Friday, April 21, 2017

Hey, It's Me!

*
Checking in here as me. Just me. Not me the interpreter, not me the coordinator, not me the how-I-appear-to-others. Me.

I guess.

Or me in the moment. Yes, this is me in the moment.

I just created and posted several interpreted theatre events in Facebook. And forwarded some news of the day things; reposted is the correct word.

And caught up with some work people about this project and that idea and the things I've been discussing with different people.

And.

This morning before I went to work another of my providers not-so-subtly, yet kindly, suggested that I might want to look at when I have a break coming up. Which I do.

Sort of. No really, I do. It's five days not only off of work but completely away from work. I will be steeped in writing, again, for the Writing By Writers Methow Valley writing conference/retreat/workshop. That will be awesome. And I will be unavailable for work while I'm up there soaking in the writerhood and being my other me.

Okay - in my writing world. Things are moving and happening. No, I'm not done with the major WIP (work in progress). I am making great progress, though. And a plan, goals, have emerged (again, but I think this is "it.").

I had some huge insights and my heart and guts shifted during the Corporeal Writing Revision workshop I attended recently. It was amazing - everyone was amazing. All of the words and the open and the being together in a room with these excellent beings, sharing air and food and words. I left with some insights; major insights.

So, I've been writing more, again. Some of it enforced by needing to submit work ahead of time for the Methow Valley experience.

Oh - and if you didn't catch it on Facebook (I know there are a couple of followers here who aren't on Facebook), I received heartwarming news from Hippocampus Magazine. My "Alone in Reno" piece, which was published in the December issue, was given the Most Memorable piece for that issue. I was surprised and touched and it means so much to me. (I just found out a couple of weeks ago; you haven't been kept in the dark for too long!)

I also have been writing short poems this month. The goal is one per day - after all, it is National Poetry Writing Month (NaPoWriMo - not officially affiliated with NaNoWriMo). I did well for a while. Slipped behind and caught up. Now I'm behind a few days, again. I will try to get caught up, again. These have been primarily haikus, with a couple of etherees, a really bad (I am not exaggerating) limerick, and a cinquain. You can take a look over here in the Playground if you dare - but don't say I didn't warn you!

I now return to the other thing I was doing.

Writing is happening. Theatre - lots of theatre - is happening. There are new ideas and projects in the works (no, I'm not saying anything, yet). And I am looking for the places where I can get a little R&R.

Keep creating!
*


Friday, March 17, 2017

Breaking News: Politics induced anxiety?



There is still so much. Every day. Some new horror, travesty, embarrassment, destruction. 

We are not even two months into [45] and the gang's term and the world and especially our country are turning upside down, inside out. Somersaults of terrorism on  its own people and people of other lands.

We believe horrific things which seem like they could be true. Sometimes they are, sometimes it is something being told slant to cause a ripple a wave a tsunami of reaction while something else is being done behind the curtain. 

"Truth is stranger than fiction" is not a cute literary phrase when it's true. We have problems distinguishing truth from fiction and when lives are on the line we start parsing words, semantics, emotions on high. Just because something posted on social media seems too outrageous to be true doesn't mean it's not; doesn't mean it is. It is telling that we can even consider that some of the information being put out as "news" might be true. A year ago some of the truth would be seen as parody and some of the parody would be laughed at outright because there was no way it would ever be true. But, now, when there is such blatant disregard for people and the planet and any living being, the outrageous might actually be the truth. 

Right now I'm going to step away from Facebook and Twitter and the news because. Because right now my anxiety is high and my particular "health anxiety" has been triggered. I am going to step back from the news and politics for awhile. I am keeping an eye on my body and will go for medical help if necessary. But I seem to be in a state of old trauma response patterns so the thing to do is remove the trigger and be vigilant and apply some self-care.

I'm not stepping away from the computer because I  have a piece I need to edit (or write something new) for my writing feedback group. But I'm going off Facebook and the news for a bit.
*

