By Karen Carnabucci, LCSW, TEP
Nearly 10 months into this experience of the 2020 pandemic in the United States and around the world, there's a lot of profound writing and evocative art coming from writers and artists.
They ask us to consider our experience of the pandemic as something that is more than terrifying, although it is certainly scary, and one that allows for deep change to happen on multiple levels.
This prose poem from Kitty O'Meara has been making the rounds online, become widely shared and truly a viral phenomenon. O'Meara is a former teacher and retired chaplain who lives near Madison, Wis., and penned this writing to work through her own anxiety:
Here is the poem:
“And the people stayed home.
Admittedly, the poem speaks to a certain experience of a certain segment of our population. -- those people who actually are able to stay home comfortably, who are able to work from home because they have the kinds of jobs that can be easily done from home, or are retired, as O"Meara is.
They are likely not rushed with scrambling for child care or pushed into the intricacies of home schooling, nor have their jobs been terminated because they are in the service professions. They are likely not panicked about paying their rent or mortgage on time, or their electricity bills or car insurance. They are likely not grocery store workers and election poll workers who have been insulted and yelled at because they asked people to wear masks. And they equally not likely working as doctors, nurses and others health care professionals in hospitals and suited up in double masks and layers of protective equipment as they tend to gasping victims who are sick with COVID-19.
Still, I would like to that that O'Meara's writing gives us the hope that each of us will learn from this pandemic, that it will become our teacher, and that we will find and integrate the deep wisdom and determination to live life differently.
P.S. More about O'Meara here. I wish that I could name the artist that created the artwork that goes with this blog and is also circulating online. If you know who it is, please send it my way.
Karen Carnabucci, LCSW, TEP, is an author, trainer and psychotherapist who promotes, practices and teaches experiential methods including psychodrama, Family and Systemic Constellations, sand tray, mindfulness and Tarot imagery.