Primitive religion is not believed, it is danced!

Arthur Darby Nock

Earth's crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God;
And only he who sees takes off his shoes;
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.

Elizabeth Browning

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Holding Space

Holding space for another person is incredibly profound.
When you hold space for someone, you bring your entire presence to them.
You walk along with them without judgment, sharing their journey to an unknown destination. Yet you're completely willing to end up wherever they need to go. You give your heart, let go of control, and offer unconditional support.
                                                   Lynn Hauka

by temperament I want to fix things
by training I want to fix things

by call, the call of God to be with and for others
I am compelled to hold space

I have my own ways of thinking about the act of “holding space”
I expect there are many

but for me holding space means allowing
things such as pain, and anger
confusion, even ideology

to fill the space between myself and another
to let it float there
like free floating radicals

those things that are disconnected
sometimes damaging
but totally necessary

holding space means
being silent

right now we are all having to do a lot of “holding space”
we are having to hold space with one another
and in a sense we are having to hold space with the reality that is Covid-19

what is most difficult about this virus
is that it has presented us with an unresolvable absurdity

the situation demands that we shelter
the situation demands that we open

we must shelter for safety
we must open in order for many people to survive, emotionally and economically

we would like to do both
open and create safety
but we must hold space with the reality
that we may not be able to do both

many epidemiologists suggest we cannot really “protect the vulnerable”
and open at the same time
the virus is too active, too complex
stopping the spread demands action that is profound and complete

so that is where we are, in an untenable place, and
I need to hold space with those who are afraid
of not being able to breathe
understand the fear they have of being on a ventilator
of being ravaged
of dying

I need to hold space with those who fear not for themselves, but for others

and I must also hold space for the person whose business is dying
who is wondering how they will pay their mortgage
or how they will feed their family

I must hold space for those who are what they do
and cannot do anything
and are sliding into depression and despair

and I must hold space with the fact
that these two agendas may be irreconcilable
it may not be possible to satisfy both the need for safety
and the need to open

We all have our own values and priorities
I do, you do
I know where I stand here, I know what I believe to be right

but I must hold space for those
who have come to a different conclusion
I must respect – yes, respect, their truth, even if it violates mine

because this is complex, and hard,
and we are all just guessing
and the confusion and pain are real

I must refuse to become rigid
With those who have made different choices than i

I must instead you bring my entire presence to all
Bring my fear, my pain, my compassion, my confusion, my priorities
and walk along with others, as they carry their fear, and pain,
and confusion, and compassion and priorities

walk with them, non-judgmentally
as we both journey to an unknown destination
doing the best we can
making the best decisions we can
knowing that we don’t know
where this tragedy, or we, are going

this journey is unavoidable, we can’t refuse to make
but as we go, let us go together,
respectful, accepting, loving, caring,
holding space

so we all get to the end

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