Tag Archives: COVID-19

Spread Kindness, Not Germs

The beautiful poem below came to me in an email from Over the Rhine – an Ohio-based folk band helmed by the husband-and-wife team of pianist/guitarist/bassist Linford Detweiler and vocalist/guitarist Karin Bergquist.

Let’s all visit Spotify and give this duo some play or, better yet, buy some of their music.

The subject line was Love in The Time of Corona, which may, or may not, be its title.

Breathe.

Go on and live your unexpected
life.

Inhale love. Exhale surrender.
Trust: all that’s in between.

“Behold, all things are become new.”

Really?

There is fear,
there is shock,
there is separation and
there is sadness.

On earth, there always have been, 
and always will be—unless, until
a man of sorrows
rides down the dawn on a white horse
with the jukebox turned way up 
blasting an unexpected song,
hopefully Satchmo himself 
in charge of
blowing the horn,
his cheeks bulging,
his eyes wide,
his lungs healthy.

But don’t hold your breath.

Breathe.

Go on and live your unexpected 
life.

Behold, we don’t know what the future
holds.

We never did. We never will. 

How much oxygen is there
in exhaled air?

All the best priests, pastors, rabbis,
and all the best friends
learn to leave elbow room for mystery.
Never trust anyone who is afraid of saying,
As far as I know.

Breathe.

Go on and live your unexpected 
life.

Does your favorite coffee mug still feel good in
your hand? Did the tree swallows return
limpid in the air? They did here.

Are people you love still near?

Breathe deep into your lungs
while you still can. Even in the best of times
the expiration date remains
unknown.

Breathe.

Go on and live your unexpected
life.

Inhale love. Exhale surrender.
Trust: all that’s in between.

Linford Detweiler
March 20, 2020

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