A message for us all.
A message for us all – from the Covid-19 virus.
It is a little more than 24 hours before we South Africans go into a nationwide lockdown. As I prepare myself for 21 days of no contact, and consider what it means for so many people and businesses, I can’t help but appreciate how this virus has brought us back to what is important.
For one, my sister video called me. You may think that is not significant.
I last saw her three years ago. We live in different cities, and while we do chat, we hardly ever talk on the phone. To receive a video call was so absolutely cool and we said we’d do it more often. It’s such a simple and easy thing to do, I really don’t know why we haven’t. But it was the state of the world that inspired the call.
When reading all the posts on social media I see a glimpse of the lives of others who is also inspired to act. Some are turning to writing and quite a few poems have been shared. There’s even a tag #coronapoetry doing the rounds.
I came across the below poem by Kristin Flyntz that got me reading it again and again.
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 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?
Notice if you are resisting.
Notice what you are resisting.
Stop. Just stop.
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
It’s quite a big message within a poem. Will you stop and listen? Or perhaps like me read it again and again…
I’m not sure who the ‘we’ is in the poem, since the title states it’s a letter from the virus. Nonetheless, it is a powerful poem.
Wherever you are in the world and whatever you will be doing in this time of isolation, remember; viruses are contagious, but so is panic, fear, hysteria, calm, love, enthusiasm, kindness, joy…