Press Pause

2020 has been quite something. Sometimes I wake up, and I honestly think I’ve been dreaming.

I have been following the COVID-19 pandemic from the beginning. It’s consumed many of my waking hours. When I got news on February 21st that my relatives’ small Italian town had been hit by the virus, I really couldn’t stop reading the news. Seeing photos of the town in major newspapers was surreal. I mean, noone goes to the town unless you have family there. It was so bizarre to read about it from afar.

Not long after we learned about the COVID-19 outbreak in Italy, my uncle was admitted to the hospital, and he’s been fighting this deadly virus for nearly a month. We have been praying. We’ve tried to not look at the numbers. Luckily, he has made some progress this week, so we maintain hope.

The pandemic news seems fake until you know people who have been seriously affected by the virus.

In addition to concerns about family well-being, like many others, I’ve been forced to move my work life fully online. I’m grateful that I’m tech-savvy enough to make this transition, but the workload has been overwhelming. And the stories I hear from my students about stress levels about grades, exams, graduation, housing, and employment are additionally overwhelming. Everyone has so much to manage right now. It’s distressing.

Today, instead of watching the numbers rise (if you’re like me), you might consider reading this poem (or listening to it in Italian via the link below).

***

An Imagined Letter from Corona to Humans

Stop. Just stop.
It is no longer a request. It is a mandate.
We will help you.
We will bring the supersonic, high speed merry-go-round to a halt
We will stop
the planes
the trains
the schools
the malls
the meetings
the frenetic, furied rush of illusions and “obligations” that keep you from hearing our
single and shared beating heart,
the way we breathe together, in unison.
Our obligation is to each other,
As it has always been, even if, even though, you have forgotten.
We will interrupt this broadcast, the endless cacophonous broadcast of divisions and distractions,
to bring you this long-breaking news:
We are not well.
None of us; all of us are suffering.
Last year, the firestorms that scorched the lungs of the earth
did not give you pause.
Nor the typhoons in Africa,China, Japan.
Nor the fevered climates in Japan and India.
You have not been listening.
It is hard to listen when you are so busy all the time, hustling to uphold the comforts and conveniences that scaffold your lives.
But the foundation is giving way,
buckling under the weight of your needs and desires.
We will help you.
We will bring the firestorms to your body
We will bring the fever to your body
We will bring the burning, searing, and flooding to your lungs
that you might hear:
We are not well.
Despite what you might think or feel, we are not the enemy.
We are Messenger. We are Ally. We are a balancing force.
We are asking you:
To stop, to be still, to listen;
To move beyond your individual concerns and consider the concerns of all;
To be with your ignorance, to find your humility, to relinquish your thinking minds and travel deep into the mind of the heart;
To look up into the sky, streaked with fewer planes, and see it, to notice its condition: clear, smoky, smoggy, rainy? How much do you need it to be healthy so that you may also be healthy?
To look at a tree, and see it, to notice its condition: how does its health contribute to the health of the sky, to the air you need to be healthy?
To visit a river, and see it, to notice its condition: clear, clean, murky, polluted? How much do you need it to be healthy so that you may also be healthy? How does its health contribute to the health of the tree, who contributes to the health of the sky, so that you may also be healthy?
Many are afraid now.
Do not demonize your fear, and also, do not let it rule you. Instead, let it speak to you—in your stillness,
listen for its wisdom.
What might it be telling you about what is at work, at issue, at risk, beyond the threats of personal inconvenience and illness?
As the health of a tree, a river, the sky tells you about quality of your own health, what might the quality of your health tell you about the health of the rivers, the trees, the sky, and all of us who share this planet with you?
Stop.
Notice if you are resisting.
Notice what you are resisting.
Ask why.
Stop. Just stop.
Be still.
Listen.
Ask us what we might teach you about illness and healing, about what might be required so that all may be well.
We will help you, if you listen.

– Kristin Flyntz (Listen to the poem in Italian.)

English poem via Swiss Miss

***

Be well. Have a peaceful weekend.

6 Comments

  1. Tina March 27, 2020

    What a beautiful and poignant poem, Jordana. Thank you for sharing it. Thinking of you and your family and relieved to hear that your uncle seems to be doing better. I hope he recovers quickly now. Take care!

    Reply
    • Jordana March 27, 2020

      Isn’t it beautiful? I’ve read it so many times. Thanks for your well wishes, Tina. I hope you’re staying safe!

      Reply
  2. Silvia Del Rosso March 27, 2020

    Thank you for the beautiful poem. Stay strong everyone. Forza Italia. You are in our hearts❤️

    Reply
    • Jordana March 27, 2020

      Yes! Forza Italia. And now strength needs to be in the US.

      Reply
      • Silvia Del rosso March 27, 2020

        The whole world is impacted. ❤️

        Reply
  3. Silvia Del rosso March 27, 2020

    Powerful poem in both languages

    Reply

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