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the muscle of our collective spirit

I have a muscular intimacy with my bathroom door.

What I mean is this: When I close the door I sort of fling it shut behind me as I walk in. And I realized the other day that the amount that I push the door is fine-tuned to the precise amount of push needed for the door to latch without slamming.

Now, if the window is open the pressure in the room is different and the door shuts with much less push. And I know this. I know it in my muscle. I know how to interact with the weight of the door, with the friction of the hinges, and with the pressure of the room. It’s an instinctual, muscular knowledge.

With regular visits to my bathroom, over time, I have gained the innate ability to apply the appropriate muscle required to the task of shutting the door according to the situation and variables at hand. I’m amazing at it.

And it’s comforting to experience this one instance of familiarity with my place and with what’s required of me. Because most of the rest of life feels pretty off right now.

The weight of the world right now is not familiar. The pressure in the room is unprecedented. And it’s hard to know what’s required.

For many, the abundance of stillness and spaciousness is disorienting. And there’s a new variety of overwhelm as the nature of work shifts.

I know for some the risks and demands of their work have increased. Others are losing opportunities to work. The landscape of home-life is terra nova. And waves of uncertainty lap and recede, lap and recede, leaving blank the etchings of our previous plans drawn in the sand.

I don’t know how each of us ought to reorient to our new and shifting realities. But I am confident in our human ability, propensity even, to gradually, day-by-day, together muscle our way into knowing and being and renewing our world.

Confidence means to be with faith. And that’s what I’ve got right now. Faith in the muscle of our collective spirit, and a sturdy hope that we’ll keep on figuring out how to put it to use.


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