Change can be exhausting, frightening, unnerving. It can also be exhilarating, welcomed, a relief. But, for many of us who are living life with coronavirus being front of mind, change seems constant and the pressure to stay above water and ahead of the ball, taxing.
So how do we as artists, professionals, ministers, leaders, employees, and teammates create, work, and live when rules about social distancing, when to seek medical attention, and how and when to apply for emergency funds change almost daily?
How do we create space to catch our breath and gain perspective when we feel we're being chased by something invisible that crosses borders without a passport and sees no color, age, gender, or social status? It shows no mercy.
I was wrapping up facilitating a two-day retreat when the news broke of the spread of the virus within the US. I had contemplated how I wanted to end our time together. On what note did I want to leave everyone? Something in celebration of their hard work and commitment? Or something for them to take as a nugget? How was their concern about the coronavirus going to play into my decision?
I decided to stick with a poem that came to mind during my planning process -- William Stafford's "The Way it Is." These following lines from the poem are what I emphasized to this group and what I want to share with you:
There’s a thread you follow. It goes among
things that change. But it doesn’t change...
Nothing you do can stop time’s unfolding.
You don’t ever let go of the thread.
Just as I asked the team during the close of the retreat, I am asking you to think about your own thread. What is it that isn't changing, that won't change, in the midst of uncertainty? What will you continue to hold on to? What will give you strength, and perhaps, even guidance?
Maybe it's something you don't even think of because is it such a part of who you are, but I want you to name it, to thank it, to honor it, and to be renewed and reassured by it, knowing that no matter what around you changes, somethings -- that you can rely on -- will always be present.