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Rekindle Your Wild Joy and Deep Belonging to the Earth

COVID19 as Shabbat March 13, 2020

Filed under: Arts,Resilience Solutions — BrujaHa @ 10:07 am
Tags: , , , , ,
isolation wizard
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A wise friend of mine, Lynn Ungar, wrote this magnificent poem about the current COVID-19 situation.
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I love her perspective and thought you might enjoy it too. To me, these words are like medicine, and with no need to do insurance paperwork to get it. There is often a gift carried with the wound, which can be had if we only change perspective to find it.
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This poem also reminds me of the something writer Anne Lamott once said:
“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.”
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Pandemic

What if you thought of it
as the Jews consider the Sabbath—
the most sacred of times?
Cease from travel.
Cease from buying and selling.
Give up, just for now,
on trying to make the world
different than it is.
Sing. Pray. Touch only those
to whom you commit your life.
Center down.

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And when your body has become still,
reach out with your heart.
Know that we are connected
in ways that are terrifying and beautiful.
(You could hardly deny it now.)
Know that our lives
are in one another’s hands.
(Surely, that has come clear.)
Do not reach out your hands.
Reach out your heart.
Reach out your words.
Reach out all the tendrils
of compassion that move, invisibly,
where we cannot touch.

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Promise this world your love–
for better or for worse,
in sickness and in health,
so long as we all shall live.

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Lynn Ungar,  3/11/20

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And then one of my grad students wrote the following.  I love this too, as it ties together traditional Chinese medicine  with current events, thereby reminding us humans of our vital inter-being with the living Earth, our larger body.
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A Thought on Coronavirus

by Andrew Somps

There exists a curious and poignant connection between the way in which this new virus targets the lungs and an ancient theory of traditional Chinese medicine which sees the lungs as the organs that house feelings of grief.

Given such a connection, one might begin to imagine how Coronavirus could be the earth’s way of nudging the world’s citizens to turn inward and grieve for the quite unprecedented disconnection that exists between modern, industrial society and the natural world…and the resulting loss of the body’s felt sense of home in a world desperate for healing.

That something so small and invisible can do what it’s doing serves as a terribly beautiful reminder of the fact that the individual body and the life of the earth are inseparably bound to each other, that we are all bound to each other.

I offer this connection between grief and Coronavirus to stir the imagination and bring reflection to something that seems hellbent on only inducing panic.

As the world puts on the brakes, we too are called into stillness and silence. Perhaps, hopefully, into grief as well…where grief is anything but a strictly personal emotion, but rather is world-oriented, living in the potential of every cell of the body to feel pain on behalf of the world and thereby gradually redeveloping a sense for what is essential.”

 

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Finally, even if we should limit contact with each other as physical human beings for awhile, this does not apply to contact with other-than-human beings or nature at large.

As Tom Fleischner of Arizona’s Natural History Institute recently remarked, “Immersion in nature can boost human immune systems and provide many other health benefits.  We encourage you to get outside and connect with the more-than-human world: practicing natural history, now more than ever, is good for you.” 

 

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NOTES:  
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Lynn Ungar‘s poetry and more can be found at lynnungar.com
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The wizard meme above was made by Rob Brezny. If you aren’t yet familiar with his humorous and deeply philosophical astrology column, hie thy eyes to any syndicated publication or https://freewillastrology.com
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Anne Lamott‘s wonderful quote I got on social media a long while back; it was part of a longer list she created, so I unfortunately can’t provide a proper citation. If you know what publication it’s in, please tell us in the Comments below. Thanks!
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Tech note: For some bizarre reason, WordPress won’t make proper spacing for this post unless I stick something like these stars in-between the lines. It just all melds together in a sort of word blob. Sheesh. Simple-fix advice is always welcome.
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Just wash your hands March 11, 2020

 

Afraid of contracting or passing Coronavirus 19?

JUST WASH YOUR HANDS.

Often.

For inspiration, check out the results of this science experiment, done at an elementary school in 2019:

 

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“We took fresh bread and touched it. We did one slice untouched. One with unwashed hands. One with hand sanitizer. One with washed hands with warm water and soap. Then we decided to rub a piece on all our classroom Chromebooks,” adding that the school normally sanitizes their computers but didn’t for this experiment.

“Each slice of plain white bread — which was taken from the same loaf on the same day — was placed and sealed in a freezer Ziploc bag. Due to preservatives, they waited three to four weeks for results and found that most of the bread slices were full of mold. “This is so DISGUSTING!!!” wrote Metcalf. But there were two exceptions: The bread that hadn’t been touched and the bread touched by hands washed with soap and water looked fine.”

 

Soap and water is the best deterrent for spreading illness.

The US Center for Disease Control (CDC) has guidelines that back up that statement, adding, “Handwashing is a win for everyone, except the germs.”

The guidelines are to scrub our hands for 20 seconds. That’s long enough to sing a couple rounds of Happy Birthday, or 1/47th of an Irish ballad about love and death.

Hand sanitizer is useful, but mainly as backup when you can’t get to soap and water.

The average person doesn’t need disposable gloves, which will carry the horrific side effects of 1) making them harder to get for those who actually do need them, and 2) after they’ve been discarded and made their way to the Pacific Garbage Patch, killing sea turtles when they try to eat them.

On behalf of the earth and all of our health, thanks for doing the simplest thing that turns out to be the most powerful, and also carries the least long-term environmental consequences.

Stay healthy out there, friends. And peaceful.

 

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Image source: https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/the-school-science-experiment-that-will-make-you-want-to-wash-your-hands-this-is-so-disgusting-213514712.html