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The Daily Hope

Is There a Net Below?

It’s piling up. The affect of all the uncertainties stacked one upon another: When can we have friends over for dinner again? When can I safely sing with my friends again? How long can my employer keep paying me a full salary for half-time hours? Will we be living in a democracy two days from now – or two years? Does the burning Amazon rainforest already signal the end of biological life as we have known it?

The cumulative affect is a surreal sense of floating in space, untethered by what small reassurances of normality and stability the “old life” offered… they were few enough, and even pre-pandemic I felt the future as a cloudy blur, lacking any sense of what was next for me or the world in general. I’d made my peace with that – which was good training for these times, uncertainty on steroids.

I long to pull the covers over my head and stay there, but life is asking for something else. If need be, my purpose today will be to make a nice dinner for myself and my fiance. One thing I can say for these times we’re in, they’ve greatly improved my cooking skills.

I know I’m not alone in this feeling. I’m tuned into a myriad of conversations about the change in paradigms, the end of separated, materialistic human culture focused on acquisition and power, transforming into … what? I have high hopes for our collective future, and plan to hold those hopes near to my heart no matter what events unfold in the coming days, months and years. But meanwhile, I feel like a blind trapeze artist flying through space, the rope of the past behind me and unrecoverable, groping forward towards a place unknown. I wish I could claim credit as a bold explorer willingly hurtling into the wild blue yonder, but the truth is that I’m here only because the rope of the past broke off in my hands…. like it did for most people.

So, is there a net below?

There is, but it’s not below, it’s inside. Below are any number of structures that look like nets, but I wouldn’t trust a one of them to hold together for very long. Even from this height I can see how badly frayed they are; my body weight, dropping any distance under an acceleration of 9.8 m/sec2, will go through that like through wet tissue paper.

Inside is the net of my hope, of a vision for how we can live in this world, strong and resilient in the face of any evidence that we’re all on an express bus to the abyss. That strength doesn’t come from me, I’m just the lucky recipient. It’s how I experience the soft but infinitely strong hands of the Divine, holding us aloft, the love that keeps time ticking and washes the world in fresh green after each winter. It’s the shared heritage of all embodied souls: We all come from there, we all are that no matter how we think or feel any given moment. That’s my safety net – even if I have to remind myself every five minutes that it’s there, while my scaredy-cat human self awaits the next election – or the next whatever – in nail-biting anxiety.

I don’t believe we were put in these bodies to separate from the experience of being in these bodies. We can live in wrenching heartbreak for the pain of the world and still trust that all pain points towards healing. We can fear the future – while holding that it’s not the future we’re experiencing, it’s our own fear in the present… and connecting, in whatever way possible, to the place in us that knows life is purposeful – and if life is purposeful, then the void through which we now fly is the necessary space within which the new way of the world will be shaped.

Come, let us weave our nets together.

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