Stories often reside within the roots of words.

One of these is quarantine from the Venetian variant, quaranta giurni: it means forty days, the length of time that incoming ships had to remain tethered to the docks before crews and passengers could disembark during the Black Plague. It thinned populations—between seventy-five to two hundred million people in Eurasia, and peaking from 1347 to 1351 in Europe.

Since last January, the word quarantine has surfaced again, a self-care response related to the Covid 19 pandemic. Deaths and numbers contaminated are recounted daily in the media, thereby heightening fears of death and cancelling social venues. Self-isolation is encouraged, as well as activities/work to pursue in the home to minimize sensory deprivation.

From a different perspective, however, I liken the word quarantine to my homebound condition. True, my body carries a terminal illness that is not contagious, that I have no control over and will eventually shorten my life as often mentioned in these blogs. But practice of CPA’s Steps IV and V has uncovered a deeper illness in my psyche, like a utility sink rusted with scum: nothing can be cleaned. For decades, it has jaundiced my thinking, my choices, and my instincts, has enslaved me within obsessive behaviors. Relationships were largely anemic.

So my spiritual uncleanness cries out to Higher Power in CPA’s Steps VI and VII: my readiness to have these distortions routed out and my humble prayer, daily, for their removal. On my own, I’m powerless to effect this change.

So my self-isolation continues to serve me well as more stuff from my unconscious is acknowledged and worked with: such on-going purification enhances my spirit for what is to come …