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COVID-19: Small Worlds

There are some days when you’re just in your mind. You get done what you have to get done, doing the essentials or more, but you feel the weighty oppression of routine. If working from home, as has become quite common in these COVID-19 times, you feel homebound, a little cut off, only barely connected to the world. And even now, with the slight but seemingly true possibility of being able to go out maskless again, there’s still the nagging feeling that everything has changed for good, that even moving forward we’re still going to be cut off somehow, still living in the four walls of our minds, and still largely connected only through the spurious connection of artificial technology.

We’ve been relegated through COVID-19 to small worlds. Our worlds, like the worlds of yesteryear, have shrunk, are more limited, are more tediously repetitive without escape. What we knew of just a year-and-a-half ago, being able to escape when and where we wanted without restriction, without a second thought, we cannot conceive of now. Now, we are forced to sit stiller, we are forced to navigate in circles in a smaller square mileage, we are forced to plan for things in a way we didn’t have to do before. It can almost seem like too much, a terrible regression of sorts.

Except there is a quiet and brilliant side, which always existed but was ignored when we had the means and the audacity to ignore it. Just as we ignore the nightly moon and stars, the quiet silence in our houses, or the steady sound of the pattering rain on the roof, we ignore the grandness of what’s just beyond the strict utility of our abodes - both body and home, - what lies beyond the smallness which we've accepted. Yes, we’ve been confined to smaller footprints through COVID-19 but much of the confinement we feel is not because of our actual lack of space but how we perceive that lack of space. Because we mourn having any imposition at all - impositions like illness, degradation, time, and death - we feel bereft.

Yet just stepping out of the house to go for a walk, or a slow run, can make you wake up. Just stepping out can help you shake off the mentality of smallness, of confinement, of reduction. In noticing the shivering leaves of the trees, in feeling a light breeze, in smelling the fragrance of newly-opened blossoms, you begin to realize that the vast universe exists just beyond the limitations of your mind. You realize that you do not need to travel far to experience its regenerating immensity. The universe, for those who are seeking immediate expansion and liberation, is housed in every blade of grass you see, every chirping bird you hear, and every cloud which sails overhead.


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