I realize how I and other humans like to categorize things, remove ambiguities, put things tidily away in boxes. But life is so much more than that, it is so fluid and interconnected and layered that simplification seems an injustice to all the people and places and histories and experiences that occur and are occurring. History is being created by the moments of the present. You will look back on this moment and judge it later, differently perhaps than how you judge it now.
Can we just ‘be’ and live the events as they unfold? Keep the memories alive? Learn and adapt and challenge as we move through time and space? Why does one narrative have to be all we know? There is more than one road, more than one traveller.
The air is close today and the hum of activity is pulsing through it instead of my blood, which is a nice change. I spend an inordinate amount of time talking things through with myself, as the bubble which was small and resilient to begin with some decades ago has had to adjust to these new realities of 2020 during pandemic times and mass protests, economic shifts, social injustice, environmental collapse. My goals: stay home, stay healthy, keep the faith in peanut butter! participate in discussion and take what action you can.
Honestly, self-reliance has never seemed so necessary. I don’t have the energy to create a movement, I can’t wait around for others to take action or invite me in. So I work to be as present here as I can.
Early in the year, when we had a dump of snow and the city stumbled, the sidewalks were in chaos and everything I wanted to accomplish took twice as long and double the energy, a stranger offered me a ride the last few blocks to work.
“You should be knocking on doors!” she told me, meaning, I assume, that I should take time out of my day to ask people to clear their sidewalks of snow. It’s hard enough for me to get my boots on and off and my groceries packed to and from my own front door, without traipsing all over the neighbourhood asking people to contribute to the common good of usable wintertime walkways.
It gets ridiculously hard to do stuff if the underlying system is broken. And right now, many systems are broken and multitudes of people are struggling.
I’m getting fatigued. You ask for help and few step up. You advocate change and so much stays the same. I’m developing a stronger preference for staying home, scrambling tofu and DIY because otherwise the cost is just too high.
I took myself out to the movies, and to Tim’s for a snack. I’ve watered my garden and caught up on my correspondence. I bought a mask that works well and sanitizer that kills just the germs and not also my desire to ever draw another breath. I’m pursuing my own leadership roles in life and work and have coped well so far, now that ‘bubbles’ like mine are the status quo. “We must not be hasty” –I’m reading The Two Towers finding wisdom and laughter in some of Treebeard’s teachings.
Real names tell you the story of things they belong to in my language, in the Old Entish as you might say. It is a lovely language, but it takes a very long time saying anything in it, because we do not say anything in it, unless it is worth taking a long time to say, and to listen to.Treebeard, The Two Towers
When I was last home on the Coast, my mom and I spent several days watching home movies on our old video camera, going through old tapes of birthdays and camping trips, creative projects and candid moments, milestones and memories.
When I returned, other highlights of past events kept surfacing on the radio, in conversation with friends and the books and movies, music and art, and other life I’ve been digesting.
The outcome is this post.
Thanks for stopping by.