NOVEMBER 23, 2020
It's that time of year. For some, this holiday is all about family, gatherings, taking stock. For others, this season conjures ancestral trauma due to oppression and loss imposed by the fore-fathers of this country. Both are part of being American, both are woven into our history. It helps to be sensitive to this paradox. This year, it's even more complicated. The CDC has asked us not to gather due to rising Covid numbers. Most cases are coming from small indoor gatherings. Transportation hubs are concerning because of crowds. Each represents the potential demise of loved ones, neighbors, friends, any who share enclosed spaces. This time of year we're asked to think communally. That is part of being American too. We pay taxes for the common good - roads, hospitals, schools, social security. Managing the big picture alone isn't possible, we need each other for that. Community is also the foundation of all spiritual beliefs. Synergistically we find that when we give, we tend to receive. There is rarely a tit-for-tat but the pattern is hard to miss. Call it Karma. Call it reciprocity. It is the nature of being. You reap what you sow. You get what you give. Life is what you make of it, etc. Covid has made us confront the concept of community. What does it mean to be part of one? Do we have responsibilities outside of our own? Covid has reached into every corner of the world, into every system that draws lines around our differences, every income level, every gender, every ethnicity, every age. Covid marks us all as human, all as vulnerable. In lockdown, our focus was reduced to food, shelter, purpose, loved ones. Covid asked us how much we really need and whether rugged individualism always serves us? The questions are relevant on both a personal and global level. What do we owe those we encounter daily and what do we owe the planet? Whatever brought Covid it into being, it's hard to deny its presence. Most know someone sickened either long or short term. Most know the fear that follows its compounding numbers. Luckily life has a symmetry to it. Cells in all living things turned over constantly. Transformation and regeneration are not only the norm, they are necessary. Old ways of thinking put us on a collision course with the planet ... and each other. It's easy to compartmentalize when things don't affect us personally. The fact that Covid is happening on a global scale is not a coincidence. Covid is personal. My guess is that in a few years, we'll look back and have some clarity. It's possible we'll even be thankful. ***Remember to reach out to those who might be alone this holiday season. Let's try to drop our differences, even if it's just for a day. Who knows, maybe it will become a habit. On the art front: I'm thankful for being included in the exhibition Home Room at Radiator Gallery, curated by Audra Lambert, Editor-In-Chief of ANTE magazine. I'll be performing on December 16th. You'll be able to watch it live on Instagram, so follow Radiator and mark your calendars. A second iteration of the exhibition will happen in real life in the spring. Details in previous post. Please note that the Spiral Herbal Remedies shop will be closed this week. We will reopen on Saturday. You can still order online at www.donnacleary.net. Shipments will be a bit delayed due to the holiday.