By Roberta Curley
It took four weeks of sheltering in place, for the coronavirus pandemic
to make me smile. I was thankful to still be alive and for the first time
in my life, I grabbed a glimpse of clarity as to my life’s desires and
plans. I scrubbed my blinds, deep-cleaned my bathroom, realized my
eyes were bigger than my stomach after getting sick on my
stockpiled food and drink and—started gathering approximately
250 poems off of my living room and bedroom floors, two couches
and every free surface I had dumped them on.
Well, let’s say I’ve bagged 90% of the poems. I was literally wading
in poetry for years. I’m so NOT proud of that fact.
Yet, I have the coronavirus to thank for my undertaking a huge task
that likely would never have gotten launched.
It’s so weird how the universe works. I despise the virus for the
suffering and misery it’s causing. But it has slowed my pace down
enough for me to THINK clearer. Anxiety, depression, fear, and
some odd gastrointestinal symptoms come along in waves. They
are the price I pay for self-elucidation.
The pandemic is not affecting me alone. Essential workers work
their butts off and often with grace and joy. I never realized
the indomitability of my neighbor’s spirits under extreme duress.
I realize I am one of the weaker of my species.
But I am extraordinarily grateful and thankful for every neighbor
who makes a concerted effort to help lower the curve. I am still
breathing and I have my own neighbors to thank for it. I do a
teary-eyed seven p.m. cheer at odd hours. I’m grateful for my
elected officials too. They have banded together and toiled, embracing
my Greenwich Village, my state of New York, and me—CHEERS!