Some Coronavirus Musings from a Sanctuary

I walk around a large barn, rockwalled on one side, more like a large garage, cement floored; beyond are open spaces revealed and then concealed by the clouds and mists, retreating and advancing. The land glows green.

 

In this time of pestilence, which seems in abeyance here, waiting beyond, yet permeating the mind with its weight of the fraught, of the impending end—and yet across the road the avocado tree is in full bloom, its tiny green flowers myriad, promising.

 

Allie, who works with the horses (I live on a horse sanctuary), has planted taro, called kalo here, in a raised bed in front of this barn. Horse poop has been laid over the soil. There is an indigenous hope in these plants, their unfurling vivid green leaves and their dark rhizomes mostly hidden, growing, growing, doing their work in the dark.

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I wake up too early these days. I can’t go back to sleep usually; the pandemic drifting in my waking thoughts. The awareness simply there. I went to the pharmacy, masked and gloved. They have put tables in front of the pharmacy windows to attempt a forced distance, but people lean in over these. I pull off the gloves outside, an edge of guilt in such waste being made in colossal quantities.

 

The images of the virus are legion, it somehow reminds me of something out of Dr. Who. I think of the Christian doctrine of the holy ghost, depicted in various artworks as a dove. Sometimes called the paraclete (an advocate of sorts). An apparition, yet with a physical form, inchoate and yet…very material.

A strand of RNA encapsulated in a protein shell with spikes which give a corona quality that virologists found reminiscent of the solar corona, that aura of plasma emanating from the sun. Whoa–the virus takes us metaphorically in language chains to some surprising places.

 

A vast net of suffering and yet out of all this something appears that many are noticing: a greater sense of our planetary interconnectedness. Awareness that flutters in and out of our anxieties. Something that emerged out of the jagged tears and rips in the world of late capitalism, the implacable relentless growth destroying and destorying forests, turning the seas into plastic soups, leaving so many people dehumanized and stripped of the rich, complex stories that we need as much as nutrients and vitamins….

 

The novel coronavirus is something that has arrived, that has appeared and changes the world. In the tensions between what was and the unknown what will be a liminal space, that of Janus the god of doors with his two faces of beginnings and endings, signifies.

 

You’ve come to slay

and rip off the bandages

from our eyes, to reassert

most painful truths

uncomfortable as exploding

glass

while malign power brokers

shuffle, like rabid elephants,

stirring up

dust clouds of obfuscation.

 

8 thoughts on “Some Coronavirus Musings from a Sanctuary

  1. It’s good to hear from you, and I’m glad you’re doing all right!

    You were mentioned in my prayers earlier when I was doing the Megala Antinaoia ritual in my Shrine, which took about two hours. Sadly, only one entrant in the agon, but what can you do?

    I hope you continue to be healthy, happy, and safe!

      1. Safe–yes!

        Teaching–if one can call what we do now online “teaching,” then yes, that as well (you know how I feel about that generally…!?!).

        Well–physically, I am doing all right for the most part, but all of this, and so much else, has me mentally on-edge, severely anxious, and quite worried most of the time. My sleep has been extremely poor, even by my standards, and it is starting to become intolerably so.

        The only upshot is that I’ve been getting a bit more devotional writing done…not everything I would hope, but some things at ;east.

        Speaking of which, if you have a moment and would be interested, I am doing a particular project that might benefit from your potential contributions to it. Write to me privately and I’ll say more!

        And I also have news of a mutual friend in Italy, if you haven’t heard from said individual directly in the last month! 😉

  2. Nice to hear how you’re doing. What a contrast between your horse sanctuary and trip to the pharmacy. Yes, as I’ve written recently, so strange how a strand of RNA in a protein jacket can bring such great changes to the world that all our political movements could not and maybe not even war. The corona does seem significant too…

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