Unpacking Virulence

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There are many confusing posts about me and about my writing, and, while I’m sorry that the spirit of the poem I wrote isn’t enough for some readers, I realize humans are among the most curious of animals. And, hey, I love learning more about authors I enjoy, too. And, let’s face it; it went viral. During a virus. How does that even happen?

I’m disappointed that people are searching for my personal information online, and encountering stories that are published without cited sources, but rather, seem to have been written by people who googled names, copied and pasted, and fabricated stories to capitalize on the fact that my little poem went viral. (Which literally means, it wasn’t through careful strategy or in my control.) No one, after my first friend, asked to “re-post” the poem until the virus was at its peak. (And I am grateful for those sweet souls.) If you look at some of these Kitty O’Meara origin stories, they’re calling me Kathleen, Grace, Whatever; transcribing the poem incorrectly; saying I’m dead, Italian, from New Rochelle, lived during the Black Plague…And these posts are often badly written and poorly edited, which is really irritating.

So, here you go: Everything and more than you could possibly want to know about me but which will serve as a reference I can cite, post, and never, ever, have to write, defend, or explain again:

My baptismal name is Catherine Mary O’Meara; my nickname since birth has been Kitty. I grew up with my lovely family in Wisconsin, then to Ohio, and then back to Wisconsin  again. I went to Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, for my first degree.

I am married to a lovely man, my “dear one.” We wanted children very much, and were unable to have them; we instead gave that energy to, and derived joy from, teaching young people. And we have rescued many dogs and cats. We now have 5 of the former and 3 of the latter. We believe each of them has rescued us.

I have degrees in Theater and English. I worked in advertising as a creative director, copywriter, and editor (small firm), went back and earned a degree in Education, and taught middle school writing and literature for many years. My first marriage ended and I married my dear one and moved to another location and school. I stopped teaching to take care of my ill, then dying mother, just as she had, for many years, cared for my ill, then dying father.

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After her death, and in my grief, I went back to school again, for an MA in Servant Leadership, which allowed me to complete a CPE Program and work as a chaplain in hospital units and then with a hospice, which blessed me with the experience of caring for nursing home, cardiac, palliative care, and end-of-life patients. During this time, I also completed a 3-year program in Spiritual Direction and manage that practice from my home.

I have written since I was 6…stories, and poems, and book manuscripts. In 2011, I began this blog to share what I call “lit bits” and my photography. I stopped it a couple years ago because I was diagnosed with autoimmune diseases that needed a lot of management, which I accomplished as best as I could.

During that time, my friends and family urged me to write the blog again. I didn’t listen. Last month, seeing the pandemic coming, and the lack of preparation with which it would be met, I began to worry a lot about my family and friends in healthcare and what they would be facing. I felt upset that I couldn’t be with them, helping/doing something. I had a talk with Spirit and said, “C’mon. Show me what I can do!” The Holy always answers, but we don’t always hear it, because we’ve already decided what the answer should be and in which direction we should be looking, and how it will look and sound when it arrives.

Bluebird

So last Friday, March 13th: We were already 3 weeks into self-quarantine, and I was sitting with my dear one at lunchtime, feeling pouty that the Spirit hadn’t pushed me anywhere clearly and specifically. We watched some anxious news and talked about the pandemic and fretted about loved ones. We also had noticed reports that the earth was healing and the pollution receding while people were in quarantine. I’ve always thought and written a lot about healing physically, emotionally, and spiritually, and, next to my lovebugs, my passions are the earth, her creatures, the seasons, and my gardens.

I turned to Facebook, scrolled a bit, and then I wrote, “And the people stayed home,” and hit, “post.” I moved through the rest of my day: walking dogs, working out, doing laundry. Life stuff. That night, I tuned into Facebook and a friend said she liked the post and asked if she could re-post it. I typed, “Sure.”

The ensuing week was as unexpected and frenzied as an inland tsunami. Blessings in abundance, a few hurtful attacks, and many blissful gorgeous explosions of collaborative creativity…I would be utterly non compos mentis if I hadn’t discerned the work of the Spirit and her mighty slap-upside-the-head-answer to my prayer, so I humbly started my blog again, and have tried to let go of the madness that accompanies virulence while delighting in the sacred connections. This is how I can offer spiritual care, virtually, through my words. The answer was there, all along, but hearing it took not one virus, but two, and that is how the Spirit worked for me. And that is who I am.

