In this blog I sort of want to write about anything BUT Corona – but there doesn’t seem to BE anything but that in the world, on my mind, in my heart. If you are like me, you both do and don’t want to watch the news. I am sort of curious about the news. But, every time I listen to it or read an article, I get all twisted up inside -– begin having diarrhea even! And yet, it feels irresponsible not to keep up with what is going on.
I vacillate between wanting to focus on the blessings in my life and then feeling like that is a bit false in the face of the gravity of it all. Of course, both things are true – we have to remain grateful for all that we DO and DON’T have at any given moment. And we need to remain hopeful and to put things into perspective.
At the same time, I want to honor the deep fears that so many of us hold and the deep and actual pain, illness and even death that is present among us. I want to offer comfort and compassion and to walk alongside all of that as well as to look out the window for rays of hope somewhere.
Everything is a balancing act, isn’t it? Today happens to be a gray day here, mirroring my internal fears and obsessions. I am not drawn to take a walk, even though I know I would likely brighten up a bit if I did. There’s always a tug of war going on inside me it seems. I worry about things that I have no control over and are very unlikely to happen and yet a part of me says that worry is important too. Worry is what keeps us in line – keeps us inside, keeps us washing our hands. And I also know that worrying about things I can’t control is useless in many ways. How will I look back on these days we have spent being so careful, so isolated, so pre-occupied? How I will look back on them likely depends on how bad it gets, on whether or not I or my loved ones actually get sick.
Tom and I even found ourselves looking over our advanced directives and thinking about the possibility of things like ICU and ventilators etc.etc. So, in the midst of all that, I read a few poems and wrote this one myself about this state of wanting and not wanting to open the blinds!
I twist the lever
of the window shutters
and let the gray world come in.
Ordinary, this day
and yet not. This day filled,
as they all are now, with fear and bad news.
If only we each had
a lever we could twist
to keep out what we don’t want
to see or know. And yet…
There could be sun, green shoots,
neighbors passing by on the street.
There is in me a need
to shutter and to open,
There is no cord
(Ha! Ha! - just then I wrote chord instead of cord)
My pen knows more than I
about what I want.
Not a cord that rigidly controls,
but a chord
that might sing
me open to it all.