Waiting: thoughts on beauty and community

"My dear brothers and sisters, we are already one.  But we imagine that we are not.  And what we have to recover is our original unity.  What we have to be is what we are."
--Thomas Merton

We wait.  We’re over a week into this new limbo—a place where all the old plans have been erased and we wait for the new to appear. No matter how much I fill my time with phone calls, music, TV or social media, the underlying silence of this “time outside of time” is deafening.  People are afraid, and no one knows how long this will last.  We’re surrounded by words, words, words, and yet few of them seem to say anything.  

For the healthy, this is a time of re-prioritization.  Many in my circle are making changes they know they've needed to make.  Others are rediscovering the healing power of nature, a good book, and a home-cooked meal.  I've spent more time talking to family and friends this last week and a half than I had in six months.  We're finding ways to support each other, and to support our communities.  In a world that tells us that we're a species of "every man for himself", we're still capable of stopping the wheels of commerce to protect our most vulnerable neighbors.  And when the threat of this virus is contained, I know the human community will once again find ways to provide aid to those affected by the economic price of self-isolation.

Still, waiting and uncertainty is difficult.  These are the times we most need the language and solace of beauty.  We need the notes and the words of those who offer light and truth.  And in those notes and words, we remember that for all the forces that try to divide us, we’re all one.  In compassion, love, humanity, and spirit we find unity.  In that unity, we find community. Because, in the end, what unites us is stronger and more eternal than what divides us.  


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