Monday, April 27, 2020

Musings in a Time of Crisis XVI

. . . statistics, . . . have a kind of moral authority, one whose
meaning may repel us but . . . nevertheless encourages certainty. . . .
~ Shannon Pufahl
"Numbering the Dead" in NYR Daily, April 21, 2020


Do you follow the numbers for your area: the coronavirus cases confirmed, the dead of Covid-19 known? Whether the curve is "flattening" or still sharply rising? 

In the United States overall, more than 900,000 cases have been reported as of April 25, 2020, and at least 52,000 people within our borders have died. Newspapers such as The Washington Post and The New York Times and public health agencies of all kinds track the figures daily, adjust them for probabilities, calculate them by state and county or city, by age, by urban or rural area, by race and gender, by underlying condition(s) and not. They compare them country to country, and worldwide. But for all we can and do measure — and the data do have some acceptable degree of certainty and help us understand the spread of infection and disease — we are left with just numbers, a relative scale.

Sometimes, the numbers on their own speak to us, as they do at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.; at the 9/11 memorial at the Pentagon, in Arlington, Virginia; at the Field of Empty Chairs Memorial to those killed in the 1995 bombing in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. At such places, the abstract is made conceivable, if still unbearable, through representation in artful form. 

What we don't get is something more fundamental: the stories of the lives behind the numbers that collectively tell us who we are. 

A paragraph in a "Lives Lost" column, a column-inch obituary, a poem, a recitation of names, a tolling of bells: at most, they remind us, offer glimpses.

What does it mean to grieve if we have only numbers, build memorials based on numbers, but fail to learn and keep alive our stories?

And how do we grieve, knowing there exist throughout the country the counted but the unknown? Who grieves for those buried en masse in the trenches on Hart Island in Long Island Sound? With what certainty do we account for the disappeared and unremembered? For the lost stories of joy and hope?


In his recently published Literary Hub interview, the poet Ilya Kaminsky offers several thoughtful questions to consider:

✦ "[. . .] what is silence if you ask any deaf person and [he] tells you that it doesn't exist? Because it doesn't exist for 10% of the population of the planet. . . ."

✦ "[. . . ] So many people want to ask: why did you come to America? No one wants to ask: what did you see when you came to America?"

✦ "[. . . ] At what point does one stop being a refugee? Does one ever stop being a refugee?"

("Ilya Kaminsky: "'Fables Allow You to Break Bread With the Dead'," April 23, 2020)

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Thought for the Day

We ought not to underestimate the need for
and the power of silence.
~ David O'Taylor

Quoted from David O'Taylor, "Conclusion" in Glimpses of the New Creation: Worship and the Formative Power of the Arts (Eerdman's Publishing Co., 2019), page 246

David O'Taylor, Assistant Professor of Theology and Culture, Fuller Theological Seminary; Director, Brehm Texas; Author

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Musings in a Time of Crisis XV

We are in the midst of a highly teachable moment.
~ Fr. Richard Rohr
Center for Action and Contemplation
March 19, 2020


Franciscan priest and ecumenical teacher Richard Rohr points out that we cannot know the deepest meaning of love unless and until we "allow someone else's pain to influence us in a real way." It is through great suffering, he says, that we find great love.

So to whom do we look when we look past ourselves and our own fears, anxiety, and suffering?

Let's begin with every person who is unlike us: the Guatemalan mother separated from her two-year-old at the U.S.-Mexico border. The teenager sent alone across the desert to make a new life in America but caught and deported after months in a crowded ICE facility. The men and women whose addictions keep them on the streets, whose fragile minds prevent them from accepting shelter. The food-deprived. The drug-addicted. Prisoners in Rikers Island jail. The men digging the trench graves on New York City's Hart Island. The women forced to share space with their domestic abusers. The children given up for adoption. Single, working mothers with no childcare. Syrian and Iraqi and Afghani refugees and interpreters. Rohingya refugees. Anyone seeking asylum in the United States.

Let us add: funeral home staff. Priests and other clergy. Police and firefighters.

Let us add: our emergency medical technicians, nurses, and doctors working their relentless shifts with too little equipment and no time to save the sick who arrive too late at our hospitals' doors.

Let us add: The scientists warned not to speak out. The whistleblowers fired because they spoke out. The artists and poets who are censored. The writers who refuse to stop writing.

