Writers write. No matter what the circumstances.
And in a crisis, writing can be our solace, our counselor, and our hope.
During the economic downturn of 2008, my employer, like many others, announced it was laying off workers. We knew it was coming, but not when. For months, employees lived in limbo, under a cloud of impending doom.
One of my writing teachers told me to write about it. Keep a notebook, she said. Write about everything.
We have been watching the march of the coronavirus as it has spread around the world, building momentum and anxiety.
We wake up each morning unsettled, with reports about worsening conditions and the prospect of an uncertain future. Consider keeping a journal to note what you’re seeing and hearing. You may find inspiration for a story or poem. Many great works of art have come out of crises. And writing can help alleviate stress.
Kitty O’Meara, a retired teacher and chaplain from Wisconsin, channeled her anxiety by writing a poem about what we could do and how we could change in this chaotic time.
Even in her isolation, O’Meara has shared spiritual healing with the world on her blog by speaking to the prospect of light in the darkness and hope for global healing.
Writing is a channel for joy, stress, and making sense of events. And so is reading. Here is her poem:
In the Time of Pandemic
And the people stayed home. And they read books, and listened, and rested, and exercised, and made art, and played games, and learned new ways of being, and were still. And they listened more deeply. Some meditated, some prayed, some danced. Some met their shadows. And the people began to think differently.
And the people healed. And, in the absence of people living in ignorant, dangerous, mindless, and heartless ways, the earth began to heal.
And when the danger passed, and the people joined together again, they grieved their losses, and made new choices, and dreamed new images, and created new ways to live, and they healed the earth fully, as they had been healed.
– Kitty O’Meara
What kind of transformation will you create as a result of the coronavirus?