Visions – Post Covid

“In the dark times will there also be singing? 

Yes, there will also be singing.

About the dark times.”
Bertolt Brecht

Some of my most significant personal changes have come out of my darkest times. (No, I’m not trying to sound like a Hallmark card…) March 2020 would definitely qualify as one of those times. It is surreal and awful and scary and life threatening and isolating and very challenging and many of us have gone into survival mode for good reason.

This new reality of “social distancing” leaves me without the usual routines and landmarks in a normal day that ground me, and without the in-person presence of people who nourish my spirit. Spending too much time indoors as I have been is not good. I know this, but I live in an apartment building, so as soon as I walk out my door I am in germ city and I have to gird myself just to get my mail. Without enough sunlight to stimulate Vitamin D (like living North of the Arctic Circle where there are 67 days of total darkness – yikes!), you can develop seasonal depression disorder. Well, it’s only been a few weeks at this point and I HAVE gotten outside a bit and probably enough, but still it’s just weird. (Apparently 15 minutes of sun in the middle of the day in the summer, only a few times per week, can be sufficient to produce enough Vitamin D.)

Anyway, it is true for me that during the most difficult periods my life when I‘m having to dig deep, I’m forced to learn something completely new in order to thrive and not be completely crushed by the experience. I’m talking about things there is no way I would have chosen to do on my own. And yes, I’m kicking and screaming every step of the way. (As in: “No, this is not the way life is supposed to be!” or “There’s got to be an easier way I can learn this lesson!”) Ultimately when I come through on the other side of the being up against it and at the end of my rope, I find that the experience has expanded my perspective and stretched me in ways I never would have unless I’d been pushed to the brink.

Will this happen again this time?

“No pressure, no diamonds.” 
Thomas Carlyle

So many of us are reaching out to friends and family more than ever right now, supporting each other and learning new ways of doing this—not because of some self-motivation but because we have to. We are being forced to learn new skills and technologies in order to stay connected and not become completely isolated.

I’ve decided to see this as is a global transformation. Let’s face it, we as individuals and all of us in our communities and in our world will never be the same after this. As we help each other through this transformation we are actually building new bridges and new ways of communicating that will now always be there.

With this in mind I offer my vision:

-Imagine that through this planet-wide crisis people everywhere will see more clearly than ever how connected we all really are.
-Imagine that this time of social distancing enables all of us to understand in a new, profound, visceral way what a significant effect every single one of us has on each other and how it extends clear across the globe.
-Imagine in the future, instead of coming together over a terrible event like a pandemic, we come together for the good of all people.
-Imagine everyone uniting around the world for a positive purpose and a common goal that bring us together to help save the planet and take care of each other.

It’s possible that we can come out of this stronger than ever.

Can you see it? Now hold that vision…



Stevie Wonder

People hand in hand
Have I lived to see the milk and honey land?
Where hate’s a dream and love forever stands
Or is this a vision in my mind?

The law was never passed
But somehow all men feel they’re truly free at last
Have we really gone this far through space and time
Or is this a vision in my mind?

I’m not one who makes believe
I know that leaves are green
They only change to brown when autumn comes around
I know just what I say
Today’s not yesterday
And all things have an ending

But what I’d like to know
Is could a place like this exist so beautiful
Or do we have to find our wings and fly away
To the vision in our mind?

I’m not one who makes believes
I know that leaves are green
They only change to brown when autumn comes around

I know just what I say
Today’s not yesterday
And all things have an ending

But what I’d like to know
Is could a place like this exist so beautiful
Or do we have to take our wings and fly away
To the vision in our minds?

18 thoughts on “Visions – Post Covid

    1. Thanks Ellen for taking the time to get beyond “staying safe” and talk about your struggle and insights. They are helpful. For me, the virus started long ago. About four years ago to be precise. The struggle to stay safe, and find the light, has been a long journey. This is but the latest chapter. With earlier phases of this strange virus, I found comfort in activism and resistance, and the fellowship of others on my island. With this new phase, we are having to find all sorts of entirely different ways to stay hopeful and “Be The Change We Want to See”. Being part of Ellen’s SwingShift singers has been, and continues to be, a great source of connection for me – almost like nothing else.

  1. Lovely vision. Yes I also believe on the other side of breakdown is the breakthrough of world connection.

  2. Thank you Ellen for the inspiration. We all need to work on the positives you suggest we imagine. I will. Take care and thank you.

    1. You’re welcome. Yes we do need to practice shifting our focus (and I’m included in that too, of course!) especially at times like this when we’re inundated with bad news…

  3. Thanks for communicating your deep thoughts about going through this very difficult time. All of us can relate to this, I’m sure. I keep telling myself to slow down. Even with this forced isolation, I find my mind just whizzing along. I love your vision–may it come true.

  4. As I read through your latest post, it just came into my mind “Oh yes she is still my teacher,” which was followed by a wave of warm appreciation of your commitment to going for what is best in us that we can share w/ each other & others. It IS wonderful that our shared meeting ground is sound vibration. You keep reminding me how powerful that is. Thank you, Ellen, for your integrity & investment in sharing your vision. Charmaine

    1. I appreciate your remarks, Charmaine. We are all constantly being bombarded with images of tragedy. This vision has been on my mind and I wanted to share something positive amid all the stress and bad news as a possible alternative to focus on.

  5. Well said, Ellen. As always, your words and thoughts inspire me. As I approach my 79th year, I am reminded that getting here was at least half the fun! And a lot of it was singing with Anything Goes Chorus in San Francisco. I plan to keep singing until I can no longer make any sound.
    Love, Ryckje

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