Let us add: the now-unemployed and all deemed "essential". The small business owners gone under.

Let us add: the immuno-compromised. Those with disabilities. Those in group homes. Our friends with cancer. Our mothers and fathers in nursing facilities and assisted-living homes. Our seniors who live alone. Every person in the U.S lacking health insurance. 

Let us add: the farmers. The delivery drivers. Our grocery store employees. Our servers.

Let us add: those who give us their false moral equations and false life choices.

Think what it means to say, "We're all in this together." "Our thoughts and prayers are with you."

Expect: Compassion. Empathy. 

Demand: Truth. Facts. Respect for our Constitution.

Demand: Clear air. Clean water. Clean food. Access to sanitation. Access to health care. Access to education. Access to housing.

Demand: A government that puts its citizens first. Leaders who work for those they represent. A world that understands the meaning of collaboration, of working together to right so many wrongs.

Seek: The Way of Love. Be prepared for heartbreak.

Imagine: The world we have this chance to change.

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Thought for the Day

The artist himself always has to remember that what he is
 rearranging is nature, and that he has to know it and
 be able to describe it accurately in order to have
 the authority to rearrange it at will.
~ Flannery O'Connor

Quoted from Flannery O'Connor, "Writing Short Stories" in Mystery and Manners (FSG Classics, 1969), page 98. Published posthumously, this is a book of prose selected and edited by Sally and Robert Fitzgerald.

Flannery O'Connor (1925-1964), American Novelist, Story Writer, and Essayist

Friday, April 17, 2020

Musings in a Time of Crisis XIV

[. . .] There’s a poem in this place—
a poem in America
a poet in every American
who rewrites this nation, who tells
a story worthy of being told
[. . . . ]
Excerpt from "In This Place (An American Lyric)"
Inaugural National Youth Poet Laureate


"In this Place (An American Lyric)" was written by America's first National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman. Earlier this year, some 16 poets in Massachusetts joined Gorman in reciting and recording the protest-themed poem, which subsequently was to be featured at an April 2020 National Poetry Month event, "Evening of Inspired Leaders," a Mass Poetry fundraiser. (View the video on YouTube.) Originally written on the occasion of Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith's inaugural reading at the Library of Congress, the poem as choral recitation reminds us that America is, and always has been, a nation invested in storytelling, even in protest, and that our best stories often are those we tell as we live them. What we are living during this pandemic is both a collective and an individual experience, one that is being documented in large ways and small: in the obituaries of those who have died of Covid-19; in interactive and multimedia-rich projects about the truly heroic and urgent efforts of hospital and other health care workers to save the lives of people struck down by coronavirus; in photographs; and in newspaper and magazine articles, essays, and personal or online journals, blogs, and diaries being kept day to day. If you find yourself feeling low, restore yourself, as I did, by watching this videopoem.

Read the text of the poem at The Academy of American Poets Website.


Several questions I've been thinking a lot about: How are we talking about what is absent from our lives during the pandemic? Do we frame our words beginning with "Not . . . "? What can we or are we learning about ourselves while occupying that negative space? What are we noticing is present in our environments now that we are in isolation or quarantine? What strengthens us in the presence of so much that is absent? What are the paradoxes we're observing? Are we looking at the historical to make sense of the immediate? What kinds of sociocultural or other changes can we imagine as possible once the pandemic is over?


Our parish priest holds twice weekly gatherings on Zoom for anyone who wants to check-in, say hello, hear another's voice boom through the quiet of isolation or quarantine. This week a participant remarked on a fleeting but nonetheless present sense that faith wasn't holding, wasn't enough sometimes to carry her through the day. I wanted to give her a hug. In this pandemic, the only thing we can control is how we choose to spend the day we wake to, and even waking is a miracle. I think the crisis has been hard on those who are used to filling a day with noise and movement, who haven't practiced finding respite by being deeply silent. In the many early hours when others are sleeping and I'm not, I've focused my attention on the silence, been surprised by the chitter of birds in bushes outside my window, listened to how rain sounds the closer it gets to ground, how wind sweeps through a roof space, how steps on a sidewalk come to a stop. Faith holds when you unshackle yourself from time and doing, allow yourself to be curious, to believe such things go on, though you'd swear you were just dreaming.


