Sometimes things move so fast that they seem to slip into a blur of constant motion, appearing to stretch and morph as they slide through the world. There is a stream just outside my window here and, after it rains, it rushes into a single streak of rapids. Perhaps, outside your window, there’s a flood of traffic streaming past; if you half close your eyes, perhaps the brake lights stretch into lines behind the vehicles?
The last month or so has felt rather like that for many of us, I think. With events and milestones flashing past at such a rate that they have blurred into a haze of relentless movement around us. At such times, it can be easy to feel swept off our feet, as though the flow of things will just carry us along with it – we tumble and bob and are whisked along by the rapids without feeling much control. For many, this certainly seems to have been the experience of the easing of lock-down and the re-opening of social spaces. It’s like someone opened the hatch on a pressurized plane and we’re all instantly sucked outside into a giant jumble of confusion and anxiety...
During the 2020/21 COVID19 pandemic, Chris Goto-Jones started writing periodic emails to the participants of the MOOC DeMystifying Mindfulness on Coursera and FutureLearn. Following requests to put them all in one place, they are reproduced here.