As of this writing, we seem to be looking through a glass darkly at the oncoming 2022. But I would like to offer a contrasting view.
Let’s start with the ‘fascia picture of the year’:
Of course the colours are enhanced, but this shows all four types of human tissue – nerve, muscle, endothelial, and connective – all working together in a wonderful harmonic dance we call life, which we experience directly only as the hum of metabolism within us. If only we humans could act collectively with the cooperation constantly at work beneath our skin! If, by contrast, our cells worked only at the level of cooperation we see in our societies, our body would not live out the day, let alone a lifetime.
Greta Thunberg and others are right: Our human ‘body’ – 8 billion souls spread around the surface of the earth – is showing all kinds of signs of breakdown, the result of consumption beyond our needs and prodigal spending of natural resources. There is no question that continuing down the path we are on will make the very survival of civilization moot.
Homo domesticus has succeeded homo sapiens as the dominant species on the planet, and us ‘new’ people – urbanised and divorced from the natural world – are vulnerable to the apocalyptic horsemen we have unleashed upon ourselves. Overpopulation and our inefficient use of the fossil fuels stored painstakingly underground over the last 2 billion years by our ‘Mother’ planet, causing climate change and its resulting migration, starvation, and aggravation – all this awaits us if we do not pull together as the cells in our body do.
One response to this, embodied in Elon Musk, is the leap for other planets like Mars, a literal Planet B. Great idea to be a multi-planet species, but not as an alternative to Planet A – Earth. Living in harmony with the planet and with each other is an imperative now, soon, as a basis to reach out elsewhere in the universe. Not looking so good, is it?
One of my teachers, Bucky Fuller, was fond of saying, “You cannot learn less” – meaning that every experience, every twist and turn, contains its lesson. Thomas Edison voiced a similar thought when an assistant, frustrated as they sought to invent the light bulb, complained, “We’re as in the dark as when we started.” “Not so,” retorted Edison, “We now know a thousand ways not to do it.”
However much we may have been unprepared for Covid, we have learned a great deal for the next outbreak, and woke up to our vulnerability. Many of us have reconnected to nature through our gardens, our kitchens, the great out of doors, and diving within ourselves. We realise how dependent we are on food chains, supply chains, and all our ‘essential workers’ – mostly underpaid and under-appreciated.
For many bodyworkers and movement teachers, it’s been a hard two years, and with Omicron and who knows what variants or other pitfalls ahead of us. The hoped-for ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ still seems to be an oncoming train. At least in the short-term.
But the long-term looks much more hopeful. I predict a blossoming Renaissance of interest in skilled touch and informed movement training in the aftermath of this enforced period of ‘distancing’. Closeness is distancing’s opposite, and people of all classes and nations will flock to it when the bans, both legal and psychological, are lifted. I predict that your practices will expand, your classes fill, and engagement skyrocket as Covid fades into the background.
And perhaps, if our lessons have been learned, we will start seeing the cooperation in the body human that we see among the cells in your human body. That would be a nice reversal for 2022 – our practices filling, and our contribution to both individual and collective health acknowledged. Movement opportunities abound and will grow in schools and hospitals and elder care centers, in businesses and the military, and in communities of all colours across the world.
The local restrictions and lock-downs that characterise Covid panic are a drag, and pull on our income and confidence. Do not lose heart. The wave is cresting and will lose its energy soon. What will replace it is a wave of energy directed to us, masters of closeness and tenderness, restoration and vitality, connection and balance. Prepare yourself to receive this wave of interest. Marshall your resources, draw your water from the deep (but clear) well of grief and loss, and nourish the soul that loves and welcomes others into your heart. These are much needed attributes, worn down in others unprepared for the isolation of these years.
You are the link to the future – for the people who come to you, and in a larger sense, for the planet.
With best wishes for 2022 as we welcome the return of the light,
Clark’s Cove Maine