It took some time but reality has finally hit me. I have watched images of the state of our current world with tears rolling down my cheeks. The breadth and the depth of what is happening is actually quite unfathomable. And what is ingenious about it is that we are each affected in our unique ways, where we are most vulnerable. For some it may be health, for others, it may be something else.
Having grown up in Paris, I have been shaped by a very urban environment. As a child, my mother would take me to Notre Dame to light a candle, or visit the Picasso Museum for an afternoon outing. We would holiday to other countries, and for my family, exploring Spain meant visiting Barcelona and its cathedral. My husband laughs that at a very tender age, I knew the ins and outs of most European casinos including the one in Monte Carlo (there were no age limits then) but not once had I gone camping.
So it is no surprise then that today, rather than connecting to the wilderness, I tend to be drawn towards people and the man-made world. Hence my love and appreciation of all that is civilisation; architecture, design, art, history, culture, cuisine, religion, philosophy, language inducing, thought provoking, the entrepreneurial and the political.
And here I am watching the loss of all that I find beauty in. It is heart-wrenching. I feel for the cities - Paris, New York, and my own - Sydney - that are left deserted and have no-one to hold. I feel for the people who have lost their livelihood and are struggling to feed their loved ones. I feel for families where many are confined in a small space. And those who cannot afford the technology they need to learn, study, distract or entertain. I feel for situations that breed violence upon women and children (those images were so unbearable, I fast-forwarded but the thought alone is haunting). I feel for businesses who are failing, and I am so relieved to hear about what Bill Gates is achieving. I feel for politicians who are struggling to find solutions and I am so grateful that France has announced they have completely cancelled Africa’s debt. I feel for the people of my beloved India, and countries in the third world where there is no health care, infrastructure nor social security - I cannot even imagine what confinement looks like when you have no home to isolate in?
I hear people say “we are all in this together”; and because I am quite literal in my use of words, I would like to disagree. I think many of us cannot begin to understand what many others are living right now. But if we allow ourselves to feel - and perhaps this is the divine plan of isolation, to have the space to feel - each and everyone one of our heartbreaks, then just maybe, between us, we have the whole world and its many causes, covered.
So I will take all that falls under Human Creativity into my heart, and hold it there tenderly. Perhaps with time, some courage will blossom, enough for me to contribute to that cause even in small ways.
What will you take into your heart?
Feel free to share it in the comments below (I would love to know) and send blessings to that each and every day and see what blooms for you.
I leave you with a quote from Rumi:
“Keep breaking your heart until it opens”