Honor your talents and set aside judgement. Use your gifts. Surrender. Let Go. Heal yourself, then others, then yourself again. Forgive. Ask for guidance. Listen. Listen. Listen. Stay awake. Mind the Spirit’s slaps-upside-the-head. Love without stopping.

Bird Print

 

© Copyright of all visual and written materials on The Daily Round belongs solely to Catherine M. O’Meara, 2011-Present. Unauthorized use is strictly prohibited, without Catherine O’Meara’s written approval. No one is authorized to use Catherine O’Meara’s copyrighted material for material gain without the author’s engagement and written permission. All other visual, written, and linked materials are credited to their authors.

86 thoughts on “Unpacking Virulence

  1. Love those Spirits’ “slap-up alongside the head”. Can use one myself quite often. So happy to see your blog resume, have missed your nurturing and soulful voice.

    1. Ha ha! Thank you; so great to reconnect with lovely spirits like yours, especially in a time so oppressive. Joy to you and be well! Gentle peace.

      1. Your words of grace and kindness are the gentle and honest touch of healing, hope, comfort, and love that is truth. I am grateful you have shared your wisdom.

        1. How lovely to read your kind words, Eleanor; I’m grateful you shared them. I hope you are safe and well! Take good care of yourself, and gentle peace to you.

    2. Dear Kitty I write to you from a city called Mar del Plata in Buenos Aires Province, in Argentina in our second quarantine day. My name is Carolina Deger and I am a teacher of English as a second language and I also teach music to children. I lived and worked 3 years in the USA. I am also a woman that was unable to have children. I am 39.
      I came across your beautiful poem translated into Spanish. I started my research almost immediately and I found your blog. I have worked with poetry translation at University for a year and I have revised the translation of the poem and made some corrections so that the essence of the poem is not lost. I was also quite upset to read people posting wrong information about the source of the poem. I would like your permission to post a version in Spanish with my corrections. I send you all my love. My two cats send you love as well. You may find me on Facebook as Carolina Aurora Deger
      caroladeger@gmail.com

      1. Welcome, Carolina! It sounds we like are sisters, just meeting for the first time! What a gift. I thank you so much for taking so much time to create a translation, which I am sure is beautiful. It sounds like your life is full of wonderful activities, and thank you so much for offering your gifts to students through your teaching. Be well and safe, Carolina. My cats (and pups) send their love, of course, to you and your cats. Take good care, and gentle peace.

        1. “Y la gente se quedó en casa. Y leyó libros y escuchó, y descansó y se ejercitó, e hizo arte y jugó, y aprendió nuevas formas de ser, y se detuvo. Y escuchó más profundamente. Algunos meditaron, algunos rezaron, algunos bailaron. Algunos se encontraron con sus propias sombras. Y la gente comenzó a pensar de forma distinta.

          Y la gente sanó. Y en ausencia de personas viviendo de manera ignorante, peligrosa, inconsciente y despiadada, la tierra comenzó a sanar.

          Y cuando el peligro pasó y las personas se unieron de nuevo, lloraron sus pérdidas, y tomaron nuevas decisiones, y soñaron nuevas imágenes y crearon nuevas formas de vivir, y sanaron la tierra por completo, tal como como habían sido sanadas”

          1. This is not a precise translation, but it’s close, yes. The ideas are what matters, I suppose. Joy to you, and thank you for visiting and sharing. Blessings on all your creativity, and gentle peace. 🙂

            1. I am sorry the translation is unprecise. I guess I improved the one circulating on social media saying it was a poem from the time of the plague and probably translated using google. I tried my best to keep all ideas so that they are not lost in translation. As I recall from my poetry translation studies, translated poetry becomes a new piece of text, adapted in idiomatic expressions as close as possible to the language and culture being translated into, keeping the aesthetic and expressive values. I really hope someone with better translation skills comes up with a great version of your poem. I’ll make sure to add your comments on my version. Be safe.

              1. It’s fine as it is, Carolina; you’re right that translations are always different by necessity, and that the important thing is that the message echoes truthfully and as beautifully as possible, which you have done, masterfully. Thank you so much! I appreciate your gifts more than you know. Peace to your kind and gifted heart.

                1. Hi, Luis. I’m sorry; her name is: Carolina Aurora Deger. 🙂 She is from Mar del Plata in Buenos Aires Province, in Argentina.

