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This morning, the minister at the church at which I sing read a portion of John Donne’s “No Man Is An Island,” and told the (potentially apocryphal) background of the poem, which I had never heard. Donne was apparently hospitalized on his daughter’s wedding day, during a plague pandemic. He’d requested that the bells be tolled when his beloved child said her “I Do’s,” as a way to let him know that the deed was done. Instead the bells rang all morning – to mark the deaths of his fellow patients. Ask not for whom the bell tolls, indeed.

Living or dying, we’re each other’s responsibility in so many ways… So many hard to articulate ways. But, it’s interesting to try and think about them.

a meal for two places, draft

Community feels possible
When I am held accountable:
Holding each other’s trust and bond,
A single rock impacts a pond.

For this I’m held accountable –
I so dislike what brings you joy!
A single rock impacts a pond:
“Cozy” and “lush” for you may cloy.

I may detest what brings you joy –
But, pool our differences, we make
“Cozy” from “lush” – which still may cloy,
But a setting where all can partake.

Let’s pool our differences to make
For East, for West, red State or blue –
A table where all can partake –
The dinner bell’s ringing for you.

For East, for West, Christian or Jew,
Holding each other’s trust and bond,
The dinner bell rings out, for you:
Community feels possible.

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