Maximum Effort

I have written exactly 1 (one) post this year. Now. Let me just write a few things about that, how I feel about it, how I no longer care if anyone is reading, how I no longer understand how to process the daily trauma we all are shoved into, how I don’t want to fucking center myself, how I don’t want to fucking censor myself, how I don’t want to curate precious bullshit. Any. Longer.

And I don’t really even know what that means. I have written in this space for over 10 years. Longer? I don’t know how to express anymore. I worry that I’ve lost “it”, whatever that means, and that I can’t articulate any longer how I feel. Because goddamn have I had stuff to say. My mom died. It made a much bigger impact on me than I ever imagined it could. I have so much to write about – all her stories. All my feelings. So much it would break a table were I to actually write all the volumes.

The world is dying. It is choking on gas and smoke and oil and fire and we are causing the weather and all manner of shit we deserve because we are nothing if not Lovers of Convenience.

People – Historically Excluded People – are dying. Have been dying. Have been pushed into camps. On to reservations. Into cities where there is no clean water available, no food to be had, no gardens to thrive, no farms to run. I have never in my life been so completely aware of my privilege and my ability to do more than just talk about or around it, my ability to try and repair what I can with what time I have left. I am the product of a culture rooted in white supremacy, in patriarchy, in capitalism, and I have profited off of stolen land and labor. I am trying to counteract it. I don’t think I am doing enough. Giving money and going to every workshop on decolonization seems like the bare minimum. Reading the books, minimum. Reparations, fucking MINIMUM. My body, my 51 year old aging, knee-crunching, hip-hurting body needs and wants to be on the line.

Democracy – if it was ever really that, or really alive – is dying. Considering that democracy in this country is and has been the main purveyor of historically excluding people, I don’t know if “democracy” is really what you can even call it. But I have gone into a further realm now, one where I know that politics still affects real people, in real time – and yet. Politics, government, it is a fucking sham. A shell game. I am so far left now that I have hurdled past where it is acceptable in polite conversation to express one’s views. I am the thing that is not like the other. I know I must vote in order to not completely ruin other people’s lives, but when the propped-up snake oil salespeople are just wearing different colors – some red, some blue – the only thing left to do is figure out how to clean the slate and begin again. They are all imprisoned by their own power-hoarding. All.

Caring for others feels like it is dying. I know there are plenty of examples where it is still alive. I sure fucking hope so. Just because everyone stopped wearing masks doesn’t mean people are not still getting sick, are not still dying. I am floored by the notion that just because we all got tired of something, we just decided to go back to almost exactly how it was. Normal was never really great for a lot of us. Now we have to go back to it, but you know, with extra terror. I love how I know so many people that were very NBD about it. Like clearly they did not have to watch a loved one’s life get smaller and smaller because of this terror, until that life was just put out like a candle down to its nub.

Children – that’s right, little fucking children – are dying. They are gunned down in schools all over this country. Have been. The mothers who want to have those children are dying in childbirth. I mean, I don’t even know what to say to this. There are so so many ways to prevent all of this. And it is definitely not ARMING TEACHERS, or continuing down the for-profit health care path. What kind of bullshit math equation is gun + gun = life? What kind of even bullshittier math equation is no/not great job = no health care = death? What are we even doing?

And then there are my tiny things, my joys, my fears. All the insides that no one can see, that I can’t explain. I am not owed comfort. I am not owed these small indulgences. But I do deserve to rest. I deserve to ignore the hustle. I will subtly subvert capitalism by changing norms that I have the power to change within my position – rule # 1 is everyone better take every single bit of their vacation and sick time. I will preach from where I can that it is not ok to rush because someone expects it – I will change the expectation. And for the love of all that is left, stop thinking unpaid overtime or doing anything past work hours is a badge of honor. It is not. Let us all remember that we will never say “I wish I would have worked more” on our deathbeds. I mean, unless you do something cool and are not in a job where the express goal is to make a corporation or shareholders profitable.

I have so much to say. I have no idea how. My poetry is dark, prose even darker. And yet there is joy in the moments outside in nature. No phone. Just me, birds, flowers. How the fuck did we get here, where we barely go outside, and how 30 minutes, an hour a day is our reward? Meditation is helping. Resting is helping. Medication is helping. And all of those helps are privilege. There is someone out there who is crying right now because they do not get any rest. Medication. Meditation. While it doesn’t minimize my feelings, I still acknowledge this, and it cuts deep.

So I guess this is why I’ve written exactly 1 (one) post this year. I don’t know what to say anymore, because there is a binary bell I don’t know how to unring: All or fucking nothing. I know the truth is somewhere in between.