April 9, 2020
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  • 5:58 am Religious Israelis: What happens after you die?
  • 4:58 am When Fear Impacts Your Faith // Andy Stanley
  • 2:59 am Go Forward in Faith
SOCIAL DISTANCING (A Poem)


Hello. I wanted to share a poem I wrote with
my fellow shut-ins. And I apologize for noise intrusion, lack of proper lighting, my tech crew wasn’t able to come to work today and maybe more importantly, they don’t exist. So there may be a train, a truck, a cat joining in on this video. And just one last thing,
at the end of the poem I appeal to kind words. Kind words among us, but also kind words themselves
to help float us through this common dilemma. And I just wanted to clarify one thing, it’s
only occurred to me, in the last day or two, that I don’t exactly mean just nice words
or certainly not falsely reassuring words I think I just mean telling people the truth
even if it’s about being afraid or alone. I think reaching out can be considered kindness
without also resorting to lies. So maybe I’m just meaning truth. Anywhere, here’s the poem:
it’s called “Social Distancing.” Say there came a pandemic;
some newsdrunk virus set its hooks in us. And only the sky for a nurse,
arced and empty and barely even blue. And only the musical pulse, and the several senses for consolation, except for a stream of distant words like waves bearing the rush, curl, and foam of elsewhere arriving, the distant rhythm of others to bridge the gap between head and heart, dark and day, fear and whatever it is one feels on the brink of when walking next to great waters, how the surf catches and releases the light, and the waves and bones tremble like the distant cousins of constant thunder. We know salt tumbles eventually from ocean to body and back, and forth. We know it takes ages to regather the shaken self into the good world again. I remember a ritual once where hundreds of tiny basket-like boats were lit and launched with prayers and flowers and misfortunes, ignited and cast out on the water until the bay was ablaze, a rocking
constellation of human woe uttered in small tongues of flame, until little by little they drifted, burned, blinked out, and then it was just dark water again, and we all went home. Did our troubles never return? Were we really less burdened, or better people? What I mean is sometimes worry needs to be ignited, launched into words, if only to blaze awhile among flotillas of sorrows we thought were ours alone. What I really mean, of course, is– Keep in touch. Even if you don’t know what to say, especially
if you don’t know what to say. Kind words, fellow castaways, mind-lit emergencies of fingertip and tongue, float this festival of downtime and distance, repopulate the dark with your fledgling human light. Thank you. And keep in touch.

Jean Kelley

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