Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Confession Tuesday - How Are You?

Dear Friends:

Please don't tell anyone that it's not Tuesday.  It has been God only knows how long since my last confession Tuesday. I admit that I am a fallen-away Tuesday Confessor.  And this is my attempt to make amends.

How are you anyway? You know people often ask that question during the course of a normal day. Passing each other at work (You remember that? You remember work?)  People ask how you are, but I don't think they really want to hear Crappy.  I wonder how many people just brush off the question by saying fine?

I have no idea exactly what C-19 day this is because I'm not sure I know when the counting started.  I have been notified today that the courthouse (are department) will start back on May 18 with numerous protective protocol in place. Our department will not been open per se to the public walking through.

My wife asked me how I felt about this today and after a brief pause, I said fine. It is not that I have not been working all these days, just doing so from home for the most part. There are things about working from home that do make my job a bit more challenging. There is a bit of a fear that lurks ahead in the world out there and I try to tell myself it's okay.  I am enormously thankful to have a job. Some 26 million plus people filing for unemployment. I am indeed prayerful daily for the meany that are through no fault of own, even having trouble just putting food on the table much less deal with other financial matters.

I am torn between my introverted self and my extroverted self. The introverted is the dominant one. And I have not totally  been alone as my wife has been here too. Still, as I go about my day the adjustment to things has not been easy. I don't deny that I am feeling a degree of depression. That is not unusual for me through late winter into spring. It usually lets up about the time baseball gets underway. But I am missing. baseball and that doesn't seem right.  Baseball is for me a metaphor for life and when it fills my heart and mind, I feel like life is alive in all it's fullness.  I also happen to believe that baseball and poetry have a lot in common.

Again, the violet bows to the lily.
Again, the rose is tearing off her gown!   ~ Rumi

I am trying to make more sense of Rumi. He seems to transcend all religions, and speak to all people. We could use more of that. Even in our tragic moments when life is challenged and hinges on the edge of tipping one way or the other, we still have people driven and divided by fear and ignorance. The fear is natural. We all experience it at times. But when fear is fed by ignorance, the results are never good.

Just as I believe Rumi has a lot to offer us to better our life, call me a romantic if you wish, but I still believe poetry matters. I believe we can find our tattered and torn self in poetry. I have been reading Like A Bird of a Thousand Wings, by Melissa Studdard. Her words seem to be taking up residence in my soul.

Self is a place
we keep getting sewn back into.
We fly away.
It sews us back. We tear
the fabric, here comes the needle.
 ~ Melissa Studdard - But Who Will Hear You From So Far Across The Sky?
From Like A Bird of A Thousand Wings.

I confess:

  • I have fears today.
  • Sometimes my writing doesn't seem good enough.
  • I want to run out into a crowd and get lost - but don't.
  • I feel guilty for having a job.
  • I disappoint.
  • Feel pathetic.
  • Want to lock myself in a room and shut the world out.
  • Feel confused.
  • Want to hug someone, want to be hugged. 
  • Want to write the next great memorable poem.
  • Don't think I will ever complete another poem.
  • I want time - It's a commodity I never feel I will have enough of.
  • I am an INFP - deal with it!

Until next tine, be safe - Love - Laugh - Peace


Saturday, April 04, 2020

Don't Come Any Closer - Here, Have Some Virtual Love - X O

These are difficult times for us all.  Social Distancing, don't touch your face,  wash your hands while singing Happy Birthday (I've gravitated to Africa by Toto), stay home, and only essential worker go to work.

I fall into an in-between category.  Our office is having us work from home and therefor I am 90% at home.  My work is essential, but can be accomplished at home except for periodic court hearing. Those I go to the courthouse for. It's like a ghost town. Court hearings are generally with about 5 to 7 people. The respondent is on a Polycom along with other testifying witnesses.  These could occur daily, but tend to be a couple to three days a week. Sometimes there are more than one on a given day. So, I am otherwise sheltering at home.

I have had more time to write, to read, and binge watch Homeland.  Claire Danes and Mandy Patinkin are phenomenal actors. I haven't binge watched anything in several years.

There has been more time to think as well. That includes paranoid thoughts about Covid-19.  About after the curve is flattened, how many people will still be contagious and for how long. I for one don't see this danger ending for months not weeks.

Having more time to think is positive only if I can expand my thinking in positive and creative ways. I try to note things in particular that could be incorporated into my writing.  In regular real life, it is not uncommon for me to let significant but fleeting thoughts pass on to wherever such neurons go to die.

Social media has done two things in these times. It has allowed us to stay connected while we are apart. It has also made such interaction seem at times a little more intrusive. Online, everybody is there.  On balance the scale tips more to the good than the bad.

I see people (poets I know that do some collaborative or group writing.  There is a part of me that is jealous, and I'm not one to see jealousy in a positive light, so I don't want to be that poet.  There are a couple of people I may touch base with and see if they would like to meet on Facetime or Skype. It's a thought.

A concern I have is for the most vulnerable of people. Person on the street.  Persons who live alone but may still get out and about. Persons who could retreat inside and succumb to the illness and have no one checking on them.  I too am concerned for those who trot off to church totally ignoring social distancing in the belief that they are safe by the blood of Jesus.  I can applaud their faith but not  their actions. God gave us a brain and I'm pretty sure he counted on us using it.

Covid-19 will be talked about, written about, and debated about for a long time. Some have suggested it to be on the scale of 9-11. I have considered this, but we have passed the deaths attributed to the Twin Towers attack. Additionally, this is international. Its impact is going to be far and wide. I could not bring myself to write a 9-11 poem for years.  I wrote a Covid-19 poem that has already been accepted.  There will be anthologies as there were for Katrina.  I'd like to see one to raise money to help in some way.  It just seems like a poet thing to do.