Know That We Are Connected

Enough news - of catastrophe and sociopathy and madness - for us today, thanks. Time for a beauty/solace/sanity/poetry break to help see us through. Amidst the multitude of random kindnesses underway in our besieged world: Expert advice on feeling our grief and moving past it, inexpert dinosaurs on socially-distanced parade in Milwaukee, lock-down concerts from Berklee School of Music students and Yo Yo Ma's Songs of Comfort, quarantine birthday parties for the young and old and restless, Playing For Change videos offering joy, fond groupies of Gov. Andy Beshear turning Kentucky blue in real pandemic time, Maine neighbors bringing whoopie pies and tiny libraries becoming food pantries, and "poetry as insurgent art" á la Ferlinghetti: "I am signalling you through the flames." Because, asks Maine's Gov. Janet Mills, herself reading poetry aloud, "Isn't that enough?" 

Pandemic

What if you thought of it
as the Jews consider the Sabbath— 
the most sacred of times? 
Cease from travel. 
Cease from buying and selling. 
Give up, just for now, 
on trying to make the world 
different than it is. 
Sing. Pray. 
Touch only those 
to whom you commit your life. 
Center down.
 
And when your body has become still, 
reach out with your heart. 
Know that we are connected 
in ways that are terrifying and beautiful. 
(You could hardly deny it now.) 
Know that our lives 
are in one another’s hands. 
(Surely, that has come clear.) 
Do not reach out your hands. 
Reach out your heart. 
Reach out your words. 
Reach out all the tendrils 
of compassion that move, invisibly, 
where we cannot touch. 
 
Promise this world your love-- 
for better or for worse,
in sickness and in health, 
so long as we all shall live. 
 
--Lynn Ungar, 3/11/20
 

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