Shifting Heddles

Days of

Being a face in a crowd

Sharing a table in a restaurant

Offering peace in church with a hug

Or a handshake

Cheering for your favorite team

Nights of

Brushing elbows in a crowded pub

Thousands of cell phone lights

And boozy sing alongs in crowded concerts

Blissful din among a party of friends

Every day

Every night


Those days are slowly unraveling before us like thread on a wooden spool

All tightly wound and shiny

Brightly colored a few short months ago

A lifetime

Today it sits jumbled, as if spun through a broken sewing machine too fast.

Tangled and loose.

We pick it up and begin winding it again.

We gather up hopeful needles, and entwine our threads from a distance

It begins with millions of masks

Caring souls hunched over colorful cloth

Sewing shields against an invisible enemy

Threads of life

We weave together a beautiful tapestry of love and care

Intertwined with

Sympathy and sacrifice

Empathy and empty rooms

Brave and bruised faces

Prayer and pain

More prayer

Boundaries narrowed

Hearts open wide

Faces lit as we reach out in the darkest hours of the night.

Salvation through our screens.

Impromptu concerts late at night

FaceTime calls filled with laughter and tears

A new dimension of collective kindred

Virtual hugs felt around the world.

Parents and teachers juggling education, work, and childcare from kitchen tables.

Bits and bytes piece together our days

Our shared humanity streaming live

Reading to children and anyone else who wants to hear.

Collecting food for those less fortunate.

Prayer chains everywhere for the sick and suffering.

Go fund me goals met

Video after video of tributes to essential workers

Shining lights and banging pots for the front line

Remembering those we’ve lost

The loving side of viral

Finding solace in the newfound solitude.

Stargazing at 3 am

Planting starter seeds for a new garden you will share with whoever needs

Learning a new dance step or a long abandoned musical instrument

Watching a child learn in slow motion

Witness the planet heal briefly

Waiting to weave

Patience is survival

A lesson learned

Long neglected introspective journeys

Every day trips into our conscience

Returning with a nourished soul

Days go by unmarked and unnamed

Time is our new economy

Hours stretch before us

We count the days like coins in a fountain

Wishing them away

While cherishing the gifts each hour brings

An existential paradox

We find ourselves speaking words strung together in a syntax we’ve never spoken


They feel strange on our tongues, and surreal in our imaginations

Moments of fear and sadness morph into week-long days

Bundles of brightly colored bobbins break free from their coils

Unraveling and tangling

Anxious days when we can’t even thread the needle

We struggle against our new normal

With mercy and might

Protest and prevail

We tug on the knots

Release the tension

And begin to weave again

A new tapestry of tales

An arras full of colors never before seen in our lifetime

Something beautiful

A work of art that will redefine the soul of Humanity

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