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Always may not be what's really so

Updated: Aug 14, 2023

Are we seeing a micro-cosmic shift in the ‘always’ of things or a whole new reality of what is so?

Cake is always a good idea neon sign in cafe

For some amongst us this could be the most abruptly interrupted situation we have ever been in. Seemingly, within a matter of days, our idea of what was so has been easily dismantled.

I was secure in the knowledge last month our children would go to school on Tuesdays, our local supo would have the regular bag of cat litter I make stretch out for the week and my parents would be hosting Easter lunch at the shack, as always.

At 41, I have plenty of ‘always’. At 11 my son has loads. At 67 my mum has tonnes.

At times I’ve focused relentlessly on changing habitual always. Always sleeping until 7:00 AM seemed like a waste of at least one good hour for something productive. Always having that wine while making dinner seemed to lead to one more and then one more.

Some of us have always had a job. Always gone to school. Always had a family close by. Always found anything we desired in the stores. Always had a yearly holiday. Always had a house and always had someone to listen.

Then there’s, always walked in the bush and always had a pet to cuddle. Always had electricity connected. Always had Tim Tams in the cupboard. Straight after shopping day at least.

I have always had this list of ‘always’.

Today I’m not so sure I do. I don’t know for sure I’ll see my parents at Easter. That I’ll find a supermarket with that now slightly more urgent kitty litter. If I will be able to teach my son his school work. If I will crumble over the Xbox. If I will be able to kiss my boyfriend. If I can take lemons from my bulging tree to my neighbours.

I am sure I will have a bed to sleep in tonight. I will have enough money to keep the lights on and the Internet flowing. I know I can go outside into my garden and pick roses from where they grow. I may also, in all likelihood, start that puzzle I got for Christmas and keep on writing my book.

Consuming daily all the information we are fed to read and hear I am wrestling with what is so and the shifting always.

I am interested about a concept long again suggested by Werner Erhard. He explained something along the line of; what is so is simply what’s so and everything else is our making.

I am here in my house and everyone else is out there. That’s my what’s so. The faces on the zoom chats share their stories of action and circumstance, for them that’s their what’s so.

Even though I try to influence what’s so, it can’t really be done. Is it my anxiety about not shifting what’s so that drives me into action?

I’m certain yes it is. By making financial contributions, texting everyone in my phone and walking my mum’s dog I am responding to what’s so. Looking after other people’s children, taking groceries to my in-laws and talking to my neighbours over the fence for the first time are pure attempts to show myself I’m fine. Which of course I really am.

Yesterday I agreed to host a stranded Czech backpacker and signed up for new Red Cross volunteering roles. More and more busy busyness to keep that anxiety at bay.

Asking my every Facebook friend to join me in a quest to build more possibilities as a group was undeniably fuelled by my rising stress.

Next I galvanized a group of participants to login and voice their thoughts in a mixed circle of my connections stemmed from growing fear of being even more alone.

Dismally attempting to give much needed plasma was foiled by my skinny veins, consoled by the reassurance 100mls is better than none was maxing out ideas to quell my fright.

People are showing their love and giving of themselves everywhere. With their families, neighbours, community and anyone and everyone. I don’t think my motives really matter. So what if it’s my reaction to what’s so. I do see this in case I’m fooling anyone else.

I’m not fooling myself. Neither do I need to.

It seems I’m not alone in this. Not now or ever before. Previously I’ve struggled sitting uncomfortably with my benevolence safer in the clarity of self interest.

As my collection of always is shifting so is my reaction to what’s so. The reflection of my anxiety appears in those around me and solidarity is born. Has there really been a major shift? Or will it be but a blip.

The world may shift more quickly right now than people have been conscious to for a while. Which parts of always will remain? Which parts of always will be radically different?

Will the hospitals received more funding? Will less people travel? Will the smog in LA return? Will the bottle shops ever re-stock?

I wonder whether people will go on asking me how I’m doing this much or whether I will ask them first?

There have been wars, and there are still wars. There have been pandemics and there are still pandemics.

Maybe this is simply an always.

If I’ve got this right from Erhard one thing we know for certain is there is always a what’s so.

Then I suppose there is always what will we do?

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