A week ago, my phone pinged. One of those Facebook PM things. I’ve been getting a lot lately – little gifs of cute cats, uplifting pictures of sunsets or seascapes, prayers in pretty fonts garlanded with flowers or rainbows, even the annoying ones that instruct you to send the flickering candle or whatever back to the sender and on to all the women/true friends/grandmothers etc. you know… Kind thoughts, sent with love – people doing what they can to connect. I send a smile icon back or a heart or whatever I feel will best please the sender so that I can then move on with my day.
Life at LIME Cottage right now is not Netflix, gin and scrolling through social media. It starts at 8.30 with lesson preparation (daily multi-age primary school phonics and English resources posted online for harassed parents – opentheboxweb.wordpress.com). God I hate phonics! A ridiculous system, but that is what the kids have been learning, so that’s what needs to be done. At 11am it’s a video call with the grandchildren. Their mum gets an hour to work from home unhindered while I chat, read stories, deliver the wretched phonics and writing, cram in a bit of maths and help the little ones to make some sense of the way the world is now. A quick lunch, a daily walk or burst of gardening then on to the afternoon job – sewing scrubs and gowns for a local care home. It’s all very organised in our town. The coordinator sends out packs of fabric and patterns via masked and gloved volunteer couriers and our team of makers gets to work, each in their own home, just as the spinsters and weavers of yore may have done in this very house before industrialisation came. My ‘working day’ ends at 4.30. I check on the salads and tomato seedlings growing around the house on sunny windowsills then put some dinner together.
So it was surprising, really, that I heard the ping. It was from a lady I’ve been in touch with for many years. One of those social media friends I’ve never met, and never will, but somehow feel I know. We exchange messages from time to time and, I confess, as I opened the file I was half expecting another cat picture. She likes cats. What I saw instead stopped me dead. It was this:
My words reflected back to me! She had sent me a screenshot of a passage I wrote all those years ago – back in 2012 – in my book LIFE: A Player’s Guide. No explanation came with them. Perhaps she had stumbled across the image and found it helpful, or perhaps she guessed that, at a time of such utter disempowerment, they were words I needed to be reminded of.
Either way, they worked. I was transported back to the time I wrote it, returned to a state of optimism and reminded that what I’m doing now is valid.
Let me go a bit deeper here.
You see I’ve known a world-changing disaster was coming for a long time (see last post for details). Stashed away somewhere in a cupboard upstairs is a rather expensive multi-use survival tool, some packs of waterproof matches and a self-sufficiency handbook. Their time may or may not come. I wasn’t expecting it to be this way, but I knew some cataclysm was heading inexorably towards us. My source was impeccable.
I’d been told that me being a teacher would be important at this time – hence the time-consuming daily lessons. I’ve been trying my best to follow the scant guidance I’d been given.
I was told more, though. I was told that although technology would remain in tact and be beneficial, ‘finance’ – the economy – would undergo seismic changes and this in turn would have a huge effect on people. It would, in fact multiply the changes occurring in society, leading to an attitude of altruism and general goodness prevailing over the cut-throat world of inequality, exploitation and global destruction.
It is that prediction which had been bothering me. I’d had 15 years to prepare for this. Now it was here, I fervently wanted to see that change. I read eloquent passages and watched inspiring videos from people around the world stressing that we must not return to the old ‘normal’, that we need to change and that Covid 19, for all it’s cruelty, was giving us all a chance to stop and wonder and see the disparity, foolishness and waste of our old world.
And what was I doing about it? Making a few bits of PPE for the local nursing home. Growing a bit of veg. Liking and sharing the positive ideas on social media. Tiny drops in the ocean – pathetic!
Reading that message from my friend (and myself), however, helped me to rediscover the bigger picture.
Yes, in terms of the physical self, there are limits. Once I begin to think of ‘me’ as thought and energy, though, everything changes. There are no limits to thought or energy. They are not confined within single individuals. Thought is a million times more contagious than any virus. It spreads through the aether, gathering energy and impetus from everyone who acknowledges and shares it. Once the intention that we choose these beneficial changes in our world has been held, it grows exponentially. It becomes our creation.
There is nothing – no multinational corporation, no bunch of self-serving policiticans, no reactionary lobbyist who can stand against the groundswell of opinion that is forming as we sit in our separate homes but combine our intent.
As I sit over my sewing machine this week, I will be pondering the deep and abiding changes that are happening in my thoughts, my energy and those of the world community around me.
Sonya Renee Taylor’s words express it perfectly:
‘We will not go back to normal. Normal never was. Our pre-corona existence was not normal other than we normalized greed, inequity, exhaustion, depletion, extraction, disconnection, confusion, rage, hoarding, hate and lack. We should not long to return, my friends. We are being given the opportunity to stitch a new garment. One that fits all of humanity and nature.’