A Certain Solace

From within the
enormity of tasks ahead
and a reprieve (for now)
from the requirement of deciding,
I hear a quiet acknowledgment,
a reminder that a tidal wave
can only engulf if I don’t
grab a board and ride it out.

(I have, after all, triumphed before
over worse things.)

And then:
a certain solace–the
darkness of this discomfort
dissipates in our collaborative
experience of it, and I will
be changed but not
defined by it. Feelings
are stored (for now) in boxes
to clear space for the
present moment.

(Spreadsheets and action plans
will keep until tomorrow.)

Notes from the interview that inspired this poem:

This physician had been reflecting on how she had been dealing with the uncertainties of the past year during the pandemic. While acknowledging the fear and struggle involved in uncertainty, she also said that there could be comfort in uncertainty in that some important decisions could for a time be set aside. She discussed feeling thankful for many things during the year and the need to “name and claim” those things in order to move forward. Also helping her to move forward was reminding herself of extremely difficult times she had moved through in the past in which she had to grow and change without letting the experiences become her entire self-definition.

Interviewee: Anonymous, Physician
Listener Poet: Yvette Perry

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