Make your heart a bowl
Lynn Ungar and Rebecca Ann Parker collaborate, creating a cello-accompanied reading of Ungar’s Poem, “A Letter in Return,” which offers this wisdom about coping with overwhelming emotions:
Make your heart a bowl
that is large enough to hold it all.
Imagine you are the potter.
Stretch the clay. Cherish the turning wheel.
Accept that the bowl
is never going to be done. (YouTube, April 7)
Jane Dwinell had checked her partner, Sky, into respite care just before the virus hit. Sky, who has Alzheimer’s, has been deteriorating quickly, and Jane cannot visit him. “I don’t think we’ll be bringing him home,” she said.
But at least he’s no longer asking me to bring him home. In one lucid moment last week he said to me, “I like it here. There are other people like me to hang out with.”
It’s an unknown time for all of us. I’m trying to learn to live in the moment, to be grateful for what I do have, and to accept that I cannot see Sky—for who knows how long. I’m trying to trust that the staff are doing their best to care for him and keep him safe. (Alzheimer’s Canyon, April 14)
Helen Rose captures the numbing weariness experienced by those of us sheltering in place.
I ordered a pizza
Because I was too tired to cook
From working at home
From being home all day.
They cancelled the order
Because there were not enough drivers
And I can’t even be mad
Because there’s a fucking pandemic. (The Journey So Far, April 12)
Joanna Fontaine Crawford reminds us that we’ve brought our wounds with us into quarantine.
What are your wounds, those unhealed bits that when bumped against, cause you to react? How is being in this time of uncertainty, and being either cooped up with others, or all alone, causing them to flare up?
. . . . We are all in this together. Let us extend grace to each other, and check inward with ourselves. We are not going to be at our best all the time right now. How could we be? We have demands on us, many of them unlike any others we've faced before.
So let us extend grace also to ourselves. (Boots and Blessings, April 14)
Real hope and false bravado
Michael Tino wonders where the Easter hope is, during this interminable quarantine.
Perhaps hope is written in packets sent home from teachers for children learning far from their classrooms
or recorded in video stories and songs by authors and artists
or gathered for virtual meals shared together over the internet. (Facebook, April 12)
Jordinn Long points out the false bravado of government officials.
While local and federal officials continue to handle this thing like the Ministry of Magic handled Voldemort’s return—shaming those who talk about it, downplaying impacts, refusing to be transparent about risks, numbers, and losses—refrigerated trucks are waiting for us. For you. For those who love. Literally right now. I’m not kidding; drive over and go look if you must—it would be safer than some of the stupid things you are currently doing.
So when I say stay home, that’s what I am thinking about. (Facebook, April 9)
No one trusts the system
Adam Dyer points us deeper, to the underlying Amercan issue of lack of trust.
Some say we are fighting a war against the coronavirus, but before this battlefront emerged, we were deep in the trenches of a war on trust. The problem is that we cannot win a war against a disease of the body until we win the war on the disease of the heart. Putting people back to work in a vulnerable environment in low wage precarious employment is not the solution. Propping up multi-billion-dollar corporations that thrive on the abuse of employees and the rape of the environment is not the solution. (spirituwellness, April 10)
Janice Broughton suggests that while “we are all ready for this to be over,” we also worry about returning too quickly to the way things were.
Besides wanting some of what we had before being told to stay at home, many people voice that they don’t want to return to the way things were. I think people are a little worried that we won’t have learned anything. That we will return to wasteful excesses of travel and spending and expensive oversized sparkliness. That we will forget that we are all so very connected when there is no deadly virus to connect us. No worries. We will not be going back. It is not at all clear what the configuration of the world will be when this is all over, but Covid-19 has become part of who we are. (Why Is American Healthcare So Expensive?, April 9)