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What’s Going On?

By May 26, 2020December 9th, 2020One Comment

I am immediately reminded of our shared humanity when I look at the faces of the people listening to the poet Coleman Barks read a poem of Rumi’s on Bill Moyer’s website.  In my mind, they share a yearning for meaning and connection.  I recognize myself in their expressions.


Bill Moyers is the everyman’s sage and guru.  I have listened to his words for many years. He’s almost always provided food for thought. He’s accessible.  For me, he’s the epitome of integrity and wisdom and humility.

Now, as we come out of this first round of The Pandemic vs. the World, I ask myself, what do they mean, those talking heads of self satisfied prognosticators who occupy our tv screens, when they say the world has been changed forever?  Will we continue to find more pleasure in the simple life? Or will our reliance on technology grow increasingly significant, altering human to human connection?  Will we learn to enjoy the perks of isolation, withdrawing more often from the group? Will our polarization become more exacerbated?  Or will this round wake us up to our essential need to be able to trust and rely on each other?  What’s to become of the performing artists who have lost venues and livelihood for weeks on end?  They walk a tightrope even in good times.

Was this round of destruction and death designed to give us a glimpse of the Beginning of the End of Civilization with more to come? Or was it just a warning shot, which may or may not go unheeded? Was it just a potent and alarming wake up call? Is it time to join a cult? The know it alls would likely provide some answers. Maybe I can go forward without answers just fine. Maybe I can learn to be comfortable not knowing. Welcome dissatisfaction, the great motivator.

spring in CA

I was impressed, as I looked around in recent weeks, that nature still brought us a beautiful spring.  It was comforting.  The blossoms paid no mind, as Neal Diamond crooned  in his romantic 1970’s hit, The Grass Will Pay No Mind. I used to make dances to that music.  But never mind, that was most definitely a time gone by.

I’m approaching my 80th birthday year, which is definitely not like approaching sweet 16. Right now, it’s a somber rather than celebratory time. Is sheltering in place going to be the theme for years to come when there aren’t that many years left?  That would be a great loss.

I know, I know, one day at a time.

My pop musical tastes can be pretty prosaic.

John Denver sang about “Lookin’ for Something I can Believe in”,  in the 70’s.  Those lyrics seem to suit me pretty well these days.  As well as “Lookin’ for something that I’d like to do with my life. ” That sounds pretty adolescent.  I have stopped singing those words with the same passion I had in my 40’s, in fact I don’t sing them anymore, but maybe I should? It’s kind of exciting to think I can get to explore another path if I get off my ass.

For a few weeks I had the satisfaction of thinking I’d done everything I needed to do in this life.  That frame of mind didn’t last long.  Not that it’s been replaced by new things, it’s just that I realize it’s not an interesting way to go through life, no matter the age.  It puts an end to growth.

I’m feeling patient, which is good.  Que sera, sera, if you remember perky Doris Day.

Disclosure:  I’ve gotten more inclined to laziness.  It’s not so bad once you get your mother’s voice out of your head.

Back to Bill Moyers.  His poetry exploration looks intriguing and doesn’t ask for much from the viewer.  Coleman Barks reading Rumi:.

How about YOU?  Have you changed, or are you wanting to change? What’s brought you comfort? if anything?  How do you see the future now?How has this pandemic affected you?

Dianne Vapnek

In an attempt to slow life's quickening pace, I'm writing to share my personal perspective on the aging process, its dilemmas, the humorous self-deception, the insights and the adventure of it all. I spent the bulk of my time in beautiful Santa Barbara, CA, but manage to get to NYC a few times times a year. I've been a dancer/dance teacher and dance supporter almost all my life. For the past20years, I help create and produce a month-long creative residency in Santa Barbara for contemporary American choreographers and their dancers. It's been incredibly gratifying. This year, I decided it's time to retire! Big change. I also now spend several weeks a year in Kyoto Japan, residing for several weeks in the spring and the fall. I've been magnetically attracted to Japan for many years. Now I live out a dream to live there part-time.

One Comment

  • Ann Bronstein says:

    Hi Dianne,
    It’s Ann Bronstein.
    Yesterday’s post really affected me. Being alone during this period has been very tough. I find it difficult to stay in the house without Mark here and venture out for hikes or to sit at Manning Park and read. I completed the docent program at Lotusland in January and was ready to lead tours and then everything shut down. One step forward, five steps back. So for me I surely have realized the importance of human connection and that Zoom just doesn’t cut it. I hope as well that more decency comes out of this experience and humility. I’m optimistic, a bit.
    If you and Dan feel like getting out I definitely recommend Lotusland. It’s quite safe and the first lotus has bloomed. I wonder what your thoughts would be on the Japanese Garden.
    Be well,