    1. Blessings to you as well for your kindness, and know that I am very grateful you took the time to visit and share. take good care of yourself, and be well, Lee! Gentle peace.

  2. It will be lovely getting to know you. Thanks and blessings for sharing your story. I will continue to read your blogs. I am 71 years old and a retired middle school teacher. I have been a master gardener in Victoria County Texas since retirement in 2002.

    Quite frankly, I had no idea how lonely isolating oneself can be. My husband and I are actually keeping a bit of distance as I ran a fever for 4 days.

    I will enjoy reading back in your blog and seeing so many wonderful gardening and nature photos.

    I too went through the loss of my dad at age 93 and my stepmom at 96. Hospice care was Spirit led.

    Aiming for continued healing. I always liked the quote, “We are all just walking each other home.”
    Peace and comfort. Nancy 🕊🙏🏻🌸

    1. Oh, dear, Nancy! I hope you’re feeling better now and that your fever is gone. Thank you so much for taking time to write and share some of your story. Yes, hospice is a blessing to so many.

      You can see I am NOT a Master Gardener, but I’m an energetic one! I have an amazing gardener friend near Dallas, and he’s already posting photos of beautiful blooms this month.

      Be well and take care, Nancy.
      Gentle peace.

  3. Dear Kitty,

    I have to tell you that I shared your words with your name on it. As it really touched me and I wanted to share this feeling with more people.

    I can only thank you for your words and deep thoughts. It gives me hope in the middle of this world chaos.
    Your words and your pictures brought me joy and peace.

    Thank you so much!
    Kind regards,
    Paula Volpi
    From Brazil

    1. Good for you, Paula, and so kind of you to visit here and share your feelings! Blessings to you and to everyone you love. Be well and stay safe. Gentle peace.

  4. Kitty, I was also a Hospice Nurse and your words have touched me so much. Thank you for sharing your gift with all of us and the Spirit is wise….we need your words right now

  5. Hello Kitty

    I come from Christchurch, New Zealand, your words have touched me and given me hope for our future, and like Paula Volpi, I also shared them as they resonated with me on such a deep level.
    This is a cheeky request, but here it goes, I create books/journals etc etc (Tingle Vision Designs- Facebook), I haven’t done so for over 18 months, due to personal circumstances, but feel that I will have time to do so very soon!
    Would I be able to use your words for a book cover?

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and articulating so beautifully what many of us feel an hope for.
    Sarah Milburn

    1. oops a few typos! sorry! must proof read in future!!

      I come from Christchurch, New Zealand, your words have touched me and have given me hope for our future, and like Paula Volpi, I also shared them as they resonated with me on such a deep level.
      This is a cheeky request, but here it goes, I create books/journals etc etc (Tingle Vision Designs- Facebook), I haven’t done so for over 18 months, due to personal circumstances, but feel that I will have time to do so very soon!
      Would I be able to use your words for a book cover?

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts and articulating so beautifully what many of us feel and hope for.
      Sarah Milburn

      1. Kind of you to write, Sarah, and I really appreciate your integrity in asking. I’m allowing the use of the poem for schools, churches, and artistic pursuits that are charitable; I am not allowing people to use it for commercial gain. I hope that helps. No selling.

        I hope you’re well in beautiful New Zealand and able to stay safe. Gentle peace, Sarah!

  6. I also wish to thank you as your words so moved me. I truly wanted to discover who had written them since as you said, it has gone viral. Your poem has touched so many of us within both heart & soul. I feel you sent us a blessing to us all. 🙏

    1. I am so happy you felt blessing; we have that power, don’t we? We can use our gifts here and now and send blessing our to the world. Please take care of yourself, and be well. Gentle peace.

  7. I don’t know that you get replies I would understand if not I’m sorry for the virulence and any negativity – for my sake I’m thankful it went viral – ur words where/are beautiful and honestly healed and calmed a part of me I love it re read it a lot and cry every time

    Thank you for sharing and being brave and following the spirt I benefited greatly from it

    Thank you,
    Kristin Mcquade

    Sent from my iPhone

    1. I’m so happy the words give you peace; that’s wonderful news, Kristin. We’ll all get through this time together. Be well and take care of yourself! Gentle peace.

