The Zen of Masks by Edi Osborne

The Zen of Masks . . .by Edi Osborne

Making masks is my version of “chop wood, carry water.” It’s my zen in the chaos. With each mask, I imagine the face it will land on and the protection it offers. I send my prayers with it. It’s not lost on me that I’m sending my most beautiful fabric “stash” (it’s a quilter’s term – #fabricthuglife) out into the world. Some of the fabrics have been in my stash for a very long time waiting for the just-right project to call them forward. Little did I know, it would be a pandemic calling them into service. And why not? What better way for the texture and beauty of these textiles to bring life and vibrancy to the story that is unfolding before us.

I’ll admit I was on the mask band wagon long before the CDC caught on. Sitting at my sewing table day after day, I watched the news, thinking it was the day they would finally wise up and recommend masks for all. In the same way, I felt and saw this seismic shift coming in a sacred download in July 2014, I see and feel how mandating masks for our own good is serving a much larger purpose.

The masks, soon to be worn by all, signal a reset in how we see/perceive each other. They signal a shift from “individualism” to “communalism.” We are re-membering as a species what it means to be a human on this planet. We are being shown how our differences don’t matter – we are all equally vulnerable in the time of Corona. This is a “leveling event” where our human mortality is front and center.

Given my background in working with accountants, I find this analogy telling. Corona is the Income Statement – a snap-shot of our state of being. Climate Change is the Balance Sheet – reflection of choices over time. Both provide insights of the same entity (Planet Earth/US), but from different perspectives. One is in the now, the other over time.

The uncertainty (read: wisdom) of how the virus spreads is changing us. It’s a pattern interrupting mechanism, causing us to rethink how we live communally (or fail to) on this planet. All the cracks in our old story; poverty, racism, patriarchy, our curse of certainty – a.k.a. religious supremacy, etc. are on full display with greater life-ending consequences each day.

Masks make a statement about being a good citizen in the time of Corona, but just below the surface, there’s a much more profound meaning to be aware of. Many, myself included, have perceived this chaotic time as the Corona Chrysalis – a transformational movement for all of mankind. I think of our masks as the physical pupa of our metamorphic process.

Like an initiation ritual where the initiate dons a special costume/mask signaling a transformation is underway, our Corona masks are the costuming for our initiation. We should embrace them for the spiritual talismans they are.

We are discovering, as initiates often do, that we are capable of far more than we realized. We are going to discover new ways to wipe our asses as toilet paper feels ridiculously scarce. Admit it, you’ve been thinking about it, right? We are going to learn about living off our land as trips to the store carry more risk. We are going to ask questions about why we spend so much to protect us for a war of egos, rather than build a society equipped to care for all, given we are living in the time of pandemic probabilities.

We are discovering “imaginal buds” of pure potentiality to use the lessons of Corona to inform new technologies, new open-sourced platforms for inspiring/facilitating collective genius to solve our most pressing short term (income statement) and longer term (balance sheet) realities. We are also going to see how woefully underinformed we are about the true State of our Union. We will cease the outsourcing of our well-being to the old power structures, now painfully revealed for their profits over people agenda. The war profiteers, the back-room funded politicians, the corporate shills – all of it will be laid out for surgical excision by the masses.

We are going to see an increasing movement to open-source technologies to spark creative expression across the planet. The next wave to technology will be to up-level communication and collaboration across the planet as we discover the concept of proprietary and intellectual property are life-limiting tools of fear and scarcity.

So let’s wear our masks as fellow initiates. Make them beautiful. Make them your statement to the world. You will find, as have I, that you look deeper into another person’s eyes, when all else is covered. You seek to connect not with a smile, but with intention that shows up in the eyes alone.

When the time comes for the initiation to come to its natural end, we will have de-masking rituals. We will “see” ourselves and each other anew. I just love that the word apocalypse means “to reveal.” We will reveal ourselves to the world. . . more aware of the collective and our role in it, more aware of what works for a healthy society and what doesn’t, and more present to how sacred life truly is.

We will grieve. We will forgive. We will hold each other accountable, not to mistakes of the past (revenge is not the way home), but to exploring and co-creating a world that understands and honors our interconnectedness. If we are truly wise, we will learn from our mistakes and commit to never repeating them. Down deep we all knew something had to give, right? You don’t have to be a seer to see what is in plain view before us. An invitation is being served up on a Corona platter. Will you accept it? Will WE accept it, collectively?

Are we ready for the Healing Conversation where we cover our mouths. speaking volumes about our loving intention and punctuated by compassion in our eyes?

Wear your mask with intention.

Wear your mask, like a butterfly dons a pupa, trusting the pure potentiality of this moment.

Wear your mask as all that is broken in our world is revealed.

Wear your mask because you love your brothers and sisters, as you love yourself.

Wear it because WE are worth it.

From Edi Osborne, who gave permission for this use: “Please add that I’m making masks to help our community and raise funds (for those with means) for my non-profit.


5 thoughts on “The Zen of Masks by Edi Osborne

  1. A “leveling event”. Yes.
    Does the One in charge know what is being done? Yes.
    Nice piece of writing, Edi. Thanks.

  2. nice. I too have been thinking of my various sources of material for masks… and YES – I can’t think of a better reusing of souvenir shirts – of happy times; favorites that have seen better days; some “remember when” swatches….but most inspiring was the LOVE and the INTENTION put into each mask. Thank-you. I needed some good after the AM news check….

    ***there is noise about the various types of material and which is best… the information is changing, but I think thickness/layers will always be a “good idea” and being WASHABLE IS IMPORTANT …. but these masks, as mentioned, are so much more than just medical….

  3. Thank you for this deep inspiration and needed perspective of possibility in this time.

    I cannot get the link to work. Clicking on it brings back Kate’s blog. Entering it fresh on a website gets a “cannot be reached” message. Perhaps it needs some fixing??

    Thank you for giving permission to pass along – it’s going far and wide.

    Maura Kelsea

  4. PENSCRATCH598 – clicking on the link at the end of the article worked for me now 4/6/2020 1:05pm

  5. I would like to share this with my quilt group. May I? Many of us are making masks to. I know they will enjoy this very much.

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