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this pandemic is a big ole mirror, reflecting back to us the truth of who we are–the good, the bad, the ugly. one of the reflections is of our broken, inequitable systems that favor some while harming others. there is disproportionate harm being done based on these systems that we’ve created, upheld, and participated in. for some, this is nothing new–a truth lived and well known.

for others, this is a hard truth and one we want to turn away from. and in turning away, a question that is asked is, “what can i do?” this question is human. this question is valuable. especially in crisis. there are needs that must be met. now.

and this question of “what can i do?” keeps us from asking other questions. it keeps us in the same pattern of response. the kind of response that maintains status quo where there are fixers and those being fixed. and even now, under lockdown, we are reacting with doing and doing and doing…virtualizing our lives.

i’m wondering, how might we generate a different response?

how can some of us in this system hold sacred space and resources to generate a different kind of response to this crisis? one that might sow the seeds for a different future? set our course on a different path?

it will require some of us to take a good look in the mirror. to be uncomfortable. to experience dis-ease.

there is great suffering. there is great sadness. great grief. and there will be more. much more, i am afraid. and we must bear witness. and some of us will experience the suffering more than others–as is always the case. this will hurt, too, knowing that some will be sacrificed. as is always the case. and if we bear witness, perhaps it will mean something different. can we pay attention? can we stay awake? so that we can generate a different response?

and what might like this response even look like?

as our economy has been halted, there’s been opportunity to experience a different form of economy emerge–moving from market/transactional to a more relational/gift economy–where friends are creating with friends offerings to the world, where neighbors labor for neighbors. these experiences offer me inspiration as i imagine other possibilities, other responses.

as i look into this mirror myself, i see that in my commitment to generating a different response, i am still holding onto habitual responses. even as my family is quarantined at home–my three children and middle-school principal hubby–it has taken two weeks for a slow integration of all my/our “selves”. the lines between “work” and “family” and “personal” and “professional” were more solid than i realized. as these boundaries dissolve away, i’m slowing learning to weave into my mothering and family life all the pieces of myself, to stop relying on the school to teach my children, my church to spiritually form my kiddos, for the system to care for my family. as a white, privileged human, i am beginning to feel ownership and responsibility of my life in a whole different way…a different response is beginning to stir within me and manifest into the chaotic, messy days that are unfolding, in our home.

there are things that need to be done as we face this pandemic, yes.

and mama earth, spirit, has gifted many of us most privileged and resourced with the order to freakin’ stay at home, sit our asses down, and look in the mirror.

my prayer is that we can truly receive this gift.

and generate a gift, new life, in turn.

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