In case you missed the Midday Reflection last Thursday, I wanted to recapture some of the more poignant parts from The Book of Awakening, by Mark Nepo (August 13.) He quotes Georgia O’Keefe: “Maybe that’s why I want to touch people so often---it’s only another way of talking.” Obviously, social distancing these days keeps us from even the most casual touching---a handshake---and especially from closer hugs with people outside of our “bubble.” I just took my first out-of-town trip to the DFW area to visit my parents in vulnerable health. It was so difficult not to embrace them as I would instinctively do under normal circumstances; to have conversations in closer proximity with masks on was difficult and frustrating. I had to focus deliberately on being grateful just to see them in person, despite the distance between us.
I’ve become almost certain that close contact, whether touching or not, is vital to our well-being, spiritually, physically, and emotionally. It is perhaps why we feel so disoriented in our daily lives lately. Now, I’m just guessing---you may agree with me or not! I have the advantage of my immediate family being sheltered with me, so that helps; but it’s not quite the same as what we experience in our spiritual community, sharing that unique higher energy expressed through our eyes, our hands, our embraces.
As Nepo compares us in this daily reading to birds and animals resting upon a rock as refuge from an angry sea, no need for territorialism and “talk,” only seeking the comfort of others, we now lack the physicality of that contact. We are called, truly, to seek and know our connection to each other through the commonality of Spirit. We may not think of ourselves as suffering and buffeted like those creatures by the sea, but we are in uncertain times that foster confusion, boredom, grief, anger and intense self-examination. We CAN extend ourselves in the best ways we are able, through prayer (of course), conversation (written and spoken), through our (less-than-perfect) Zoom, FaceTime, Skype, etc. Especially, we can know that we are never alone in Spirit, the One---but also in our common spiritual humanity, on the same rock, maybe not touching, but comforting each other nonetheless.
Loving and missing you, knowing we are together in our hearts,