Since this COVID-19 pandemic began, I have felt solidarity with everyone on the planet. It surprised me, because for most of my life I’ve felt like an outsider. More intelligent than most people, a very different way of thinking, odd and unconventional interests, and the struggle with PTSD. Lots of times I try to explain myself and people just don’t get it.
Because of social distancing, I joined Hanover Friends Meeting on Zoom. You could see 25 people at once, all in their little rectangles. Many faces were familiar, but some people I knew didn’t look like themselves. We started in silence, as usual, and then when someone wanted to speak, they turned on their microphone, and their square acquired a lit boundary.
The most amazing thing was I felt connected to all of them energetically. My heart felt open and vibrating — there was so much energy in my heart that it was almost uncomfortable. I’m sure this was made possible by previous experiences, especially my experience at Kindred Spirits Reunion.
Looking back, I now see that I had earlier experiences that also made this possible. At Neskaya Dance Camp in 2018, I was sitting on the sidelines while Shoshona led meditative dancing. I had my tea and was writing in my journal when I became aware of the energy field in the building. It was full of love. I wrote:
I feel held in the gentle arms of community, in the beautiful sacred space of this building that I built. I am held inside the lovely container that I made possible. I am no longer part of the container so I can sink deeply into it. I love the diversity of clothes and bodies and dancing styles. I love the silence. I love that people come and go easily.
Because Camp has been cancelled for this year, here is a link to pictures of the building and many of the activities that take place there, some activities that we sponsor elsewhere, and some pictures of our people elsewhere.
Later that same summer, I went to the gathering of Kindred Spirits at Rowe Camp and Conference Center. Kindred Spirits are based in the recovery community, and it is a place I feel very much at home. On the last day, as we were cleaning up in preparation to leave, I had the most astonishing sense of being loved. I was outside, picking up litter. I could see other people, but we weren’t talking. From my journal:
I think I first noticed how comfortable I was late on Thursday. Maybe somebody even asked “How are you doing?” I tuned in and found a deep level of comfort, completely embodying myself, and feeling absolutely and totally OK with who I was and how I was at that time. Then on Friday, as we started cleaning up I became aware that I was feeling totally loved. by everybody there. It was the most extraordinary feeling. So amazing! It’s still there, and it’s very quiet and deep. Rooted in silence.
Those experiences faded away, and I didn’t get to either camp last year due to sickness, and being extremely tired.
Kindred Spirits Reunion this year was something special. The most important thing was having Penny talk about “energetic connection” as something we could do during the breathwork, and then realizing that I had felt it during the singing Saturday night, and again on Sunday when we were getting ready to leave. I wrote:
I think that I finally have a feeling/experience/understanding of what love is. It’s that sense of connection in community. Not some nice thing that you feel, something deeper than that. Love is that deep knowledge of connection. The sense of being surrounded by love. In both cases I felt it when I wasn’t interacting with anyone.
On Saturday, March 21, I participated in something they were calling “Global Coherence Pulse.” I like to take part in any activity that they are getting people all over the world to do at the same time. This sounded like a great idea. It was on Zoom. The main presenter talked us through a meditation of feeling our heartbeat and connecting with the center of the earth. I actually found it very easy to do. So it was after that that I connected with the Quakers for meeting and felt the most amazing energy. It seems to have stayed with me.