Will We Recognize Each Other

Remnants of winter wash down the storm sewer at the end of our street, a steady stream of grime, dead leaves and leftover dreams. The smell of Mother Earth shedding her winter weight, a moist decay, fills my nose. Bits of green poke through melting snow on lawns, through espresso black loam in flower beds where early morning conversations were tossed out the door along with coffee grounds.

I run away from my neighbor who says hello, a slight panic that we might be too close. Deep embedded Canadian courtesy has me stop and turn around, ten feet away. With eyes lowered I say “hi”. “My bad” is his quick response, this first time pandemic for most of us, hard to get used to.

A smile, a wave, we carry on not knowing exactly where we are going, not knowing where this will lead, not knowing if we will recognize each other should we meet again when the virus has traveled its corkscrew route, twisting us to shreds like a dried out cork.

Will we look back and remember things we must never do again? Will we look back with gratitude as those who survived? Survivors who know greater kindness? Who lead simpler lives? Who know how to connect when it seems no connection is possible?

I pray when we look back it will be to celebrate the changes we make, with a bottle of Mt Brave Cabernet in hand.

Coping

Blizzard white streets
line our city
sifted with fear.
Blue skies above
hiding enemy breath
ready to attack 
unsuspecting hosts.
Our homes
once lively and vibrant
withdraw to silent
lemon scent lysol 
war zones.
Ninty per cent alcohol
for our hands
hands that touch and hold
caress and scratch
tap and text.
Our worst foe
bringing havoc 
to the center of our lives.
But people are people.
Evening dusts
computer screens with song.
People reach people
across balconies
across seas
half a world apart
isolated but not alone
people connect.
Puccini's "Nessun Dorma"
soars
"we will be victorious."

Be Human

adult-business-close-up-433495
Maybe we can all learn to rephrase the question, how are you doing? Or to at least, hear the question differently. What interesting things are happening with you? How are you holding up? How is your heart today?

Omid Safi offered the following advice:
“One of the things that breaks my heart, whether in the corporate world or in the academic world, is that I ask my friends, “How are you doing?” and all I get in answer is this head nod, “You know, I am so busy, so busy.” And I feel like, “You told me nothing.”

How do we remember that we are human beings, not human doings? When someone asks you, “How are you?” Don’t shout back your to-do list. I am not asking what do you need to get done today. If we have to rephrase it, what I am really asking is, “How is your heart today?”

Take that risk with the people who deserve it, who are worthy of it, make yourself vulnerable to them, actually tell them, actually share with them: “I am really struggling today. I am doing my very best, but I can really use a hug.” You might just find that it changes the dynamic of your connection with them.”

White Flag

surrendar

This behaviour must stop
NOW
who is punishing who
Am I being punished by your silence
Or are you being punished by my acquiescence

The role of martyr is easy to fall into
the lure of acceptance -poor me-
showing the world how patient how sacrificing we can be

How did it come to this
to such an impasse
a test of wills
who can hold out the longest

I want to see you
I want to have you back in my life
I want to be able to call you up
and have a conversation

Let’s put this behind us
take the leap of faith
find each other again
there can be connection
it was never completely severed
despite what we both thought

Let’s find a way

I’m sorry for my role in this
for not trying harder
reaching out sooner
for suffering the silence

Let’s find a way
No questions asked

Magical Maze

garden maze

(image credit: Anthony M. Davis)

Enter the maze
let the magic unfold
trust your intuition

No idea what lies
in the network ahead
trust your intuition

Around each bend
enchantment holds breath
trust your intuition

Scratches scrapes
thorns brambles within
reach out to hamper your step
don’t rush keep pace
aware of all that you see
trust your intuition

Trust your heart
with each movement you make
it is linked to your soul
an ancient cosmic connection

Listen to the maze
to the growth that surrounds you
trust your intuition
It will not lead you astray