A few words in the time of COVID-19 when more words won’t do.
- Some Days, Everything’s Hard
I can’t even grow sourdough starter.
The instructions are simple.
I’ve followed them to a tee.
Flour, water, clean jar, room temp.
Cover loosely, watch it happen.
But each morning, as I ‘round the corner into the kitchen,
as full of anticipation as a kid coming down the stairs
I find the same soupy, flat, flour water-
Not the bubbling, tangy excitement that King Arthur has promised.
Why is this so hard?
2. What If?
On the sofa, dish of supper in my lap,
watching the news with the sound turned down-
COVID this and COVID that-
I asked my husband:
“What if the world didn’t have COVID?
What would we even be talking about?”
He lifted his eyes towards my corner of the room,
Removed the fork from his mouth and said:
I’m Netflixed out.
But there’s nothing like a good story to calm the mind.
And so I’m reading now, about the history of the settlement of Maine.
Indians and Investors. Lobsters and Clams. Bitter winters and Abject poverty.
Did you know that Maine was once part of Massachusetts and that two-hundred pound cod used to practically jump in the boat?
4. Songs of Praise
I heard, the other day,
that there is an organist in the Northern Tier
who spends her Sundays calling parishioners and
playing them hymns
from her piano in her home.
She is keeping the people fed with
songs of praise
I see you-
looking at your lap, texting your sister about the funny show you watched on tv last night.
I see you-
waiting, patiently, to share your good idea-
pressing the raised hand feature,
leaning into the screen,
missing the heat and warmth and breath of a same-space meeting that has
So. Many. More. Dimensions.
I see you-
and your cat and that painting on the wall behind you and the bookshelf filled with interesting titles and the curtains with pretty floral tiebacks and the tulips in the vase, singing spring.
I can’t see you-
You have cut out the video option and you are a black square with your name in
Times New Roman 18.
Are you Eating? Ironing? Doing the Crossword?
I see you.
Squished into that little 2-inch box.
You are bigger and smarter and braver and more brilliant than that.
Don’t forget it.
6. On seeing Presiding Bishop Curry’s video
Dear Presiding Bishop,
Your words comfort me.
They also challenge me-
to be a better person.
to live like Jesus did.
to push away the nonsense and to love.
Love is at the core
of our Christian identity,
of the game-plan for each day
that begins with confessing our sins in Morning Prayer
and ends with us asking God to guard us sleeping.
It’s that simple. And that hard.
And so, thank you, for drawing us back to the center.
For reminding us that in the eye of the storm, that God is there,
patient and loving
And that when we are weary, we can strip away all the nonsense and