Rise [on Merely A Thought Monday]

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Signs of the the times. 1) The salutation in almost very email I send, every email I receive, is this: Stay safe. Stay well.  2) The most common response to”How are you?” is some variation of this: Staying more or less sane.

More or less sanity.

I expect a revival of Salvador Dali, a new wave of surrealism. What was solid melts and drips. What was fluid is frozen. None of the rules of normality apply. “So this is what pandemic feels like,” Chris wrote.

The hat we call “normal” has been knocked off our heads. Nothing is normal. Or is it? In our house we have an ongoing socio/political conversation about whether things have always been this way and, in the severity of the moment, we are now seeing it. The ugly politics. The gaping disparity. Or, is this madness new?  Are we more or less sane now?

We’re taking our afternoon walks in the cemetery at the end of the street. It is the only place we can walk without having to be constantly vigilant about bumping into other people. “It’s weird that, in the midst of a pandemic, we have to go to a cemetery to safely walk.” Kerri noted.

Yes. It is weird. Is it more or less sane? The only thing we can know is that all measuring sticks are broken, all of the old navigation points have gone missing. We are standing solidly in the midst of the unknown. What will be true next week? Anything is possible.

And, that is the point. The sword of possibility cuts both ways. Right now, anything is possible. If we get caught in the sticky notion that our circumstance defines us, then we are hurled to the side of less sanity. Panic. Chaos. Fear. Every man/woman for themselves. If we hold fast the notion that we are creators and are experiencing but not defined by the present pandemic fire, then renewal and re-imagination pull us in the direction of sanity. We stay centered in the midst of the fury. People helping people to survive, to thrive. The best rises in us. Brother’s/Sister’s keeper, and all of that. More sane. Not less.

 

read Kerri’s blog post about MORE OR LESS SANE

 

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may you….[be healed]

Allow Your Inner Odd To Shine

776. Join me in inspiring truly powerful people. Each day I will add a new thought, story or idea to support your quest and mine.

Today was a day that awoke my inner sociologist. It was a Salvador Dali day filled with the surreal and the surprising. It began with a voice calling me from a deep sleep. The voice was saying, “Food! Food!” It was an imperative so I swam to the surface of my consciousness and I found Fuji the cat sitting on me, staring at me, meowing the word, “Food.” I’m not kidding. I blinked my eyes once or twice to make sure that I was awake. Fuji was saying “food” or at least a sound that was identical to the word “food.” I sat up and looked around the room for leprechauns or perhaps the Mad Hatter. When I knew I was safe I crawled out of bed and fed Fuji.

Later, as I walked to the ferry, I passed a group of elders. From a distance I thought they were teenagers because they were plugged into their iPods. They were chatting and poking each other on the shoulder and doing a mini boogie down the road. They were school kids in the bodies of grandparents. Again, I rubbed my eyes to make sure I was awake. I was but was by then I was suspicious of what might be waiting around the next corner.

What was around the next corner was a woman standing in an open plaza doing a monologue. She wasn’t preaching. She wasn’t standing on a box recruiting an audience. She was not on the phone. She did not appear to be crazy. Her bag was on the ground in front of her and she was having a fight with someone invisible to the rest of us. She paused in mid sentence, bowed, picked up her bag, and walked away as if she was on her way to the office and nothing unusual had happened.

After my meeting, now on the Seattle side of the Sound, I was walking back to my studio when I heard a lovely female voice singing a Beatles song. Across Pioneer Square stood a woman with a microphone. Next to her was a man playing an electric guitar. She sang with all her might. No one paid any attention. People walked by as if no one saw her and suddenly I wondered if I was the only person on the Square that saw her! Maybe I was like the monologue woman! Maybe people were passing me wondering what I was staring at! I held my ground for another moment and then faded into the crowd.

I have a sneaking suspicion that everyday is surreal, that these marvels are always present just around the next corner but we’ve grown numb to them or are afraid to engage with them because they might be dangerous or require some responsibility on our part. We imagine that it’s better to pretend that the oddity doesn’t exist and so we just keep walking. We fade into the crowd lest we stand out.

As I faded into the crowd I liked the idea that I was someone else’s oddity. What is odd for you is not for me and vice versa. The riches of my day were not in the norms, not in the moments that met my expectation. The riches were in the surprises and the surreal. Imagine how rich we would be if all of us agreed to allow our inner odd to shine! My inner sociologist is appalled by the idea but I think it has real merit.