As we begin the third month of the coronavirus pandemic, people are getting restless. They want to leave their houses, go back to work, take off the masks. Some are protesting the government regulations put in place to slow the spread of Covid-19. They want to put reviving the economy ahead of saving lives. Some are protesting losing what they think are their personal rights. But these are desperate times, a crisis; sometimes we have to give up some things temporarily for the good of all people. We don’t live in a vacuum; we share this planet with millions of other people, and many of them are dying. Some people are willing to trade lives for open-ended freedom. I’m not one of them.

I have found it easier than I expected to stay home most of the time. I seem to find plenty to occupy my time, and I get my contact with others through Zoom, Skype, FaceTime, texts, and email. Of course it’s not the same as in-person, face to face contact, but it’s an acceptable substitute for me. I’m kind of a solitary person by nature anyway, so this, I hope brief, respite will be savored and treasured. I’ve written this poem expressing how I feel about being home alone:

It is quiet here in my room,
introspection settling in.
The silence soothes my soul;
stillness wraps me in its soft embrace.
I am almost drowsy from inaction,
sifting through my mind
sorting through thoughts and emotions
but not latching onto them,
just letting them pass
with interest but not attachment.
I feel present in this moment alone
with no hope – or dread – for the future.
The unknown stretches beyond
what I see now,
and I have no anticipation,
just watching what is
and being comfortable
sitting in this cloud of not knowing,
closing my eyes and dreaming
nothing at all.

© 2020 Dorothy A Joslyn


Write about how you are faring in this time of isolation and solitude. How are you feeling? What are your thoughts as you go through these days?

What do you think about what you’re hearing in the news about protests—on both sides of the issue of staying at home? Do you think it’s time for it to be over, or are you still concerned about the spread of the virus and are willing continue staying at home?

How do our beliefs about our connections to all people of the world color our perceptions of what is the “right thing to do”? What is that “right thing(s)”?

3 replies
  1. Nancy
    Nancy says:

    I appreciate your compassion and there’s wisdom in embracing not-knowing.

    At the beginning, I dug in. Did so much research.

    Gradually I saw that no one actually knows. Which helped me surrender. And begin to ask instead, “What’s mine to do?”

    Sitting with the question has brought some clarity. I’m reaching for my soul because my personality sure can’t figure it out.

    Poetry is a way to contact the soul. Thank you Dottie for lighting the way.

    • Dottie
      Dottie says:

      Thank you, Nancy, for your thoughtful comment. Yes, looking with your soul is the only way to find peace in this circumstance, and that’s what I’m looking for. Otherwise, there’s only chaos.

  2. Sarah Birnbach
    Sarah Birnbach says:

    I love your post and have already filled pages in my journal about your first two prompts. Writing our thoughts and feelings about this time will be a reminder to future generations of the challenges we adults had to face and the internal conflicts we struggled with. I love your poem and appreciate your sharing it and opening up about your feelings. A great act of courage. And I LOVE seeing your desk! Wishing you continued health and peacefulness.


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