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  • Writer's pictureNora Koch

Everything Looks the Same

Except of course, for not having Mass, not being able to meet with those whom I love, not walking to work, or seeing the people I work with each day, not feeling safe in a grocery store, not being able to find toilet paper, things seem the same as ever.

Everything looks the same, but nothing is the same. It seems to me we are being called to repentance, as we always are, but now, like the Israelites, either left in a ravished land, or hauled off to a place they did not want to go, we are made aware of our peril.

I am left alone with my husband, who before the “Shelter in Place,” order, was sheltering in place for two months, recovering from a wrist operation and was scheduled to go back to work this week. We have been surprisingly good to each other during this time, and I am grateful that he is in my life. I shudder when I think of weathering this alone, as I was for 25 years before I married him. He has had to interrupt drawings for a new painting of Mary and the Child Jesus to keep away from, our friends, the Mother and three-year-old son, models.

The day before the likely lock down, we drove to Maiden Rock, and hiked back a half hour to the edge of the cliff where he painted and I prayed, read and mused, since I forgot to replace the SD card in my camera. On the way home, we stopped at the Ellsworth Creamery and from the parking lot, called in our order for cheese curds; they brought them out, with gloved hands. Except for the parking lot exchange, this day was not unlike others we have had. One would never know what was going on in the world.

I don’t much like myself these days: I see my sins too clearly, repent of them and then see more, or commit them again. All of the things I planned to do at home when I had time stare me in the face. I get some of them done, but realize my plans are a joke.

Yet I am grateful for the opportunity to watch Bishop Barron’s Mass and know that my friends watch the same mass; to go to drive by confession given by our treasured Pastor and Associate Priest. I pray throughout the day, especially for our friends who have the Corona Virus, one of whom is recovering, the other ventilated and in danger. I pray for friends who suddenly lost their daughter-in-law and I pray for friends who both have cancer, who I may never see again. In addition, I pray all my old prayers, and clutch a rosary dragged around France by my friend for me and touched to holy sites, which makes it a third-class relic. I love the saints that pray with me.

I awake saying Veni Sanctus Spiritus. Veni Per Miriam.

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