A friend and I have been introduced to Louise Penny's murder mysteries. In the first several books, Chief Inspector Armand Gamache invites young, untrained officers into his homicide unit. Oftentimes, these officers have been labeled as outcasts - by themselves or others. Gamache takes them under his wing and imparts the lessons he has learned over the years: ask questions, be silent, observe, and listen.
I wonder -- as people who are moving from a COVID-closed Way of Being towards more openness and freedom of movement -- what lessons have we learned about ourselves and those around us? What questions have we asked? Are we willing to sit in silence, observe, and listen?
|Do you seek light in your darkest moments?|
(Full moon over Avalon, Santa Catalina, California)
Also, there is a vulnerability and humility in Armand's Way of Seeing life around him. Whether he is piecing together the events leading to the murder, gently training his officers, or relating to his wife and children, he chooses to seek Light even in the darkest moments. In several books he mentions four sentences that he has learned to say:
- I don't know.
- I need help.
- I am sorry.
- I forget.
Reflecting on Armand's wisdom, when was the last time I said these words to another person?
|When do you open yourself to possibilities?|
(Beach dining on Crescent Avenue, Avalon)
I am beginning to realize that being in relationship and learning to dialogue requires that we practice when and how to openly reveal ourselves to another person. Being human means that we accept not only our strengths, but also our weaknesses; the times we are closed to -- or open to -- helping and understanding; and the moments we don't know or forget how to act.
|Are you willing to burst outwards?|
(Aureolin Yellow Spire Chandelier, Dale Chihuly)
As closings began to open, people learned to rely on each other. Masks may have covered mouths and noses, but the resilient minds and hearts found ways to become creative and unmask what separated them:
- Beaches in the evenings became dining rooms.
- Social gatherings reconnected people at a distance.
- Normal services focused on individual needs, not differences.
Rather than returning to the Past Normal ways of being and seeing, I wonder if we can share the lessons of loss, challenge, and darkness by asking questions... sitting... observing... and listening to Ways of Creating Common Unity (community) through what we don't know, where we need help, how we might be sorry, or when we forget... to be human with each other.
Our future doesn't have to be dictated by the past. Rather, might we consider when closings call us to be more open with one another?
What reflections do you have of your Closings and Openings?
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