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The Stillness : in Morocco (3)

The Stillness
in Morocco
by Shannon Amaadar


(04 April 2020 - Quarantine diary)
The days are slipping into each other. After more than 2 weeks in the house, I’m beginning to slide into a routine. Not a good one, but it calms the anxious thoughts. It adds some certainty to the uncertain time we're facing.

Wake up, eat breakfast. Then it’s time for my online course, so I feel that I’m accomplishing something. Next it’s time to watch some videos about how other countries are dealing with the pandemic and answer some messages I’ve been ignoring.

Now it’s time for the day’s big event. I get showered and dressed and make out the list of things that I need at the shop. It’s a short walk, but it refreshes my mind and reminds me that the world is still out there.

Often, when I return to the building complex, I sit in the community playground. The kids have all gone, but I can hear their mothers through the kitchen windows cooking lunch and gossiping.



I see the same men walk past me every day. They walk past me slowly, as thankful to feel the sun as I am, even for just a moment. Five minutes later they return, bag in hand. It seems the neighbours have their routine as well, as if we are all living the same day over and over again.



I think about how things were, and the invitations I turned down. How many times I didn’t go to the beach, or the new cafe I didn’t have time to try.

I wait for something different, something new, but it’s Groundhog Day. What day is it? What month are we in? 30 days has September, April, June, and November...

Is it time to go home? What will we do tomorrow? I think a trip to the zoo is in order, something to break the routine. Yes, let’s take a vacation; we all could use a day out.

What time is it? 8am, check Facebook then time for breakfast. Next is my online course, I want to feel like I’m accomplishing something. I wonder what America is doing about the pandemic now? What time is it? I should get in the shower.

Links:
Instagram: @s_amaadar
FB page: Meet Me In Morocco
Teachers Resources: Kings English School
Shannon Amaadar
Morocco posts

The Stillness : in Morocco (2)

The Stillness
in Morocco
by Shannon Amaadar




(23 March 2020)
The government has now implemented a full quarantine. Repatriation flights have been cancelled and all transportation between cities has been stopped. People are being pulled over and asked to show their permission slips through closed car windows.

This was taken from my walk yesterday.
"This is from my walk yesterday."

Over the weekend, protests erupted in the northern cities. Crowds of people filled the streets marching against what they view as a government overstepping their bounds, inching towards utilitarianism.

They don’t think about how close they are to Spain, and how easily they could be spreading this virus.

In the past few months, the borders with the Spanish cities have been closed to curb bootlegging and illegal migration. This is just another measure by the government to make life difficult for the people in these cities.

This has forced the government to enact stricter laws with regards to the quarantine measures. Anyone caught disobeying, caught out in the street with no reason, opening shops and selling without a special permit, or spreading misinformation, will spend up to 3 months in jail and pay a fine.

empty streets
"empty streets"
IMG_0419

For me it’s life as usual or at least usual for the last week. I work mostly online anyway it’s just that now I’m on the couch and supplying my own coffee.

I’m not incredibly worried. The government here is making a lot of effort to contain the spread. I feel inconvenienced more than anything.

I’m using this new found time to try to relax a little and reflect. The constant running from place to place before all of this created a lot of anxiety. I’m beginning to loosen up again.

Until a new anxiety fills the space.

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Right now, I’m looking out my window at empty streets. Stray dogs and cats are becoming braver, taking back more and more territory from us. I have some relaxing music playing on the YouTube. The kind of music you hear playing in a small cafe as you lean back and sip a latte. It helps.

I’m thinking about what I want to make for lunch, and what I should accomplish today. I have a lesson with my students from the UK this afternoon. I also have to create more online teaching resources and upload them to my website.

I keep busy.

The government says the quarantine will be in effect until April 20th. Almost a month.

How different things will be by then.


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Links:
Instagram: @s_amaadar
FB page: Meet Me In Morocco
Teachers Resources: Kings English School
Shannon Amaadar
Morocco posts

The Stillness : in Morocco

The Stillness
in Morocco
by Shannon Amaadar


The country has gone into a full lockdown. Even with so few reported cases of the virus, the government knows that the system just can't support a situation like what's been seen in Italy.

Spain and France are close. Morocco receives a lot of tourists from these countries, and it's also where a lot of the cases have stemmed from. With rising cases in those countries, closing borders and canceling international travel in and out of Morocco happened swiftly and with little warning.

We've been given official papers that grant us permission to go to our local shops and get groceries, medicine and go to Dr appointments. We're ok to walk through our neighbourhoods, but travel within the city without a good reason will get you arrested.

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There are many people who have been arrested already for spreading fake news and conspiracies. This kind of information is detrimental to the efforts being made and the government isn’t tolerating it. YouTubers, journalists and anyone with a platform who is spreading misinformation is arrested, questioned, and either fined or jailed.

Myself, well I've found out that staying home might have been just what I needed. In spite of being confined to my apartment, I actually feel some relief. Anxiety levels have dropped, tension has eased, and cloudy thoughts are beginning to clear. Its great for the time, but it’s only day 4.

