Some canceled and some didn’t. They canceled because canceling was proposed. They said yes, I will, and canceled. Others said no but had to cancel anyway. The ceiling dropped, the walls widened. Home, it was, then. They canceled out of abundant caution. To go was to risk. They risked canceling because going was riskier than staying home. To go was to go crazy, to go wild. Errant. They went and then returned before arriving. Another form of canceling: not beginning at all, to begin with. It was a collaboration, all the cancellation. They canceled friendships with those who didn’t cancel, but only privately, but only temporarily and not really. They resumed, in the spirit of cancelation, a new way of proceeding without doing and risking much. They embraced, but at a distance. They sent their love along the wires. Miss you, want to see you. Canceled: school, worship, but not learning, friendship. These sailed on—canceling doubt, over the airwaves, over the internet, over the fear. They canceled fear and boldly kept away, heroically doing nothing but neutralize, annul, offset. They didn’t. They didn’t go there. They couldn’t and would not. Out of abundant caution, out of a desire to be useful, out of their minds, they stayed in, turned inward, became internal, entered inside and stayed.

Penelope Cray
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