Within You


“Within yourself is a stillness,
a sanctuary to which you can retreat at any time and be yourself.”
- Hermann Hess

Since last Monday I have been staring at the whiteness of each “new document” I open. The words do not come. I try again. Same. Me, the one who talks a lot and always tries to have something meaningful to say, now silenced.

I have heard this : The answers come in stillness. I know it’s true- and so I sat. And waited.
Six days passed. 13 weeks have passed since the Thursday we left the office.

So much has happened. My home of 42 years feels far away- she has been ravaged and besieged –. I feel guilty for not being there to defend her, she is my longest relationship. There are signs she will heal. I was there in the late 70’s when things were similar- for different reasons, but then I saw her through the eyes of an excited and inspired 19- year-old, and everything seemed possible. The grace felt more than the grit – and I felt part of something- a certain time in history that I knew was a birthing. It did not feel as it does now, even though this, too is a birthing. She is resilient and strong- and with all her complexity, she will find her way. She is and always will be the mother of who I became – and who I am.

I will have been in 4 homes since that day in March, and I am still journeying. I don’t find that there is happiness in any one place – just the joy I find in moments. The surreal blending with the discoveries of a new time and a new way of being.

I have witnessed and felt the shifts in so many people’s lives. Change brought on by a biological beast, like a Tsunami, forcing us inward- lives lost, and data coming at us – as if we could take solace in it.

The raging demands for a stop to inequality, senseless brutality, and loss of life -is no coincidence- once again, voices crying out against a history of tyranny- a reckoning with questions and so few answers.

We are processing. We may wish or want to act– but we may be slow to do so, we are finding our way- we are trying to adapt, we are wondering, we are curious - what lies beyond today? We are wrapped in the arms of both faith and uncertainty, forces of nature, and humanity, of life and death, dilemma, and the need for action as we search for the way forward.

Our industry, too, must find its way through this- discomfort, and being with the unknown for what feels like an eternity. Impermanence being the only truth – and the very real losses of both lives and livelihood- and that part of being human, that we deeply dislike change and the unknown- even when it is born of necessity- we are not without that grief too.

As plans are now in place to move from the cocoons we have woven, into modified worlds into which we will crawl and eventually fly- how close to home must we stay? How far can we venture? Who are we once we emerge? How high can we go? What will it all look and feel like? Will the lights be brighter? Will the streets sound louder? Will people be kinder? Will the protests bring change? Will my masks obscure the smile I am trying to offer? Will my hands be washed enough? Will I hug the children I’ve not seen in months, my parents whom I want to hold ? What and whom do I trust?

I know from the life I’ve lived that I can do better than survive. I know how to live with uncertainty, and I know a little about faith- the belief in that for which there is no evidence.
And now, I know a lot about going inward, and about stillness. I don’t know for certain, much else.

From Pandemic, to protest, from hand to heart, from life to life…ebbing and flowing-
And knowing resilience from the inside out. 

Maybe next week, I’ll know more. 

Our client Karen Ziemba shared this song – “RESILIENT “- originally written for a new musical MATA HARI, the songwriters thought it was a good anthem for these times performed by actors from the Broadway community and health care professionals with great singing chops.


photo of walkway in trees

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