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Tale About a Keyboard

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Technology: one of the necessary "evils" of life (note the quote marks, which means I don't really think it's evil, okay, I mean, you know; a precedent has been set, right?). Today's journey through techlandia was this. I woke up and did my morning routine of check work email, check personal email, check text messages, go to the computer and check the overnightly news and FB posts about such news and things my friends are doing. Upon waking the computer, I was greeted with the 'need login verification blah blah blah" - yes, I know. I put in the password. Nothing. Thought I typed it wrong, did it again while sipping the dregs of yesterday's coffee. No response. Nothing. I tried to erase the password it thought it was and couldn't. To cut the story short - no response from keyboard, which was fine before I went to bed. Absolutely fine. And it's one of those ergonomic keyboards (love it!). Plugged it into different USB ports; nothing. Checked that another device and USB cord were working and plugged them into the original USB port for the keyboard. Fine; worked as it should; no problem. Found my backup ergonomic keyboard and plugged it in. No response. Tried different ports. No response. Retrieved the new-in-box-never-used keyboard (style I don't like, flat, narrower, shiver) - same thing. No response. Yes, I tried restart my computer. Voila - a message that there was a keyboard malfunction. Sigh. Searched online on a device. Told to restart computer and then press F2. Um, I can't, the keyboard doesn't respond. Another helpful person had replied with press F8 with restart - again, malfunctioning keyboard. Had to abandon the project for appointments and tonight a rehearsal. I had managed to get to the point before I left in the control panel where there was some potentially useful information. However, I couldn't start it -- I do know enough to not start a potentially hours long troubleshooting and repair event when I have to leave the house in 20 minutes. So I didn't. Off to appointments, dinner, rehearsal. Home ten hours later. Changed into comfy pants and a super soft t-shirt, made a greens & berries smoothie, filled up my water and I'm ready to attack the computer keyboard problem. Devices ready because I had a plan. Use devices to search internet for more potential issues. Email search results, URLs, etc so I could copy paste from email on my computer (luckily I was still logged in to my email account!) and, hopefully, resolve it quickly. Computer still showing no keyboarding device. I decided to try, one more time, to click the Microsoft "search for device" before proceeding with what was looking like it was going to be a very long night; the keyboard was not responding. This time, it took. Whatever it was, the problem is resolved. Whatever it was, leaving it alone, taking care of other responsibilities and knowing that this was low on my priority list, was the right thing to do. No reason. Nothing changed. Other than time and space for the computer and keyboard to think about what they had done and change their behavior. Sure, right. First world problem, I realize. Problem of privilege, I also realize. And, today, it was one thing I could do right, not related to politics or the state of the country, the world. One thing I can look at and know that I made the right decision this time. 


Monday, February 27, 2017

Today, this poem

Today I was reading through The Flavor of Unity: Post-Election Poems, by Kim Stafford, again.


This poem, today, yes. The children.




Champion the Enemy's Need
by Kim Stafford

Ask about your enemy’s wounds and scars.
Seek his hidden cause of trouble.
Feed your enemy’s children.
Learn their word for home.
Repair their well.
Learn their sorrow's history.
Trace their lineage of the good.
Ask them for a song.
Make tea. Break bread.




photo from Guifford County Partnership for Children

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Burnt Tongue 19

*
I will be reading at this event on Saturday, February 25th. I am so excited and grateful to be invited to read at Burnt Tongue 19. Crush Bar here in Portland at 4:00. Some early for any hope of getting a seat.

I know what I'm reading but I don't know what I'm wearing.

And I finished editing the two pieces for the anthology today. And submitted them.

Writing is definitely going well right now. Which is good.

The WH continues the destruction of our country, and it was blatantly admitted that is the plan, well they said the structure - same thing. Continuing to keep up with what's happening and doing what I can and pushing my comfort zone in that area.



Sunday, February 12, 2017

The Issue of Privilege

... (spawned from a Facebook exchange and the news and.... )














FRIEND:   "One of the great achievements of free society in a stable democracy is that many people, for much of the time, need not think about politics at all. The president of a free country may dominate the news cycle many days — but he is not omnipresent — and because we live under the rule of law, we can afford to turn the news off at times. A free society means being free of those who rule over you — to do the things you care about, your passions, your pastimes, your loves — to exult in that blessed space where politics doesn’t intervene. In that sense, it seems to me, we already live in a country with markedly less freedom than we did a month ago."  [quote from Andrew Sullivan


ME:            I love that quote, too... And believe in it; we should take breaks from what is happening, and care for ourselves, our families, our communities, and do what we love and what restores us. And I also agree with something else in his article - "Here is what we are supposed to do: rebut every single lie. Insist moreover that each lie is retracted — and journalists in press conferences should back up their colleagues with repeated follow-ups if Spicer tries to duck the plain truth. Do not allow them to move on to another question. Interviews with the president himself should not leave a lie alone; the interviewer should press and press and press until the lie is conceded. The press must not be afraid of even calling the president a liar to his face if he persists."


ME:               And I also believe a person who assumes they can take just a break at any time has privilege; I'm not calling that wrong, I am saying that we should acknowledge that as a truth. I do not think it is hyperbole to say that some people are unable to take a break because their lives are directly threatened. If we acknowledge that some people have the privilege to be able to step back and take a break, and some others don't, POC for example, then perhaps we can use that knowledge to change the dynamics. If those of us who have the privilege to say I'm going to disconnect from the news and Facebook and anything political for a week would also be willing to help a neighbor or a friend or a local organization who is unable to step back, we can start to change that. Start a dialogue. For example: if a family has immigrant relatives (right now Syrian, Muslim, Hispanic are being targeted, I know you know) then they most likely cannot take a break from what is happening with ICE - that affects every minute of their lives right now. There is another upturn in violence and aggression against POC, many or most of them cannot just take a break from the news, from politics. There have been some recent events related to people with disabilities; those people and their communities are on watch; these times things are moving fast. For those of us in the LGBQTIA community are waiting for the promised destruction of rights we have recently been granted, and aggressions against that community have increased, as well. 

