10:08pm It's the first day of Autumn, the beginning of Fall. The news is about the second wave. They're blaming it on the kids for gatherings but that's stupid. The second wave was inevitable when you don't have a people safe in lockdown, when you don't have a vaccine, when you try to force things to go back to "normal" - as if normal was ever actually a thing. Flu season is coming up so I expect it will be a very tough time for many. Confusion will rise just like the case numbers. At what point are we going to take care of one another? When do we look out for each other? To those who already have been doing that, who have support systems in place or are creating them - good for you. As for me, I'm hoping to keep it together here. We're trying to minimize risk. Fortunate to have a partner who is working remotely, in the living room during the day. Myself, I'm taking college classes at my computer in front of the window, tucked in between my book nook ever expanding personal library.
(18 September 2020) Vincent & Pekoe with that warm sunlight view.
I worry for the cats and for us but it's a day to day thing. The cats help a lot because they give me reason to be mindful. I want them to be okay. They lay in the sun patches of the morning and it makes me feel I am doing something right. If they're okay, we're okay. But we're not. It's a lot of stress and worry when nothing is stable, nothing is secure, nothing is guaranteed. Knowing that it never was doesn't help much, doesn't ease the anxiety - because we're surrounded by examples of loss. You can feel it, sense it - airborne.
(22 September 2020) self portraits on the first day of autumn
I'm not all doom and gloom. This time around, with all the classes online, I have not worried about transit or the panic of pushing myself out the door for class, the anxiety attacks that would debilitate me. I am still self-conscious but less so since I am only seen partially on camera, sometimes, selectively, and I don't have that need to apologize for my appearance or presence in a space quite as much as I do in person - though I still do, even in the online spaces. It's difficult to break free of some thought loops and patterns interwoven in me but I am trying my best to detangle. But truly, I do feel that this is one of the few silver linings of this time period. I didn't expect or know this time last year that I would get another chance at the college program. I didn't know that I'd be nearly finished the first month of classes by now and that I'd be getting good marks and participating in ways outside my comfort zone. I've been learning multi-platforms (like all online students and teachers, I would guess) and I'm navigating Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Blackboard Collaborate, not to mention adapting to learning Office 365 on a Mac but taught the PC way. I mean, this online experience has the upside of me being able to add a lot more recent and impressively relevant stuff to my resume when I finally touch it up again.
This is what it looks like when the sun is going down, reflected off the city skyline glass. (21 September 2020)
Did I mention that I applied to be a reporter for the college paper? I did that before the term started, before I was fully registered in (I was accepted, just not in the system yet) and I made it to the interview stage! It was a good interview and I think I did the best I could, offered some input, asked good questions, had some ideas for articles. It was for a paid part-time position. I would have very much liked to have become involved with the paper and to work on it especially during this time period, not to mention the fact that I really need new work experience on my resume. Alas, they went with someone else. I'll confide in you that I was disappointed at not getting the opportunity to participate and prove myself but that seems to have been a running theme this past year or so with each time I've tried earnestly to get work. It's terrified me, honestly, that I may not be able to get hired somewhere. I know that I have some income but I would like to be able to support myself more, ya know? There was one lovely thing that happened with the "we're hiring someone else" email - it was actually one of the most kind, thoughtful and considerate emails I have received from someone who was in a hiring position ever. I meant to respond back immediately with kind words in return but did not want to hurry a response when I was feeling disappointment (and fatigue with the lost potential) but now it has been some time and I have yet to send a reply. I think that such thoughtful words should not go unnoticed or unappreciated and this is just a little note to self to send a nice word when I can. They also suggested I pitch articles / ideas for consideration and that they would pay if accepted. I mean, how nice is that? So, was it really a loss? Maybe not. Maybe it was exactly what it should have been. A chance for someone else to be paid during this difficult time and it allows me to just focus on getting through Term One without any other commitments placed on me.
(20 September 2020) how beautiful, how lovely, the blue of the sky, lake, see?
I rushed it but I completed the 'Me and My Writing' assignment for the 'Write Your Life' course (my favourite class of all time and I wish there was a follow-up to it because oh no, when I actually pass it this term, I won't be able to take it again!) and I feel like sharing the piece here, so I will. It answers the required questions and gives insight as to where my focus is - for my writing and for what direction I hope to go in with life as well. I mean, I don't have much say in some things but I am feeling it now more than ever how clearly my present choices affect future me because past choices made me who I am now. I can do more to make life be what I would like it to be if I direct my focus and intentions now. I'm not willing to just wait around anymore for things to continue to just happen to me (things will happen outside of my control and external factors always will play a part) but I am learning that I have more personal strength, more sway, more say in what I will become than I previously would let myself believe. This is a privileged perspective, a vantage point of a survivor of many things.
(16 September 2020)
Essential things to know about my writing: It is sporadic. I write inconsistently but when I eventually write, I am feverish to drink from the well. I feel it constantly, this pull, this need to write. I deny myself words as though I were starving myself and refusing water. I’m fast when I write because I have been fasting. The second thing to know about my writing is that it has to come from a place of truth. My own truth or as I feel it to be. Truth that comes from my own experience, what I have lived through and what I know of myself. If I am not writing from a place of self, or sense of self, I don’t feel that I can write authentically. Writing authentically is what I base my writing self on. It started with my early diaries and paper journals. It flows through my poetry. It is here again in freewrites. If it doesn’t feel true, it doesn’t feel right.
My obstacle to writing continues to be myself. I’m very good at distraction via things that misuse my time. I tell myself I want to be a writer – I have always wanted to be a writer. I also tell myself that I can’t be one. It’s too late. I’m not good enough. I don’t have this accomplished. I don’t have that. I’m not educated. I don’t have the resources. What if I fail? What if I succeed? I have circled around myself for so many years now that if I had not been in my own way, I might have become the writer I wanted to be already. I am my own obstacle.
My writing goal would be to write and submit poetry to various literary magazines and publications. I want to put my work out there. I have to start somewhere. I have one paid poetry credit with the ‘Hustling Verse’ anthology published by Arsenal Pulp Press. I need to submit again. Be vulnerable. Be brave. My writing goal is to write. Consistently.
Favourite authors / books: I can’t pick favourites anymore. There are too many to list. Currently reading poetry, memoirs and collections of journals & letters. I would recommend people read whatever calls out to them.
What is so incredible but also sad is that we are at this remarkable spot where many of us can choose to learn from the awakenings, the awareness, the awe of the everything that feels like it's happening, accumulating causes colliding all at once. Or we don't. The acceptance will not be of me just saying, "oh, that's just how people are / things are / the world is..." but it will be of me going, "oh, it is up to me to change, to shift, to let go of some things, hold tight to that, reach out to others, turn inward, feel out..." It is time to push, to show up for my life.
(13 September 2020) that view, tho!