“There are voices which we hear in solitude, but they grow faint and inaudible as we enter into the world.” —-Ralph Waldo Emerson
Corona, I curled my hair today for you. For the second time ever, St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church live-streamed services. Like everyone else, I stayed home. I curled my hair anyway.
Yesterday I cooked and froze enough food for four women; it will serve me well should you render me ill and unable to get out. The time for preparedness is now. It could happen.
We dash about in this country, seeking-what? Safety? Success? Money? Toilet paper? Entertainment? Inclusion? A Tribe? What we need now is to change our focus to something that provides a tiny reminder of where we place our faith. We eventually must choose what we cling to, fear, and things that will fade away, or something deeper, something sacred-like wonder.
To that end, I submit the below; please go to your respective happy places.
I learned a couple weeks ago from my Optometrist that I am a “half blinker.” Who knew there were half blinkers? What does this mean? Am I afraid I am going to miss the wonder, so I subconsciously refuse to give in to a full blink? I think maybe so.
I wish I had the vision of a Mantis shrimp. According to a report by NPR, with sixteen cones in the retina of the eye, the Mantis shrimp sees more color than any living creature, colors we do not know, and cannot imagine. They are followed by butterflies with five cones, birds with four, we have three, and dogs have two.
Recently I was about to pass over a railroad track when I noticed a little bird sitting on the track. As I approached, he did not move. He looked about, left and right, and then he looked down. He did not take flight. He jumped down into that space between the concrete and the rail. He expanded his vision! I drove over, and he reclaimed his post atop the track.
This is perhaps why pigeons are sent on search missions, they are masters of vision and color detection! Birds are tetrachromats with four cones in the retina, which enable them to recognize the opposite sex, seeing colors we cannot, like ultraviolet. Some people have faulty or missing cones, which results in “color blindness,” a genetic predisposition. A select few humans are tetrachromats, like birds, and are able to see colors the rest of us do not.
No matter our level of visual dexterity, we share an inner vision, spirit’s nudging, prompting, speaking to us. Let’s not permit insidious chaos and fear to pilfer our inner gifts of wonder, intuition, calm judgment, and faith. I am not suggesting adopting rose-colored Pollyanna vision, but vision based on maturity, experience, and on a new openness to multi-sensory perception.
Nora Gallagher, writer of the memoir, “Moonlight Sonata at the Mayo Clinic,” says, “Sometimes I think that faith is only about increasing our peripheral vision, our peripheral hearing.” I agree.
We increase our peripheral vision with immersion in prayer, meditation, contemplation, and journaling; we certainly have time now. This only requires willingness and focused engagement.
In these sequestered days, we can actively participate, engage, not sit about, and stew. Faith is born of engagement. The journaling, writing helps clarify everything. Uncertain what you think or feel about something? Write about it, and you’ll know.
We have time to let the sediment sink to the bottom, to clear the stream. All it takes is willingness to see differently. When we expand our view, there is so much to see! Spirit is constantly competing to get our attention, to aid our discernment, amuse us, calm us, and strengthen our resolve.
Trouble is, we let fear and lower-level thinking run ram shod. We stop noticing, stop seeing, stop recognizing, stop hearing, and stop engaging. Or, we can go ahead and curl our hair anyway.