The Washington Post's April 12 Sunday Opinion section included four reflections by pastors on what they might have said from their pulpits had Easter been celebrated in church. One of the writers was Michael Curry, presiding bishop and primate of the Episcopal Church. Curry began by declaring that this year, "it doesn't look or feel like Easter" — not with our churches empty, not with anything "as it was supposed to be." (Indeed, worship by live-stream or recorded video takes a bit to get used to.) But maybe, Curry said, all those empty places "are signs of hope" and "love is winning again" because it's in love that we "sacrifice our gatherings" and "our cherished celebrations to save lives." "Maybe," he concluded, "these empty places are, in fact, a reminder — a reminder that though it doesn't look like it, it is Easter anyway." It's a typical Curry lesson — Love is the way — and so are faith and hope and trust.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

New Artist Watch Feature at Escape Into Life

Billie Bond, Ecce Mulier After Rosso, 2019
48 cm x 24 cm

© Billie Bond


I am so pleased to introduce the award-winning figurative sculptor Billie Bond, my selection for this month's Artist Watch column at the international online arts magazine Escape Into Life.

Billie, who lives and works in Essex, England, has decades of experience as a designer-maker (children's furniture, interiors), interior decorator, and muralist. The recipient of a master's in art in sculptural practice, she has long been concerned with ideas about identity and duality as well as investigations of trauma and healing, rejuvenation, and change. Simultaneously, she explores processes of destruction and repair as a means to better understanding what makes us human. Her materials include black stoneware, glazed stoneware, bronze, gold, resin, porcelain, and clinker (a residue formed by high-temperature burning of coal and other materials; it has a role in cement's composition). As part of the "Breaking Depression" campaign, Billie was one of two featured kintsugi artists.

For today's Artist Watch, Billie has shared with us eight images of her beautiful and inspirational work, her Artist Statement, and a brief biography, in addition to links to her Website and social media sites.

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Thought for the Day

The salvation of man is through love and in love.
~ Viktor Frankl

Quoted from Viktor Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning (Beacon Press, 2006) (Other editions are available. The book details Frankl's time as a prisoner in Auschwitz during World War II.)

Viktor Frankl (March 26, 1905 - September 2, 1997), Austrian Neurologist/Psychiatrist and Professor, University of Vienna Medical School; Holocaust Survivor; Founder, Logotherapy Method; Author 

Viktor Frankl Museum, Vienna, Austria

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Musings in a Time of Crisis XIII

Life itself is a gift.
Every moment, we can cultivate deeper awareness 
of the blessing of simply being alive. . . .

[...] an arc of almost,
a wisp of becoming
a wand—
tiny enough to change me.
"The Way We Love Something Small"


It seems that day by day it grows, my list of friends who have become infected with the coronavirus, are hospitalized with Covid-19, have been discharged to recover at home, or have suffered the misfortune to become reinfected. 

My friends live all over America, some in the hot spots, some not, many in the big cities along the coasts, some in what we still call "country" or "the hinterlands," a few abroad. I might never know if some of my friends make it through to that "other side" we talk about, because they represent all the family there is, though always they are and will remain part of our family of friends.

For many of us in that family of friends, there are "underlying conditions" of concern: age, immuno-compromised health conditions, heart ailments . . . if you can name it, it's probably a factor.

Add to all those health issues the mitigating, unchangeable-for-now factors of life during the pandemic, those things enlarged while having to isolate or be in quarantine: loss of jobs, too little income or savings, living alone, living distant from biological family, having relatives who work in hospitals or other medical or healthcare facilities, our children's mental health, our own mental health as that first list lengthens by the day.

Some of us say, "Thank God for FaceBook and Twitter and Instagram" and spend much too much time in our virtual worlds whose value is to connect us. Some of us make lists of things to do for the sake of routine. Some of us even accomplish them. Promises are kept. Donations made.

What we never stop is that endless stream of email we try to manage.

Some of us do our exercises, hold gatherings at Zoom, pray by phone, send check-in cards. Many of us turn to keeping daily gratitude journals, writing posts for blogs we thought we'd long ago given up, escape into fiction books, read and write poems because #PoemsSave, find beautiful art to look again and again throughout our day because #ArtCanHelp.

Perhaps more than we realize we look for words other than "Good-bye."

Some of us do all those things and still cry out, especially in the hours when our now-longer daylight begins to fade, in the blueness of those hours when we're alone and cannot sleep, having nothing more we can do than meditate our thoughts away. 