  8. Kitty, your beautiful words of wisdom have resonated all over the world and have brought comfort and hope to so many of us who are feeling scared and worried. Thank you so much for sharing your gift. I hope it’s ok with you that I have printed your poem and hung it on my wall so I can read it whenever I feel overwhelmed. Know that there is someone in a small country town in New South Wales Australia who appreciates all you do. I am so sad that some people are being negative towards you, stay strong and well.

    1. Oh, I’m very blessed that way; don’t fret. I’m sensitive, but I also bounce like a Tigger, and I’m so blessed to have a partner who makes me laugh. A lot. People act out of feelings they sometimes can’t name or identify. And everything’s an invitation to go deeper, so they are my teachers, too. (Though I’m very, very human!)

      I am so touched by you, my friend, hanging my words where you can see them, to give you hope. Remember, the Spirit is the co-author, and she surrounds you with Her peace. 🙂 Stay well and be safe, in your small country town, in New South Wales, Australia…and visit when you’re able, to let us know how you are doing.

  9. Thank you Kitty – i am so happy to meet you! someone in London had a copy of your beautiful post in their shop window and my sister-in-law took a photo and sent it in a family chat spanning Australia, Portugal and the USA. Your words resonated at a deep level for me – a quiet, yet strong “yes” and i felt hope rising in me, shedding light into my fears and dark places … thank you again

    1. That is so wonderful, and what a family chat! You hang on to your hope, Antoinette, and never let it go. All shall be well. Take good care of yourself and rest when you must. Gentle peace.

  10. Kitty thank you so much for your contribution to peace making. I read your writing and shared it with my communities. I am an artist and teacher and my connections are global. I recognized right away the presence of Spirit in your words and that is what compelled me to share. Please keep writing and sending out your beautiful energy into the world. Love binds us.

    1. Absolutely right; Spirit is at work, and she is mighty. Thank you so much for visiting and sharing, and for your work in the world. Be well. Gentle peace.

  11. When my niece shared the poem, “And the people stayed home….”, I sat mesmerized and there was a lightness of Being. My eyes filled with tears…in exultation for the lessons shared in that poem. I posted it on my Next Door neighborhood forum, and so many people spoke of being “Lifted”. It has a life of its own as it continues to be infused with an energy that transforms. Thank you over and over again for your Light.

    1. You are so kind, Carolyn. That my words have had such power and movement is a huge “lift” to my own spirit, because I’ve always felt that if I could hug the whole world, I would. But your words are also very humbling, because I’m old and wise enough (just enough) to know I alone don’t have such power; this is the work of the Spirit.

      Blessings to you. Be well and safe. Gentle peace, Carolyn.

  12. I’m so glad you clarified. When I credited you after including your piece at the end of my recent post, I wasn’t sure so I mentioned all the possibilities…but now that you’ve cleared it all up, I’ll adjust.

    Proper credit is so important – even though the impact of the work is more important.

    I hope nobody profits off your work – other than the intangible benefit of sharing your beautiful sentiments.

    And I hope this episode has inspired you to keep writing – through this period and beyond.

    1. Thank you, Yacoob. I hope people don’t use my words for profit, either, but I also have to let those worries go. People do what they do till they’re invited–and choose– to go deeper and grow. That doesn’t change the effect the words, or anyone’s art, have on hearts and spirits open to transformation and peace.

      Have a lovely day. The sun is shining here and we are looking forward to a long walk!

      Gentle peace, my friend.

  13. Kitty,
    The spiritual beauty of your soul shines through your thoughtfully-penned words. Bless you for your patience in handling the onslaught of misinformation. Originally, I wanted to give credit to the heart speaker of the post floating around the Internet. It is the reason I specifically searched for you. I’ve passed your beautiful words to my family and friends. Your words touch me just as classical music soothes my troubled soul. I look forward to your blogging and pray for safety for you and “your dear” as well as your fur babies.

    Wisconsin is my husband’s home and The Dells a favored location for kayaking down the Wisconsin River. I look forward to revisiting the International Crane Foundation as well.

    Bless you today and always for inspiring us to focus on peaceful positives.

