The Stories

Voices from the community transcribed and shared here

“How I’ve navigated through the pandemic is keeping in touch with my friends and family. I’ve tried to get out of the house to do as many things as I can. I would also watch TV series to pass time.” (ML)

“By slowing down I was able to spend more time and go more deeply into the things in my life that arose as most important. I have had time to think. Very healing!”

“Man is but a small part of the wonder of earth and now we find the opportunity in these times to embrace that! Throughout the past year I have dreamt of the rebirth; of the continuation of growth of a world with equal access and joy for all creatures where all humans embrace the living planet as equals in unison!”

“My dream for the world is for news divergent/trans/nonbinary queer thinking witch and spiritual voices to be elevated, normalized and advocated for. My dream is an unmaking. Unmaking and remembering in order to move forward. I’ve been working on becoming more cultured with my own pace and writing through gratitude and self love.” Joy

“Navigated by search for magical mischief.”

“I came. I wrote. I tried to figure out if what I said was true; and then I did it all again with you.”

“I have grown immeasurably closer to my daughter. I toggle between adaptation and apocalyptic thinking. I see with uncomfortable clarity that the forces that divide us - deliberately to advance their own interests - are winning.”

“There was fear, then there was stillness, then the stillness offered breath and space for reflection. Then there was recognition of pain, collective wounding, breaking open and weeping. So much death. Internal and around, showing the gaps in our privilege and our pain. It’s allowing us an opportunity to break down systems and to rebuild something more sustainable. I hope we do.”

“Learning to sit with others in their (our) discomfort in these times, not with answers but with deep beingness….A difficult, powerful gift.”

“The friends are such that leave, not much hope for the future of our planet. Unfortunately I am not 100% optimistic and fear for our grandchildren’s future and the world they will inherit. Until love of money and greed is taken out of the human DNA, I don’t see much change for the better. I must say though that I applaud your work and wish you the best. Thank you.”

“I have learned to let go of the detailed and rigid plan and adapt to the moment at hand. This was so incredibly difficult for me, but adapting and choosing to move forward with hope is critical to a life well lived in this world.”

“Survival by thinking about the transitional forces at work for improvement of ourselves and our world and future. Skills - Patience, flexibility, strength. How to prioritize what is really important. Challenges - patience with conspiracy people and ‘trumpers’ etc - trying to understand. HOPE and Love for everyone - creative living.”

“Pandemic started terribly; I … highschool in 2020, experienced a lot of difficulty with online school. I think I spent the most time I’ve ever spent healing and reflecting during the pandemic. Even though it was hard, I really grew and came out a lot happier. I hope everyone can experience that.” Milla

“I liked the silence and the sounds of birds and insects and talking to the crows. I liked the emptiness….”

“My wife died so that says all I could ever say. Also some friends died as well. Kids are watching.”

“Shaky navigation made me realize how much I need friends. I’m in need of my original support group - my friends. Small groups working together to make small changes, spreading love and truth will begin to heal our broken world piece by piece.”

“I feel like I am weaving the fiber tight, full and close together. During the pandemic, the threads have felt loose. A lot of space in between and the shadows are there, unavoidable. It doesn’t feel sustainable unless there are many hands to weave it all back together instead of just mine.” Sayde

“I’m dreaming of a post COVID world where people show more gratitude and thanks for connecting to each other.”

“My dream for the world - rest, care, abundance, nourishment, not afraid, interconnected, celebrated, respect and dignity for all, play, joy, silliness, warmth, plenty and full of beauty. Challenges - solitaire with bad health, so hard to get help in this alone time.”

“During this pandemic I have felt some of the lowest lows but I have also felt some of my highest highs. Through art I have gotten closer to myself than ever before. I felt despair and even failed in my relationship but my career and dreams have never been better. I can only hope we can find balance.” (A Struggling Artist)

“Honestly navigating the pandemic has been really difficult for me and made me sink into my depression. My dream for the future of the world is to have a world where everyone is loved and cared for instead of excluded and discriminated against.”

“I took time to be slow, to focus on home and family. I re-watched favorite shows and re-read favorite books. I learned to value time to myself and appreciate social/friend time in its scarcity. I learned how to buy 2 weeks of groceries at a time. I played music and started learning a new language. I spent time outdoors as much as possible. I thought a lot about the future.”

