Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Pandemic Meditations: The Beauty within the Ugly by D.S. SENSE

There is, of course, the act of meditating--of clearing one's thoughts and finding a space within the body to dwell. There is also the act of focusing on a single object: a leaf, a shoelace, an image, a thought, a moment. 

No doubt, the dictionary has a numbered list of possible meanings for the word meditation. But I think, a dwelling, seems right. To dwell, in mind, in space. The pandemic seems to be meditating on us, having burrowed into our breaths in a way that it can exist without us feeling it there, much less knowing it. It can pass into others' breath without anyone knowing--the virus itself or the experience of living amid the virus. And, like this, we live within the pandemic only aware of it when someone else brings it up, when the streets go empty, or when we can't hear ourselves through or masks--or, in those moments we wake briefly from having lapsed into that former state of mind that existed before Covid-19.

Today, the Pandemic Meditations series continues, in dwelling, thanks to hip-hop artist Deidre D.S. SENSE Smith. I met Deidre in Detroit when I shared the stage with her and, from then on, her words have never let go and so I haven't either.  ~E.P.


The Beauty within the Ugly



A blue surgical mask trimmed in white adorns the archway of my bedroom door. There are seventeen windows opened on my smartphone screen as I try to meet today's demands remotely. I lay naked in bed in eighty-degree heat, with my right leg atop my left while cicadas sing a song that keeps prey at bay. My bedroom window is opened and the afternoon breeze ushers in a scent of freshly mowed lawns and the occasional cicada or mosquito. My cat, Eastside Gidget, is in a state of bliss as she chases the flying insects and snags my sheer curtains in the process. She takes a break and joins me on my bed for her afternoon nap. I envy the way she can rest anywhere in any space without a care in the world. I think to myself "how wonderful it must be" to only be concerned with how many snuggles one could fit into a day and how many trips to a saucer filled with kibble one should take. Why am I so entertained by this? I guess when your days merge into one big immeasurably timeless void . . . you find ways to fill it. COVID-19 has made us all so reflective, observant, and cautious. As someone who has aired on the side of caution for most of my life, I find myself being freer with my thoughts, hopes, dreams, and opinions. I am a "Rigid Bohemian" who has been contradictory in my desire to go with the flow while attempting to control the wave. Right now something is outside of my window out of my control, and I think that I'm okay with that. For once, I have been able to sit still, not know, know for sure, and not care to know anything . . .  it is the beauty within the ugly of the current state of the world. So I'm going to human and patient with the beauty and ugly within me while Mother Nature balances hers. 


Deidre D.S. SENSE Smith
eidre D.S. SENSE Smith is a hip-hop artist living and working in Detroit. She's the creator of the community project and brand #OnMyDetroitEverything, is deeply involved in the Detroit arts community (listen to an interview with her here), and served as an ambassador MC to Brazil as part of the Next Level program run by the Department of Agriculture and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has four albums to her name, Start Up Money, her self-titled album, and Space Audissey. Her newest album, Cooper St. Chrysalis, was recently released on all major platforms. Find it at https://distrokid.com/hyperfollow/deidredssensesmith/cooper-st-chrysalis. Deidre also took part in the Summer Library Series; read her essay here

❤ Find more Pandemic Meditations here: http://www.erinpringle.com/p/pandemic-meditations-series.html