let humanity win

It’s day eight, and the scope of this thing is starting to hit me. I’m having a hard time putting this feeling into words. It is indescribable what I feel right now. I don’t always allow it to overwhelm me, I’m fairly good about taking the horror folding it up and putting it in a box, but sometimes it does.

It’s Dr. Fauci predicting 100,000 dead. It’s the idea that everyone will know at least one person that dies. Maybe not directly, but there will be deaths in every circle. We as a nation are not good at self reflection, and therefore we are pretty shitty at mourning things, so afterwards none of us are going to know what to do.

I have three speeds right now. One: I try to make light, I try to pretend that I’ve just been given a residency at my house, where I can make work and live very simply for a little while. Two: Nothing matters might as well have fun. Three: I’m scared, I’m so extraordinary terrified I hold my breath as I pick up my phone every morning, checking the news.

I think this kind of threat has ripped me open, knowing that a virus does not discriminate, it does not care how kind you are or how much good you’ve done in the world. So it’s going to take people who are beloved. It rips me open because I’m thinking about the people who are my circle, whether inner or outer, and how much I love them.

On occasion the overwhelming feeling is of love instead of despair, I am thinking about my circle and I love them so much it is overwhelming. So stay well my friends. I love you. Let humanity win this one.

jumbled mess

It’s day seven, things are looking pretty bleak as far as how long we’re going to be quarantined. There’s not much I have to say, I’m still creating. It feels different now, it’s turned, it’s huge, and to try to think of the scope of what’s happening right now I immediately start crying. So I don’t I stay inside my little bubble (literally this time)

I’m tired of reflection though, I did so much of that the two months in the summer when I was very sick. I want to be doing things. I’m frustrated as we all are, but I’d like things to settle down into the jumbled mess our government was before. We really can’t handle any more being thrown at us, I don’t want to be numb to the numbers but I am. I’m also accepting that this might be it for me or someone I love. There’s so much that we’ve got to think about.

I’m trying to keep up a good attitude, I’m hoping that something good comes out of this thing, maybe universal healthcare, maybe people realizing why unions are a really really good thing.

I have a cough and a low fever, obviously I’m monitoring it and if it gets any worse I’ll get checked, I called and they aren’t even testing people who aren’t really sick. So I’m in my room, spending as little time as possible with my folks.

So it’s a bummer, this thing is going to define our lifetimes. I feel connected to people though, both my loved ones and strangers. Everyone is together on this one.

stay well
bri

hold your breath day

It’s day six and it feels different out there, I feel like we are collectively holding our breath for the hammer to really come down. It’s coming, and it’s horrifying. Sometimes I find myself apathetic, knowing the world is going to end is a millennial thing, that’s why all of our humor is nihilistic. Other times, when I really open my heart and feel as much of this as I can (which is only a fraction of it) I wonder if all of my friends are going to be okay, if my family is going to be okay, if I’m going to be okay. Hell, I’m even wondering if my country is going to be okay.

It feels like a horrifying calm before the storm, because we have massive numbers, but it’s not even close to really starting, and that’s really scary to me. It’s hard to think about anything else because it’s so huge.

I miss human touch, it’s strange having none, no tap on your shoulder to get your attention, no brushing arms when you walk past a person the small things. Since I’m still within the 14 days of stopping work, where there was a high risk I have come in contact with the disease.

Humans, specifically my friends because those are the people I see, are killing it though. Like we are all fucking terrified but we’re coming together. I am actively rolling my eyes at the fact that a plague was the thing that took us there. I feel like there’s so much collective trauma in the United States that it really could have been anything to stop us from most of the vitriol.

I’ve seen such generosity and understanding. I’m lucky to be able to stay in touch on the phone every day with the people I love. I’m lucky this time is giving me time to make work, if I’m going out I might as well go out a little prolific.

Frankly Day Six was a hold your breath day, and I’m not sure how many more hold your breath day’s we have left. For now though, all we’ve got is a good head on our shoulders (even if you don’t usually lets try really hard), and each other.

I hate to say that today was nothing to what’s coming, but it is. I’m scared, I’m stir crazy, I find myself thinking wild thoughts like I wish this were an avalanche instead of a snail on benzos.

Remember to love each other, call each other frequently, do what you can for human contact. This is going to change our behavior forever, be kind to yourself and others it’s a confusing time and we’re all learning to adjust. We’re all angry and anxious, that does not mean we don’t have to be kind.

