Waiting for the All Clear

And here we are
alone with our fears
doing a jigsaw puzzle
while rain gently falls.

And here we are
and in need of mother’s
hugs and kisses.

Fear that blows
from CNN
pushes us deeper into the cave
where only thoughts remain.

How did Damocles come to
sit under a sword?
How do we escape
to taste the sun?


Today even church was closed.  Churches rushed to the internet to try and maintain some sense of normal.  We watched morning service streamed through my computer and displayed on the TV. We sat in our PJs with our tea while the music played. During this time of isolation we struggle to maintain community and hold unrestrained fear at bay.

Last night we started a jigsaw puzzle.  It’s Van Gogh painting, Wheat Field with Cypresses.  We bought it from a museum where we saw an exhibit of Gauguin (one naturally buys Van Gogh after seeing Gauguin).  It’s a difficult puzzle – lots of sky, swirling colors and oddly shaped pieces.

A bit like life with covid-19 in the world.

Thursday my company sent us to work from home.  Thursday night our HR director sent an email telling us to continue to work from home until … someday.

Today I’ve been working on preparing my taxes.  I wonder if they’ll cancel April 15th too.

In between reconciling accounts I’ve been considering what to write today.  What do you say in times likes these? Words of comfort? Words of pain? Rage? Anger?

I rejected a number of ideas, including, “How to Prepare for the Apocalypse” and “Alternatives to Toilet Paper.”

There should be a poem with all the right words.  Ones that express the complex feelings floating around my head.

When I find those words, I’ll write them.  Until then, there’s a puzzle to complete and living the best we can.

About Andrew Reynolds

Born in California Did the school thing studying electronics, computers, release engineering and literary criticism. I worked in the high tech world doing software release engineering and am now retired. Then I got prostate cancer. Now I am a blogger and work in my wood shop doing scroll saw work and marquetry.
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31 Responses to Waiting for the All Clear

  1. Your poem says it perfectly. These are uncertain times indeed. We’re lucky enough to live out in the country and spring is arriving, so we’ll be working in the garden. But I have a great stockpile of jigsaw puzzles, just in case! Stay well…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Christi says:

    Yeah, I’ve struggled with what to write or whether I even should. I’m glad you found a way, this was perfect. Hope all stays well with you.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. George says:

    There are no words for what’s going on right now. Stay well.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I like reading how people are coping. Most aren’t falling apart. Most are doing what they can to keep others safe and waiting. I walked the dog today, thumbing my nose at Gavin Newsome’s guidelines about seniors staying in their houses. (Don’t tell, please). I think as many seniors will get sick from isolation as, well, isolation.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We’re coping okay for now. Both Heather and I still take our walks in the neighborhood – we just yell at our neighbors from across the street. Kind of fun in a way … 😉


  5. Danny Verner says:

    You’ve posted a beautiful and telling poem, Andrew, and you write of the universality of our experience. I feel better having read both of them. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The poem was perfect. Hopefully, we will all learn a great deal from this crisis. Simple things like, we need to be kinder, more considerate, more patient and most of all we are in this together, Stay healthy and safe.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. PiedType says:

    And unlike in Italy, we can’t all hang out our windows and sing. My neighborhood isn’t built like that.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. dorannrule says:

    We need bucketsful of patience and a stockpile of good books and jigsaw puzzles.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. jfwknifton says:

    We’ve been told that the worst will be over by June but that old folk may require up to a year without contact with the disease. Imperial College, London have a vaccine that has worked extremely well with mice but will take, again, about a year to test fully.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. artseafartsea says:

    Your poem say it all. We are all in this together.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. pommepal says:

    Ah but life goes on, though maybe not as we know it…

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Our president announced yesterday that all schools are closed from Wednesday. It is the impact on the local and global economy that scares me.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Dan says:

    I just got the directive to work from home starting tomorrow, too. It should be interesting. Good luck with the jigsaw puzzle. The most challenging one I did was a topographic map of Yosemite National Park. Fun!

    Stay well.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. lorieb says:

    amazing how all around the world we are all so affected by this virus, it has indeed become a small world! Take care of yourself and each other!

    Liked by 1 person

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