Two Transpiring Paradigms

Tried hard, I did, to push these thoughts aside. I started writing a humorous story about a runaway van, that was sure to get at least one laugh, but the grocery lines are long and the lines that follow this paragraph kept interrupting my funny story with their demands. A war of ideas waged. Funny conceded (for now) and let these persistent words spill onto the page.

Two undeniable paradigms transpiring
existing simultaneously and intersecting
From the effects of one we cannot hide
Cancellations, layoffs, and isolations
creating a chasm in frantic lives and minds
Overflowing texts, inboxes, and televisions
tell us what we must do to halt the spread
which must include standing in long lines
grabbing the last of the eggs and bread
Despite warnings the numbers increase
while jobs, shelves, and stocks decrease
Grocery employees fighting front lines
wearing gloves and helping the anxious
24/7 truckers working harder than ever
to ensure hoarded goods are delivered
shipping toilet paper, milk, and sanitizer
to the masses who have amassed more
than their share while the driver’s plates
are bare due to closed restaurant doors
Aisles now stock guards along with goods
ensuring that everyone “all in it together”
plays nice and fair in this uncertain affair
that is making many experience solitary
confinement and new remote endeavors
Some think it’s an orchestrated conspiracy
Some think it’s harmless and continue to play
with other people’s lives they aren’t dismayed
Future, always unclear, now cloudier than ever

A second reality existing alongside the chaos
presenting another choice for participants
affected by this mess, earth’s inhabitants
to get what they must for a week or two
then step away from panic, turbulence,
and increased viral spread and instead
step into patience, wisdom, and grace
because this invisible and invasive entity
has no borders and doesn’t discriminate
Shelter within familiar walls and retreat
within familiar skin with a sense of peace
unless a quiet mind is a greater enemy
If that is the case a pause may be needed
to discover inner strength and fortitude
carrying the once lost traveler through
this instability and all future ventures
If not battling this surprise enemy
as a CV patient or cherished caregiver
then consider healthy ways of being
Creating, praying, reading, or sleeping
are just a few tactics for staying strong
Ignoring warnings may stretch this along
longer than it needs to be for all involved
Find a path, if you can, and find yourself
Find your center in the eye of this storm
Just before trouble began swirling in and around, these carefree children, under a rainbow, were found.

Thank you for stopping by and reading my words, that poured out of me like one long exhale, and like our current situation, I so desperately wanted to drive away. I certainly can’t control this spreading virus, or these words that demanded to be heard.

Stay safe, stay centered, be well and may you continue to find inspiration in a world that remains unsettled. Michele ❤️

Picture 1: Aloe plant at Desert Botanical Gardens (altered to represent how distorted everything feels) Picture 2: Children playing in a park near my house, after a rainstorm (taken 3/13) Picture 3: Hanging out in my backyard

Copyright © 2020 Michele Lee Sefton. All Rights Reserved.

4 thoughts on “Two Transpiring Paradigms

  1. acmbell

    Thank you for this, Michele Lee Sefton.

    It captures the bizarre dynamics of our situation beautifully. Challenging, because so much of it is anything but beautiful.

    Yet, to illustrate your second paragraph, there is this. I passed by the empty shelves in the market and got in line behind a couple I would judge to be in their late 40s, early 50s. Hispanic. Handsome couple. He emptied his rather full cart (I noticed there were no wild duplications of any item), all except a couple of wine bottles in the bottom of the cart. I smiled and said, “you had better finish unloading that cart; I’m a pretty active wine drinker.” They both laughed and she noticed I only had three small items in my hand (I discovered, in preparing dinner, that I had to make a quick market run for some missing items, so it was a bit late). She invited me to leap in front of them in the line and did it in a way that invited acceptance. So I did. I turned to leave and thanked them for their kindness, indicating my wife would grateful for even a few minutes shorter wait for dinner. The look on their faces and in their eyes was priceless. We may never see each other again, but I will remember their faces forever. A small gesture with immense impact on how the world looks in the midst of its meltdown.

    So thank you, Michele. Islands in a storm are priceless. Including the ones that flow from your pen.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello AI. “Small” gestures, such as the one you shared, are highlighting our humanity. We know this was not small at all, because the pervasive fear is making some people act in selfish and protective ways. After a week away, I went to the market early Friday morning. Seeing my normally quiet neighborhood market, full of food and smiling faces, had more empty shelves and bins, than just the paper aisle I had seen the week before. I took a deep breath and carried on, trying not to have a meltdown. No smiles, and everyone was staying in their protective bubble. I get it, but it was so overwhelmingly sad. I resisted my urge to grab everything I could and run. I took a week’s supply, and a few for a vulnerable friend. I did my best to smile and move along. Thank you for sharing. 💗


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