Stillness

2

March 15, 2020-

This is the midpoint of  Women’s History Month, the alleged date on which Julius Caesar was assassinated and another day in the continuing collective human response to Coronavirus 19.  Once one gets past the toilet paper hoarders, the nonsensical pandemic deniers claiming this is just a hoax by “the Liberals” (or Bill Gates, et al), and those who think closing the borders will, in and of itself, stop the virus in its tracks, it’s easy to see the big picture.

It is not hard to stay home, if that’s what it will take for the human race to recover.  It is not  too hard to conduct lessons for children, in small neighbourhood groups, if schools are closed (and I will be among those offering such a service, especially if the school where I am working now is closed).  It is not impossible to share what one has, in the way of food, cleaning supplies, etc., if others ask.  My grandparents’ generation raised families and kept their lives together, under far worse conditions, during the Great Depression, the Dust Bowl and World War Ii.

It begins with becoming still, with focusing and remembering just who we are and of what we are made.  Baha’u’llah, Whose life and Whose family’s lives were excruciating at times, calls the process being “dry in the ocean”.  I have sometimes been viewed as being too sanguine, but this is exactly what got my family through Penny’s long illness and her passing. It is what got my parents, long before that, through my youngest brother’s very long struggle and decline in health-and got our family through the passing of my father.

Those who stick together are the survivors of each crisis and the teachers, come the next subsequent calamity.

I’ve posted this song before, but it seems apropos once again.

Ides

13

August 15, 2016, Prescott- Today and tomorrow mark what medieval Europeans would have called the Ides (divides) of August.  Most of us are aware of the concept of dividing months into fortnights (periods of two weeks), from Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar”. The Ides of March became associated with foreboding, associated with the death of Caesar.

Division, for me, is something we need to work hard at overcoming.  I am in a new work environment.  The three of us who staff the room are working to overcome differences in style, priority, and temperament, both among ourselves and with the 6-7 supervisory staff, who are in and out of the room during the day.  Then, there are differences that arise with, and among, our charges- the students in our self-contained unit. Finally, there are the other staff at the school, who are united in their little groups, but have a ways to go in opening up to those perceived as “others”.

Division, at its most innocent, is a coping strategy for making sense of one’s world.  At its most nefarious, it is a way of maintaining barriers.  This is something we all tend to do, to one extent or another.  My goal is to eliminate as many of “the Ides”, socially, as I can, without falling back into my former patterns of being pushy and insistent.  Those only closed up the circles more quickly.  This time, I will be more prone to careful listening and patience.