    Tequila Sunrise 🌅

  14. Dear Kitty, We have already spoken and I just wanted to leave a comment again. Thank you . I am learning from you. It has taken real courage and grace to not instantly retaliate and be swept up with the external media frenzy, or let the ego take over and want to be seen as the person who needs to fight to take ownership of the words. Someone already mentioned above that your words took a life of their own and went viral at such speed that no business strategy can achieve this result without weeks of thinking and without manipulation. What you were seeing and what you were feeling were written in such simple words with no judgment and sent at the precise time that people needed to receive your words. I am in awe, but this is the work of the divine and your lifetime of life experience too. It is great to get to know your journey. Have a nice day.

    1. Hi, Suki!
      Your encouragement and wisdom have meant so much to me; thank you. And yes, I am not nearly savvy enough to orchestrate virulence. That the words have touched hearts is perfect proof, to me, that this is the work of the Spirit, using my puny gifts to get these feelings out there when we are in need of inspiration to be at peace and to have our faith and trust boosted.

      Many artists are offering their gifts, too. I hope my words don’t just comfort, but encourage people to turn to their unique ways of creating love and sharing these with the world.

      Gentle peace my dear friend.

  15. There seem to be a ton of lessons to be learned throughout this ‘wake up pandemic’…Hopefully people are taking the time to explore their inner world and find re-connection. I’m just glad to have reconnected with you and your wonderful creativity again! Thank you Kitty….It sounds like the happy family is still going strong. Be well….VK ❤

    1. Yes, thank you, VK, and I am so aware of the opportunities still time offers each of us; I hope we can stay buoyant and open. It is challenging work when suffering and loss assail us from every direction. But I’m a gardener and know what comes of lying fallow, and what new life spring brings after winter.

      Love you and send gentle peace. Please be well and safe, too.

  16. I live in the UK and read your poem on a friends instagram only yesterday. It resonates deeply and yet you wrote it so simply. Thankyou. You have put into lovely words things that my husband and I have talked about as we walk our dog and marvel at the beauty of nature. Blessings and peace be with you.

    1. Thank you, Eunice. Joy to you and your husband, and your sweet pup, on those lovely walks. I so appreciate your time and kindness in writing. Please be well and safe. Gentle peace.

  17. Dear Kitty,
    Thanks for sharing more of you. Very inspiring! The good part of this viral thing is that many people could enjoy your poem, as I did. If it had not been for this, I would have not been able to feel all that I have been feeling since then, and get great inspiration, quite in line with how I see what’s around me, in my struggle for building my own blog and express my truth to the world. I thank you again!
    Unfortunately, there is this weird part we humans have and our egos. I’m sorry to hear it irritated you. I love to think this really represents a very minor part of all the people who read this poem, but I surely can understand your emotions.
    I send you love and peace and wish you mindful moments with your loved ones.
    Thank you!
    Laurent

    1. You are so kind, Laurent. I want to wish you great joy in structuring and creating your blog; may your words and brave heart shine in the world. Be well and merry and safe. Gentle peace, dear Laurent.

  18. Dear Kitty,
    I am writing you from Spain. I got to know your poem last night when my 84-year-old grandma read it to me. It was the perfect ending for a beautiful grandma-granddaughter evening. She had been reading the letters that she and my grandfather (he passed away 28 years ago) shared when they first met. She read, with shyness and humor, some passages of the letters to me. Then she told me she wanted to share something else with me: your poem, your words, your hope for the world. When she finished, I had tears of hope in my eyes, I was so moved, and my grandma was also moved to see me like that, we both laughed and cried. Last evening was one of the most moving movements I have shared with her, I wish I could also hug and kiss her, strongly and with all my heart, with all my faith, with all my hope, but it will have to wait a little bit more.
    She has invited me to a “private ceremony” to burn the letters in the garden, to send her memories, her words and her love to the universe.
    I found your blog this morning and read your post. Despite the virulence, thank you for sharing your story and your faith, it inspired me to write you how I got to know your words. Many people around me are talking about your poem (also translated into Spanish and Basque); I promise to credit your words, and let people know where they truly come from.
    Thank you!
    Anahí

    1. Oh, Anahi, this letter made me cry. Happy tears. This is EXACTLY what I want my writing to do: bring loved ones together, sharing their stories, their histories, their hearts. I cannot tell you how much that I believe is beautiful and tender and true of humanity is right here, in your words, in the love and precious holiness of this sacred relationship between you and your grandmother. That your time together brought laughter and tears shows how deeply you love, and I am so very honored to meet you both through your words.