I write the words up there more for me than for you, I suppose if you like them you can take them, but I like it there in black and white.

I have some faith in humanity, I have no faith in our government (I don’t even think a competent person would have been able to handle this), and I have faith in my friends.

love you,
bri

not with a bang

Day five, and I can’t help but think that maybe, drama queens as we are, overestimated the apocalypse. It’s possible that T.S. Elliot saw the whimper way before any of those multi-million dollar movies that expected the bang. Maybe it’s just apathy. We’re so apathetic that we just let it happen. I see people fighting back, which is beautiful, I see people giving hope in these incredibly trying times (I’ve watched the video of Jodie Whittaker as the Doctor more times than I care to admit), I see people trying to organize and help.

I also see so many people ignoring the science, going out in crowds when it’s so obvious that that is not safe. I see people call this a hoax. I see our government failing. Isn’t that the behavior we expected, both the best and the worst of humanity. That’s what we’re seeing now.

Now I’m not saying that this is the end, I’m not delusional, nor with I’m saying it’s going to feel more and more like this if drastic change doesn’t happen. I’m saying that we may have drastically overestimated what it’s going to feel like until those last few years. We need to change some shit.

I walk every day, alone with a mask, very far from people. I now have a little cough, I’m not out of my two weeks quarantine from working, so I’m being a little extra cautious. I’m staying away from my folks, wearing a mask in common areas. I’m walking at times when there is no one out. I need the fresh air though. I think it’s just a cold or allergies, because of course now, probably for years to come every little cough cold is going to be cause for some panic.

So keep staying safe. I love you. I need you here, so listen to the scientists.

And listen to the Doctor, she’s probably the only one who loves humanity more than we do.

“Be kind, even kinder than you were yesterday, and I know you were super kind yesterday. Look out for each other, you won’t be the only one worried. Talking will help. Sharing will help. Look out for your friends, your neighbors, people you hardly know, and family. In the end, we’re all family.”

do not go back to normal yet

Day four, and it seems as if people are already trying to get back to normal. There are more cars on the road, usually I walk in an isolated time and there were a lot of people on the streets. It’s mask time. I’m not really willing to mess around with this thing, I’ve learned to like my life and being here this year and I’m not going to let someone sneeze me out of existence. I worked hard for that attachment. I want a sign that says stay six feet away from me. I’m going to start wearing a plague doctor mask and maybe that’ll keep ‘em away.

What I’ve noticed about Americans is we do not like civil (or otherwise) disobedience. We suck at striking, we do not support our black brothers and sisters when they need us most. There is a line that runs through the gay community, AIDS, even if you are a queer woman we remember the government forgetting our people. It feels like that, except it’s like 50% malice and 50% incompetence instead of 90/10.

I’m trying to look at the bright side here, I’ve been making work, I’ve been in contact with people I haven’t really spoken to in a while. I’m encouraging connection, today I went photographing while on the phone with Craig, we did something together without having to be in the same place. I speak on the phone once a week with my rotation (if you’d like to be added I’ll be taking a lot more walks, although if they continue to get busier it’s going to be too early in the morning for phone calls). I’ve been writing a lot, planning my watercolor/poetry book. Hoping to whittle down some choices of poems first.

Maybe it’s I’m good in a crisis, maybe I think that having all of us shut down for a few weeks is a good thing. Get back to basics, find out what you really want to do. Notice that nothing really matters so go have some fun. Right now, just not so close to anyone. We’re going to come out of this a flighty traumatized world, much like gun violence has traumatized our nation.

We have to keep reaching out, it’s lonely behind these screens, it’s scary out there, and no one really knows what’s going to happen.

Much love, stay safe, be kind
-Bri

relative calm

Day three, as if I’m really observing anything. I am realizing that as a race we are not very sharp and it scares me. The people not taking this seriously are going to cause more deaths.

Someone pointed out I was keeping it pretty positive on the social media as of late. I’m good in a crisis, I’m actually excellent in a crisis. All that anxious energy has somewhere to go so I’m pretty calm. Don’t get me wrong I’m absolutely terrified, but I’m calm. My therapist calls it a trauma response, hey at least it did something helpful right?

I feel pretty connected to people, it’s nice that despite the huge amount of awfulness there’s an awful lot of good going around too. A lot of love. Something has to make up for the lack of love growing above us. I think we were all waiting for a good excuse to make that phone call. We all have someone who’s always in our back pocket to think about.

