Yesterday, as the solar eclipse made its way across the US, many of us took a few minutes to unplug, gather together and look up. We paid attention to the light and celebrated the present moment with one another. (It was raining in Minneapolis, so we commiserated together, rather than celebrated. However, I listened to the coverage on National Public Radio.)
For many of us, the time of the solar eclipse was a time apart. We set aside our to lists, understanding that this event was something worth paying attention. It was as if the solar system gave us permission to play hooky for an hour.
This is the first blog post I have written using my new hardware/software combination. For now, it is very effortful. Getting the URL for the link above, for instance, took quite a bit of time as I tried to get my mouse positioned to open a new tab in Chrome so I could use Google to search the web. When I returned to my writing, I had to reread a few paragraphs so that I could write the next thought. I hope that, as I practice, I will be able to point my mouse more precisely. Perhaps not, though. I will work more happily if I don’t compare my new process to the way I used the computer when I was able-bodied. Health is effortless.
I want to make space for both kinds of time. I want to continue to write and make art, even though it will require more effort than before. That’s okay. Effort is all right. I also want to remember to make time apart, when I lift my head to the sky and watch the light move across the earth.
The eclipse was a call to drop into sacred time. In a nation becoming less religious and more divided, it was a scientific sacrament. It brought us together (about 70% of us), suspending our busyness and effort and paying attention to the present moment.