If this global pandemic is not enough to put my existential wheels into hyper drive, I am worn down witnessing the worst of man’s abuses. Lets just call that what it is- police brutality and domestic terrorists taking advantage and causing chaos undermining the best of humanity, peaceful protestors. Add to the mix tone deaf destructive leadership counter productive to the cause of social justice and I am worn down.

As an admitted sensitive soul, taking on all of that pain is a default setting and my dark cloud (and soul) is finding it hard to see a silver lining, usually my saving grace. Yet, we are still here and we (must) go on. About a week ago I was thinking that to simply walk back into the when-its-safe-from-pandemic world was the victory. Of course my wish was to proudly be slimmer, younger, better looking and with a streamlined life purpose on top of being alive. Now the victory is just wanting to walk back into the world, ideally a world that respects social justice and humankind.

The powerful and inspiring example I am holding on to is that of a transcendent Nelson Mandela walking out of prison a wise, peaceful and respected leader. Trouble is my contrarian brain juxtaposes that to Hitler’s incarceration which was not as rehabilitative. The reform I wish for is challenging given the emboldened darkness festering in a political Petri dish. Somehow I want to trust that the conquering of evil is not the uphill battle against entitled privilege that now is leaving a loathsome stench.

And to think a week or two ago I was tailspinning cause the brilliant acting guide Seth Barrish, one of the many gifts of quarantine, made a reference to Malcolm Gladwell’s rule of 10,000 hours of dedicated practice leading to world class expertise in one’s chosen field. Mathematically besides napping and worry I couldn’t come up with anything that I had practiced for that amount of time. I had already lamented not having an adequate reserve fund or Voice Over career and was envious of those who did. What did that say about my palpable life accomplishments (and why shouldn’t napping did count…I still think I have the indoor record and am working on the outdoor.)

Fatherhood? NOT! My kids are at each other’s throats. Writing? Only if the indecipherable 6000 hours of morning pages are really leading me to a career as a scribe. I am not sure the output even counts as expert practice as my journals are as not screenwriting and there may not be transfer credits. I could just write a screenplay…If I am not at 10K hours doesn’t mean it’s not time to start.

Taking stock in a panic mode is maybe not the best choice either, reminiscent of that scene in the film Almost Famous when the plane is seemingly going to crash and one of the bandmates confesses his homosexuality not wanting to die with that life long secret. If our metaphoric plane is going down now I would like to think I am already an open book. That open book borne of my meditation practice.

I can only imagine what my life would look like without those 6000 hours of writing, Come to think of it my meditation practice hours are likely close to five figures. Anyway isn’t it the journey not the destination? I am gonna hold on to that today. That and a world full of other like minded travelers doing their best not matter how many hours it takes and not matter what is going on around us.