Tuesday, May 26, 2020

May 26: First Day Back at Work, Rain, Poem from "Kyrie"

Exhausted after my first day back at work after having almost a full week off.

More than one person has remarked to me recently that, after so much time isolating and social distancing, human interaction (outside of immediate family) is incredibly draining.  For the past seven days, my social life has been limited to about four people, with occasional text messages from a few others.  I didn't have to put on airs or pretend to be something that I wasn't.

I think all of us wear many different masks in our regular lives.  We switch between them all day long.  Today, for the first time in a while, I had to put on my healthcare worker mask.  When wearing this mask, I am positive, helpful, funny, maybe a little irreverent, and hard-working.  And now, after playing that part for over eight hours, I find myself emptied out, like I don't have a whole lot more to give today.

When I left work this afternoon, the sky was gray as a whale's back.  Rain was coming.  I made a few stops on my way home, and, by the time I parked in front of my house, the downpour had begun.  It has been drizzling, sheeting, thundering, misting, gushing most of the night.

I just stepped outside to let my dog go to the bathroom.  The world smells new and loamy.  I can hear birds piping in the dusk.  Everything is sheened with water.  The heat of the last week has been tempered.  Coolness in the air. 

After a day of wearing a mask, literally and metaphorically, I welcome the miracle of rain and the freshness it brings.  I can almost feel my spirit sprouting like a lilac bush.

And for that, Saint Marty gives thanks.

poem from Kyrie

by:  Ellen Bryant Voigt

Sweet are the songs of bitterness and blame,
against the stranger spitting on the street,
the neighbor's shared contaminated meal,
the rusted nail, the doctor come too late. 

Sweet are the songs of envy and despair,
which count the healthy strangers that we meet
and mark the neighbors' illness mild and brief,
the birds that go on nesting, the brilliant air.

Sweet are the songs of wry exacted praise,
scraped from the grave, shaped in the torn throat
and sung at the helpful stranger on the train,
and at the neighbors misery brought near,
and at the waters parted at our feet,
and to the god who thought to keep us here.

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