Don't be Alarmed. Stay Calm. You're safer at home. Shelter in place.

“Don’t be Alarmed. Stay Calm. You’re safer at home. Shelter in place.”– were the tones that resonated from media outlets. This is the sound of America shutting down. The world has completely flipped off of its axis and the balancing act is more treacherous than a tightrope walk over Niagara. I am trying not to fall, dip, or drop from this roller coaster of emotions. The pandemic does not discriminate or shy from pigment, class, or culture. It is a predator of life, attempting to dismantle the hinges of humanity.

The worst part of the pandemic is the casualties. It is watching the continuous body counts rise as the high tide on the beaches of Belmont Shore, and for every person affected there are a wave of families and loved ones displaced. Hope and faith are the life preservers that keep me afloat. I pray continuously that I will not drown in the overwhelming swells of my anxiety but, that I stay anchored in God, who is the Captain of my faith.

There are emotional ebbs and flows when it comes to the pandemic and its inconveniences. At times, I have the strength of Hercules sprinting over hurdles on Mount Olympus and at other times my comforter (my duvet) shields me from an outside world as a guardian of my serenity, where no two days are the same and time moves at the speed of lightening.

The pandemic is an inconveniencing force whose energy fills the room and makes me feel trapped within my surroundings. I KNOW that I am safer at home. Nevertheless, I would like to bring down the mote, and leave the castle to view the kingdom.

I can truly say that I have tapped into the well of human kindness with social distanced “hellos,” head nods and waves to passers-bys, which have been a springboard to smiles and friendly communication, allowing me to dive into a pseudo form of human contact.

I am afraid that humanity as a whole will not understand or recognize the obvious - that this is a time to reset, a time to pause and a time to reflect on our inner selves so that when the world reopens we will maneuver in love. I fear that people will miss the message and return to a life of blindfolds, unable to see beyond the scope of their own understanding, with noses to the grindstone. It is my fear that they will miss the artistry, charm and elegance of the world around them; thus, resulting in a community that is disconnected, unearthed of its kindness and unaware of a world outside of themselves. Therefore, our civilization would spearhead the charge of greed, lack of compassion, and be desensitized to human connection.

Whoa is the world we have created.

However, if we continue to chisel away at this broken society and erode the foundation of hatred, bigotry, and selfishness, then we can forge a greater resolve in a society that will be planted in gratefulness, that will grow exponentially with the possibility of hope, community, and perseverance.

“It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. It was the age of wisdom. It was the age of foolishness.” The Tale of Two Cities - Charles Dickens.

As a poet from the Artist collective “Diverse Verses 5” with the Pen Name Philosophy, I have had the freedom to create and be within the spirit of my artistry at any given time, day, minute, or second. I do not feel bound by a job or any strenuous appointments. It is a freeing feeling to be within the art of creative writing and within my passion of poetry. In doing so, I’ve been collaborating with “Everybody Radio Poetry”, in excavating poetry videos, and also running virtual open mics on Friday nights with my poetry collective “Long Beach NeverSpeakslb.” This knocks the edge off of being cooped up within the confines of my home and allows an outlet to release the anxiety and emotional discomfort that comes with being quarantined.

Currently, the best feeling in the world is having something to look forward to, be it walks, running for fresh air or riding my beach cruiser. These little victories will eventually get me to the promise land or at least to the end of the war. But all in all I am chipping away at positive energy with a mindset of gratefulness. I am alive, healthy, staying rooted in faith and staying creative to keep the edges of my sanity tucked in. This is a trying time to be human, but I am always taking this time to pray and meditate more. I find my quiet more often than not, and sit in search of my center and inner peace. From there, I try my best to illuminate those around me in their time of need. I am trying my best to enlighten others with my spirit and we need each other as a safety net and support system to overcome an unknown enemy known as the pandemic.

Written by Philosophy

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