On Dropping The #coronapoetry Ball

I’ve not managed a poem for a number of days now.

It’s impossible, this whole situation. To find minutes to myself each day to write. I don’t know who these people are who are writing and learning new skills and chilling with Netflix and whatever, because it’s sure as hell no woman I know – we are all stretched desperately thin trying to balance at-home children and at-home school and caring for everyone else’s needs as well as still trying to hold down our own careers in the midst of a global crisis.

I’m exhausted and barely getting a minute to catch my breath each day, let alone find any kind of creative energy to write. There’s much that could be said for how women become the load bearers at times like this; how we carry more than we can manage upon our shoulders but do so anyway. How we often sacrifice the most and struggle with the greatest loss of identity and are left to grieve the lives so unexpectedly taken from us. But I’ll keep that rant for another day.

On top of the physical demand is the ongoing emotional upheaval. The anxiety, the fear, the stress, the worry, the uncertainty, the lack of sleep. I have found some days I manage these emotions, and these are generally days I can write. However, as soon as these emotions crowd my head space there is simply no room for anything else. Not for thoughts or words or creativity or joy or laughter or anything that is essential for survival at this time. The battle in my own mind is perhaps the biggest one I continue to face.

This week I’ve had moments of being angry at myself; that I cannot even write one fucking poem a day. Most days at the moment I achieve nothing, just survive. I have to remind myself that’s enough. To have no expectations. To do the best I can. To be gentle on myself. To cry when I need to. To still seek out the joy. To celebrate the small wins. To accept the losses. To find grace for myself.

Today was another day without a word written. Instead, I spent the afternoon seeding a paddock which has been a break from the iso grind and a chance to switch off and catch my breath and feel myself again, at least for now.

Which for today, is enough.

It’s enough.

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