Super Human in the Midst of a Pandemic

Article by Michael Handler March 23, 2020

What if super human wasn’t about being more than, but just more?

What if it didn’t mean beyond but just being?

What if it wasn’t about greater abilities, strengths, intelligence or powers, but the ability to be fully alive in our common carbon frame?

What if in the midst of societal confusion, global isolation, and a worldwide sickness that has entered our neighborhoods now is the time to be more human, not more than human?

Let us connect with our needs and check on our neighbors.

Let us be ok being afraid and yet know we can be beyond fear.

Let us take the moment to reset, rest, unplug our screens and remember to see the sun and feel the breeze. Open the windows and let in the early spring chill.

Let us taste the food we had to make ourselves. Remember what it is to tear up at the slicing of the onion and that imperfect can still be delicious. Feel the heat in our homes as we fire up the stove. Remember the anticipation of watching the bubbles form on the bottom of the pot of water as we wait, watch and wait longer for the first signs of a rolling boil.

Let us remember what the skin of our spouse feels like as we are able to hold hands on a day without destination. Let us smell the hair of our children as we are able to sit, snuggle and share moments in the midst of stories on sofas.

Let us look at the others in our homes and see how they’ve grown. Consider their voices and hear their songs. Share in their laughter and allow them to cry. See their size, look at their eyes…we have no where to go. Remember what their breath sounds like, allow their laugh to be the music we dance to, their cries to be the reminder we all have needs. Be okay with the silence we can share.

Let us remember we can remember, it is a gift of the Divine given to humanity. Break out the pictures of that vacation from seven years ago and live in those moments. Feel that warm sun from the shore and smell the saltwater air on the breeze. Hear the laughter caught in the frame and see how we’ve changed, aged and be grateful. Take advantage of the moment to remember the moments we’ve been given.

Let us write letters. Record our days. Share our gratitude — there is still much to be thankful for.

Let us walk in our neighborhood and pray for those whom we live amongst. Feel the sidewalk under our feet. Take in the trees as their leaves begin to bud.

Let us invite people to experience small joys and enjoy them ourselves. Draw hopscotch on our sidewalk and supply a small pile of rocks for kids who may walk by. Work on our flowerbeds, they will serve as art galleries for our neighbors. Share the smell of our grandmother’s cookie recipe as we bake in our kitchens with widows thrown open, allowing the scent of butter and sugar to dance on the breeze and be the welcome we share with our community.

Let us take time and drink brewed coffee from ceramic mugs rather than vacuum-sealed travel tumblers. Park the car, for now. Give the gas money to those in need.

Let us give the machines rest and remember there is worship in our work. String up the clothes line and allow the sun to once again dry our clothes. Cook over fire that doesn’t require a touchpad. Wash the dishes by hand and love those whom we’ve shared a meal with. This is not a Luddite movement, but a human moment — not a philosophical ideal, but a physical embodiment.

Let us not consider our strength and pretend to be invincible or invisible. We cannot fly — the planes are grounded. We cannot speed — there’s no where to get to.

The offices are closed, the theaters doors shut, the libraries are sealed up tight. We cannot commute, commune or congregate. In time, perhaps again we will. We will shake hands with strangers, eat with our neighbors, celebrate birthdays at restaurants and grab coffee with friends. We will, one day, gather for business meetings and baptisms. We will once again sing together in person, hug old friends, host our neighbors and put the distance behind us.

But for now, this is the time to be super human. To be aware of our needs, take joy in our incompleteness. Feel and not be numb. Be without embarrassment.

Allow our wants to fade, the malls aren’t open. Fix our broken things, we have the time. Remember our homes are gifts, we can stop comparing.

Let us be. Not more than human.

Just more human.