#LISTEN: A Letter from the Virus

This morning I’m thinking about listening. As a Quaker, our worship is to gather on Sunday mornings, to sit together in silence for an hour. This time of group prayer or mediation with a minimum of distraction is intended to create the opportunity to listen for spiritual guidance, sometimes described as listening to the Inner Light, or Spirit, or communion with God. Doing this as a group can add another dimension to individual prayer. Sometimes someone in the Quaker meeting is moved to share by speaking into the silence. Often others find that message relates to what they are hearing from within.

One of the many ways the coronavirus is affecting us is many Quaker meetings are not being held in meetinghouses on Sunday mornings. Instead, individuals in a meeting might decide to have an hour of silence at the same time, with everyone in their own home instead of together. Several Quaker meetings have been experimenting with Internet applications to connect people with audio and sometimes also visual sharing, like ZOOM or Skype. People who don’t have computers or Internet service can connect using their telephone. Here is an link to an excellent guide for a group to gather using ZOOM: https://www.woodbrooke.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/A-Quakers-guide-to-online-worship-and-meetings-19-03-2020.pdf

I’ve always thought that if we can connect to the spirit of God, which is everywhere, we should also be able to connect with others who aren’t physically near us. That this connection with God that doesn’t use what we consider our senses (vision, hearing, taste, touch, smell) means we might be able to connect with other people across distances in a similar way, that may or may not involve those senses.

What triggered the above about listening was this powerful video I came across titled #LISTEN. Many people are recognizing both the changes brought by the pandemic, and the many positive things happening as a result. The producers of this video are encouraging us to share this with others. “Our voice needs to be one now, the one of silence, and understanding, the one of change.

A Letter from the Virus: #LISTEN

An Imagined Letter from Covid-19 to Humans

Stop. Just stop.
It is no longer a request. It is a mandate.
We will help you.

We will bring the supersonic, high speed merry-go-round to a halt
We will stop
the planes
the trains
the schools
the malls
the meetings
the frenetic, furied rush of illusions and “obligations” that keep you from hearing our
single and shared beating heart,
the way we breathe together, in unison.
Our obligation is to each other,
As it has always been, even if, even though, you have forgotten.

We will interrupt this broadcast, the endless cacophonous broadcast of divisions and distractions,
to bring you this long-breaking news:
We are not well.
None of us; all of us are suffering.
Last year, the firestorms that scorched the lungs of the earth
did not give you pause.
Nor the typhoons in Africa, China, Japan.
Nor the fevered climates in Japan and India.
You have not been listening.
It is hard to listen when you are so busy all the time, hustling to uphold the comforts and conveniences that scaffold your lives.
But the foundation is giving way,
buckling under the weight of your needs and desires.
We will help you.
We will bring the firestorms to your body
We will bring the fever to your body
We will bring the burning, searing, and flooding to your lungs
that you might hear:
We are not well.

Despite what you might think or feel, we are not the enemy.
We are Messenger. We are Ally. We are a balancing force.
We are asking you:
To stop, to be still, to listen;
To move beyond your individual concerns and consider the concerns of all;
To be with your ignorance, to find your humility, to relinquish your thinking minds and travel deep into the mind of the heart;
To look up into the sky, streaked with fewer planes, and see it, to notice its condition: clear, smoky, smoggy, rainy? How much do you need it to be healthy so that you may also be healthy?
To look at a tree, and see it, to notice its condition: how does its health contribute to the health of the sky, to the air you need to be healthy?
To visit a river, and see it, to notice its condition: clear, clean, murky, polluted? How much do you need it to be healthy so that you may also be healthy? How does its health contribute to the health of the tree, who contributes to the health of the sky, so that you may also be healthy?

Many are afraid now.
Do not demonize your fear, and also, do not let it rule you. Instead, let it speak to you—in your stillness,
listen for its wisdom.
What might it be telling you about what is at work, at issue, at risk, beyond the threats of personal inconvenience and illness?
As the health of a tree, a river, the sky tells you about quality of your own health, what might the quality of your health tell you about the health of the rivers, the trees, the sky, and all of us who share this planet with you?

Notice if you are resisting.
Notice what you are resisting.
Ask why.

Stop. Just stop.
Be still.

Ask us what we might teach you about illness and healing, about what might be required so that all may be well.
We will help you, if you listen.

-Kristin Flyntz 3.12.2020

Video made by: Darinka Montico Written by: Kristin Flyntz Music: Cold Isolation · David Fesliyan

#coronovirus #planetearth #climatechange #pandemic


Text adaptation and video by Darinka Montico Voice: Giulia Chianese
Inspired by “An Imagined Letter from Covid-19 to Humans” by K. Flyntz.
We don’t need to “save the planet”.
We need to save the planet from ourselves.
We are destroying the necessary conditions for human life to continue existing on earth.
Earth will outlive us.
We have a choice.

This video is CC BY-NC 4.0.
Our voice needs to be one now, the one of silence, and understanding, the one of change.

Video credits:’”Man vs earth” prince Ea
“POWERFUL VIDEO: Why we need to stop plastic pollution in our oceans for good” Oceana “Cities From Around The World Timelapse” Michael Shainblum, Floria Sigismondi- Sigur ros “Untitled #1” “Alive”-“ climate change” Philip kapadia
Music : “Cold Isolation”, David Fesliyan

This entry was posted in climate change, Quaker, Quaker Meetings, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

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