When I go for walks around my neighbourhood to get some air and pick up some necessities the streets are eerily silent. The regular noise of kids walking to school and cars honking their horns have all gone silent. Business after business is shuttered up along the once bustling streets. The packs of street dogs are gaining the courage to claim more and more territory now that the people have all gone inside.

Through all the regulation and restriction, people are still trying their best to get on with things as normally as possible, a difficult accomplishment. Those who are still working do so now under restrictions and behind masks and gloves.

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The culture here in Morocco is very close. Kisses and handshakes upon meeting someone, even a stranger is normal. Not anymore. Now people must maintain distance, eat from their own plate, refrain from kissing as a greeting, and wash their hands almost non-stop. I can only imagine how cold and isolating that must feel for someone who has grown up used to so much contact.

The environment here seems to be benefiting greatly from our absence as well. I can clearly see defined details on the mountains that surround the city. The haze has lifted from the atmosphere and fresh new air has moved in.

Many of the people here have taken the opportunity to go back to their villages and stay with family. This is more like a holiday than a global pandemic. Moroccans always look for a chance to spent time with family, and being out of work due to closures is just as good a reason as any.

As for myself, for now I’ll just wait for more instruction. Wait until I can sit in cafes again, walk the streets and be in society again. If I use this time wisely, I can emerge fresh on the other side. With new perspectives and maybe taking a few less things for granted.

Links:
Instagram: @s_amaadar
FB page: Meet Me In Morocco
Teachers Resources: Kings English School
Shannon Amaadar
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anne lamott on writing

Source: https://www.ted.com/talks/anne_lamott_12_truths_i_learned_from_life_and_writing

excerpt from:
Anne Lamott: 12 truths I learned from life and writing

writing. Every writer you know writes really terrible first drafts, but they keep their butt in the chair. That's the secret of life. That's probably the main difference between you and them. They just do it. They do it by prearrangement with themselves. They do it as a debt of honor. They tell stories that come through them one day at a time, little by little. When my older brother was in fourth grade, he had a term paper on birds due the next day, and he hadn't started. So my dad sat down with him with an Audubon book, paper, pencils and brads -- for those of you who have gotten a little less young and remember brads -- and he said to my brother, "Just take it bird by bird, buddy. Just read about pelicans and then write about pelicans in your own voice. And then find out about chickadees, and tell us about them in your own voice. And then geese."

So the two most important things about writing are: bird by bird and really god-awful first drafts. If you don't know where to start, remember that every single thing that happened to you is yours, and you get to tell it. If people wanted you to write more warmly about them, they should've behaved better.

You're going to feel like hell if you wake up someday and you never wrote the stuff that is tugging on the sleeves of your heart: your stories, memories, visions and songs -- your truth, your version of things -- in your own voice. That's really all you have to offer us, and that's also why you were born.
doctor who amy and doctor reading

Book Reading List 2020

Book Reading List for 2020
- - - - - - -
LEGEND
(date finished)
* = first time read all the way through or never been read before
- - - - - - -

1. A Whore’s Manifesto An Anthology of Writing and Artwork by Sex Workers Edited by Kay Kassirer with a forward by Clementine von Radics (28 January 2020) *
2. oliver a lover all over by Maranda Elizabeth (29 February 2020) *
3. My Art is Killing Me and other poems by Amber Dawn (30 March 2020) *
4. The Color Purple by Alice Walker (07 June 2020)
5. Resilience is Futile The Life and Death of Julie S. Lalonde by Julie S. Lalonde (20 June 2020) *
6. PERSONALS poems by Ian Williams (21 June 2020) *
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Book Reading List 2019

Book Reading List for 2019
- - - - - - -
LEGEND
(date finished)
* = first time read all the way through or never been read before
- - - - - - -

1. The Waking Comes Late by Steven Heighton (17 March 2019) *
2. Where The Words End and My Body Begins by Amber Dawn (08 April 2019) *
3. Mistakes To Run With by Yasuko Thanh (21 April 2019) *
4. My Ariel Poems by Sina Queyras (14 May 2019) *
5. The Allure of the Archives by Arlette Farge (04 July 2019) *
6. A Silence of Words by Olivia Dresher (23 December 2019) *
7. Hustling Verse An Anthology of Sex Workers' Poetry Edited by Amber Dawn and Justin Ducharme (30 December 2019) *
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poems: 30 May 2019

wolf heart


I can’t with your doubt of me. Oh but
you will always be a howl in my heart.

- adp, 30 May 2019 @ 9:30am







explanation


Yes, I’m married but rent is so expensive
and we’re already such good roommates.
Why would we put ourselves into a terrible
place just because you feel uncomfortable
with the thought of someone being close
enough to touch me? — when they don’t.







That time I had CBD oil


That time I had CBD oil (ordered from the
government website and delivered to my
door) the 50/50 had me sobbing when it
hit because I saw the rectangular block of
sadness (swallowed down) container brim
full of grief - the sorrow in my core - how

I have held this inside most all of my life.

- adp, 30 May 2019 @ 10:25am