A Global Vaccine poem that will reflect our shared hope and experiences, started by Naomi Shihab Nye, who is one of my all-time favorite poets, is out there now with an invitation to join. So I’m tempted put into words how I feel about the vaccine, the second dose of which I’m to receive today.
Of course I’m excited by the possibilities — and nervous, still, of the rug being pulled out from under our feet by variants and future pandemics we can’t predict. I’m grateful for science that has gotten us to this point — and for the truth-tellers who make sure we have ALL the facts.
If I were to add my poetic voice, I’d mention how different collective grief feels than the devastating loneliness when loss knocks at your door rather than your neighbor’s — yet how both leave you stuck and without words.
I’d admit to the small part of me that has been grateful for the “time out” of this last year — the freedom from obligations, getting dressed up, and having to be on time anywhere but my Zoom Chair.
I might mention that the times I had wished the world would stop so I could catch my breath were really times that I longed for a quiet space to explore the ignored corners of my creativity — because it’s been a joy to discover a means of expression that doesn’t need words. That’s a little bit of freedom right there.
Of course I’d write about the thrill of getting a vaccine. It means getting to hug and laugh again with my smallish circle of family and friends whose smiles I’ve missed seeing — but I’d also have to admit to the tiny hope that I can scope out a way to move through the world a little more slowly and deliberately . . . and that I feel a smallish sense of apprehension about taking those first steps.
What about you?