When we are faced with enormous suffering like the reality that 500,000+ people have died due to this pandemic and their families are left grieving, how do we do not lose hope? How do we maintain and cultivate our capacity to respond with compassion and care?
We can ask ourselves, “What would love have me do today?” We can use this question to help inquire lovingly as to how to resource ourselves so we can make space for the pain, to not be swallowed by it.
In my effort to hold tenderly the pain we all feel, I offer you this humble practice:
May this practice cultivate comfort and ease of heart and mind as you continue to live in the midst of this pandemic.
to love life, to love it even
when you have no stomach for it
and everything you’ve held dear
crumbles like burnt paper in your hands,
your throat filled with the silt of it.
When grief sits with you, its tropical heat
thickening the air, heavy as water
more fit for gills than lungs;
when grief weights you down like your own flesh
only more of it, an obesity of grief,
you think, How can a body withstand this?
Then you hold life like a face
between your palms, a plain face,
no charming smile, no violet eyes,
and you say, yes, I will take you
I will love you, again.