Let’s start with the good news on this New Moon Friday. This is the freshly minted cover of my brand new poetry book, due out next month, in time for Summer Solstice. You can preorder signed first edition copies, and receive 20% prepublication discount, until June 21st. Graphic designer, and editor extraordinaire, Gigie Hall’s imagery depicts the title poem’s opening lines.
Surely to measure is to know.
But where to begin?
Do I lay the ruler
to or from?
I am neither here
so where to base my measuring?
Some days I feel lost once again, in a similar psychic space, not knowing whether I am coming or going with this coronavirus crisis. But unlike the years when first drafting that poem, about my struggles to reconcile my dual existence in Arabia and America, this time I am not alone. For the duration of this pandemic, we are in it together. This is a shared experience of facing the Unknown. How long until the world returns to wellness? When the end date of this threat remains unknown, we cannot measure the distance nor pace our efforts.
This is an appropriate time to acquaint ourselves with that ambiguity, for we just entered the Eternal Present month, on the Wisdom Wheel calendar. Our planet is passing the constellation of Gemini, on its annual tour of the universe, so celebrate those born facing the mythical Twins, Castor and Pollux. Our twin possibilities, of life or death, test our Balance while we endure this passage.
“This moment of your life is actually a moment of eternity and experiencing the eternal aspect of what you are doing in the temporal experience…it’s the rapture of being alive.” — Thomas Russell
But the bad news this month, is that we are inside a particular moment, during this pandemic. And a glaring spotlight reveals our vulnerabilities. Friends are cycling through despair, denial or disbelief, dealing with the stages of grief over the end of the way things were, even when they have yet to lose someone dear to them. My husband just attended his first drive through funeral. He returned appalled by how many men weren’t wearing masks or keeping social distance. The bravado of believing we’ll be fine, when we need to continue altering, adjusting, and adapting our precautions. SARS-CoV-2, the formal name of Covid-19 is very real to me. My daughter is a surgical intensive care nurse, working with intubated patients on respirators. We take it seriously. As of today 97, 000 American are dead and the curve has yet to flatten. Our world has more than five million confirmed cases, over 330,000 deaths while 2,00,000 people have recovered. Among the three million currently infected, 98 percent have mild symptoms while the remaining 2 percent are in critical condition. We are pining our hopes on eventual herd immunity but the virus is also mutating.
In the meantime, we have become quite proficient with Zoom. If your book club is meeting virtually like ours, I will happily facilitate a discussion of The Importance of Paris memoir. We have one scheduled for June 18th. Contact me for set up or to schedule a Wisdom Wheel reading. There are several ongoing groups to join.
Every Saturday morning 10:30 am, Westerly Writing group
Every other Wednesday evening 6pm, Book Writers group
Every Monday evening 7pm, Zoom Lodge
Malcolm and I continue to hold ceremonies as scheduled. The next one is June 21st for Summer Solstice. Our Rhode Island governor is relaxing some restrictions on May 30th regarding gatherings so by next newsletter we should know how things are going. You can always see latest news on our Hope House Facebook page.