Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Black Swans


Black Swans

Long before any of us were walking around, people were sure about many things.  The earth was flat.  The surest way to cure a migraine was to drill a hole into your head.  Evil spirits lived inside brussels sprouts.  Women could become infertile if they did too much thinking.  And black swans did not exist.

That last surety was disproven in 1697 when a group of Dutch explorers spied black swans floating along a river in Western Australia.  Minds were blown.  Certainties were questioned. Knowledge was gained.

Some are calling this moment in time our very own black swan experience.  Many things that were so sure and so safe only weeks ago now seem as fragile as dust.  Much of what we thought we knew is only a memory now, and we struggle to make sense of this new reality, knowing, even as our brains fight to reject the idea, that things will never be quite the same again.

The Songwriter and I are two of the fortunate ones; we already work from home.  Our three dogs are simply delighted with all the walks they're getting every single day now.  But as my head hits the pillow every night, my thoughts swiftly travel to those wonderful people who own the tiny Mexican restaurant we've been frequenting for decades, the charming couple who own the gem of an inn in the Highlands of Scotland, the tiny bookshop on the tiny street, the dog groomer, the favorite waitress, the bakery owner.  There's no getting around it; so many lives are being affected in so many life-altering ways.

Deep in my soul, I have known for awhile that we were heading for change - abrupt and irrevocable change.  There was simply too much greed, too much contempt, too much focus on the things that have never mattered.  Science was ignored, faith distorted, selfishness applauded, divisiveness engineered.  We were due for a reckoning, I suppose.  And what we're left with when this all ends - and it will end - will depend on the decency and humanity of every citizen of the world.

Tribalism is as ancient an idea as some of those insane ones up in that first paragraph.  This crisis has revealed that insanity by showing us - in technicolor, in real time - that we live and breathe, suffer and die, together.  The videos of Italians singing out from their windows, the doctors dancing together in Iran, the shopkeepers in Georgia opening their stores early so the elderly can shop safely.  No one is separate; no one is immune.  Our planet is tiny.  Perhaps we know that now.

One of the sweet people I follow on Instagram posted this yesterday and I thought it bore repeating here. 

"And the people stayed home.  And read books, and listened, and rested, and exercised, and made art, and played games, and learned new ways of being, and were still.  And listened more deeply.  Some meditated, some prayed, some danced.  Some met their shadows.  And the people began to think differently.  And the people healed.  And, in the absence of people living in ignorant, dangerous, mindless, and heartless ways, the earth began to heal.  And when the danger passed, and the people joined together again, they grieved their losses, and made new choices, and dreamed new images, and created new ways to live and heal the earth fully, as they had been healed."
Kitty O'Meara


Help your neighbors. 
Stay safe, stay inside, and stay hopeful.
xx
Pamela


15 comments:

  1. Kitty's words resonate with me, and your post does too. Stay safe, stay inside and be of good cheer.

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  2. Thank you for this message in the midst of the chaos. We will heal. Hopefully, our souls and the soul of the world will heal and come to fullness.
    Mary

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  3. I, too, have had a feeling that we were "headed for a fall." The world has been so focused on "me", and not on the community of "us." My heart is breaking for our world and the people in it. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and Kitty O'Meara's quote.
    I send God's Peace and Love to all!

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  4. TRUTH is always spoken here. and what a delight it is to know you.
    thank you for beautiful thoughts like your own and Kitty O'Meara's.
    I pray they will come true. if ever before the phrase Keep Calm and Carry On was needed! to carry on with honor and generosity like those who originally followed the battle call. with kindness! XO

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  5. Beautiful post Pamela and so lovely to hear from you again. Stay well. xx

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  6. I was hoping that you would comment on current events. You have a way of getting to the essence of a topic. I don't know if you remember after the 2016 election I emailed you that, although the country may suffer (and suffer it has due to our "leadership"), the American people and now the global community has a way of rising above the fray. We make phone calls and casseroles and find ways of circumventing obstacles. We will do it again. However, the pandemic may take us a little longer to overcome...We have become accustomed to instant results; getting what we want when we want and being so very mobile. Funny how the world, Mother Nature, spirits like to remind us that we are not as in control as we think we are!

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  7. What a wonderful post...beautiful picture...beautiful quote. Thank you, Pamela. Stay healthy and be safe.

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  8. Thank you for your always thought provoking view on life and what is happening in our world. It always calms me.
    Best to you, the song writer and the 3 furry family members.
    xo,
    Karen

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  9. I live in Western Australia where we have lots and lots of black swans - but not a single white one! This picture must have been "photoshopped". I do get the message, though.

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  10. Thank you so very much for these beautiful words. xo

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  11. Like you, I believe this is a reckoning; unlike you, I am simply not confident anything will change as we spiral into chaos. As I am much older than you and much older, I think, than those others who post here, I am of the mind that this actually is the third reckoning for us in this country. IMO, the first was in November of 1963. The second on a September day nearly two decades ago. We are now in a reckoning that cannot be resolved by bailing out the wealthy (whether corporations or humans) and leaving the rest to die horrific deaths in this country of wealthy-always-first healthcare. And yes as do many others I've spoken "remotely" to, in the darkest recesses of my spirit I have reluctantly come to believe this: as a country and as a world, we deserved this.

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  12. Love your thoughts Pamela and those of Kitty. Sadly, I am not as optimistic as you. I hope I am wrong and you are right. Gaia is stirring and she will protect herself if we continue not to listen. In the meantime, like you, I fear for those small restaurants, gites, plant nurseries that I love. And I am deeply grateful for where we live in the depth of rural France with two dogs, where we have space, useful work (gardening), fresh air to breathe and beautiful views to nourish the soul. Stay safe.

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  13. Thanks for sharing that quote, so beautifully said. Peace.

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  14. Lovely post, Pamela. Yes, I hope we all emerge from this experience connected across the globe as a wiser and more loving species than recent years. Stay safe and well.

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  15. I shall not be able to think of this pandemic again without the image of a black swan haunting me.

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I love to read your comments! Each and every one! Though I'm always reading your comments, I may not respond in the comment section. If you want to write me directly, you may do so at pamela@pamelaterry.net. Thank you for reading!