Ten months without you vanishes with your unexpected return in late July. I liked you better when you lived in my memories. You came barging in without warning. Your presence is most obvious morning and night. I don't know what you expect me to say, I literally cannot see because of you. I cannot read a book or look at my phone without an interruption from you telling me my eyes are changing once again. Well, the migraines already informed me, but I guess you're another messenger, a bonus I never expected to see again. But when I think about it, it makes sense. Your appearance in my life once again. If anything, you're a reminder to be patient with myself. A sign of hope that you will one day you leave and never return. The ten months I spent without you were wonderful. It made the year you previously spent with me seem like nothing in hindsight.
Rain begins to fall in late afternoon. The summer breeze is relaxing on my skin. Solitude to calm the mind as I sit outside is embraced like a friend I haven't seen in a while. A bee flies from one sunflower to another. I watch without fear comforted by the distance between the flower and my computer. Cicadas chirp softly, the dog I'm watching keeps watch on nothing in particular. I exhale a breath I didn't realize I was holding. It is quiet, both mother nature and my thoughts, soft and calm with nothing in particular to say.
I've been posting for so long I can no longer tell if I'm good at what I'm doing. Hello? Anyone out there? I write these poems to share. To share how my life is going, What I'm thinking and feeling. When I read some these poems back, I'm unfamiliar with who wrote them. I no longer occupy the same space I did last week, last month, or year. What year are we in? It feels like many years this year. I'm writing this on a Wednesday, who knows when you will read it. I've been writing all day, I didn't know I had a lot to say, until I began typing on my keyboard and words appeared on the screen. This is the magic of writing. I'm still uncertain I am any good. Like most writers, I am my own worst critic.
Remember when I raved about going on walks every day? I laugh when I read those poems back now. Walking in spring is a delight, the weather is still slightly cool at all hours of the day. Walking in summer is hell, the heat feels like walking in an oven. There's a small window in the evening where there's potential for a cool down, which rarely comes in the middle of July. I'm a night owl, not an early bird. Rising before most people are awake to walk sounds less than appealing to me. Instead, I've come to appreciate the shade. I love summer outside in the shade. I could sit outside in the shade for hours and be perfectly content. Any opportunity I get to sit outside and appreciate nature now, I take it.
This is your weekly reminder to wear a mask. It's the least you can do when venturing outside your house. You are protecting those around you when you do so. It's become common courtesy to wear one. Wash your hands, cover your mouth When cough or sneeze, and please Stay at least six feet apart when around other people. This virus has not gone away and will not go away for a while. If you have anyone in your life who needs a reminder, Feel free to send this blog post to them. It's more important than ever before To keep your germs to yourself. Be safe out there.
PS – I promise not all of my blog posts will be like this. I just had to say something because cases are rising as people are continuing to disobey the rules. Throwing fits in Target isn’t the answer. For those of you who are wearing a mask and staying socially distanced, thank you for doing your part.
Summer rolls in, we're still dealing with the problems we've been facing for most of the year. A virus appearing uncontrollable can be lessened if people wear a mask. You may not want to wear something over your mouth and nose. No one's doing it for their own enjoyment. It's not like this is normal life and face masks have become the new fall trend. Everyone's wearing one! It's fashion!! If you're not wearing one, you're not cool. No, if you're not wearing a mask you could be spreading this virus you do not know your carrying to those who are more vulnerable, like me. It's basic human distancy to wear something over your nose and mouth. It's called being respectful to those around you. I said a few months ago, don't be stupid. You want to go out, wear a mask. Stay socially distanced in public. Meet outside instead of indoors. It shouldn't be hard to comprehend. I still hear howling quietly in the distance in the evening, howling for our healthcare workers who are still dealing with this virus. New season, same problems. Stay safe.
I watch the sky turn from light yellow to cotton-candy pink within a matter of minutes The evening air is neither hot nor cold I'm comfortable in a sweater It slides down my left shoulder I don't bother to fix it I listen to Coldplay's Yellow, Orphans, & Fix You I watch the light fade In the field behind my house Cotton-candy clouds above the trees darken One song changes to another
I'm surrounded by people for the first time in months. This feels normal and strange all at once. I don't think about the virus for long. Later I will reflect on why. Social distancing is in place to protect us. We follow the unspoken rules as best we can. I float on the water and watch the crowd from afar. This feels like a dream. The last few months feel like a dream. What's real now? The worry or the comfort of people?
I’ve been doing a lot of listening lately. Listening to those who are demanding change at protests and providing links online. I’ve been reading books, articles, and essays from black writers about what’s happening right now. I’m learning more about our history as a nation than I was taught in high school.
I had a plan before all of this happened to write poems about Pride Month like I did last June. That plan has changed. I love poetry but right now, I’m just trying to listen as much as I can and share the voices of those who need to be heard at this moment in America. Those who can articulate this moment much better than I can.
I want to share some of those voices with you. I urge you to take some time to read and listen to what they have to say.
Stay safe. Drink water. Wear your mask.
America, This Is Your Chance – The New York Times
On the Minds of Black Lives Matter Protesters: A Racist Health System – ProPublica
How to Make this Moment the Turning Point for Real Change – Medium
I’m black and despite all I’ve accomplished, society views me as a threat – The Denver Post
Becoming a Parent in the Age of Black Lives Matter – The Atlantic
Heather McGhee – Armchair Expert
Whose Grief? Our Grief – GQ
A ‘Glorious Poetic Rage’ – The New York Times
Not Just Another Protest – NPR
My White Friend Asked Me on Facebook to Explain White Privilege. I Decided to Be Honest – Yes Magazine
For Every Person Tired Of Police Brutality – BuzzfeedVideo
The American Nightmare – The Atlantic
Dear White People, This is What We Want You to Do – Inside The Kandi Dish
Letter from a Region in My Mind – The New Yorker
BlackOutTuesday: The do’s and don’ts of anti-racism – Wait, There’s More
7 Ways You Can Help Black People Combat Racism – Medium
Performative Allyship Is Deadly (Here’s What to Do Instead) – Medium
I’ve Spent Months Fighting Coronavirus in the ER. Police Violence Is What Really Scares Me – GQ
So Much To Do – VlogBrothers