Each of us is like Rapunzel in her tower.
We look down at the world around us
and we wonder what brought us to this.
Though we let our hair down,
in hopes that someone would grab hold,
no one does and we are left alone.
As I come down from my tower,
I walk in a world that used to be
filled with a multitude of other people
but is now filled only with empty space and silence.
I see people in the distance and I wave,
happy to see others at long last,
but there are magnets within us
that we cannot see and we are pushed apart,
the distance growing between us.
We wave at each other,
almost as if we have forgotten
what the company of others feels like.
The panic is a constant companion
and I can feel it within me
almost as if it was a bird.
I can feel its wings flapping
as it tries to take flight,
yet there is nowhere to go but further inside of me.
I wonder if the bird will eventually
find its way out and fly from my mouth
into the very air that I have grown to fear.
I picture myself watching as the bird
flies away and, for a moment,
wish that it would let me ride on its wings.
I push the panic and the fear down,
trying to summon the light
that I know is within me.
It will vanquish the fear and the panic
that have become such strange bedfellows.
They’ve grown stronger with every passing day,
as we are kept inside our homes with the television
feeding us a diet of even more panic
and even more worry.
The uncertainty is almost a physical presence
and with each day there are new blooms along my skin.
When I do see other people,
coming down from their towers in the air,
their skin is covered in the same blooms,
coloured with the same hues
of uncertainty, worry and fear.
However, if this is a war that we are in,
we should be in it together.
We should not be apart in our towers,
away from the sight of other people.
Just because we are separate,
does not mean we are alone.
Even so, I have such difficulty summoning
the light that we will need to beat this.
I think of the last time I hugged my mother,
or the last time I was able to hold a friend’s hand
while I offered them comfort in a moment of sorrow.
I will think of the laughter that I shared with others,
the simple act of sitting close to one another.
It has only been a week, but it may as well have been a year.
Yet with every day, I yearn to be kinder despite my fear.
I know that in this way I will grow the light within me.
The light will grow brighter with every act
of positivity, kindness and generosity.
The only way to prevent the spread of the virus
is to remain far apart from each other,
the windows of our towers lighting up the dark
so that the sky looks like it is filled with stars.
We will shine brightly into the night that seeks to separate us
so that others who may be lost in the dark will see our light
and they will know that we are not