The Price

Ask anyone who walks this Earth, and most will say they

just want a peaceful life. A meal at the table enough to fill a

belly. A hug from someone they love. A warm bed to sleep

in. A home filled with love. A lot of laughter and someone

to share a drink with. At the end it is the people who pay for

the carnage. The mother who never sees her son again. The

father who never comes back home. The brother and sister

who will never know the joy of a shared meal again. The

aunt who returns but doesn’t smile anymore. The friends

lost along the way. A thousand homes wrecked and a million

memories shattered. All because someone else decided to

send a war to knock on their door.

~~ Nikita Gill ~~

Each second we live…

“Each second we live is a new and unique moment of the universe, a moment that will never be again And what do we teach our children? We teach them that two and two make four, and that Paris is the capital of France. When will we also teach them what they are? We should say to each of them: Do you know what you are? You are a marvel. You are unique. In all the years that have passed, there has never been another child like you. Your legs, your arms, your clever fingers, the way you move. You may become a Shakespeare, a Michelangelo, a Beethoven. You have the capacity for anything. Yes, you are a marvel. And when you grow up, can you then harm another who is, like you, a marvel? You must work, we must all work, to make the world worthy of its children.” ~ Pablo Casals

May we raise children who love the unloved things

May we raise children
who love the unloved
things–the dandelion, the
worms and spiderlings.
Children who sense
the rose needs the thorn

& run into rainswept days
the same way they
turn towards sun…

And when they’re grown &
someone has to speak for those
who have no voice

may they draw upon that
wilder bond, those days of
tending tender things

and be the ones

~~ Nicolette Sowder ~~

God, the hummingbird is waiting…

God, the hummingbird is waiting
while the butterfly drinks,

and I don’t think
that the hummingbird is,
impatient or irritated,

or any of the many
of my feelings when I wait
during these uncertain times…

This morning
I pray for everyone who waits —
one for a COVID-19 test result,
one to re-schedule a cancelled flight,
while trying not to touch
anything in the airport,
one finishing a job interview,
one sitting at the restaurant table
with two menus
and only one chair filled.

I pray for the family with hospice,
the college freshman
wondering whether to signup
“in person” or virtual,
for everyone in the courtroom
as the jury returns,

for women with the swelling
under the heart
of the third trimester,
and parents who listen
for a late-night car door bang
to announce an adolescent’s return.

I think about the feeder,
and pray for each one of these,

that when life pauses,
and they hover —
they feel your updraft under their wings.

amen

~~ Maren C. Tirabassi ~~

The Pandemic Is a Portal

What is this thing that has happened to us? It’s a virus, yes. In and of itself it holds no moral brief. But it is definitely more than a virus. Some believe it’s God’s way of bringing us to our senses. Others that it’s a Chinese conspiracy to take over the world.

Whatever it is, coronavirus has made the mighty kneel and brought the world to a halt like nothing else could. Our minds are still racing back and forth, longing for a return to “normality,” trying to stitch our future to our past and refusing to acknowledge the rupture. But the rupture exists. And in the midst of this terrible despair, it offers us a chance to rethink the doomsday machine we have built for ourselves. Nothing could be worse than a return to normality. Historically, pandemics have forced humans to break with the past and imagine their world anew. This one is no different. It is a portal, a gateway between one world and the next.

We can choose to walk through it, dragging the carcasses of our prejudice and hatred, our avarice, our data banks and dead ideas, our dead rivers and smoky skies behind us. Or we can walk through lightly, with little luggage, ready to imagine another world. And ready to fight for it.

~~ Arundhati Roy ~~

Prayer

God, the hummingbird is waiting
while the butterfly drinks,

and I don’t think
that the hummingbird is kind,
or patient or irritated,

or any of the many
of my feelings when I wait.

This morning
I pray for everyone who waits —
one for a COVID-19 test result,
one to re-schedule a cancelled flight,
while trying not to touch
anything in the airport,
one finishing a job interview,
one sitting at the restaurant table
with two menus
and only one chair filled.

I pray for the family with hospice,
the college freshman
wondering whether to signup
“in person” or virtual,
for everyone in the courtroom
as the jury returns,

for women with the swelling
under the heart
of the third trimester,
and parents who listen
for a late-night cardoor-bang
to announce an adolescent’s return.

I think about the feeder,
and pray for each one of these,

that when life pauses,
and they hover —
they feel your updraft under their wings.

amen

~~ Maren C. Tirabassi ~~

And the People Stayed Home

“And the people stayed home. And read books, and listened, and rested, and exercised, and made art, and played games, and learned new ways of being, and were still. And listened more deeply. Some meditated, some prayed, some danced. Some met their shadows. And the people began to think differently.

And the people healed. And, in the absence of people living in ignorant, dangerous, mindless, and heartless ways, the earth began to heal.

And when the danger passed, and the people joined together again, they grieved their losses, and made new choices, and dreamed new images, and created new ways to live and heal the earth fully, as they had been healed.” ~~ Kitty O’Meara

During difficult times…

“Grandma once gave me a tip:

During difficult times, you move forward in small steps.
Do what you have to do, but little by bit.
Don’t think about the future, not even what might happen tomorrow. Wash the dishes.
Take off the dust.
Write a letter.
Make some soup.
Do you see?
You are moving forward step by step.
Take a step and stop.
Get some rest.
Compliment yourself.
Take another step.
Then another one.
You won’t notice, but your steps will grow bigger and bigger.
And time will come when you can think about the future without crying. Good morning.”

Elena Mikhalkova, “The Room of Ancient Keys”

Riveted

It is possible that things will not get better
than they are now, or have been known to be.
It is possible that we are past the middle now.
It is possible that we have crossed the great water
without knowing it, and stand now on the other side.
Yes: I think that we have crossed it. Now
we are being given tickets, and they are not
tickets to the show we had been thinking of,
but to a different show, clearly inferior.

Check again: it is our own name on the envelope.
The tickets are to that other show.

It is possible that we will walk out of the darkened hall
without waiting for the last act: people do.
Some people do. But it is probable
that we will stay seated in our narrow seats
all through the tedious denouement
to the unsurprising end- riveted, as it were;
spellbound by our own imperfect lives
because they are lives,
and because they are ours.

~~ Robyn Sarah ~~

Courage

It is in the small things we see it.
The child’s first step,
as awesome as an earthquake.
The first time you rode a bike,
wallowing up the sidewalk.
The first spanking when your heart
went on a journey all alone.
When they called you crybaby
or poor or fatty or crazy
and made you into an alien,
you drank their acid
and concealed it.

Later,
if you faced the death of bombs and bullets
you did not do it with a banner,
you did it with only a hat to
cover your heart.
You did not fondle the weakness inside you
though it was there.
Your courage was a small coal
that you kept swallowing.
If your buddy saved you
and died himself in so doing,
then his courage was not courage,
it was love; love as simple as shaving soap.

Later,
if you have endured a great despair,
then you did it alone,
getting a transfusion from the fire,
picking the scabs off our heart,
then wringing it out like a sock.
Next, my kinsman, you powdered your sorrow,
you gave it a back rub
and then you covered it with a blanket
and after it had slept a while
it woke to the wings of the roses
and was transformed.

Later,
when you face old age and its natural conclusion
your courage will still be shown in the little ways,
each spring will be a sword you’ll sharpen,
those you love will live in a fever of love,
and you’ll bargain with the calendar
and at the last moment
when death opens the back door
you’ll put on your carpet slippers
and stride out.

~~ Anne Sexton ~~