Alarm goes off, bedcovers are thrown back. ‘Ah, another day of remote teaching.’ Stub toe on the edge of the bed as I stumble to the bathroom. The hot water is surprisingly refreshing. Knock at the door. Annoying husband, mainly because we have been locked away together for months, in fact everyone is annoying. Sigh, “Be out in a sec.” I try to summon the strength to care. Tap goes off, step out carefully. Dont want to slip in case I end up in hospital and contract covid that way. Actually given I live in a country town, considered metro, I most likely would contract covid that way, in a city hospital, not in my small, breezy, open spaced country town. I stop, pause my thoughts, pants half way up, to silence my own movement. I hear the thunk of the door and telepathically say goodbye to my husband. The only path that has kept me sane so far I will continue to follow. Emerging out of the bathroom, I catch the scent of Jasmine coming through the fly wire door. I move towards it. My fingers wrap around the latch and more air touches my face. There she sits, my meditation chair, swinging gently to and fro, pushed by a gentle breeze. I arrange myself in her, wrap the blankets around me and begin. First the smooth silence envelops me, then the stillness of body calms my heart beat. A vague sense my spirit guides are there, touches a space in front of me. I reach out like a child leaning towards being held. ’Ram’ I call inwardly, an image floats across a blank screen; fire, something ancient. The word b…e…n…u falls into my mind. I stay with this image and word for a while knowing it is something. Thirty minutes have passed. I lift myself out into the cool spring air. I feel different now. something shifts in my thinking.
I pass the day writing, drawing, making, taking photos, shooting videos of hello and; ‘This is what your task for the morning is.’ I push through the computer to reach my class floating somewhere out there in the ether, beyond the Internet that feels like a giant, confusing planet I cannot for the life of me navigate. Each time I create a lesson, more ideas flood in. But how practical are they? I think them through one at a time. Nope that would take an hour and would translate as five minutes on my class website. Nope, that would not be understood without a twenty minute video explanation that would bore the poor things. No matter how grand the ideas they can never match the beauty of teaching in the moment of; NOW! That my dear friends is the greatest travesty of all this, one can never truly BE in the moment.
I look around at the space I teach in. I move my eyes from the king sized bed, to the two bedside tables, the tall boy, not the kind that would turn my head, the long wooden, dark stained clothes rack, no walk in closet, sadly, as I would most likely hide in it when I do not want to be found rather than ducking commando style onto the floor between the bed and the wall, opposite the door, and rest my eyes finally at my desk with hard chair to match. I move to sit down and wait. I do not have a flattering light for zoom, so as I squeeze myself onto my chair that presses against the bed, I begin propping my computer up with books so my double chin doesn’t frighten anyone because the angel is wrong. Time ticks over slowly while I wait to be ’let in’.
I have flashes of my youth waiting outside bars, looking down at my converse sneakers wondering if I will be ‘let in’. I then on reflection commend myself, as I wipe finger marks off my screen, that have I dressed today in a manner that would be considered professional, light and colourful. I muse over my refusal to wear pyjamas for the sake of my ‘mental health’. Maybe I’ll tell my colleagues that, then remember quickly social etiquette. I long quietly, as I check I’m on mute, for the days where I might’ve by chance had an awkward overshare with an overtly kind colleague in between classes.
Phew, I’m in. The zoom begins smoothly, none of us are invited to speak. I watch the numbers rise as people ’enter the room’. I decide at the last minute to turn off the video and lie back on my bed. I snuggle up and breathe into the lecture about supporting the teachers of our time. “When we meet another in this time of separation we ought to meet them with our humanity, the deepest part of ourselves that truly listens to another, not with the desire to fix them but to truly see them in their humanity.” I feel I am at ease now, not so alone. I recall the word Ram gave me this morning and pull out yet another screen to search for meaning.
I find it; Bennu, an Egyptian god. Bennu, a god on a rock, perched and calling creation into its space. A god connected to the human Ba, the personality that lived on, that rose from the ashes of its own creation.
Tears well up. I swallow as I feel the connectedness of my fellow teachers striving to guide the souls of other humans through the tiny space of our screens. I set my head back on the pillow.
We will rise from the ashes, I speak only to myself in the quiet of my room; ‘Humanity will rise from the ashes of our own humanity.’