Or pray.

Faith either becomes stronger or is given up on. I feel my own grow stronger and yet . . . It is the "and yet" I struggle to keep at bay in the blue hours.

But I also remind myself, we have this: the season of spring, of renewal, and as I watch life rebeginning, I look to the end of this, our Holy Week, which culminates in Easter.

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Musings in a Time of Crisis XII

We will lose a lot in these next months. We've already
lost too much. One thing we don't need to lose is
our independent bookstores.
~ Dave Eggers


The  death of brick-and-mortar bookstores was, for me, something to mourn. I used to spend hours after work or on weekends browsing the many wonderful indies we used to have where I live. My son became a reader because of the example I set early and because he, too, loved browsing and selecting titles we could read together. Shopping for books now (and we know where most of us go, though this one,, eventually could be a challenge to it), is just a task we do whenever we want new reading material, and even then, some of us choose e-books over those we can hold in the hand. (Not I!) And the pandemic, which requires "non-essential" businesses to close, is making things worse for still-existing bookstores and small independent presses that are asking how in the world they're going to stay in business. McSweeney's, itself an indie, is trying to do its part by creating region-specific email lists of stores needing support or becoming involved in initiatives to support stores and authors. Its newsletter includes helpful information about partnering efforts, such as the #SaveIndieBookstores campaign, which involves the American Booksellers Association, the foundation Binc, and author James Patterson;, which offers a code ("shopbookstoresnow") that purchasers can use to ensure 100 of's proceeds go the purchasers' bookstore(s) of choice; a nationwide roundup of bookstore GoFundMe pages; and live-streamed author events, such as those at We Love Bookstores, which specifically benefit indies in the Bay area. Many individuals and families face an uncertain financial future but, given the need to home-school and keep oneself occupied while sheltering-in-place, supporting indies makes good sense for everyone. (Use to learn how readers can offer support. Write in the subject line "indie support".)

While we are sheltering in place, the real shelter is community.
So, no one is really alone.
~ Rabbi Laura Geller
"The Shelter of Community During the Coronavirus" at Next Avenue

In an earlier "Musings" column I wrote about a documentary about the influenza pandemic of 1918-1919. Today, the online magazine Hyperallergic offered images from that time from the National Archives Catalog. See Hakim Bishara's feature "What Can Images of the 1918 Influenza Pandemic Teach Us About COVID-19?"


April is #NationalPoetryMonth, and sound artist Alan Nakagawa is doing his part for poetry by launching a call for "quarantine haiku". (It's wonder to see how artists are responding so creatively to the global pandemic.) The deadline for submissions is April 16. Nakagawa will release the project, "Social Distancing, Haiku and You",  to IGTV on April 23. 


If you haven't seen online the now-viral miniature museum created by two quarantining Londoners, one an artist and writer and the other an employee of a museum, you are missing something delightful. The duo's pet gerbils seem to love exploring the art in their private digs. They do not, however, follow humans' rules; despite postings to the contrary, they enjoy checking things out with they teeth every now and then. Read a Hyperallergic magazine interview with the couple.


The U.S. Postal Service remains true to its motto of letting nothing stop it from delivering our mail. Deemed an "essential" service, it is even still issuing commemorative stamps, the latest an addition to its "forever" line: a set of 10 stamps featuring the marvelous wire sculptures of Japanese American sculptor Ruth Asawa (1926-2013). 

Ruth Asawa Forever Stamps
© U.S. Postal Service. All Rights Reserved

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Thought for the Day

No one has greater love than this, to lay down
 one's life for one's friends.
~ John 15:13 (NRSV)


Quoted from Sean McConnell's Reflection, "Palm Sunday: Our Hope Is For Nothing Less Than Life Itself", for Episcopal Relief & Development (Stories - #LastingChange)

Sean McConnell is Senior Director for Engagement, Episcopal Relief & Development.

Friday, April 3, 2020

Musings in a Time of Crisis XI

To close out this week, which in so many ways has seemed apocalyptic and full of heartbreaking stories related to the pandemic, I am offering today a series of quotations that are meaningful to me and that I hope provide some inspiration and comfort to you in the coming days and weeks.


