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.”

“Do more than belong: participate. Do more than care: help. Do more than believe: practice. Do more than be fair: be kind. Do more than forgive: forget. Do more than dream: work.” ~ William Arthur Ward

~ Guy

And here are thoughtful perspectives from the musician/singer/songwriter, Nick Cave:

“Things have changed, we are faced with a common enemy — impartial, unfeeling and of immeasurable magnitude — and it is no longer a time for abstractions. …

“In time we will be given the opportunity to either contract around the old version of ourselves and our world — insular, self-interested and tribalistic — or understand the connectedness and commonality of all humans, everywhere. In isolation, we will be presented with our essence — of what we are personally and what we are as a society. We will be asked to decide what we want to preserve about our world and ourselves, and what we want to discard.

“Eventually these questions will become of acute significance, but they are not for now. Now is a time to listen to those in more informed positions and to follow instructions, as difficult as that may be, as we step into the unprecedented unknowable. We should be careful about the noises we make — especially those with a public voice — and should not pretend to know what we do not. From within the clamour and tonnage of information and misinformation, of opinions and counter-opinions, of blame-games and grim prophecy and the most panic-inducing version of ‘Imagine’ ever recorded, emerges a simple message — wash your hands and (if you can) stay at home.”

~ Nick Cave, The Red Hand Files, # 89

I’d only add to the general consensus here that, while at home, gracefully “adjust the sails” in simple, wholesome ways; that does include choosing carefully, discerningly our incoming and outgoing thoughts and information, as well as the underlying music they produce.

And this consummate, perfectly pertinent, quote related to the external restrictions we’re currently navigating through:

“’What would you have accomplished if you had been free?’

“Possibly nothing at all; the overflow of my brain would probably, in a state of freedom, have evaporated in a thousand follies; misfortune is needed to bring to light the treasures of the human intellect. Compression is needed to explode gunpowder. Captivity has brought my mental faculties to a focus; and you are well aware that from the collision of clouds electricity is produced — from electricity, lightning, from lightning, illumination.”

~ Alexandre Dumas, The Count of Monte Cristo

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