This is What the Living Do

Today’s Slice of Life at

We capture pictures from inside our homes on our devices and post them on Instagram.

We send Whatsapp messages and make online sticky note cards for friends on their birthday.

We start yet another Zoom meeting and, during Internet instability, we smile and say, “Interesting” in response to something we didn’t really hear.

We surf our news apps and Twitter for the latest buffoonery and buzz.

We pray that our fellow citizens will learn from history so we won’t have to repeat it. 

This is what the living do during a pandemic.

But sometimes we remember when we used to hug and kiss each others’ cheeks, and talk for an hour after church, eating samosas and cookies. We remember moments of hearty laughter around the table with breakfast and a shared pot of tea. We remember singing praises together in church, chock full of people of all nations, but one in Christ. We remember sitting around a bonfire, roasting hot dogs and marshmallows. We remember gatherings at your house with all of us there, eating, singing, laughing, praying. We remember late night talks without masks.

We remember and we wait, for this is what the living do.

Remember, we will do it again.


Today is day 203 in Bahrain’s Covid-19 time, Tuesday’s Slice of Life, and Prompt #109 in The Isolation Journals by Suleika Jaouad and inspired by Marie Howe‘s poem, “This is What the Living Do.”

10 thoughts on “This is What the Living Do

  1. I’ve been thinking a lot about gathering and the way that has changed during the pandemic. Yet I struggle to join zoom meets. I don’t know what it is about meeting that way that gives me a visceral reaction. Maybe it’s the fear of connection problems. I think we’re still learning what the living do. I love that poem and the repetition of “this is what the living do.” I hope we can do those things as we did before this awful time.

    1. Thank you, Glenda! Yes, the real-life meetings are much better than Zoom. I have missed so much from students and teachers alike on Zoom. It’s exhausting, to be sure.

  2. What a powerful piece, so beautifully crafted. The pot of tea got me. I always loved sitting at my Grandma’s table with a cup of tea and maybe a piece of a cake she made or a cookie. The conversation and tea always warmed my soul. So grateful for any interaction now with family- in March, when we were all so isolated in our own homes it was really so sad. I love this post and hope for brighter days.

  3. Thank you for this post, and the reminder to enjoy every little thing in life.

  4. So good. We will all gather for tea and samosas again. Ruth in Haiti (

  5. Memories bring warmth too. I hope your wait is not too long. Having experienced the return to normal I can say that the things you have good memories of feel extra special when you do them after a long time.

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