This Covid Moment
Is this a strange interlude, or is this the future? Or, more likely this is neither, but rather some liminal time of transition from one world to another. The curve may be flatter than it might have been, but it is still a curve, a bridge to a new agreement, a new society. I have no idea what lies on the far side of this bridge, but I have some observations from the crossing.
I am surprised to find myself hopeful. I am impressed by the compassion and kindness being shown by my neighbors. For the most part, this kindness is evident around the world as people confront the threat this new coronavirus has presented. For those around me in Minnesota the week that shattered our old reality came in mid-March. On Wednesday 3/11 one could still believe the world was “normal,” but by Wednesday 3/18 it was not possible to deny that great changes were underway.
I am sure it could have been otherwise, that a more expert response would have changed the course of this tragedy. Still, I choose to focus on the gifts of what we have been given; to appreciate the exquisite pain of decisions I have to make; to be grateful for the moments of clarity and discovery brought by this confrontation; to inhabit such a new space, so different from yesterdays ago.
Even with our most thoughtful leadership we were hurtling into the abyss. We all need to wake up to the power of nature and to our amazing ability to change, to flex, to become other than we think is real. This moment is shaping us so deeply, it truly gives me hope for our future, more hope than global conferences and think tanks. We are changing our selves. One by one. This is priceless, and priceless things are hugely expensive. This is costing us, but not without an exchange. I believe, day by day, we are learning.
My question is whether we will hold on to this gift, this learning. Or will we retreat once more to the theater of miracles that was before, to the comfort of infinite choices for the few and suffering out of sight for the many. How deep does the cut have to be to become unforgettable, to change our shape, to bend our own curve?
But, oh, I am grateful to be here and now. To be part of this moment of matters, this dance of new eyes above masked faces, this discovery. I am so curious. What will we become? What will I be next?
it could have been otherwise
this unfolding tragedy
experts might have told us what to do
allowed us to live in our theater of miracles
with the comfort of infinite choices
for just a bit longer
yet even with our most thoughtful leadership
we were hurtling into the abyss
nature woke us to her power
and awoke in us a startling ability
to become other than what we think is real
nature is shaping us deeply
changing our selves
one by one
giving us a priceless gift
that will nevertheless be paid
with the lives
of uncountable earthly neighbors
day by day we are learning
how deep does the cut have to be
to become unforgetable?
to sculpt our very shape?
to bend our own curve?
but, oh, I am grateful to be
here and now
a part of this moment of matters
this dance of new eyes above masked faces
I am so curious
what will we become?
what will I be next?