Thomas Lawrence Toscano
I hope you are all doing well. Some of the pictures that will accompany today's blog are about my most recent activities. That is - if my generator holds out - it's stopped twice tonight - I believe the air filter needs to be cleaned-which points me to creating new deep cycle batteries - for - I truly shouldn't be relying so much on this generator - then I'll need some solar panels - all things in their time. I've held off on these two items for I still haven't completed all of the interior walls and ceiling of the cabin. I'm having trouble getting lumber - and - with the Jeep showing it's age more and more - I've been rather just letting things flow as they will.
This all leads me to a simple reality. "New Normal" - I listened to the radio most of the day as I was working outside. Gathering wood, cutting it, splitting it, getting the luncheon fire up to cooking levels, working on my tents they are leaking so new tarps seems to have helped all of that out for the moment. Also, I worked on the driveway - it's rut heaven - and it was fun - like being a little kid - as I sought to convince the water to escape the ruts and run on down the road. After doing this for a while - I decided to go back up to the top of my property and began to work with wood. They had called for rain and it was spritzing - which means that everything was wet, so finding wood that would be useful was not an easy task. (I've become rather adept at such things).
So - as I was working - I stepped into the cabin and after a moment or two I looked outside. There it was, snow was beginning - of course it was - and it snowed ALL DAY! it was a lot more fun than rain, I'll tell you that.
Anyway, back to the point of today's blogpost. As I was listening to the radio - I heard time and time again people using two phrases - "...this too shall pass..." and "...new normal..."
To say that this is a major planetary event is to describe very accurately what is going on. This is happening to the entire PLANET! How often does that happen. More than you might imagine - yet - let's just agree that this situation is both unique and massive. Most of us are at home. And, what are we doing?
Well, hopefully you, as I, are able to spend time in nature. Take time for things that you've constantly found yourself giving up, even though it was quite important to you. What's my point - simple. What you think - what you repeat - what you focus upon is exactly what you are going to experience. LABELS!
So, here's a little bit of a challenge - ask yourself the question - "What if I stopped labeling?".
A great teacher of mine once gave me a task. He advised me to look at my baby grand piano and to refrain from immediately hearing or thinking it's "name". Piano. Just look at it and listen - allow it to speak to you. Allow yourself to encounter it in a new, different, way.
Fascinating how instantly there are new phrases that everyone is to use. "New Normal" (not a new phrase yet a new situation) and "This Too Shall Pass". Yes, also not a new phrase - however - watch how it becomes ever present in the days to come.
My desire for you all is to make significant changes in your lives. Come to significant awareness about yourselves and your lives. Appreciate the little things - the way I heard people describing what they miss. Such longing - such passion for a beer and the beach. Or, that restaurant and it's signature dish. Etc. etc.
Start - as always - with a question - in this case What would happen if I didn't label everything? For those phrases above are labels. They are catch phrases, dismissals - easy quips - that do what? Help some journalists and radio personalities, certainly. Heat up the twitter feed hashtag this, hashtag that. Yet, in the repetition comes a disconnect that helps no one.
I'm not truly commenting on modern technology, I'm speaking directly to each one of you. This is a global event. It is rare in so many ways, AND, it is a planetary opportunity!
Yes, this comes out of a place or the place where I find myself. Where I can flow with what happens. Guess what - my generator stopped two more times tonight, and, rather than give up. I got in the car, drove through the snow into town to a place where I have permission to sit and work and that's what I'm doing. Sitting here - writing to you. Am I happy about my generator stopping? No. Mostly because it opens old ideas and beliefs from my teenage years, "..what happened with this - what happened with that.." and the ever present "Of course it's your fault - who's fault is it?". So, yes, I have another opportunity to stand and let go of that reality. To understand that mechanical things have a mind of their own and in perfect synchronicity it's sent me down off my heavily forested higher elevation, through snow covered mud into town. Picture perfect our town is - it is, no kidding..
That's our post office and town hall!
So, labels. What if there was no seeking out of the normal? What if instead of waiting for something to pass, you were able to join with the moment. Join with the situation that you find yourself in. Please do understand, that I realize, very personally, that many are suffering. The truth of it is - many are suffering all the time. As Daniel said to me a few days ago, "..people die every day, we pay attention when we know them".
It is scary, it is challenging, it does require a great deal of patience. Some are having a very difficult time. Some are having a less difficult time and some are utilizing each moment as fully as they can. Creating different routines, finding wonderful joys in each day. This is not me the pollyanna kid, I have never been that. Basically, I'm simply suggesting that the adoption of catch phrases and joining in the crowd to utilize some communal salve could very well rob you of the most important moments in our lifetimes.
Has anyone alive even come close to this? Perhaps some experiences behind the old iron curtain or in some other country could have, in the past, compared to this moment, however, on the global scale, no. Even the great fires in California and Australia this summer did not have the magnitude of what we now live. Yes, it was horrible and the reality of it continues to unfold, the destruction, unimaginable. And, that brings up another point - do the fires have anything to do with the virus? Well, symbolically it does. Fires, extreme heat, very fast moving and fever - high fever in fact, swift changes and finally the lungs. Well, have you ever heard of forests ( the Amazon) as being the lungs of the earth? Scorched lungs?
We and everything else we experience are connected. That you can count on. Deny it if you will, it doesn't make it any less true. Take this time, I know it's hard, I know it may seem as if it's all just insignificant and you can't wait until it's all over. And, since the time is what it is - since the conditions are what they are - do yourself the favor of gaining, not losing. Utilize this to your advantage - many are leading the way in as many various ways as there are people in this experience - many are combining this time with a reevaluation. Forget about normal. Everything is as it is. Your power is, you can be an enemy to the moment or a friend. This viewpoint brings the magic of life to the forefront. I can hear some of you - WHAT? ME! Magical? No way!
So, here are a few suggestions. Pay attention to your animals for they can instruct you in how to hear, how to listen. They can show you how to pause, to stop the constant motion and be. When. you do walk in nature take the time to walk and absorb. Chatting on the phone in the woods? Look at a piano, a table, a lamp, a pillow - have fun with it. As you observe these objects, resist hearing their name and just listen. Just watch it - does it change? Do you hear anything? Ask questions if you'd like. There is no right or wrong - follow your instincts. Experiment with ways of listening. Feel the sound on your skin -- imagine your ears as large as an African Elephant's. Did you know that they communicate - pod to pod - through their feet? They pick up the subsonic sounds that elephants project for miles through the ground. Don't take my word for it - read this - https://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/animals/photos/12-facts-change-way-see-elephants/elephants-can-hear-through-their-feet
It all has something to teach us. Now you have to time to explore. Do so. Find happiness whenever you can, be open to the small things in your life. There is no normal, there is only you. Each one of us, just like this virus, are unique. Appreciate all the richness that each day holds. And you may just find yourself, when these circumstances transform again, in a world that is very different from the one that we had 2 weeks ago. Each person's path is sacred - so is yours.
(Pork curry stew made on my wood stove)
As always, Thank you ALL for being here with me. Thomas