I don't think of all the misery
but of the beauty that still remains.
Anne Frank
The Diary of Anne Frank


Spring has returned.
The earth is like a child that knows poems. 
Rainer Maria Rilke
Letters of Rainer Maria Rilke


I want to learn more and more to see as beautiful what is necessary
in things; then I shall be one of those who makes things beautiful.
 Friedrich Nietzsche
Concept of Amor fati ("Love of Fate")
The Gay Science, Book IV


Sometimes it takes darkness and the sweet 
confinement of your aloneness
to learn 

anything or anyone
that does not bring you alive

 is too small for you.
David Whyte
"Sweet Darkness" in The House of Belonging

If one wishes suffering not to happen 
to the people and the earth,
it begins with a kind heart.
Pema Chodron
Practicing Peace in Times of War 


It is in the troubling places that fear is
a companion that love keeps us walking.
Becca Stevens
Snake Oil 


Thankfulness finds its full measure in generosity 
of presence, both through participation and witness.
. . . Thankgiving happens when our sense of presence
meets all other presences. . . .
David Whyte
"Gratitude" in Consolations

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Musings in a Time of Crisis XI

Online Hashtag


Art of all kinds is especially prevalent on social media as an antidote to the ugliness of the crisis we're experiencing. Poetry as well. In fact, we're all using new hashtags — #ArtCanHelp #ShelterInPoems are just two — when posting poems and images. So, too, are photo-essays like this beautiful one by Newsha Tavakolian from Thomas Erben Gallery; new blog columns, online journals, and daily virtual diaries that are recording our lives as we live them. They're all welcome, so long as they help the individuals maintaining them. And, as during 9/11, they are apt to become, if archived, the documents that historians of the future might use to understand how all of us were coping, what we turned to (e.g., humorous memes, such as recreating famous works of art; funny videos of cats and dogs) to relieve anxiety and stress and sadness and stay connected to each other, the extent of our losses, the changes in society and culture, and so on. The New York Times on March 30 already has taken note of these "histor[ies] of our present moment" in its feature "The Quarantine Diaries" (part of its crisis coverage that is available to those who register to create a free account).


Practicing one's faith can be a great source of comfort. At my little parish in Arlington, Virginia, our priest is a source of strength, delivering services masterfully during one of the most important periods of the church (Lent and Easter) and staying in touch in so many different ways: updating our Website and uploading services to YouTube, writing a weekly article for our newsletter, making arrangements for those of us unable to go out to shop for food, finding resources for home-schooling parents, keeping the prayer list updated, continuing pastoral care, praying with us individually over the phone, and arranging for prayer partners. She is a force against defeatism and pessimism.


I have to laugh, too. There have been such wonderful memes, such as The Getty and other museum challenges to re-stage famous paintings, and funny articles on the Web, including the "Special Edition" that Hyperallergic posted for April Fools Day. And then there's this story, a treat from Bloomberg: "Newest Shortage in New York: The City Is Running Out of Dogs to Foster". Apparently, there's also been a run on Chewy Inc. stock, which the article says has been "soaring".


The pandemic as experienced in the United States is revealing the huge gap between those who have and those who don't have. Two group of workers, such as warehouse employees, grocery store cashiers and nursing home caregivers (see these video interviews with nursing home workers), who have been deemed "essential services employees", are among those most poorly compensated for the risks they must take on our behalf. The have/have-not dichotomy is one issue that clearly needs to be examined in post-crisis evaluation and rectified.


The media, especially our news sources, take a lot of hits, many justified, some not. But we can't ignore the fact that they also, in an emergency such as we're now facing, bring us undeniable inspiration by sharing examples of courage, hope, and resilience. One story about two women, one 101 and the other 95, survivors of three horrific historical events, I find particularly moving. It was published in The New York Times on March 28: "They Survived the Spanish Flu, the Depression and the Holocaust". May we all heed these two women's advice. (Note: One of the women, Naomi Replansky is a poet whose debut collection was nominated for a National Book Award. Some of her poetry can be found at the Poetry Foundation and The Academy of American Poets; also see the Naomi Replansky blog. Her partner, the second interviewee, is Eva Kollisch, a writer and former professor at Sarah Lawrence College.)


This: it perfectly articulates my concerns that we document and heed what the coronavirus crisis is teaching us.

