The power of a comma

– What are you? A psychologist? he asked.

– No, no, no! I am a dreamseller.

– And what do you sell to suicides?

– A comma. I sell them a comma, for them to continue to write their story.

the dreamseller (2016)

I have just watched The Dreamseller and instantly fell in love with these lines. That comma is such a great metaphor for the shoulder of a friend to cry on, the first step of a healing process, a new-found perspective that can lead to a long sought after breakthrough, a shred of compassion to rekindle the will to live after losing almost everything…

In the past weeks I listened carefully to the world’s sorrows and what I heard was a desperate calling for a comma. That comma that will bridge the old with the new, that will let the obsolete die to allow for the better to be born. And for a few days now I have been looking for it too. In the lights of the recent events (the COVID-19 pandemic, the release of the IPCC 6th Assessment Report on climate change, the extreme weather conditions and events around the globe, the military, political, economic, and digital wars still happening in many parts of the world, just to name a few) I keep wondering: how can I help with the resources available to me right now? How can I live a more sustainable life? What habits do I need to form to live a better life for myself, for humanity, for the planet? How will I see their impact?

To be honest, right now I am feeling overwhelmed by the number of crises that need immediate action. And I can really understand all the flight and fight reactions I see in the media. Sometimes, shutting down and turning our back to all of it is the only option to stay mentally healthy. Other times, shouting in the open our anger and discontent feels liberating. Yet, the place I find myself in right now is the freeze zone. My brain keeps absorbing and organizing every bit of information to get the big picture and find the optimal course of action. My heart is filled with sorrow for all the suffering in the world and would like to make it disappear. In one hand I have a burning fire, in the other a cold ice. I am now the comma that is trying to figure out the AND after it… I have to find a way forward soon!

Original image by Iván Tamás from Pixabay.

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