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Photo: Edwin Hooper on Unsplash

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April, 2020…

 

Mindblowing to be going through the scourge of COVID-19 with the entire world…Wishing everyone good health or quick recovery, and that science yields a vaccine fast. Also that everyone recovers from the massive financial knock, particularly those who need it most. We’re headed towards a changed world  -- hopefully a healing planet with more compassion, more caretaking, among humans and towards other creatures.

 

During lockdown here in South Africa, I’m busy finishing my memoir and developing writing workshops, which I hope to run in the near future. It helps to keep writing, or painting, or dancing, or whatever moves your soul.

 

Here’s a short piece I wrote recently about ‘inner strength’ in the time of Corona. We’re in this together…

 

 

There is no inner right now, no strength. I am permeable, part of the global quivering jelly fish of fear. Corona levels all. I am a potential host, you are; they are already hosts, the sick and dying. The 65,000 dead and counting. There’s strength in numbers, they say, but not when numbers equal body counts.

 

My own private life, the significance of self, have evaporated. I have no shape, no definition.

 

I am the people in the townships, crazily beaten by soldiers who tell them to stay home, stay apart, in their one-room shacks. To stay clean when there’s no water.

 

I am the people in Italy, singing heartily together on their balconies under lockdown. Mourning the ever-rising tide of death. I am their ICU doctors, helplessly crying under their masks.

 

I am the people of New York, cursing the flame-haired monster gambling with their lives, the unpresidential imbecile who claims to govern them. Who watch the mobile freezers pull in for more corpses. Who face their new Ground Zero.

 

I am my son, twenty-three and flown away to Thailand and his father, to a village on a river which Corona has so far spared. I am his stolen youth, his burden of catastrophe and mandate to save the planet.

 

I am you, stranger, as we risk the frontlines, desperate to shop as though lettuce weren’t lethal. As though we weren’t mutual contaminants. As we hole up in our respective homes and go off the edge together.

 

I am the people in my valley, every night at eight sending a joyful, mad cacophony of bells and drums and vuvuzelas and voices into the ozone to celebrate the first responders.

 

I am my dog, the birds, the horses running free, if only in fantasy. I am all the creatures of this earth.

 

I am stripped away – open, receptive, inquisitive, yielding.

 

Surrendering.

 

Unbounded.