(I’ve been sending periodic emails to current and some former students since the start of the pandemic. If you want off this list, lmk. If you want to stay on as a former student, lmk and send me your non-UW email. And, if you’re interested, you can see an archive of past emails to students on my website. Also, top image credit: lunar eclipse and seven sisters Nov 20, 2021 Robert Fedez)
It’s hard, innit? I know. And at UW, we’re going into remote instruction again (with some waffling and passing the buck by leadership). But I’m writing to you to hopefully cheer you up and inspire you to keep on keeping on. It’s *still* important to be social as much as you can, and going digital online doesn’t mean being isolated. It takes effort and deliberate thoughtfulness about how you interact with others. Hit those like buttons, add emojis to everything, let people know you’re there, even if you don’t say anything.
And remember that we’re in this together.
I just discovered a new video by the BBC about the size of the universe, a remake of the “Powers of Ten” video from 1977!
Again, I want to impress upon you how you’re part of something bigger, and in this realization, you can draw strength and comfort. But maybe your natural inclination is to feel terror and insanity at how insignificant you are–just a speck among humans with humans just a speck among stars–but, actually, the opposite is true. While the video shows our physical reality and how massive it is, it becomes even more incredible when you realize that each of us is also infinitely deep, limitless in how we make meaning and feel. Indeed, the soul of the universe is infinite x infinite, and you are as infinite as the (multi/uni)verse itself.
But even more than that! If you frameshift your mind, you realize that we’re in a collective–intricately connected like a single entity rather than individuals existing with others. Draw strength from this and focus on making yourself and the whole better today than it was yesterday. Sometimes you can focus on yourself, but sometimes you can’t so you focus on others. Focus on what works, and, in the end, it’ll come back around.
By the way, if you haven’t seen the original, it’s also worth a watch as it goes the other direction, as well, showing the microscopic world down as far as we knew back then.
Anyway, I hope this has been helpful. Remember, also, to be playful.
As always, with love,