Covid Considerations: A Found Poem
On 2nd April Cat Duncan-Rees, a colleague, associate and friend of ours bravely kicked off our #covidconsiderations blog series with a heartfelt blog written at a time of great personal sadness but creating hope for the future. Other brilliant blogs have followed filled with personal stories of experiences of this pandemic and brimming with reflections on what opportunities for change might be emerging from it. Whilst we take a pause to gather the next batch of blogs, Cat created this found poem with lines from each blog published so far. It is a round up, a battle cry and captures the essence of this series. We would like to say a big thank you to Cat and we hope you enjoy reading it.
This pandemic is uniting us
At the core of our human spirit
We are all experiencing limits to our freedom right now
Working out responses on a neighbour to neighbour basis
We need to listen to the pain of our communities and people’s stories of what they have been through
We have all been affected in one way or another by Covid-19, we all have a story to tell
Of course we need a safety net, and an offer to those whom neighbours can’t reach or support
To ensure everyone can access the care and support we need
The chance for people who are traditionally helped to be the helper, for the lines to blur between those labels, and with it any implied hierarchy
The space for resident led response feels limited, almost unwelcome. #WeveGotThis says our Council
Why are we not questioning models that have us trapped in making choices between our individual economic security and community wellbeing? (including the wellbeing of our planet)
Maybe we can deploy staff to do the shopping for you
(often with that knowing look or voice tone that denotes ‘safeguarding risk’)
It feels like our local response has forgotten the neighbour and the neighbourhood.
We’re talking about topics we don’t usually talk about like the quality of our lives.
Resetting what we value and reconnecting to what matters most.
This is a moment where we must stand with and for each other across our differences
We must rewrite the rules
Create a set of simple principles that you stick to no matter what – call it a pirate code if you will
Amongst anger and fear, this is also hope and courage
We’re oiling our wheels ready for our resurgence
So that whatever happens, and wherever you go, you go together
‘We collaborate as equals, or not at all’
Our vulnerabilities are pushing us to have the kind of honest conversations we might have shied away from in the past.
Now is the time to dream and create our new future once this storm has passed
What are we afraid of?
It feels like we haven’t left the space or time to enable the street response to build
As we slow down to manage this crisis, we could use this time effectively to pause, reflect and create some space to think deeply about what is happening and what this means for us.
Love and loyalty. Positivity. The mutuality of the kindness
The extraordinary evidence of human creativity
When times are tough, we lean into what matters
We all want to be in charge of our own lives and to be useful to others as much and as often as we possibly can
There is no magic formula, there is no system or process, or policy, strategy, business case or programme management approach that can deliver the human to human connection, relationships, kindness and compassion that we are currently experiencing all around us.
Trust the living system that is you and your community as much as possible
This is not about particularl groups or Us and Them – this is about all of US.
And what matters most is the love we have for one another.
Follow Cat on Twitter @CatDRees
Photo by Joanna Kosinska