July 1, 2020
Creating Affinity With the Times
By Amba Gale
Hello, and welcome, once again, from my deepest heart to yours.
In the prologue of Anam Cara, (which translates from Gaelic to “soul friend”) the poet/philosopher John O Donohue says, “Friendship is a creative and subversive force. It claims that intimacy is the secret law of life and universe. The human journey is a continuous act of transfiguration. If approached in friendship, the unknown, the anonymous, the negative, and the threatening gradually yield their secret affinity with us.”
We are certainly living in the presence of the unknown, the anonymous, the negative, and the threatening. In what ways could those four elements yield “their secret affinity with us?”
What conversation would allow us, would allow you, to orient around finding this threatening occasion, even the pandemic itself, yielding “its secret affinity with you?”
What is the pathway, for each of us, for “making friends with the Now,” as Eckart Tolle puts it?
You could ask a radical question: In what ways is the virus a teacher, a guide? If you do take on that perspective – of this time in our lives as a deep teaching time – you can also pause, reflect, and inquire into:
What are you being taught?
What are WE (collectively) being taught?
What gifts are we being given/have we been given?
We also must ask ourselves, is there a way to create and sustain intimacy during this time of “social distancing” and internet only? That is, must be, our work, if we are to stay authentic, real, true to ourselves. I have found that indeed, it is most possible. We are calling for that from one another, through whatever virtual medium we are using.
What I Am Asking Myself
What intentions, practices, inquiries, and, most of all, perspectives, can I invent that give me an orientation to life that supports me, nourishes me? Cultivating gratitude, expanding compassion, healing, reaching out, connecting with people who think differently than I, leaning into wonder, cultivating creativity, giving myself room to step into the unknown with all its attendant emotions, expanding my own vulnerability, in behalf of experiencing the fullness of my life, taking myself into new and unfamiliar territories requiring courage, learning the art of improvising, and deepening my relationship with the natural world.
I am leaning into creating Friendship with myself, and with the world of my inner and outer journey.
As Michelangelo said towards the end of his life, “I am still learning.”