March 17, 2020

Sheltering at Home - Day 1- Notes from Oakland, CA

Practicing Warrior II in my Oakland apartment.
Quiet. That was the first thing I noticed when I awoke this morning. I could hear individual sounds instead of the cacophony of general background humm. Shelter at Home means fewer cars, busses, trains, and planes. Next I heard my cat companion Dhalia purring and felt the warmth of her fur as I reached out to give her a loving touch. This sweet (and sometimes bitchy) creature was sitting on my side, above the covers, as I dozed in bed. The next sound was a garbage truck clunking its gears and then a bird singing its morning song.

In this time of the unknown when everything is so uncertain, I am trying to savor the quiet soundscape, the ease of pace and the time to take care of myself. Without the need to rush into the commute of San Francisco, I am able to take the extra time to...meditate, walk, practice yoga, bike ride, cook. This is in between endless zoom meetings and also getting my work done. 

My job is to hold space for my numerous students at several Bay Area colleges and universities as we meet online for our now virtual, synchronous classes. That means we "see" each other in real time. At first the many faces on the screen, reacting and responding, seemed surreal. But now it is our opportunity to see and be seen, to hear and be heard, to listen and share. Similarly, each student assignment that I grade I am taking more time to write thoughtful comments in the text and students are taking the time to resubmit their work, sharing clearer ideas with more details. Going deep. 

Today's mantra: slow down and notice my surroundings.


Update: Went for a bike ride this morning around Lake Merritt. Virtually no cars on the road. It was glorious. Then practiced yoga at home.