Reflections in practice in response to Covid-19 by Paul Bailey

Cover page of “The Little Prince” book by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (1943)


In response to the blog written by Michele Hayes:

To write a blog into the silence, as you did, Michele. To wait with no response. And, then, at last, some words appear.

I write to thank you for initiating this conversation: for daring to share with us, your unseen readers, how you’re reflecting on the times they are a-changing.

These are, of course, such early days of our individual and our collective Covid-19 challenge. How do we best meet this latest manifestation of the invisible?

As sensory beings, we respond more easily to what our senses reveal. We see earth. We see water. We see fire. Air we do not see. And, yet we are, as you write in your very first sentence, ‘caught on the prevailing winds’. The wind is the air moving. These winds themselves are invisible to us. We can see the effects of the invisible. We sensory beings can see the trees sway. We see the birds soar. Yet we cannot see this new threat in the very air we share.

In the middle section, you let us feel with you the impact, the shock of it, the threat of it, of the ‘strong headwind that is Covid-19’. We used to work by being in physical proximity with the other. Now we meet through screens. The times they are a-changing.

And, towards the end of the writing, I see how you move from the shocking impact of the challenge back to its opportunity: ‘we will catch this wind and gain lift by spreading our wings’.

Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s delightful character, the little prince, says:

“And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: it is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye”.

This is a time to be willing to see rightly.

I appreciate Michele, your willingness to share with us a way to be to meet the invisible.

And, in this spirit of appreciation, I want, also, to thank our Association for creating opportunities for a number of us to meet, via Zoom, this week in small supervision groups: to find ways to be with each other to begin to see rightly. The Association, through your writing, Michele, and through these groups allows us to do what Associations are formed for: to associate.

Thank you.

Paul Bailey on Good Friday, 2020.

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