How do you reassure yourself and your loved ones during these turbulent times? Because we can't live in fear, can we folks?

We can't stay in the basement with a pillowcase over our collective heads because the world looks like a scary place.

The world is, and has always been, a scary place. Nowhere is safe and at no time has the world been unscary: in addition to terrible events during the last month, see 1645 BC, 79 AD and 541 AD for examples. It wasn’t all greenwood trees, unpolluted oceans, and herbal cures until a little while ago.

Even if you choose the basement-and-a-pillowcase route, don’t kid yourself. Is your cellar really safe? Wasn’t there a question about frayed wiring or black mold? Radon, perhaps? You could also be highly allergic to the fabric softener used for the first time on this week’s laundry and heading directly into your sinuses via the traitorous pillowcase. 

That’s why we cannot tell our kids or our community to hunker down with the lights off for the next sixty years. Feeling safe is something you carry inside yourself; it doesn’t come in a holster, an amulet or tinfoil helmet. 

Even though we can’t blame ourselves for being jittery these days, we can’t frame ourselves as victims.

As Martha and The Vandellas told us back in 1965, there’s nowhere to run and nowhere to hide. This is the world where we live and this moment in history is ours. The one thing we all have in common is that nobody gets out of this life alive. This does NOT mean you should never leave your house or hide in the basement. Even statistics indicate that never leaving your own neighborhood will not necessarily make you less vulnerable to danger than traveling across the globe. 

We need to live our lives without fear crowding us out of happiness. After all, do you want to be measured by what you avoided in life or by what you embraced?  

You are reading

Snow White Doesn't Live Here Anymore

Texts and Textiles: Childhood Memories and What They Mean

I wrapped books and bedspreads around me to feel warmer, safer, and reassured.

Why Poetry Will Make Your Life Better

Fierce, fearless, and deeply engaging, strong poetry can change your life.

Guyland 2017: Women Working in a Man's World

Women feel both better than and not good enough for anything we can do.