      I can hear how hard this separation is for you. So many of us long to touch and hold loved ones who are far away. I am glad for the miracles of technology, that we can at least see and hear each other, but I know and treasure the profound value of presence. I will pray for the day you can embrace and share your beautiful ceremony together.

      Thank you, again, for your amazing heart and the great gift you have shared today. Blessings on you and your grandmother, on all your loved ones, on all of us in isolation, praying for healing and peace, and yearning to gather together again with those we love.

      Gentle, gentle peace, Anahi; be safe and well.

  19. Hi,
    I just read your poem, in Spanish, saying it was composed by you in 1.800. But I never forget to check the facts so I came here. Now I will read the original and verify if my translation into Portuguese is accurate and give the proper credits to you. Right now i did not read your text but I can say that the spanish translation is beautiful, so I, that do not like poetry in general, took the burden (very little) to translate it

    1. That is so kind of you, Paulo, as is the recognition that I’m not 220 years old. 🙂 I appreciate your words and your generous help in translating the poem into your beautiful language. Please take care of yourself and be safe. Gentle peace!

      1. Dear Kitty,
        Thank you for your kind answer.
        I posted the portuguese translation in a comment to “Your Assistance Required”.
        Btw, I also like the photo of you that your talented friend took (in About Kitty O’Meara). Please do not remove it.

  20. Kitty,
    Your beautiful poem touched my soul deeply- My cousin posted on FB a few days ago….I reposted and shared with my family and friends- and the message has really influenced how I am responding to this- and hopefully guiding my family in the same direction!
    I am a calligrapher (mostly a hobby), and I have been spending the last few days designing your poem and am ready to pick up my pen to start the actual piece. I have NO INTENTION of selling this, and I have credited you as the author…..
    When I’m finished, may I send you a copy? Also, I would like to post my calligraphic rendition on FB- to share with friends and family-

    I write some too (totally for myself and loved ones), and I am acutely aware of crediting the author. I will not calligraph anything unless I find the author and credit him/her.

    Anyways, I’m glad I found you- just wanted to let you know how deeply you inspired me, and to let you know what I am working on. Again- I will NOT be selling this- my calligraphy pen just NEEDS to express herself with your beautiful words!
    And when I am finished, I would like to send you a copy.

    Keep inspiring the world- you truly have a special gift!
    Blessings,
    Cindi Kordell
    Indiana, Pa

    1. What a beautiful spiritual practice, Cindi! I am glad it is something that gives you peace and allows your creative gifts to respond to our time. I think it’s wonderful, and what a lovely gift it would be for anyone.

      I appreciate that you understand the spirit of the poem and that it’s not something to sell, but to share, freely. How wise of you. Thank you for writing and sharing your beautiful spirit.

      I would hate to put you out during such a hectic time, but I would welcome a copy of your work, whenever that is possible, and not in a way to disturb your energy or routine. I’m reluctant to post my contact data, but perhaps you are wise enough to figure out a way to contact me. If that doesn’t work out, maybe you could make one for a friend in need; that would make me very happy as well.

      Please take care of yourself and be well, Cindi. Gentle peace.

      1. Thank you Kitty! I will find a way to get you a copy, once I have completed it- it is a work in progress- I do not want to rush it, as the message means so very much to all of us right now!
        When I am done, I will contact you here- perhaps I can take a photo and you can at least see it!

        Thank you for your tremendous gift and for writing something so beautiful- I hope I can do it justice with my calligraphy!
        Blessings,
        Cindi

        1. Oh, Cindi, please don’t rush! That’s the whole point of the poem: Take your time and relax into that beautiful state of mind when your creativity becomes a prayer. Be at peace. And enjoy yourself. 🙂 No worries; just joy.

  21. Thank you Kitty. For your poem and for your humanity. I’m so sorry you have received negative feedback but please know joy your words have brought to me.

  22. Your beautiful words and photos are food for our collective Souls !
    Thank you for nourishing us !
    Blessings, Barb Dacus

    1. How kind of you, Barb; thank you very much for this. The Spirit is and was my co-author, and she is working mightily to bring us comfort and peace, and–I believe–to encourage us to create ways to translate those needed qualities through our words, art, choices, and behavior. I hope you are safe and well, Barb. Gentle peace.

    1. Gracias, Carlos! I will be sure the women creating the video I spoke of, can see this, too! I LOVE it. Be well and safe, dear one. Gentle peace.

