lenten journal: social distancing


A friend and I used to collect oxymorons: jumbo shrimp, student teacher, El Camino Classic. The current state of affairs has given us another one: social distancing. As I turned it over in my head today, I went to a list of phrases I have been collecting from various sources and put this poem together. For me, it served as a tangible example of what we can create together even as we navigate these days.

social distancing

we must inhabit an oxymoron
as our anxiety goes viral, they say
a lesson in impermanence

the sacrament of encounter
becomes a high wire dance to
a small concerto of chaos

as the heartbreak church
awaits an arrival of generosity
an offering of presence

in our beautiful temporary
touch with hearts, not hands
toss the peace to one another

let it take wing across the
space between our sufferings
the geography of being alive

this flavor of fear requires
an ability to swallow paradoxes
to be alone together



  1. It’s two a.m, and I woke up thinking of how difficult it is for human beings to remain six feet from each other….it’s inhuman. Then I opened up “Don’t Eat Alone.” Yes, we’re alone together.

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