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Transformation: An essay and poem

on the effects of isolation

An essay and poem written by American poet Mandy Wild.

My experience during this crisis feels particularly silent in the public conversation. Reasonably so.

The truth is, my life hasn’t changed much since all of this started. I am still working full time, I have food to eat, a loving partner, and a beautiful home to return to each day.

The truth is that I feel as though I have been watching this all happen through a lens. Watching this happen to the world and not to me. Feeling disconnected from the crisis creates its own sense of isolation and even despair. As if I want to be suffering more to be a part of this whole process.

And yet, there are moments when weight of it all has secretly, slowly crept into my being and I am completely taken over by fatigue. I have been knocked down, bed ridden, and barely able to speak a few times recently. It is only now that I realize how even though my life is still moving, the panic and fear in the world has taken shape in me.

The truth is that I feel guilty and grateful. Guilty that my experience seems so small in comparison to the suffering of others. Grateful that I can continue living my life with some sense of stability and peace.

I think we are all being transformed by this on some level. Transformation is never easy. In fact it is usually a painful and tormented process that shifts our sense of self and the way we view the world. I am learning that it can also be subtle. It come into your life in tiny pieces, bit by bit over time, without even realizing it.

That is the way I am experiencing this pandemic. In pieces, over time.

“Our worlds break open

fall to pieces around us

many times throughout our lives

our identities dissolve

shift and morph

while we are asked to step into the unknown

many times this has happened

many more times to come

in moments of despair

remember that you have shattered

yet the sun still rose

and that one day

you emerged on the other side of transformation

whole. renewed.

empowered by your resilience”

By Mandy Wild
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