{gratitude: 11.8}

Sometimes it really comes clear how much human beings are creatures of habit. We have our habits and patterns of doing things. If those patterns disrupt, like dropping a rock into a pond, larger and larger disruptions shift outwards, changing the whole face of the pond.

Funerals and memorial services are a disruption. Yesterday I sat with people – still masked, but in a church, a first for me since March 2020 – who grieved not only the departed, but the past, and the cascading, immeasurable losses of the pandemic. It was like a scab had been ripped off – a lost child returned safe, after learning the world is huge and full of incomprehensible, unknowable things, wailing out remembered terror. Most of us were unprepared for the emotional backlash. We grieve being together, in some ways; grieved that some part of us would never return, and that we as a community would never be the same.

Today, I am thankful for… dams. For the bulwarks that we construct into our consciousness which allow us to move forward. For the blockades between the present and the past. For what walls we put between ourselves and our pain and fears, which allow us to carry on.

Barrier is a watchtower word –
‘B’ stands there, bristling, tall.
The ‘r’s tops curve like razor wire
Barred – no one climbs this wall.
You’ll never sneak up on the ‘i’
Which fiercely guards the -er
What’s on this side we classify
As not for amateurs!