Lessons from Lockdown None of us can truly know the heart of the innocent man waiting on death row, though living in this pandemic makes us feel closer to believing we fathom some great injustice. That death is the only promise life ever made, is made more visible now by this invisible virus soaring in and out on breath. Taking stock, taking inventory however you say it (and not just of consumables like toilet paper and beans) arrives eventually, for all of us, days or weeks into lockdown. Whether we’ve been furloughed (or just plain let go) from our jobs, or have taken to working from home, we come to that urgent question honestly— what matters most in this moment? Contemplating impermanence, cherished clichés come first— love and family and peace. Shelter, and safety and sustenance. Friends and all our faculties— sight and breath and movement most of all, while touch evades those of us fully alone. Home is the sky that is always beautiful, and the tree that leans a little, the chickadees coming to the feeder outside the kitchen window. The low moon swooning and disappearing into the night. Heightened awareness of sweetness. Beloved voices arriving on the various devices. Giving and grace become commonplace— singing, composing, planting herbs, dancing at the curb, dropping off goodies for the elderly couple up the street. We can keep this all going, the simple goodnesses, the heightened senses, even without threat of virus, without sacrifice. All that is necessary— a shift in attitude from being among the condemned— to a gratitude for what is, for the absurdity of uncertainty’s boundless lessons and blessings.