I’m hearing a phrase tossed around a lot lately–“may you live in interesting times.”  It’s supposed to be a curse, purportedly by the Chinese, but someone may have made that up (at least according to my googling).

Regardless of the origin of the phrase, it certainly encapsulates the situation right now…interesting times.

The situation changes almost hourly, and thanks to the Internet, there is always more to read.  It’s a daily, hourly, sometimes minute-by-minute challenge to remember that the news isn’t the only reality.

We are, like many of you, practicing social distancing and withdrawing from activities that can increase the spread of the disease.  We’re considering the welfare of not only ourselves, but society as a whole, and deciding that it’s not worth the risk to continue to act as though nothing is happening.  We are all one, and all vulnerable.  Being careful with each other is the only way we have to protect each other and ourselves.  So for now, we are not hugging, not touching, maintaining a safe (though loving) distance.

We are honoring the recommendations by officials to refrain from participating in events of more than 10 people at this time.  Like most of you, we don’t know when this will change.  This makes planning the future very tricky.  So for right now, we are focusing on the present and waiting to see what comes next.

It’s a little like this photo.  We are the trees, blooming, while all around us swirls the fog.  It’s hard to see beyond a certain distance.  We can worry and fret, or we can simply bloom.

There’s a poem that’s making the rounds on social media that I thought I would share with you.

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

This is the sacrament of social distancing.
I am joining my heart with yours.

~Sunny (aka Kelly