The world is in a moment of transition and passage. I know that you have received an abundance of news in your lives already about COVID-19 and all that is broken and seems left to you to fix. We are, again, creatures who are made by what would break us — and the digital canvas is amplifying that too. The past few days I've witnessed modern-day " Natural selection" acts; panic buying, panic in general. I believe the virus is testing more of our benevolence as humans than the act surviving. However, I'm not against safety acts but I urge you to be mindful of the other person's. The following poem by Lynn Ungar talks about Social distancing, the idea that to keep the virus from spreading we need to stay away from one another. The poem examines how we can physically distance ourselves without emotional distancing, In this strange and befuddling moment, we need to recognize that moving away from other people isn’t an act of emotional disconnection but the opposite: It’s something to do out of a sense of community and compassion for the vulnerable.


by Lynn Ungar

Audio Reading by Jimmie Chengo

What if you thought of it
as the Jews consider the Sabbath --
the most sacred of times?
Cease from travel.
Cease from buying and selling.
Give up, just for now,
on trying to make the world
different than it is.
Sing. Pray. Touch only those
to whom you commit your life.
Center down.


And when your body has become still,
reach out with your heart.
Know that we are connected
in ways that are terrifying and beautiful.
(You could hardly deny it now.)
Know that our lives
are in one another’s hands.
(Surely, that has come clear.)
Do not reach out your hands.
Reach out your heart.
Reach out your words.
Reach out all the tendrils
of compassion that move, invisibly,
where we cannot touch.


Promise this world your love--
for better or for worse,
in sickness and in health,
so long as we all shall live.

Written by Jimmie Chengo


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