all this


When I used to blog back in 1999-2006 I could only ever write about the fun stuff, the silly stuff, the turn-everyday-boringness-into-a-funny-anecdote stuff. The sad stuff I kept to myself, mostly -- maybe I didn't want to bother people with it, maybe I was afraid of showing it to anyone -- don't really remember. Which was why I had to stop writing online pretty abruptly when my dad got cancer and died in 2007. I'd always had this suspicion that writing only lightheartedly might make me come across as a shallow person; but also knew there were people who read it for a bit of light relief, or something, so I didn't want to get all heavy on them suddenly. But when things really are all heavy, writing something whimsical without acknowledging the heaviness as well feels so wrong, and so I just stopped entirely.

I wrote again between 2009 and 2011, for a while. Then I stopped because of a smaller version of the same pattern, I guess: feeling like I could only be perceived as shallow, and because I had a very brief little fling with someone I'd had a friendship with (which was really a two-year-long flirtation, if I'm honest), and I over-reacted to his not wanting to continue it the same way that I did, messed up what was left of the friendship, and then from there, due to a tangle of other factors and frustrations it felt like my whole life and identity spiraled into this nothingness until I finally snapped myself out of it in 2015. All of which I regret: there were so many other people around who cared about me who I wish I'd spent more time with. But at the same time there were lessons learnt.

And now again I feel the same impulse not to write anything here, because everything is too sad and too much. Just before the virus kicked off properly in the western hemisphere my partner's mother died suddenly (not from the virus) on the other side of the planet; and now, immediately after that, here we are in viral chaos and the government is acting just as viciously and incompetently as expected. And I wonder what will happen. We could systemically use this illustration of our utterly broken structures to actually change them; but I'm afraid of believing that could happen. For now I will operate day by day, week to week, I guess. It's not like the immediate effects impact my life. I already work from home and hardly go out (I speculated last night on the phone to my sister that overall this situation may even increase my social contact because of remote interactions now being the default). My work is almost all online. (Though when the recession kicks in the general financial crashing will reach me eventually, I expect.) I've even got a companion living with me who also works from home. We're used to being in the house with each other all the time. We already buy 25kg bags of rice and oats and lentils. (We've only got a week's worth of toilet paper left though because we don't bulk-buy that, and we can't get any more at the moment, so stay tuned for updates on that situation.)

So I'm at about the lowest risk from it all that it's possible to be, compared to other people (apart from, like, really rich people, anyway). Trying to figure out how help other people without having to actually leave the house and become a potential disease vector, or interact with strangers on telephones (apparently this is a thing some people are doing, but it is not my strength at all, as I may have mentioned previously) but the only thing I came up with was giving money to the foodbank charity. So I did that thing. And now I will see what else happens, I suppose, and write some more solo viola music for self-isolating viola players.

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