About two and a half years ago I wrote about how challenging it was to stomach the mounting stream of natural disasters around our planet. Yet what kept coming back to me was this recurring vision that always gave me very odd comfort: a young woman sitting in the rubble of a post apocalyptic scenario. Amidst the apparent disaster I always sensed an undercurrent of hope and excitement: the promise of a new world, perhaps more in harmony with the natural flows of life.
It bears remembering that ‘apocalypse’ is a word rooted in the concept of an uncovering, a revelation. It is the earthquake that rips apart unsteady foundations and lays bare our deepest roots. It is why moments of great upheaval are supremely sacred. Ground zero is the nexus of destruction/creation. Therein is tremendous potential for discovery and transformation in greater alignment with what is true, good, and beautiful.
@oliviasprinkel recently asked a great question about nostalgia in these times. I think it is important to mourn our losses—to really face what is no longer. Yet I would also caution a blanket attachment to How Things Were. It is vital, in other words, to be discerning about what we want to recuperate, bring forward, leave behind, and create differently.
I mean, let’s get real here. Let’s not over-romanticize the bad old days. 9/11 and 2008 brought great potential for rebuilding, but in the wake of true heroic acts and gestures of generosity and compassion from every day individuals we saw institutions do what institutions do best: preserve their own interests. A war machine and a billionaire class is what we got after these two pivotal moments.
What new world are we going to build after the coronavirus does its coronavirus thing? Who do we want to be on the other end of this? Can we hold our highest visions steady in the face of great change and devastating loss? Can we dream a better world into reality?
I wasn’t ready then. I walked around NYC dumbfounded for months after 2001. And 2008 brought up primal survival fears. Now is a different story. I am ready to walk this path from my strong, stable center. Will you join me?
Spring reminds us of the promise of the eternal return, of light after dark, life after death. But the eternal return is not a promise to return to the way things were. And thank goodness for that. Here garden clean up and house renovations are well underway. Good riddance.