Keeping Each Other Safe

I’m not posting about politics much because there are people I love who are at risk just from seeing what’s going on too closely. Not to say it isn’t important to know what’s going on and to try to be a part of things. I feel like maybe my Facebook page looks blithely unaware to someone who doesn’t know me all that well. I’m just trying to keep a few people safe. But we’re all scared right now, yeah?
I’m on four hours of sleep at the moment. I woke up in my Sleep Chair and couldn’t doze off again. The last 48 hours have been brutal. So much shit has gone down in our country, I can’t even keep track of all of it. I’ve been watching in horror and trying to figure out what I can do to help. I’ve tried to be the hardcore support friend and listen and help people however I can. If someone seems really fucked up by what’s going on, one of my tactics is hey, get out of the danger zone by taking a minute to laugh at some mishap in my life lately. I’ve got a lot of mishaps. If you’re hurting, I’ll be happy to personally embarrass myself to give you a few minutes off your pain. Also I’m really sorry if you call me and I’m in a loud bar and I can’t stay outside because I’m wearing inappropriate cold weather clothing. I’m just creating new mishaps to share later.
But like, the last few days, it’s really been hitting home for me too, and I’m not really okay myself. Bad stuff has been happening in my heart and in my mind. Like a couple days ago I wrote a song I really liked, and yesterday I was practicing it and it was like all the joy suddenly got sucked out. Like who really needs more googlygoo love songs right now? I don’t write music that’s sharp enough to cut through fear. I don’t have clean clothes to wear but I’m tired of doing laundry and there’s gonna be a water shortage at some point in the next few years, right? Our president is trying to strangle the judicial branch and we’re probably going to war soon, so like, at what point does looting become acceptable, because I kinda need warm socks (I’ve been rotating through the same three pairs for a while now. How much this has to do with my lack of motivation to do laundry is between me and the presence). Should I try real hard to get a job? If I get a job I’ll lose my health insurance. Am I gonna lose my health insurance anyway? Should I buy gold Krugerrands with my tax return? How much does a Krugerrand cost?
It’s unclear how much of this is like, reflecting off leftover shards of paranoia in my mind. That shit becomes like a mental habit eventually. Do the pattern recognition thing long enough and you can believe in anything. So I go whooooa gurrrrl you’re thinking like a crazy person again. And then I talk to literally anyone and it’s like nope. Not just me. We’re all falling apart over this.
And then I feel bad for wanting to ask for help, partly because sometimes I feel like I’m not worthy of help because pretty much every night this week I picked potential mishaps over like, calling my congressman and making signs and putting together care packages for refugees.
Not that my congressman picks up his phone during my normal drinking time. And not that I haven’t done anything worthwhile lately. I guess that’s also kind of between me and the presence. But I digress, as if this whole post hasn’t been a series of tangents. Here’s another: I’m thinking so much about the function of art in all this, because that’s what I live and breathe, and it’s so easy to feel like I’m doing nothing when I’m practicing guitar or writing. There’s that really kind of loaded Vonnegut quote about custard pies that keeps bleeding joy right out of my soul. I’m saying all this so you know you’re understood. Because again: I feel alone in all this and then I talk to any artist and they’re like damn I felt alone in the same feeling. So I’m telling you this and I’m telling me this: we have the gifts we have for reasons that are important. Unless you believe nothing has meaning and everything sucks always. Then I don’t really know what to tell you. I tend to err on the connectedness and beauty side of things. Maybe that’s why I come off as blithely unaware. I really do make a serious effort at bright side glass full sorta mental habits.
But yeah at this point I’m feeling like we need to create that connectedness ourselves. It’s really hard feeling alone in all this. I believe in intentional community. And we might need those networks soon. Who knows how long Facebook’s gonna be around (see? Look on the bright side but throw some gallows humor in there).
I want to make art with you. I want to hug you and cry with you. I want to feed you and give you a place where you feel loved, if not safe (because really what does safe even mean these days). I’m gonna keep trying. I mean it. And I do need help. I’m not okay. But let’s be honest, you’re not okay either right now. Let’s help each other.

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