I hear a rattle every time I breathe, and I won’t lie: I am afraid. I’m usually fit and healthy and rarely get sick, so at this point I’m hoping that my new sound effect is a result of undetected coronavirus, not something I’ve developed separately while the virus closes in. However, that’s the most likely scenario — criminally bad timing.
I’m pushing my way through WITCH / PILGRIM / HERETIC at an unholy rate. I just published Between Death and the Devil, but that was a tarot themed lark, not something that speaks to fear and death and love in desperate times. I take comfort that my first book of poetry, So Our Idols are Dead, addresses some of that, but while it focuses on the personal and political, WITCH / PILGRIM / HERETIC is a deeply spiritual text.
I want it finished. Just in case. Just in case it helps someone feel a little better. Just in case it helps me. My anxiety has long forced me to confront uncontrollable fears with ambivalence and love. Right now, I’m turning to that strength: doing the work, like always, every day. Resting. Feeling love. Doing the work that feeds my soul.
May you find kindness in your most desperate hour
especially the kindness you can give yourself
when you realize how cruelly you’ve been treating
this soul you’re made of.
May you learn from every mistake and every pain
so that each trauma and tragedy
doesn’t seem like meaningless cruelty.
May you let yourself mourn meaningless cruelty.
May you trust what you’ve learned,
standing proud in the knowledge
that you know more than yesterday.
May you revisit former states with ease.
May you age with grace.
May you always fight for those in need
abruptly or obliquely
but always deeply.
May you find the words you need to hear
even if you have to write them yourself.