I’m not sure if it’s the lack of work or the relative calm, but I’m making stuff. It’s nice. I’m photographing (although I’m really having the hardest time with the ipad). There are quite a few things I need to work on during this time. Why not though? We’re stuck here, we have very little human contact and when we do it’s rarely physical. We can reflect a bit on ourselves. I know I’ve been meaning to make some changes for a long time, and I haven’t and I’ve made excuses, time being the biggest one.

We all have a lot of time though, or at least we should. I shouldn’t have to say this but follow what the doctors are saying, and wash your fucking hands.

come out kinder

It’s day two for me, I’m not sure if I’m writing this as some sort of memory for me to look back on and wonder what the hell happened. Or if I’m attempting to put my own spin on history. Maybe someone will find this. Hopefully it’s dreadfully boring.

I’m usually very good at being alone, but the forced separation is different. I’m not sure when the next time I’ll be able to hug my best friend, or venture into the city for an adventure led by Diners. Touch is a sensation that is hard to fake. We rely so heavily on it to give us clues to what the other person is feeling, we rely on it for comfort.

There are ways I’m seeing people reaching out it’s pretty beautiful. Live concerts, little projects, music, dance. I fear (outside of the virus) for those of us with mental health problems, it’s going to be really easy to get looked over during this impossible time. Don’t let your friends go quiet.

I hope whoever reads this, even if it’s just me, will see the small turns in humanity happening right now and be able to trace them forward to a kinder world. We desperately need a kinder world, one that takes the pain from the past, learns from it, and then puts that knowledge into action.

I’m not an incredibly hopeful person, I tend to lean towards believing the worst case scenario, maybe so I can be surprised when something goes well. I think we are paying an awful price right now, one that probably could have been prevented on Matty levels. That debt does not come from those of us who work everyday jobs, it’s one accrued by some fairly awful people. It’s going to be us that pays it though.

I do think that we are going to come out kinder from this, at least I can squeeze the tiny bit of hope that I’ve got left and hope that we come out kinder. We are faced with an impossible, terrifying, and deadly situation. One that doesn’t have a stop date. One that does not discriminate.

The least we can do is come out kinder. I’m scared, but I will not panic.

quarantine?

Everything is just not quite right, I think we’ve been feeling this for a while, but for me it really hit home today. I was walking around my block and there was no one. Not a soul. We’ve been joking since the beginning of the Trump presidency we’re in a different timeline, but it now appears we are in some sort of worse pocket timeline. All of those nightmares seem to be happening at once.

I am not usually a panicked when it comes to the big stuff (tell me to make a phone call and I’m shaking in my boots), but this panics me. I do not think that the response was as aggressive or swift as it should have been and I think we are going to take great losses as a society and as individuals.

We’re coming together, none of us are familiar with this feeling, hurricane’s have ends, tornadoes have ends, we don’t know when this will end. So we’re supporting the artists and we’re singing songs, and we’re starting to take it seriously which is the most important thing.

I’m no epidemiologist nor am I a scientist of any type, but I am somewhat of a feelings expert as mine are large and there are many of them. This time is going to cause trauma, be gentle with each other. This time is going to test relationships, know we are all trying our best.

We are going to come out of this a changed country for better or worse, how we handle the treatment of each other is going to be much more important than how the government is handling it, which is poorly. We’ve got to come up with ways to stay connected, to keep that six foot gap but let it be fun. Watch a movie “together”. Use all this technology to help connect with each other. This is going to be a long one, it’s going to be a scary one, and we’re all going to have to agree early on that we’re going to weather this together. Make sure you’re reaching out to the vulnerable in your community, the elderly, the sick, the mentally ill. Check on that person that’s been a little too quiet in the group chats.

Anyway, I have what I would say are two pillar millennial feelings on this, nothing matters, and I’m too terrified to leave my house. We are an nihilistic bunch.

anyway, stay safe.
lets say it all together now
wash your fucking hands

broken candles

sometimes i think i wrote
my whole story that week
christmas time
you know around the it tome NCIS was popular
broken candles thrown out in the trash can
and then taken back out, in a daze
i think i may have told my whole story there
ups and downs
and strange turns
which were both wonderful and terrifying
that day wrote my twenties
beautiful words have
been written in that ink
that ink is valuable
but you know now it’s also something
that’s just yours
i wrote my whole story that day