[W]e Americans . . . tend to register perceptions without codifying
them in any political, historical, or social way. There's no sense of
 what creates or contributes to and who benefits from a situation. 
And I'm not talking about a prescriptive political ideology
 now . . . [but] a process of understanding.
~ Carolyn Forche*

* Interview with Jonathan Cott in Visions and Voices (1987). Quoted from Hinton Als, "Carolyn Forche's Education in Looking" in The New Yorker, March 30, 2020. The article in the print edition of the magazine is titled "Voices Carry" (April 6, 2020).

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Musings in a Time of Crisis X

I realized for the first time, and forever
that we were not safe, we were not beyond harm.
~ William Maxwell

William Maxwell's poignant statement above, which he referenced in the context of the effects on him of his mother's death, concludes Secret History | Killer Flu, a remarkable documentary about the influenza pandemic of 1918-1919. Originally broadcast in June 1998, and featuring historical footage and interviews with virologists, historians, and survivors, the film focuses primarily on the pandemic's effects on the United States. What is striking is not only the global devastation of the pandemic but also the parallels to our "once-in-a-lifetime" coronavirus crisis and the many lessons — about planning and emergency preparedness; government coordination, cooperation, and collaboration; mitigation measures such as isolation and quarantine to protect the public health; disease surveillance; protocols for care and treatment; support of scientific and medical research; and resource stockpiling, among others — that went unlearned and were not institutionalized. What people resorted to use to try  to "cure" the ill-effects they experienced are eye-opening. If you watch the film, which is on YouTube, think about how those lessons could be helping us today as we try to overcome the coronavirus/COVID-19 crisis. Then ask: What do we need to learn from this current crisis to prevent deadly mistakes in the future. (Note: At the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, you will find "The Deadliest Flue: The Complete Story of the Discovery and Reconstruction of the 1918 Pandemic Virus". Also see the Influenza section, which includes historical images, a timeline, and an infographic. In addition, see "The Deadly Virus: The Influenza Epidemic of 1918" at the National Archives' Website. Those pages include documents and photos.)


Between the dark sky and the dark earth
we hang a light in a dark tree
and sing of our wonder together.*
~ Pir Elias Amidon


I understand why so many businesses are filling my in-box with scores of sales ads for every conceivable thing, from books and bras to emergency guidelines. They are trying to stay in business, of course. My FaceBook stream similarly fills but while I can delete my email, I can't do anything about the ads on social media. Although I acknowledge those, too, help FaceBook to continue to deliver the platform to us, at a time when human connection is so important, I also think some of those ads (I try to avoid looking at most of them) border on the obscene. One that recently caught my attention was an ad from a funeral home, and it appeared over and over in my stream. Others were from senior care/assisted living homes and cruise lines, which, unfortunately because of the coronavirus/COVID-19 crisis, connote the highly negative. Advertising is one of those areas where technology needs to get creative, fast, so that in an emergency such as we face now ads can be handled differently, with sensitivity and concern. Algorithms need to be made smarter and relinquishment of privacy to users, if only temporarily, should be considered.


There are many, many things that seem so unfair. I scan the obituaries and learn that a survivor of the Holocaust has died from COVID-19. Think about that: to survive a concentration camp and then die from a virus for which we have no cure. Our health/medical care professionals are wearing plastic garbage bags in place of sterile gowns or have to rely on home-made cloth masks they must wear for days on end, no matter how dirtied they've become, because replacements are unavailable. Who stands up to take responsibility for lack of supplies? We certainly can't look to the president, who interrupts reporters at a daily briefing to give them his thoughts about some television show's ratings, hint that health care professionals are stealing masks to sell them on a black market, or complain about how many billions he's lost in the crisis. Let him sit upon his gold throne and have to look at pictures of the beloveds we've lost. Italy, a country whose people I love, has been devastated. Six-feet-apart chalk outlines are drawn on outdoor parking lots to give men and women and children experiencing homelessness the proper physical distance from each other's concrete beds. Rules about bringing migrants in to harvest our fields have been relaxed; they are given nothing in the way of personal protective equipment or a fair wage. And innocent people and American soldiers are still dying in wars our country can't seem to end. Unfair? These are obscene and immoral and profoundly tragic.


* Quoted from "Coronavirus" at A Network for Grateful Living Blog, March 30, 2020. The page lists a variety of helpful resources. Pir Elias Amidon is the spiritual director (Pir) of Sufi Way International.