March 31, 2020 by Grace Cooper

Cyber Circle: March 30th

Our team aims to stay mission-driven during these questionable times. While the world feels like a sci-fi movie, we continue to encourage the writing and sharing of personal narratives. We continue to support shared reading and shared writing. We continue to rely on the most important of human traditions: sharing stories, because every story contains lessons for the audience. They spark questions and curiosity. Stories teach us to love. To forgive. To be just. To strive for something better. Stories connect us, even–or especially–when we feel isolated and alone.

Each afternoon, we at ConTextos will engage in shared reading and writing to help us connect, to reflect on our pasts, to envision the future. To author a brighter future. Over Zoom, we will provide a short reading or a prompt, write for no more than 10 minuets, and share our writings as a group. Please fill out this form if you’d to join us.

Grace

Prompts: A) Write what is on your heart & mind, B) It’s easier to feel than to realize, C) Rejoicing in it’s glory.

“Call me back before you go to bed”

“ok I will” I said

I sat in bed for another half hour trying to pick up my new book but instead looking at tiger king memes. I called it a day and called him back at 1:30am

“Hi, I’m going to bed now”

We talked for a few minuets then “goodnight, I love you”

“I miss hugging you” I said

“Me too” he said

I hung up and turned the light off. I laid on my side and felt a longing in my heart, a longing to be touched, to be held, to be hugged and spooned. I wondered how weird it would be if tomorrow I asked one of my roommates to hug me.

We usually sleep with arms and legs weaved together, always holding or on top of each other, shifting around, moving blankets. I always take up the most space. I realized this is not as normal as I thought when my friends told me they can’t bare to touch someone else’s skin when they sleep. When he’s not here I turn on my heating pad to warm up my blankets and sheets and my body. His body is like a furnace, it radiates heat.

I remember one crisp morning I woke up early and went to PT, and when I came back he was still peacefully sleeping, and I decided to ruin that peace by putting my icy cold bad circulation fingers right on his belly. He was annoyed and angry but I found it so amusing. Then it turned into one of those moments where you realize you’re becoming one of parents. My dad would always put his cold hands under the back of our shirts on our skin in the winter and I’d squirm away and be so annoyed but that never stopped him and he’d always still do it. The angrier he got the more amused I was until I decided to be nice and end the torture.

Even though I have spent much more time apart from him before, I miss his touch more. I guess this is because I’m not sure when I will feel it again. When I will get to hug my mom’s small body, when my dad will be able to give me a shoulder massage, when my brother will give me a giant bear hug that lifts me off my feet. For now I’ll have to deal with my roommates giving me an awkward quarantine hug.

Suzanne

Prompt: Excelsior – ever upward.

Excelsior – ever upward.  Sounds like a battle call!  And I suppose that is what we are in right now – a battle – in a way.  One might think the battle I’m referring to is COVID 19 – surviving it, helping our communities, our planet, heal and move on.  However, the somewhat broken record that I am, I see this as a battle for our people – all of our people – to love more, to trust more, to support more.  I mentioned last week a saying I kinda cribbed from St. Francis, which became one of my wedding vows with my beloved and dearly departed Michael: I seek only to love, support, console, understand, and forgive and expect nothing in return.  Tall f’ing order! But what if we were all seeking for such?  

I think that ever upward perspective is possible, albeit not at all easy to achieve for our world because of so much hurt, trauma, anger, inequity, injustice.  How do we get there? I think we actually look around – and upward, sideways, upside down and backwards. Look at the beauty of what is going on in the world. People sharing resources, jumping in to volunteer even if it potentially puts their own health at risk.  People ever hopeful that they will come out the other side healthy and safe. And amidst this all, the incredible confusion this likely musters in all of us.

An editorial was written in the Washington Post today by an 18 year old who entitled himself the moniker of Generation Z.  He asked if we were all working hard to keep older people alive for the short term do they care about the lives of the young for the long term? He was referring to climate action and what he has heard from politicians, corp leaders, etc:  it’s impossible to make such changes – we don’t have the resources, the time, the ability. His argument is look at what we are doing across the world to heal our people. It happens to be healing our planet as well. Is there not the willingness to solve that as well?  What kind of sacrifice are the grownups willing to make for the future population who will, decades from now, be our elders if we take care of the environment in which they live? Great questions. Excelsior – ever upward.

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