“In Hand” by Bryan Semeniuk

By Bryan Semeniuk
Artwork by Matty Kakes, "Clean Hands"

One idea that’s fascinated me during COVID is the recurring feeling of reaction that I’ve seen rumbling through all spheres of life.  I’ve been witness to how our collective reactions and subsequent actions can run together just as easily as they can run against each other (in some cases towards solidarity and union, support and compassion; in other cases splintering apart, spreading fear and confusion).  One certainty is that this barrage of analytic and anecdotal information, thanks in large part to the mass flux that is the internet, has fundamentally affected us all. 

An echoing sentiment during the pandemic has been that we are in ‘unprecedented times’ and that ‘no one person or group has the answers’.  In a moment of so much constant motion it can be difficult to hold onto a grounded perspective.  As a result of this collective uncertainty we’ve each been forced to look to each other’s ‘approaches for direction like one organism made up of countless animate and inanimate bodies, all in constant reaction to each other—stars in a night sky, planets in a system, people in a city, cells in a body.  All interrelated and looking to each other in order to better understand.

We have been challenged to expand our awareness, to filter relevant information, to be suddenly bound to a new set of common expectations.  We’ve been driven to more carefully consider how we ought to approach duty towards a common good while still taking proper care of ourselves and our loved ones. To put it precisely, we’ve had to more seriously consider than ever before what we choose to pay attention to and how we choose to order our thoughts and values.

In the poem “In Hand” I describe my experience of feeling like part of something outside of my control and of searching for methods to cope.  The echoing feeling of reaction that permeates current affairs runs through it like a hurried stream.

About the Author

Bryan Semeniuk is a writer based in Trail, BC. He takes his inspiration from the awesome natural splendor of the kootenay region and all its inhabitants. Interested in music, verse, prose and free creative expression of all kinds, he aims to encourage sincere communication and connection between people.

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