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CSI Supports: A toast to what comes next

On Friday, April 3rd, a few weeks after closing the space, members gathered for our traditional once a month toast to close out a week. The following is a slightly edited version a toast delivered by Stefan Hostetter, the Community Manager at CSI Spadina.

A toast to what comes next. 

If I can ask you for a second, to imagine yourself standing on the edge of a deep valley. The winding road disappears into the tree tops below and the other side barely visible, fading into the horizon.

We began our descent a few weeks ago as the pandemic began to impact every aspect of our lives, and today, we find ourselves halfway down. Each part of this journey will be perilous in its own way, but today, I’m particularly struck by the loss of the future.

To carry on the metaphor, the world is so uncertain that we can’t see beyond the next turn in the road, but we’ve also lost sight of other side obscured by the trees and angle as we look up. And I personally have found this incredibly disorienting, it feels impossible to imagine myself next week, or next month.

I am struck both by how much we do not know about the depths of this valley, the dangers and difficulties we will face as we continue this descent, but also by the fact that at some point likely months away, there we will be, standing on the other side of this. Looking back yes, acknowledging all that was lost, but looking forward too, looking forward to what comes next.

We as individuals but also as a society shall be irreparably changed by this path. This virus is highlighting the cracks in our society, breaking them open for all to see. And if we spend this time now, this time on the path without a future, deepening our roots, and working together, I am truly hopeful that we can make what comes next beautiful. A place where we prioritize the wellbeing of people, care for our communities, and protect our most vulnerable.

As we descend into the darkness, I see examples of light everywhere I look. People everywhere are carrying torches to brighten the way for those who cannot. We are living these values today, may we continue to do so tomorrow.

And so here is to the crest of the horizon that we cannot see, and what lies beyond. Our future is uncertain, but in all of you I have hope. So a toast, to what comes next.

CSI knows physical distancing doesn’t have to mean social distancing, so we are here for you – now more than ever – with the support you need.

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