“I have made it through the pandemic thanks to the literal and figurative sustenance of locally grown food, leaning on relationships and knowing that love has no boundaries or borders.” Saiyare

“I learned to sit with my trauma and grow sweet from it instead of remaining bitter. Embracing the freed up time in the garden doing meditative physical work. Most important was the time spent dreaming of the future and the work in front of me to prepare myself to build that future.” (Airti)

“To shift, change and adapt drew energy to do more than thought possible. Business then closed for months, 3 in early 2020, 2 more in late 2020. We made it work. I dream of corruption recognized, compassion emerging as our primal return.”

“Love. Love. Love. Love. Love. Love.”

“Since I stay at home regularly, even before the pandemic, it was pretty much easy. But, I’ve learned to be much more patient/ask knowing I’m not alone. The skills I’ve learned for resilience by breathing and remembering not to give up.”

“I watched my youngest son live through Covid-19, well before the pandemic was acknowledged. My other son had a psychotic break and is still healing. I use compassion and mindful meditation to cope, as well as ancient herbs for health. My community garden donated 3,450 lbs of organic produce collectively to St Leo’s food bank.”

“PEACE. LOVE. UNDERSTANDING.”

“My dream is that we move further away from racism, colonialism and bio-devastation.”

“Family. Love.”

“1. I have navigated this pandemic by staying at home, and talking to people. 2. Rejection. New routine. 3. Everything. Study groups. 4. A world with systemic order.”

“I am on a river that is never still, we all are. The turbulence is no less no than 2020 but it is different and more hopeful.”

“I saw myself reaching. I saw myself spin. I had to ___ what was true for me, my people, my community. But most of all truth gurgled me forward.”

“I spent more time in nature and became more selective with whom I spent time with.” (Lisa - 11/17/21)

“I had a poodle and a husband so I wasn’t alone during this. But I did neglect my health and ate lots of comfort food. I found the time was artistically fertile for me- painting and shooting photos. I miss getting together with my kids and have not done a good job of communicating with them, And that makes me sad and shy about initiating contact more often. I share messages of peace and hope and beauty on Facebook. It’s how I feel I can contribute to make things better for folks.”

“Pandemic story. More like ‘Pandemic story. It was a good time to look inward though.”

“We found a family within our neighborhood.” Emily, Even and Maya

“We made it this far. 12/22/21 regardless of the many roadblocks put in place by the trump administration and the conservative minions. We will survive!”

“I had to admit my own fragility and vulnerability. I had to retreat, over and over; deep into liminal space. I had no choice but to live there, lost. All of the chaos and dark destructiveness of the times - not just covid - forced me to retreat, to wait, patiently. A loved one died, another is dying. Not covid - just more loss. A skill I developed - waiting. Letting grief roll through me. Despair as a freeing power. More clarity about the structures of power. A chance out of all this, to reinvent myself.”

“Trying to stay positive. Working, walking, reading, taking care of dogs. ‘What skills of resilience have you developed?’ Getting a new routine. Glad to be back at work. ‘Challenges?’ I’m OK. Mom was not. Being ill and isolated is hard on the elderly. ‘Dream for the world we can co-create…’ Quit complaining, go back to work. Try to find joy in everyday you live!” (Jennifer)

“I have navigated the pandemic by focusing on my art and myself/well-being. I have managed to improve multiple aspects of myself and stay safe whenever I go outside. I have faced the challenges of not being able to go many places, as well as social issues. My dream for the world is for there to be peace and no racism/sexism etc.”

“I haven’t really navigated myself through the pandemic. I just try my best to stay on top of things and be safe. I try to get my education as best as I can. Some challenges I have faced a set back in my education but I have been trying to get help in person as much as I can.”

“Since I was limited to my home I chose to start there. I thought of all the things I had wanted to do if I’d only had more time to spend. I hung bad art, I donated clothes, I did exercises, I read a lot! I quit smoking. :) I adopted a puppy. End of story.”

“I have navigated the pandemic with anxiety, but also deep pleasure in being able to be in my garden observing life, death and renewal all around me. I dream of a world with no capitalism and no plastic in the sea.”