  23. Ah, we can never take life for granted. Always new tests, as long as we live. Wishing health and happiness to you, your loved ones, and all who love you, whether you know them or not.

  24. Perfect words, as always, from you, my wise and precious friend. I pray for you to be blessed as well in health, safety, and love. And you have mine, always. Gentle peace, dear Shimon…back to being tested.

  25. Hi Kitty, I´m from Argentina and I want to thank you for your words. Give me strength and hope
    iIn these moments of so much pain and uncertainty.

    1. Ida, that is so kind of you to share with me. Please, take all the hope and strength you can, and be safe, and be well, and create what you can that offers love and light to the world during these hard days. I send you love. I so hope you and your loved ones, and the brave, beautiful people of Argentina are safe and will be united and supported in their suffering and healing. Gentle peace.

  26. When I read “And the people stayed home…” on Facebook tears came to my eyes because it said to me, “It’s going to be okay. Give in to this time and learn from it.” It’s the best most positive thing I’ve heard or read. Thank you!

    1. Oh, Janet, that’s so wonderful to hear. The spirit of the poem reassured you: I hope it will continue to do so. The time is crammed with light and possibility to balance our hearts against all the suffering and loss. I wish you and your loved ones safety and gentle peace. Be well, Janet, and thank you again for taking your precious time to share with me.

    1. Thank you, dear one…you’ll have to tell me what mysteries were uncovered for you while we’re chatting on FT. Now I’m curious. You do know me, yes. And I love you.

  27. Hola. Mi nombre es Elizabeth, soy curiosa por esencia. Por eso quise verificar si el poema era de la autora del 1800… y no tiene ni el libro ni el poema que le atribuyen. Y llegué a tí, muchas gracias, hermosas tus palabras. Pido permiso para publicarlas en mis redes sociales , citando tu autoria. Gracias. Elizabeth. Instagram: @elizabeth_tdf @ecoenvoltorios_api3r

    1. Thank you for writing, Elizabeth; it is very kind of you. Yes, please share the words and take good care of yourself. be safe and well. Gentle peace.

  28. Dear Kitty,
    I was deeply touched when I first read your poem on Facebook – you gave words to the hope in my heart that this experience may begin to bring healing to our world.
    The final sentence seemed to be a perfect close to a blog post I published yesterday. I credited you and included a link to The Daily Round but have since noticed your copyright disclaimer. May I have your “after-the-fact” permission to share your wisdom?

    Blessings to you. I look forward to following you on this sacred journey.

    Wendy: https://ourblueboat.org/2020/03/23/in-the-pause-of-covid-19/

  29. It’s a beautiful blog post, Wendy, and I love the way you integrated my words. Thank you so very much for your words, and for your kindness in checking-in with me. Be well and stay safe…and keep writing! I love the vision you and your friends have for the earth, and your photography is stunning. Thank you, again. Gentle peace.

    1. Please forgive my late response! Thank you for your generosity and your kind words. Your blog is such a gift during these challenging, transformative times. Blessings to you!

      1. Oh, my goodness; like you don’t have a kabillion more important things happening than this blog and the comments’ section. What’s important is your health and well-being, and that of your loved ones, your creativity and its expression in the world…and your peace. Take Care, Wendy. 🙂

  30. A beautiful poem, I just received it today from a friend via Facebook – the post said it was “Kathleen O’Meara’s poem, ‘And People Stayed Home,’ written in 1869, after the famine”. I check all sources (being a journo) and found this wonderful blog. Thank you.

  31. Way to go, Cheryl! Excellent fact-checking, and I am so glad you found me. 🙂 Thank you for that, and for writing to share; it means so very much to hear from you. I hope you are well and safe. Gentle peace to you, Cheryl!

  32. Dear Kitty,
    About ten days ago, I discovered your prose poem online. With all the fear and anxiety that surrounds COVID, your poem instills calm and hope. It is so beautifully written. Thank you for sharing so honestly and profoundly.
    I have been working on a manuscript for a book for over a year to be titled, “Take Gentle Care” with the subtitle: Seeking tranquility and peace on a journey toward healing and wholeness.” It is a book about grieving, inspirational in style with spiritual and inspiring references and it is psychologically sound. The final chapter the Epilogue with the Title: “The Pandemic’s Resolve: Gratitude, Hope and Loving Kindness” discusses the Pandemic. With your permission and using the proper credits, I would like your permission to include your poem in this section of the book. Should you agree, I will send you the draft of the Epilogue with your poem for your permission. When my manuscript is published, I will send you a copy.

