The World is Dancing…
Dancing with Death

In many previous articles, I have mentioned having a former colleague of mine who I chat with on the phone every Saturday afternoon at 1pm. We worked together four decades ago. I consider her a medical, psychological, and humanities genesis. With the onset of the coronavirus, I have asked her all sorts of questions. She also knows a vast entourage ranging from books to musical classics.

Additionally, my colleague understands both the negative and positive effects upon me when my family moved to Mt. Lebanon when I was about to enter sixth grade. That experience started off as a curse and is now a blessing. While I am glad that I grasp the polarity of that experience, it still forces me to address what I call my hauntings. Once I deal them, I experience a genuine sense of relief and joy.

Furthermore, we are both fully aware of the benefits of our near-death experiences. I’ve done two dances with death, and she has gone down the tunnel. We have discussed the changes in our lives due to our dances. Also, there are tensions or polarity there also. Our near-death experiences didn’t go from near tragedy to happiness automatically. It transitions over time, and life isn’t all a bowl of cherries.

Hans Holbein’s woodblock, The Old Woman

Hans Holbein’s woodblock, The Old Man

As our country and the world, we are all dancing with death. Even if we aren’t stricken by COVID-19, we still dance fearing that we may be the next victim. Here are some ideas that help me see life more clearly.

The Black Death

  • Listen to the doctors. Trump isn’t a doctor even though he acts like a TV sitcom doctor.
  • There is a systemic change due to the coronavirus. We, along with the rest of the world, are experiencing the emotional rattling of what we called a normal. We know the negative aspects of that systemic change. There is a disproportionate number of those who contracted and died due to COVID-19 among people of color in America. Why is that? It has to do with discrimination and poverty. Even if some of those people of color have acquired success in America, many have inherited genetic issues due to inequity faced by those that came before them. We all can benefit from COVID-19 if we take this opportunity to address social injustice in America.
  • Another learning that is possible is to decide what are the critically important parts of our lives. We need to develop a list of things that are most important. Then we need to focus upon those concerns and not get distracted by far less interests.
  • Finally, it is important to grasp the reality that it is in giving that we get. If we don’t give, getting will be more difficult. We need to realize that we are all human beings. The more we reach out to others, the more they will reach out to us. It sounds counterintuitive. One would think that giving anything like time or helping another person will reduce what we have. It is probably one of two most important oxymorons that I know. The other is that dancing with death causes one to come alive.