Communitas: Hope and Belonging in the Midst of Disruption
“The pandemic and current social uprising changes everything we see, everything we write, and everything we read.”
Jane Hirshfield, Poet
Point of Departure
It is likely that the pandemic and its aftermath may constitute a point of departure from the way we have lived to a future that is very different from where we seemed to be heading just a few months ago. While many of us continue to be “sheltered” at home or work, whatever bubble of protection we feel is likely to dissipate. In times like this, when things fall apart, and a new direction is not really clear, a sense of intense community spirit can arise among those who find themselves traversing the turbulence of change together. This shared sense of community spirit is referred to as “communitas” by anthropologists and other social scientists. It is full of intense relatedness, aliveness and feeling. Especially now, when the prevailing feeling of uncertainty and instability is so pervasive, appreciating communitas can give us insight and hope.