June 23, 2020

It’s Tuesday. two counseling sessions, five divination sessions (with or without additional counseling), a class to teach, homework to read and grade, and a ton of email to catch up on. Super hot outside so I’m trying to stay ahead of it with the portable air conditioner. So far I haven’t melted into a puddle. It’s supposed to be more like Portland June by the weekend. Will I survive? Will all of us survive? Signs of the world reopening are more obvious: boarded up shops are opening, more people are on the street. It still feels too early and I’m going to stay home until my doctor’s appointment on the 2nd, when we finally work on finding out how the chemo did.

June 22, 2020

Today’s schedule

  • four appointments (two Discord, two Zoom)
  • editing for Coptic Encyclopedia
  • grading Patreon homework
  • scheduling the rest of the week’s appointments
  • ongoing preparation for new beginners class in the temple

Today is the slowest day I have through Friday and it’s more than 8 hours. Hoping to be caught up on the work backlog by the 30th. It’s going to be stressful, and there’s much to be done, but I’m trying to stay confident.

June 17, 2020

Conversations about work started before I was even out of bed this morning. A full 10 hours of scheduled events follow for today, tomorrow, and Friday. Next week pretty much the same. Trying to get caught up on several weeks of slowdown due to two deaths in the family plus an already-existing work backlog. Sometimes I find myself wishing I had even a small bit of the coronavirus boredom/lack of things to do that others are reporting. If anything, my workload doubled once we entered lockdown.

A friend reminded me: Pay yourself first.” Trying to keep that in mind and schedule in some payments.

My father would have been 71 today, had he lived. This is a random bit of trivia but my brain reminding me of it every few minutes hasn’t been random. Doesn’t matter that it’s been almost eight years now. I still try to phone him every now and then.

June 16, 2020

Sitting in an online class to learn how to use Discord in a better way for my Patreon. Learning how accustomed I’ve become to multitasking as I keep getting distracted from just paying attention to the class. Once upon a time I had the opposite problem - where I’d get so engrossed in a single thing that I’d lose track of the existence of anything else until it was done.

Technology continues to reshape the way we think and situate ourselves in the world, and largely does so without either our knowledge…or our objections. The only way this stops is deliberate effort. Time to put that into action and pay attention to this class alone…

June 1, 2020

As I post, every few minutes or so, a flashbang grenade or a round of teargas canister explosions goes off, and there are helicopters and sirens. This is an improvement on earlier this weekend, when it sounded like I was in the middle of a warzone, because for the most part, I was. I live in downtown Portland, Oregon, and things are also Not Okay here, just as they are Not Okay in a number of places in the United States right now (and even in some other countries in solidarity!) as people are coming together, despite general quarantine, to protest the murders of a number of people by police just in the last several days.

Of course these are not the only times police have used deadly force against people of color, that’s been going on since the idea of police began. Unless you’re living under a rock, you are more than aware of what is happening, and of the larger issues of institutionalized racism at stake.

I am afraid for my city. I am afraid for family and friends in other cities including Minneapolis, some of whom have had to flee their homes. I am afraid and horrified for an acquaintance who is a journalist, who lost her eye last night because the police decided to shoot at her crew despite them being clearly marked as media. I am afraid for a lot of people right now. I am afraid we will not collectively have the strength to keep pushing for change once the militarized police start terrorizing people like they’re doing in New York by running over people, or like they’re doing in Minneapolis by shooting at people on their porches doing nothing but watching the armored vehicles roll by….or or or….

And yet, in the midst of my fear, there is something else to think about.

I saw a photograph yesterday, of a piece of graffiti tagged on a store somewhere. It said ANOTHER END OF THE WORLD IS POSSIBLE.

In the midst of so much disruption and death and violence and sadness and heartache, from the COVID-19 pandemic, to the rise of fascism, to decades and centuries of oppression and misery for our friends and family and everybody else, there is a whole lot of apocalypse energy in the world, and it does feel like an ending. But the graffiti spoke to me about more than that.

It was a reminder that none of these things have to continue to happen. Another end is possible: the end of that miserable world, so a better world can have room to be. Nothing that is happening right now is inevitable. Together we have voices and agency and power, and it can be used, to help bring that better world into being. Black lives matter. Until Black people are free to live, nobody is. Another end of the world is possible. It might not even have to end now…if we have the will to get through the changes and live.

May 10, 2020

First weekend of heat. Wishing I hadn’t decided to store the portable air conditioner in the downstairs closet, because now I’ll have to haul it up the stairs. Thankfully, the heat subsides tonight, and if the forecast holds it’ll be more than a week of cooler weather, so I can save up energy for that task.

I took several days off this week, and only worked on what I felt like working. I realize that’s not exactly days off, but for me that’s a step in the right direction. I weeded and planted the garden box, cleaned, packed up packages for the post office, picked up other packages and groceries, and got a dent in a car door from a careless person in the next parking space. This week’s counseling load was no lower, but different. Last week’s funerals and suicide attempts were replaced this week by two emergencies (both turned out okay), another funeral, and a missing person. I’m astounded by people suggesting there’s nothing strange going on or that the pandemic is a hoax. I’ve dealt with more crises in the last month than all of last year - and my community is not dealing with as many crises as others I’m aware of. Stress is definitely up, so it was important to slow down.

My body rewarded me for slowing down by deciding I needed to have an arthritis flareup in my hands again - which meant I got very little writing done, and was only able to do a minimal amount of cleaning and housework. More reading was done, more petting the cat, and more naps. These are good things, but I had plans for that time, and was denied carrying those plans out. A bit concerned that this hand thing is the new normal if I do too much.