My point is: I believe we should acknowledge there is privilege in being able to just say, "I'm taking a break from anything political." And I believe we should look to our communities and see where there is/might be need of support for those who don't have that privilege, ask what we can do to help give them a breather or a break. I believe there is danger in ignoring that some people do not have the ability to take a break and I believe in the break.






Friday, February 3, 2017

Fatigue and Recovery

I noticed last night that everything I was writing, or starting to write or comment, about things I was seeing on Facebook related to the WH was sarcastic. Not funny, not humor, but pure sarcasm.
I know! Sarcasm can be good, but it isn’t always. What I was noticing was that defeated sarcastic. The what the fuck is the point, what the hell are they doing now, will do next feeling of uselessness and/or ineffectiveness.
So I stopped posting anything. Well, I stopped posting any of the news, and of the crying in my coffee stuff. I did find a few positive articles and stories and shared those. Those are good, too.
But my defeatism still existed.
It was still there when I got up today. So today I vowed to myself to keep (mostly) off of FB and the news for a little while. A few hours or probably until after the show tonight. Because I am feeling a rage exhaustion. We have been promised there is something coming about the Queer community. I want to be able to face that with my full rage, without exhaustion and without defeat. This all affects all of us and the people in our neighborhoods, country, the world, I know. I know. And all of that is personal. And this one will be extra special personal to me (see that note of not-funny sarcasm, still there; damn).
I want to take this one on full face frontal. Like I did when I made my call to Homeland Security today urging them to NOT confirm Bannon, who is not representative of the people and the values of the United States of America (that was probably the most nerve wracking call to a machine I’ve ever made).
But coming for the Queers is coming for me. I am already there for the other people who have been targeted and the outrage and the horrors being caused by the man who claimed the title. And this one is me and my direct community and if it is as bad as some have said, that it is as bad as the possibility of a person being thrown in jail/prison just for beeing queer – I want my full rage and power restored.
So I’m mostly avoiding the news for several hours.
This is where I am……
cartoon-owl-fatigue-alarm-clock-coffee-brown-owl-161655
a stressed, exhausted owl I found online (from weibo.com)
This is where I want to be before I jump back into the circle of action….
tim-roth-as-dr-cal-lightman-in-lie-to-me.jpg
Tim Roth as Dr Cal Lightman, in Lie to Me

And I just signed up for the #CorporealWriting offering "Writing About Class in America: A May Day Workshop " in April. Participants raved about the last session of this workshop and I'm glad it's being offered again. One star for me today. See? I am coming out from the funk. A few more hours and I'll be ready to jump back in. 

Thank you for keeping vigil while I regain my breath.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

One Breath at a Time

What a month. I did not intend to go a month without writing here. Weather. Holidays and family and friends. And more weather. Stuck away from home for a week. Then coordinating a wonderful team of interpreters for the local march last Saturday. Getting ready for an upcoming play this weekend and another one in two weeks.



Busy.


And distracted. And trying to distract myself from the distraction of the train wreck which became 'for reals' last Friday. I know it began before that, I know - don't think I'm that ignorant. And we can look back and back and back and see where it began and how it happened and so on.


But the officially recognized day the power ax wiped ink across pages and basic rights officially started being ripped away could be said to be Friday, January 20, 2017.


Yesterday, Monday, January 23, 2017, more pen slashing and reversals. Yesterday I said to a friend, "we'll be lucky if we survive day one." My friend reminded me that we've already survived day one - last Friday. And day two, Saturday and the Women's Marches. And day three, Sunday and we start into another week and watch as they carry out their burning as we sleep and wake and work.


My friend has started a countdown. We have so far survived five days. Meaning 1,456 days to go. Don't know if that's helpful or not - but there it is.


Today has been a hard day. I started reading the news before my day officially began and I need to not do that. Overwhelmed. Crying in the shower. Fighting back against hopeless as hard as I can. Kept my weekly writing date and got a little done on the story.


It's the story I started in the Fatalistic Fiction, Noir, and Dystopia class with Ariel Gore. Me! I'm writing a dystopian story. Not my usual, but that was my challenge to myself, To step out of the usual and write and do it new.


I can't live in hopeless. I can't breathe in hopeless. Today I will try to be easy on myself.

*   *   *

It is now a number of hours later.

My mood is darker. I am having intermittent problems focusing. I am enraged and I have to continue working.

The actions, the signatures, the blocks. This is crazy.

This is criminal.

This is the - I was going to say erosion of human rights, but erosion is slow (until the final crash?) - this is a word I won't even put here because it's not really that but it feels like that.

This is a huge stomp in the face and kick to the rights and

stomp
slash
kick

Hard day and it got worse.

I will make it through.

Wrote this morning. Dystopia.

Working tonight.

Trying to breathe. Trying to not go numb. Trying to not cry. Trying to keep aware/awake and not be divided not be crushed not fall under.

More.

For now - sending this out.

Breathing.