It seems unlike us to do this, at least it feels slightly uncomfortable for me (Rosslyn) to take this step. But with Daryl’s nudge that it’s perfectly alright for us to stand for what we believe in, we decided to replace this issue with a poem and a plea for India.
We’ve been reading and watching the news about what’s happening in India, and one particular image left a deep impression on us—a photograph of a mass cremation; multiple funeral pyres set up for the people who have died of Covid-19. It looked like a scene from history textbooks that had come alive. We are in the 21st century, yet we are still witnessing a situation akin to the old times of The Black Death. This was extremely hard to stomach.
Speaking for myself (Rosslyn) here, I would have ignored the news years ago. It would have broken my heart so much I’d already shut my eyes, pretending it’s not so bad, praying and hoping that things will get better. Things always get better, right? It is wishful thinking on my part.
Since starting The Bridge Press, we truly work towards having our writings stretch minds and open hearts. In this issue, we invite you to enter a world of grim and darkness with us.
If you could allow yourself to be vulnerable, let yourself experience what it means to be human. Experience the spectrum of humanness: not just of joy and love, but also the suffering and helplessness through sickness and death.
Be safe and well.
Rosslyn & Daryl
A PRACTICE TO SUPPORT YOU
Go slow and gentle. We don’t encourage plunging into the deep end.
Start noticing what are the things you turn or look away from.
Observe how present you are able to stay with yourself when that happens.
Are you able to name the emotions or sensations that are arising in you?
Journal or talk to a trusted friend about it.
Let’s go beyond our bubbles and learn about the larger world. Together, we can take little steps to add positive vibrations to the Earth we inhabit.
If any part of the content is triggering to you, we welcome you to have a discussion with us.
The Call For One
Flesh engulfed in flames, falling
apart into ash, remnants of souls
transmuting into billows
infusing the air with grief
Dead bodies burning.
Is there a better way to say it?
Precious lives lost
to the pandemic
or to politics played poorly?
Don’t bother massaging the words,
composing or beautifying the scene.
Say it as it is:
Dead bodies burning.
Bear witness to this—here, now.
Even with the oceans between us.
Feel your heart ache, even break.
Awaken to the ring
the wailing of children,
the keening of spouses,
the mourning of plenty,
the cries for humanity
so deafening they go unheard
Don’t turn away, they still exist.
Don’t pretend it’s a movie.
Dead bodies burning—
were we not one?
Our minds have judgments, our minds draw lines—it’s them, not us. What do our hearts say? When our hearts ache over the other’s suffering, doesn’t it already speak volumes as to whether there’s really a line or not? Aren’t we all just us?
May we let our hearts have a say too.
If you feel called to donate, please consider:
Singapore Red Cross Society for India Covid-19 Response
SEWA International USA for life-saving medical equipment
UNICEF for supplies and equipment to critical care centers
Links to the news that brought about the poem:
Remember, you can always drop us a note anytime.