OK, so we can't see people's shoes or socks in video calls ~ except yes we can! Thanks for sharing! And sometimes we can’t see people at all because the video image is not there in Clark Kent’s case (an old friend joining us with 'ready for the change of image' new glasses) and each of us dropping sound and vision in and out at different times, together with stuff and noise going on in the background…. The natural humour, breadth and depth of direct experience and emotion is slipping back in to these weekly meetings now, which we all seem to be getting a bit more used to ~ even the silences. Thanks ~ alright we do miss the biscuits ~ but I really enjoyed our get together and listening mindfully to one another. This evening there was a lot of honest sharing about stuff, in particular the tendency of the mind to take offence at the behaviour of others and in the present circumstances how easy it is to become annoyed and even angry with them. Feelings were raw. That people are encroaching on and invading our personal space and intruding on the time and ways we have set out for ourselves. Feelings that we are stuck and saddled with others who irritate and sadden us. Feelings that we are having to negotiate our way around territory that once felt familiar and safe, that now perhaps feels more like a minefield in which we are constantly having to 'give way'. And the wonder of realising that an invisible line never crossed for many years can be ventured beyond. Seen from the other side, everything looks different, fresh and new. The feeling was one of great poignancy. Why after all this time, had I not been here before? Feelings that we personally are not liked, appreciated or accepted by some. And we don’t know and can only imagine why. Some who we'd like to be liked by and others who we thought we ourselves could never like or appreciate or understand. That maybe now we are having to rethink all the stories we tell ourselves. And why didn't we make allowances like that before instead of carrying the weight around with us and sometimes being mindful, waking up and putting it down? Why did we have to have feelings of intimidation and fear and goodness knows what else when in the presence of some individuals?! Just feelings, so many feelings, fluctuating feelings.... and sharing them all as we do, shows that it's all pretty normal and human stuff. Stuff to be aware of and to let go of whenever we can. Our mind trying to take care of us and protect us from threat and danger. Letting go of the SELF. So much scope for that isn't there? And not taking it all personally, which of course the mind is very apt to do all the time. And evidently, a lot of time is being spent on other stuff too, like tidying, sorting, organising and rearranging and the truth is we do this to help ourselves to feel secure and to have comfort. We need this sense of order, to feel we have any degree of control over our own boundaries and spaces and life. And sometimes as people said, we need to let all this stuff go too and just rest. And then Nature kicks in and if we are lucky enough to have a garden, blows our fences down, and we can’t fix them because we dare not call someone in to do the repair so we have to mend and make do…. and it’s not easy. As a result, we feel exposed to and vulnerable with each other ~ to annoying and irritating neighbours. We can’t avoid their loud conversations and their distressing presence. Then the sun comes out and the weather improves and we are thrust amongst each other even more. More stuff for all of us. And we know that things can't always be fixed right away and we have to live with them and/or be creative in finding ways to mend things ~ within or outside of ourselves ~ without having all the ideal ingredients or correct parts. More stuff to be aware of and sit with. Even if we don’t sit. No need to take a fence? You at the back there! I can hear you groaning…. In amongst all this judging and misguided-mind business, the joy and surprise of finding that some people who we didn't even think cared for us much at all.... turns out they actually do like us and appreciate us and value who and how we are, tons more than we ever knew. The gift of a leafy plant and a really thoughtful card ~ what a kind gesture?! We can be kind. And finally being told the uplifting story about the scary scratching and flapping noise coming from a cavity wall behind the fridge. With the mind running riot about what this might be and the horror, harm, damage and catastrophe it could cause. Putting off doing anything about it and then suddenly realising…. maybe there is a way! An air vent is pulled off the wall and a little bird emerges alive to fly and sing another day. What a beautiful and touching way to end this evening!