Hi my friend,
How are you? How are your spirits? Do you feel it as bizarre as I do to find my days devoid of certain hallmarks that chronicle the passage of time? I thought today was Thursday, and arguably no 24 hour period is far different from another right now – morning walk, evening walk, FaceTime with my kids and kidlets, reading, cooking, knitting and trying to teach myself how to needle felt (and failing miserably). As I write, it sounds like I’m doing this sheltering in place pretty damn well – and I am, but for the spectre of my devoted doctor reminding me on a videocall about my high risk status – blah, blah, blah…I hear it, I can’t fully absorb it or I wouldn’t be able to move.
Which brings me to why I’m writing. When we speak of muscle memory, we typically think of our bodies – using our muscles with regularity so that they know what to do and become better with use. Good thing too. Get out there people, if you can – the birds are desperate to be heard.
What about the muscle memory of connection? We learn how to interact with each other, we develop our communication skills with practice (admittedly some more than others), we learn to listen and respond (again, some more than others). When I was in grad school, active listening was a year long course – and frankly, it was exhausting. That said, it’s a muscle I use and use and use. And when there’s no one around, I listen to the subtlety of sounds I typically pay no attention to.
How are you doing with the muscle memory of your heart? Of the thoughts you are giving free rein in your gorgeous head? Are you exercising your power to choose? And can you choose hope in the face of so much fear and sorrow? Can you choose to see some beauty despite this frightening reality that unfolds with increasing despair each hour? I cop to being a Pollyana, though even I struggle at the moment. So, I return to muscle memory. I am pretty limber with hope, I am incredibly flexible when it comes to love – in fact, I wish my physical muscle memory was as toned.
Krista Tippett wrote – “Hope, like every virtue, is a choice that becomes a habit that becomes spiritual muscle memory. It’s a renewable resource for moving through life as it is, not as we wish it to be.” I hope you are well, I hope you are exercising your mind and your body. I hope.