A Stirring Conversation

So, I have been feeling poorly recently – what an exciting start right? A real grabber. My point is though I was feeling bad for myself because any type of illness I immediately imagine Covid, and I go through the motions of the test and it comes back negative – well that is my assumption this time around. Chest cold, flu, earache, swollen glands, sore throat – every ugly combination. So I complained about that to my friend.

She asked me to take a minute and think about it. Imagine being homeless with no shelter knowing the cold winds are ahead with winter looming, little to eat, no fresh water. Go a step further and live the life of a displaced refugee stranded without food and medical care and essential living needs. Think about anyone that feels their lives are in jeopardy due to a chronic illness, terminal diagnosis, and then reflect back upon my common cold. Please do not imagine I diminish the tragedy of Covid in people’s lives in any manner. The words were just rather humbling, and did make me step back and feel a pang of embarrassment, guilt, remorse. I’m turning those toward more reflective ways to ponder upon our lives. Someone out there will say quickly, life is relative, don’t try to measure it.

I do live a fortunate life. I think I will step out briefly today and pick up some Tylenol and tissues.

I’m sorry.

Sniffles, Standards, Security


We are here today, to lessen the burden,

with oval dots and rigorous minutiae

our lives in the cradle of society,

based upon computer printouts,

with hours of anxiety, sweat and fatigue,

we will measure your self-image

in just a few hours, brief analogy.

Recall your lives as you walk in the door,

put on the back-burner your self-worth,

until the final results are returned,

we cannot value ideals beyond a number.


Scanning the room, I see faces,

anticipation, fear, boredom, preoccupation,

all of the same yet miles away

from the world they live in,

today they belong to us,

the ovals and diagrams,

short paragraphs and hypotheses,

every aspect of our day,

will be tested today.


The quiet of the room, reveals short breathing,

heavy sighs and a nasal drip,

a sneeze a sniffle, a sneeze, nasal drip,

and everyone endures the lesson together,

like an open seasoned prison camp,

their lives dependent upon scan sheets

along with prompts written by human beings.


What is the measure of a testing day,

when outside the world crumbles away.