    Reading your inspirational work on your blog, I realized we have some common experiences. I was a teacher and then I did graduate work to become a licensed clinical professional counselor. I am a chaplain and worked for seven years as a hospital chaplain before working in hospital administration. I retired two years ago and I am working on my first book.

    I look forward to revisiting your blog.
    Take gentle care, Kitty!

    Sincerely,
    Marguerite P. Gilner
    seasideretreat@comcast.net

  33. Dear Kitty,
    I left you a message using this reply space yesterday. I am not sure you received it. Maybe it doesn’t get posted until you reply. I am touched by the affirming and gentle way you respond to your visitors on your blog.

    Thank you for sharing your gift of words!

    Wishing you a peaceful Saturday.

    1. Hi, Marguerite, I’m so sorry if I missed your message. I was under the weather yesterday, and I think my cottony head probably missed quite a few things! I am so touched you took the time to write again; thank you for your kindness.
      I have been so touched by the stories and thoughts shared with me here and elsewhere; I do try to be respectful and gentle with my replies, and appreciate your noticing that. I am so very humbled and honored by the brave and loving people all over the world who are trying to maintain their peace, dignity, and hope in the face of this anxiety and loss of control. Their courage, creativity, and love have gifted me far more than my words have gifted them, I’m certain. I hold them all in my heart…and now you, too!
      Be safe and well, Marguerite, and gentle peace. ~ Kitty

      1. Dear Kitty,

        Thank you for your quick response. I hope you are feeling better today. Yesterday I sent you a message under your topic, Unpacking Virulence. Since I am new to blogs and not sure of how to send messages, so my message is probably somewhere in the clouds.

        I was writing to ask your permission to include your poem about the pandemic in the Epilogue section of a book I am writing that I hope to have published the end of this year. The book is about bereavement and loss. I plan to title it: “Take Gentle Care” with a subtitle “Seeking tranquility and peace on a journey toward healing and wholeness.”

        I began the manuscript for the book a year ago, after experiencing a difficult time with the death of my dear sister. I decided during this time of quarantine, I would devote my time to completing the first draft of the manuscript. I am an artist and will be doing the illustrations. The book is meant to offer inspiration and hope to anyone grieving any kind of loss. In recent days, I decided to devote the Epilogue to the pandemic since it is so much about loss and healing. Your poem captures the impact of this crisis, the healing and hope for a new vision. Should I receive your permission, I will send you the Epilogue section with your poem included and the appropriate copyright information. If you do not think it is appropriate, I understand.

        After visiting “The Daily Round”, I noticed that we have several experiences in common. I was a teacher and then returned to graduate school to become a licensed clinical professional counselor. I studied at Loyola University in the Pastoral Counseling program. I also had the privilege of studying Palliative and End of Life Care at George Washington University. I worked as a chaplain in a hospice program for seven years before working in hospital administration. I retired two years ago. Writing is another way of being supportive and offering hope.

        Wishing you every blessing with the inspirational work you so beautifully author. You are a blessing and a gift of hope to others.

        Sincerely, Marguerite Gilner Email: seasideretreat@comcast.net Cell & Text: (410)404-4333

  34. Dear Kitty,
    Today, I copy/pasted your beautiful poem, without checking for the truth of its source. Thankfully one of my colleagues sent me the Snopes correction, and I came to this blog site. I am so appreciative of your heart and your spirit and the blog story you wrote when the poem went ‘viral” even though it was incorrectly aged and attributed! I also feel encouraged by your intention to follow your bliss.. and Spirit.. to answer the question you asked. For several months I have been nudged by Spirit to restart the book I know I have to write. Your story moved me.. and I hereby make a commitment to write again. I am 79 and it is time!
    Thank you for your vulnerability, your heart and your Truth.
    Inger Droog

    1. Oh, Inger, this is the best news you could share with me, and everyone who visits the page. Thank you so much for your kindness, and the time and courage to post your goal here. HOORAY! Yes, it is the acceptable time for us to share our gifts, with ourselves and the world. I am so happy for you, and hope you will share again as your story evolves and is completed. Be safe and well, and be joyful in your creating, Inger! Gentle peace.

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