Viral Social Horizons: Keeping Perspective Amid the Distorting Swirl

Amanda Bullock / March 23,2020

What curious days… I feel the gray of the day and the chaotic imposition as our times change. I feel the static in the air from the viral storm that has descended. I feel the void within the forced increase of ‘interpersonal social spacing’. I’m scared and lonely too.
This morning, I turned my head towards heaven and full of indignation (infused with despair) I stared into the belly of that great cloud above my head. Brazenly, I questioned Deity. I focused on my deep discontent as I railed against the moment. I saw only the black underbelly of the dark shroud as it parked above me.
I howled from my heart: “I am a Social Entity!”, “I require comfort!”, “I must have touch… I want to be nested with another through my Fear”.
And within me spoke a thought:… “be still and turn your gaze”. So, I pulled my indignant glare away, down from that belly of darkness, and looked instead at the Horizon. I saw that there were other dark places (and likely others howling into the cosmos as indignant as I). Over there, I saw mist falling. A little to the side of ‘there’ I saw rain. I noticed that in that moment I was dry. I saw too that there were gaps between the storms. Spaces of seeming calm between the clouds. Radiance passing into spaces and that it was all dynamic and moving. And although chaotic and foreboding, the landscape was neither black nor bleak, it was oddly balanced. Just not in the manner I wanted it to be. Not how I wanted it at all.
May I suggest beauty in a storm? Perhaps even in a virally emotional storm? Will the terror that floats, dark and gray above and within us, allow for perspective? Not if we do not change our orientation a little and look out at horizons. Each day dawns and it seems that with it the glacier has crept a little closer. I feel the icy fingers and the chilled hand of evil’s grasp. But just yesterday morning a stray beam of light struck a bloom outside my window – and it was, in and of itself, stunning. Within the swirl of chaos, nature chose to bloom. Within this realm of despair, I have choices too. So, in fact, do you.
I am certain that 400 words into this some of you are choosing offense. Truly, I mean none. I am not parading rainbows in empty metaphoric pageantry. It is not my intent to be so Uni-corny that my thoughts are insulting. Yes, I know that “Pie in the Sky” is an appropriate description of the crusted object that is about to strike your face… and yes, we seem to be in the midst of a global food fight. Thanks a lot nature! I did not require a pastry pandemic. Nor am I emotionally equipped for a viral one.
Yet I too may choose to flour. (Flower)
Within the confines of this time and space, I remain a social animal. I am frightened. I am concerned less for myself than for the ones I love – for I know that any loss of theirs touches me. And ironically here we are… afraid of being touched. And so desperate to be held, cradled and soothed. Look to your horizons. There are portals of opportunities that have not been taken from you.
Find comfort in giving comfort and solace in giving solace. This is the time to embrace, albeit with restrictions, the needful souls you cherish. And not just those you know. There are beings, worthy of being cherished that you have not yet met. We are stranded, together, in a social power outage. Scared of the dark. Each of us can be the candle! Light the space and let off a glow. Rekindle. Aspire!
When my kids were young, and the power went out, the four of us would play spin the bottle by candlelight. It was truly magical. Where will you find the magic tonight? For whom? Spin that bottle and do not be afraid of where it points.
I was visiting with my parents yesterday. I was staying my 6 feet away while sheltering my heart in their company. One of their neighbors came by and offered to make whatever purchases they might need so that they did not have to expose themselves to a virus that targets their age group with more severity. In his way, he touched them. He spun the bottle with the sweet ambient glow of his candle.
Who, besides you, is stranded for want of what you have an ample supply of? Perhaps your “Next Door” app is the pathway to the virtual hug your heart yearns for. And by simply giving the two rolls of Toilet Paper that resolves another’s angst. Touches their lives and brings a gift to yours as well.
How can we find solace and comfort?? Perhaps by looking past the surrounding shroud of gloom that we’ve draped ourselves in and seeing how we can offset the gloom of another. There must be a careful, creative, and conscientious manner through this – but we must not hoard our res, nor hide our hearts. For the capacities within us are refreshing springs, there to flow out – they are not items to be hidden.
Interpersonal Social Spacing is the test. Inter-social Creativity is the challenge. Caring for others so that your soul can be fed, and your heart bathed in blessing is the opportunities goal. Depth of connection, humanity, and small salvations are the reward. And it is our own salvation that we are activating here.
If you withdraw emotionally, shelter in place, hoard what you have and shrink from your humanity then the damage of these times will ripple across your heart. If you find the ways to safely give, altruistically choose another’s contentment, bless and caress in radiant ways. The echo of that giving can fuel a healing that our sequestered selves require. With our eyes towards horizons, our perspectives change. So do our lives – and the lives of those who also are social, scared and lonely.
There is a period of loss that looms before us. This must also be a period of grace. If we hide in the hovel of our hardened hearts and breath in only the fear that we exhale – we will choke on our own black cloud of doom. Socially we must be prudently distant. Emotionally we must find out how to connect, heal, adapt, share, and thrive. Together.