We live in a 100+ year old house with the auspicious house number of 108 and to describe it as 'charming' is the understatement of the century. (Literally!) We have lived in this home for over 20 years and feel like we know it intimately. This house trusts us. And yet we know it stood proud for 80+ years before we even knew it existed. These days, 108 shelters-us-in-place quite nicely, all 1,400 square feet of it. And once again, it's curious to imagine that people lived in these walls through the JFK assassination, which occurred right up the street from our house. And then sometime prior to World War II, there was the time the then-owner turned it into a duplex. Not to mention the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918. This was a brand new home during that era!
As you may imagine, maintaining 108 can be challenging, incredibly imperfect and yet we are completely and totally in love with her - cracks, creaky floorboards and everything. We have such fond memories of music parties in our living room with friends and strangers alike, Full Moon Salons, birthday parties, swami talks, epic dinner parties with friends and family and the abiding sense of 'home' to our two children. Our son was even born right here at home over 19 years ago in the same bedroom we still sleep in. Pre-pandemic we would host our Meditation Group in our living room on Sunday mornings. And who can forget some of our house guests on the sleeper sofa over the years? "It's not often you get to sleep by an altar" my dear friend Julia once said about crashing on our living room couch for a few days.
Sister Coronavirus has supported our efforts quite nicely to spruce up the place. We don't have a lot of money to spend on these small scale renovations so they end up being quite lackluster by some people's standards. Below is a video I made of our living room which recently underwent a deep clean and upgrade. We spent several days carefully cleaning, painting and wallpapering this space (ceiling too!) and are now enjoying the fruits of our labor. This is my favorite room of the house and makes me smile. It's always clean. It always welcomes me. It always shines. It's a 'hug' at the front door each and every time I come and go. A friend of ours even calls our living room 'The Burrow' (yes, just like the Weasley's).
Anyway, enjoy this 'virtual tour' from my inner nine year old as a break from whatever you're doing online right now. Come inside. Stay a minute. Look at some of the cool sticks, stones, feathers and shells we've collected. I'd have you over for tea in a hot second if I could, you know.
May it be so.
What if the violence and clashing we're witnessing is really about an unmet desire for physical connection? What if the psychology of 'the bully' archetype so rampant in certain communities is really about a deep fear of being unacceptable? I wonder what would a proactive intervention, simply as a thought experiment, with a bully look like?
Here are my working thoughts on this topic. Or, perhaps this is how I'm trying to cope, who knows.
I ruminate these things as an ongoing, personal thought experiment. For example, I wonder what might happen if the peace that passes all understanding were to unveil gracefully in the hearts of those who participated in the Capitol Riots? Oooo, or better yet, Donald J. Trump himself?
What if we were to collectively launch a thought experiment where we envisioned forgiveness, regrouping and consistency with a prayer for peace? Just like ball players do before a big game. They imagine specific drills and shots so that when the time comes, they are at-the-ready. What if we got "at-the-ready" for transformed hearts? What amazing heroism could be revealed for humanity? As a platform to move forward with minimal resentment. To recalibrate. To ultimately heal.
It doesn't mean accountability isn't called for or necessary. In fact, quite the contrary. All I'm suggesting is that these steps (for me) allow a path to move forward without poisoning my own heart.
May it be so.