written during the Inner Journey Zoom meeting 4/8/2020, where we always share possible topics and then follow our muse to write or doodle whatever we like — all are welcome (18+)

Dear Virus,

I’ve seen close-ups of you —
you are quite beautiful
though I’m not sure what
beauty is anymore.

You might be alive within me —
or, if not now, some day.
I don’t know how I feel about that.

I suppose it’s a bit like lions & tigers & bears —
I find them fascinating — though I don’t want
them in my bedroom or neighborhood
or wherever —
I don’t want them near my family, my loved ones.

And that’s pretty well taken care of
around the world — lions & tigers & bears
have their places
and I have mine.

Though I suppose viruses & bacteria
& nematodes & all you so-small things
are a bit different, no?
You live within us all — thrive within us all.
You need us to live, we need you to live.

You have taught me so much already, coronavirus.
My life now is so different —
if what I was doing before was living.

Now, there’s nowhere to go —
my yard, maybe a walk.

My yard alone is a world unto itself —

I remember a guy leading a retreat once said
that there are millions of creatures in a
spade-full of soil.

How much life I’ve missed!
And million upon million of you creatures alive within me.

What is life to one is death to another.
I wonder if the millions of gut flora in me
would sicken someone else, maybe even kill someone
alive today or centuries ago.

I hear friends, leaders, commentators,
maybe my own self saying
there’s a war on against you — to kill you,
obliterate you, destroy you for all time.

Yeah — I don’t know.

I suppose you have just as much right
to live on this planet
as I do.

Even though you are ‘novel’ — at least in our eyes —
maybe you’ve been around the block
a lot longer than I have.

I don’t know.

Instead of warring, maybe we
find ways to harmonize,
to live together. Maybe the error is
on my part.

Humans just aren’t used to you —
and what destruction you are wreaking upon

I hope you stop that —
and yet you are so, so
small —
what fools you make us
to stop entire economies
and bring us back to the real economy —
economy means after all ‘taking care of my house, my own’

yes, how I must learn to do
that, you are teaching me
that. I am grateful —
at least now I’m grateful.

May ‘my own’ include all creatures on this planet —
even if I don’t want them in my bedroom.

— Brian Shircliff


(pictured below, the lilacs in VITALITY’s parking lot…something we miss this year together, and yet something we can know…breathe deep, the scent in the air)