My husband Art carries a camera on our daily morning stroll within the confines of our complex. He pauses often for a photograph, capturing incremental shifts of light on a flower or leaf with a closeup macro-lens.
I move at my own less-determined pace, like most of us are doing these days.
In quiet moments, when our conversation is interrupted, my contemplation is infused with uncertainty. How do we maintain the current awareness of our commonality and the physical separation we’re supposed to practice as we struggle to survive? And what kind of barriers will we end up creating between us in the process?
My steps often feel heavy with the demands of the route ahead. In a way, though, life has simplified as I learn to settle for much smaller goals.
Finding a research report that sounds promising. A story of kindness that touches the heart. A new diversion that offers some escape from the grieving of real and imagined loss. If I can make it at least one mile around the complex each morning instead of two, then I count that as progress. Just keep moving.
On the other hand, picturing the Race and Change work of bringing people together across cultures and differences in this new world of social distancing and self-isolation has been a challenge. Until this morning’s jaunt.
For the first time in a couple of months, my walk becomes a little quicker as new ideas spring up and bounce lightly ahead of my usual thoughts.
We are nothing if not resilient. Against the backdrop of this global drama, we go about our lives continuing to deal with the personal crises of living, from broken faucets to crumbling relationships to shattered dreams and still make plans for the future, the when-this-is-over time, looking forward against all odds.
We are re-inventing ourselves. New ideas, new niches, and new possibilities always emerge from the rubble for those who are open to change.
And when the inevitable longing for reconnection reoccurs there will be tentativeness and a new level of socially-prescribed differences to confront. Call it a re-integration. We’ll have to figure out – again – how to deal with this version of differences, and what we can we learn from history to help us now.
Then it hits me: This is Race and Change: The Future.
Presentations on video. New stories of resiliency and re-invention. The Agents of Race and Change Award for youth with an online theme. Who knows yet how and when we will re-integrate, in person, together? But for now, somehow, the work will continue.
Like the soft-focused swirls and angles of Art’s snapshots in the morning light, the ideas linger to play around with for the rest of the day.