- Glenn Sonnenberg
Musings from the Bunker 4/12/20
I hope everyone enjoys their Easter feasts…
“It’s horrible and we can allow our souls to breath.” (emphasis added)
I read this quote (I’ve forgotten the attribution) early during this crisis and decided to save it for the right time. Now that we’re a month in, it seems right. Our lives have been thrown into unfamiliar territory. These words speak to the challenges of treating this situation seriously, coping with the changes in our lives, and acknowledging the sufferings of others, yet not allowing this to consume us.
The news offers one tragic story after another, with the occasional “uptick” that the curve is flattening. There is the relentless calculation and recalculation of reported cases, hospitalizations and deaths—as well as predictions of future body counts. It’s hard to be both mindful of the situation and at the same time avoid it becoming all-consuming. In the midst of all the self-help messages, the in-home work-out regimens, new book lists, on-line gatherings, and limitless entertainments, anxiety is at the fore. We don’t know what lies ahead—it is uncharted territory for everyone. These words suggest that we can hold two seemingly contradictory thoughts in our minds simultaneously. We can acknowledge that things may feel horrible from time to time; yet we must find the time to allow our souls to breathe.
With this thought on my mind, I took a walk this week, paying particular attention to the small things. The birds were chirping (are there more chicks in the branches this year, or am I just more attuned to the world around me?), the sky seemed a little bluer than before, it was warm and quiet, I was with loved ones. The world was just waking up. It is a struggle, but we all must find the proverbial “calm in the storm,” experiencing nature, joy, and love in challenging times. We cannot allow the horrible to suffocate the soul.
MARGARET MEAD ON CIVILIZATION
Mark Greenfield sent this wonderful quote from Margaret Mead, appropriately inspiring for this weekend of Easter and Passover:
Years ago, anthropologist Margaret Mead was asked by a student what she considered to be the first sign of civilization in a culture. The student expected Mead to talk about fishhooks or clay pots or grinding stones.
But no. Mead said that the first sign of civilization in an ancient culture was a femur (thighbone) that had been broken and then healed. Mead explained that in the animal kingdom, if you break your leg, you die. You cannot run from danger, get to the river for a drink or hunt for food. You are meat for prowling beasts. No animal survives a broken leg long enough for the bone to heal.
“A broken femur that has healed is evidence that someone has taken time to stay with the one who fell, has bound up the wound, has carried the person to safety and has tended the person through recovery. Helping someone else through difficulty is where civilization starts," Mead said.
ENOUGH WITH THE PASSOVER HUMOR…WHAT ABOUT EASTER?
“When it rains look for rainbows, when it's dark look for stars.”
Wishing you a wonderful Sunday and Easter holiday,