I got through most of my life without needing glasses for seeing into the distance. I was lulled into thinking that, as long as I got on the right bus, my sight was perfect. Now, I find that to be a rich metaphor for the way that we discern other people in a pandemic.

In other words, we all thought that we could see each other just fine. Who needs to attend to the fine detail if you get the general picture, right? A body is a body. A pedestrian is someone you pass on the street. People over 70 are bound to be vulnerable because they look weaker than they used to. We see our families more clearly than others because they resemble us, they talk like us, and they have habits and values that are recognizable, even if they are not fully shared.

Then, along came social distancing and it seems to me that, counter-intuively, many of us have been supplied with new lenses. People over 70 have come into a new focus. The word neighbour is now written into our lives in capital letters. Pedestrians are scrutinized, avoided and/or smiled at in acknowledgment of our shared vulnerability.

And now family and close friends must see each other in Zoom perspective. So, we notice the angle of their faces and the uncertainty in their eyes. We are forming new ways to be familiar. And that is our brave new world. That is the adaptability of human love and affection.

The best and most beautiful things in the world

cannot be seen or even touched

they must be felt with the heart

Helen Keller

Please see the new heading STEPS TO MEDITATION. There, you will find a weekly reminder of the steps to a sustainable meditation practice.



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