The full moon, lit candles, and echoes of the local church bells have been my regiment, my go to amid this nightmare of COVID-19, reminding me there is a higher power. The acronym, COVID-19, is now a part of the global psyche. It emanates trauma that seeps through the underbelly of society, until there’s a vicious reminder on the surface. It’s the abuser that goes unnoticed in plain sight until the perpetrator is discovered for heinous crimes. I, myself, consistently develop mantras so as not to be blinded by the allure of its nature, the temptation to see ourselves as being unprotected and to engage in self-destructive practices. Its gaze penetrates every being on this planet and Mother Earth waits for us to acknowledge our part in its existence. I’ve discovered myself in the process of purging, acknowledging, and relinquishing my fears in the face of COVID-19. It’s ok to be alone. But are you alone? It’s ok to be confused. But why are you confused? It’s ok to be human in an uncertain world knowing the new normal will consistently evolve as you evolve, allowing your heart to be open to receive what’s in store.
I’ve witnessed families united for the first time, voices heard, and relationships forged amid this dreaded disease. Injustices across the world have become magnified and I couldn’t turn away from the turbulence of the storm. I realized pain that was specific to each generation was being aired for the world to see. And, further I saw that their pain was my pain, as I sit quarantined in Bed Stuy, where we had the highest concentration of COVID. The Band-Aid was ripped off unleashing angst of centuries and revealing deprivation, brutality, and trauma that we were told did not exist. COVID-19 penetrated the system already raw with the memories of slavery, racism, and poverty. I realized I am a storyteller guided by my ancestors, fearlessly breaking down barriers and embracing my global community in its commonality. As our community’s respiratory system is being compromised physically, it is emblematic of our mental and spiritual compression as we scream “I Can’t Breathe”.
Today I map my plan, mask up, six feet distance, intuition and discernment turned up as I walk these city streets. Exiting my Brooklyn walkup, I wave at the Senior citizen diligently sweeping the sidewalk, nod at the guys on the corner talking about current events and remind myself that the gaze of love behind my mask will have to be enough for now. The breath behind the mask continues to feel limiting and foreign, but I’m learning how to smile more with my eyes, reminding me the “eyes are the window to the soul”. My hypothesis of the breath through words, deeds, and intentions continues to unfold as I engage in this new interaction, this new way of being. Somehow it feels that this is nothing new, but that it’s being rediscovered through the foundations of past generations. As our heart continues to find its path to breath, the path that’s being revealed will meet our needs to overcome obstacles. Our power is reclaimed through our breath.