• Lucia Joyce


What is real, true "health"?

We've spent so much time just getting by

In bustling schedules and punishing circumstance.

Now, under lock down

We're forced to look at our health anew.

Overnight, the stress of work became

The stress of no-work.

The governors have spoken:

We have nothing to do but take care of ourselves.

But what does that even mean?

I feel I should stare less at screens,

But I'm glued to tweets and feeds and press conferences

That shake angry tears from me without permission.

I need sunshine and kindness,

Salads & pressed juice,

But the beaches and trailheads are dangerously hectic,

And I'm hoarding dried pasta and bread.

The grocery store

For so long, was my happy place.

Now every passerby

And piece of fruit, is suspicious.

It's hard not to feel trapped in my home,

And overwhelmed in public.

Assessing unseen germs on every surface,

Calculating hug and handshake allowance.

Accepting potentially dire consequences

Every time I touch my face.

I'm meditating

Out of necessity now,

Instead of curiosity or desire.

I'm exercising

Because if I don't,

I might panic in the afternoon.

I'm drawing, and grooving to records

Singing as if my existence depended on it.

I'm cleaning, I'm cooking,

I'm keeping myself present...

Things that used to feel like little celebrations of life

Reduced to coping mechanisms.

Health means something different now.

We can no longer plunge ahead.

We must tip toe

From one moment to the next,

Perpetually on the look out

For symptoms.

For unseen particles and unclean objects.

Sky-limit science reduced

To grim daily statistics.

Friendships relegated

To phone calls and texts only.

I'm taking nothing for granted anymore.

I'm seeing deep care and awareness

In corners never looked to before.

I'm drinking water

And praying

And keeping my spirits up

For whatever this is.

I'm learning that health, mental or physical

Is fragile.

Is misunderstood.

Is felt from our innermost cells

Through a community of billions

To our outermost universe.

I am breathing

And resting in

A new definition of health.

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