Here we all are,
out of patience,
Lives long spent in speed and ease,
with most desires seemly met and quickly,
The holiday mood has passed.
The walls close in.
Frustration and weariness,
a trance of loss and loneliness
enfold our endless hours.
We are told to take heart;
these are uncharted paths we follow now.
No people have ever suffered so!
and our nobility
will lead us safely home.
But is that true?
Have others not undertaken
the long haul,
burdened with lives and dreams,
Recall those drowned on riverbanks,
in crowded cities of flimsy tents,
Haven’t they also been confined,
waiting long years
for welcome and communion?
For us, the long-haul paths of desperation are overgrown
by needs fulfilled,
consumption quickened and satisfied,
if not discerned…
Not minding, for long, the misery
nor the atonement owed.
My friends, we need the long haul before us
to teach us again
we are one people
on this charmed, neglected earth,
where dreams, and their attainment,
belong to all or none.
So let us proceed,
alone, awakened, united,
on the long haul to healing,
renewed in love
and fueled by grace.
22 thoughts on “The Long Haul”
Dear Kitty, I read your posts every day and they always fill my heart to overflowing. Thank you for putting into words the vast range of emotions that are with us every day. We can’t control this pandemic but we can influence it, and we can make choices about what we focus on and what stories we tell ourselves. Thank you for the love, hope and resilience that comes through your courageous addressing of our experience in these incredible days. With much love and appreciation from the west coast of Canada, Susan S.
Oh, Susan, thank you so much. Your kind words have made such a difference for me today; you cannot know what a blessing they have been for me. Bless you and those you love, and all the people in your wise and beautiful country. Be safe and well, and I wish you great and gentle peace.
4 de Abril de 2020 a las 20,28
Kitty, acabo de descubrirte en estos duros días de confinamiento, por medio de tu poema “Y la gente se quedó en casa”. Me llamo Amaya, vivo en la ciudad de Vitoria en el País Vasco y nuestra ciudad está siendo duramente castigada por el Corona Virus. Tengo 68 años, tres de ellos jubilada, me encanta la naturaleza, los animales, la fotografía, viajar y…escribir. Desde hace años participo en un taller de escritura creativa, por todo ello presiento que tenemos algo en común. Me ha emocionado tu bloc, tus sabias palabras llenas de sensibilidad y amor por la vida, las bellas imágenes que las adornan y todo lo que en ellas nos cuentas. Estoy segura que con ellas sanarás muchas mentes ahora desquiciadas. Tus letras desprenden amor y sabiduría y quien las disfruta siente un placer relajante. Muchas gracias por tu poema, y mucho ánimo para seguir ayudándonos a ser felices.
Tu amiga virtual
Thank you, Amaya. I have always thought the Basque Country was beautiful, and am so glad to have a “virtual friend” there. It sounds like we have much in common, and I am so glad you took the time to write and share some of your story with me. Please stay safe and be well…and keep writing your words of healing, too!
Gentle peace, Amaya!
Hi Kitty, I “found” you through your poem “And the people stayed home…” on social media, which, like your other prose, speaks to and from my heart. So very beautiful, thank you so much. I am also a fellow earth lover, which is on of the reasons I have been working on my Doctorate, looking at ways in which environmental organisations can adapt and transform in response to growing social-ecological challenges.
I have a question – I submitted my dissertation last week, from home, on a farm in Australia. I would love to include your poem in my acknowledgements and I need your written permission to cover off on copyright. (I dedicated my dissertation to my wonderful, unconditionally-loving elderly parents who are now in lock down in a nursing home…Will I see them again? I don’t know…).
I am very happy to send you a copy of my acknowledgements and the abstract which summarises my research, and anything else. I am just not sure how to contact you apart from through here. I can also send you my contact details if you like? Right now the birds are singing, the sun is shining, the dogs are sleeping, the bees are buzzing, and the landscape is green and alive after beautiful rain. Sending you loving thoughts, Katrina
Hello, Katrina, and thank you for writing. Yes, you have my permission to include “In the Time of Pandemic” in your dissertation acknowledgements, and congratulations on completing your Doctorate work! Blessings to you and to your parents; I hope you all will be safe and well. Your day sounds heavenly; I hope it’s renewing your spirit and offers you peace. Smooches to your dogs! Take good care. Sending love, Kitty
Thanks so much, Kitty 🙂 Katrina xo
Gentle peace and blessings. 🙂
Thank you yet again Kitty for capturing the essence of the waves of experience we are going through. So good to be able to grasp you words in these fragile times. Love and at least one appropriately socially distant hug to you. Cheerily Tess
Thank you, Tess! I’ll take all the virtual hugs offered, and send one back to you.
I have to tell you how precious your name is to me: My mother’s name was Therese, and I called her Tess during all the years we were blessed to share. And, when I could not have children of my own, I had a wee, loving cat I named Tess, which always made my mother laugh, but Tessy was a special little being and deeply loved. Had I a daughter, it would have been my first choice for a name, so hearing from you this gray morning in these dark times is a great flash of light, and I thank you for your kindness and your time taken to write.
Please be safe and well, Tess, and gentle peace to you and your loved ones.
Hello Ms Kitty.
I am a teacher. And wanted to tell you
What a beautiful, heartfelt porm you wrote. It pierce my heart. I cry while I was reading it.
A friend passed to me on fb but like anything in media sometimes is wrong. I researched and found out the real author was you.
I hope you don’nt mind That I posted on my FB
In Christ love, Nellie
Thank you for your beautiful comment, Nellie. I so appreciate your kindness in writing to me. Thank you so much and please be well and safe. Gentle peace to you.
Kitty, you have captured so much here – that shift into “endless hours” has been happening with friends and family. I’ve been re-reading Victor Frankl’s book to remind myself of how to choose to meet this time and challenge; yes, others have been on this road before us and still are. I continue to treasure the quiet moments that come; know that you are in my thoughts often.
Oh, Lynn, I love Frankl and his emphasis on the power we have to choose our response: perfect reading for this time. Bless you and your darling; be well and safe. Thank you for your kind words.
Hello, I’m a classical music composer in the UK. I’d like to ask permission to set some of your words to music. Could you let me know if this is ok? Thanks – Paul
I hope you received my e-mail, Paul. Please take care and be well: the world needs your music! gentle peace, Kitty
Another wise and beautiful poem Kitty. Yes so many have suffered and many will suffer more than us. I worry for places like Africa and India. We do need to become kinder and see ourselves as one race, human.Love and hugs to all.xxx
P.s, just LOVE that photo.xxx
Ah, thank you, dear friend. Yes, I know we can become kinder; we have to. Love you. 💕
Love you too.xxxx
It’s Carolina from Argentina, Mar del Plata city 🙂
I hope you are safe and well. In Argentina we are doing pretty well flattening the curve of infection so far. I feel deeply sorry for the many lives lost to the virus. My love to those souls.
I would like to share with you a copy of the Spanish translation of your wonderful poem. I have uploaded this version on an IG account that I have created only a few days ago to share such beautiful works of art as yours with the rest of the world. There is a Spanish version of the poem on social media, that has a few mistakes and that in my opinion fails to capture the essence of your message that I wanted to share with Spanish speakers. So I translated it like this:
“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.
Encouraging you to Spread your Message to the World
Thank you, Carolina! It is wonderful to hear that Argentina is flattening the viral curve. I send you and your beautiful people my prayers for safety and healing. I appreciate your kindness and love your translation. Be well, and gentle peace!