Monday, September 21, 2020

Breathing and Writing in the Time of COVID and Fires and Hate-storms


I've been meaning to write something to put here. To not leave this hanging, seemingly unattended. It isn't. Or my writing isn't. As we navigate COVID-19 and fighting racial inequality, protests of Black Lives Matter and other anti-racists, as we learn and grow and - hopefully - change for the better, better good of all. I hope that we will remember and retain the lessons and the changes. I hope. I hope. I hope.

And I write.

And theatre is seeping in from the edges. Trying new platforms and approaches and new scripts. How to incorporate access. We learn and we try and we try better next time and next.

And I write.

And the government is such a mess. I cannot believe the overt rise of hatred and discrimination, which feels like they are thrusting us back 70 years, 80 years, maybe more. This is intolerable. 

There is so much at stake right now.

The recent death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. So much at stake. There should not be a new appointment until after the election. That is what they - the Republicans (I'll stick with that politer, public word, for here) - said when it was in an election year and Obama had the opportunity to appoint a new judge. But they barely waited for her body to be still before they (Republic....) jumped into their rhetoric and intent to streamline her replacement.

Hateful - they are very hateful and promoting racism and sexism and all the isms. And they are selfish and only out for their own.

This is why I have not written here. I am writing. A lot, still. Keeping in some workshops. Playing with new forms - which includes Comics. I am playing in online workshops where we get an hour with different Comic Artists and learn their approach and play with visual storytelling. It is a lot of fun.

We had some terrible wildfires here in Oregon; some are still burning, but containment is in process. A couple of weeks ago a few large fires billowed smoke and ash far; sometimes the entire state was under such a heavy blanket of smoke that we could barely see the sun as an orange or red small orb of light somewhere up high. The air was literally thick with smoke and ash and, amidst COVID-19 when the outdoors was supposed to be better in terms of decreasing the spread of virus, we were forced to stay indoors due to problems and potential damage of breathing the outdoors air heavy with smoke particles and ash. For about ten days, we were hovering in the Unhealthy to Hazardous Air Quality.

I write. I cry. I write. I work (part-time, I'm lucky I still get to work). I am having conversations about theatre and I got to interpret a script reading week before last, on Zoom, it was fun, it was so good to get my brain and hands on theatre again. I read about anti-racism and I engage in self-assessment and growth. I have a small cohort of close friends who rely on each other for information, news, support, confirmation that we are doing right by masks/distancing/washing/minimizing contact with others, and so on; it helps (and my "quarantine bubble" is still just my partner and me and one friend who has been in that bubble from the beginning). I write. I draw. I write.

And now I am going to retreat into my quiet, watching, witnessing, mode. Into my writing and experimenting with words mode. Because, yes, I am in another workshop. And it is going well.

Be safe. Wear your masks when around others. Wash your hands often and well. Social distance. Don't hate on people Think of others, not just yourself. VOTE in 2020 and, please, vote out the mess we have right now because if we don't, the mess will be unbearable. It is going to be a mess and a struggle either way until things get sorted out - I am 100% sure the transition will not be easy. But if we have any change of righting the wrongs and getting on a better track, we must replace the selfish, egotistical, power gluttons in the Administration.