This pandemic is preposterous, painful. It’s unnerving not knowing our future. Still, humans often make the greatest progress in the face of major obstacles and even despair. This is an ominous time, pushing us to review what’s not working in our world.
It’s a spacious time to reflect. Whether we make small changes or large ones, we review and try to repair, while attempting to recover from setbacks. We attempt to adapt to change and persevere in the face of adversity. Whether we’re soothed by the salve of silence, fumbling with our computers, filing for unemployment, wondering where we’ll be in six months, applying for the few jobs out there, relocating, getting a counselor, food stamps, sleeping more, canceling that trip to Europe, catching up on a pile of books, or finishing a project, we’re all missing social contact.
After the horror of the recent wildfires, Covid-19 is beyond discombobulating. We thought nothing of grocery shopping with a mask on during the fires, but now we look like we’re running from war – which we are.
Touch is hard come by while we face farcical, contradictory, tragic news, weird rules, or loony-tunes politicians. It’s hard to digest what’s happening while we hear that dead people get stimulus checks, golf courses open with 80 percent wealthy white men, and retailers hang on by their fingernails.
I know some people are wallowing in free time, but it’s all getting to me. I’m talking to myself more. Embarrassingly, I caught myself in the shower talking to my feet. I realized that I’d never really thanked them. Gratitude and grief can both come with quiet time.
I started telling them how appreciative I was that they’ve carried me through life. They seemed so far away, way down there.
I chuckled, maybe the glass of wine earlier loosened me up. “Hello there, you cute little feet. Thanks for holding me up. I don’t mean to look down on you.” I remembered all the hard work they had done over the years, carrying luggage through airports, jogging up steep hills, struggling in tall platform shoes. My mind wandered to the world suffering, with struggles everywhere in the world. Then, I realized I was ignoring my feet again. I wondered if this was why I’m single… I couldn’t even commit my total attention to my feet.
I don’t mean to pussy foot around. But, memories and reflection flow through us when we slow down. I flashed back on the romance of wearing satin high heels but how they destroyed my arches. How could I do that to them? I remembered those rosy red five-inch heels upside down in bed with a partner of the past.
I’m sure we’re all off balance sometimes and full of gratitude at others. I said good night to my sweet feet: “Even with your rough edges, I hope you never felt stepped on. I’ve respected you all these years.” Fortunately they didn’t respond.
I felt deeply grateful to have had such good footing. So many courageous people live without mobility, in wheelchairs, and bound to bed rest for years.
So, while trying to get back on our feet in this pandemic, all I can say is, keep taking the next step.