I’m blocked, somehow; it’s Monday morning and I have a lot of shit to do, and my brain isn’t responding to any of the usual tricks. So I’m writing this early — and I suspect I’ll continue to come back to it throughout the day — as a way of tricking myself into writing something in case that teaches me my lesson. I hate mornings like this, where the deadlines are hanging over my head, and I’m just “Come on brain, work, dammit” and things don’t come into play. And yet.
Here’s a drawing I did this weekend, based on a misunderstanding. Seeing as it’ll never get used for the purpose I thought it was intended for, I’m sharing it here. Took about 15 minutes, all told, because that’s all I had.
(So much white space at the bottom! Ah well.)
That trick worked; I wrote the above eight hours ago, and then wrote all the other things I had to between now and then. (I also made and ate both breakfast and lunch, as well as visited a neighbor’s house to let their dog out the back while they were at work, visited another neighbor to lend them a vacuum, and other assorted business, but that’s neither here nor there.) Now it’s the end of the day, and my mood has shifted from exhaustion at the day ahead to some kind of mix of relief that I got through the work part okay, and uncertainty about what I’m going to be doing this evening.
This was a strange weekend, which is adding to my unsettled mindset. Thanks to other people’s schedules, we ended up having to clear our basement of everything in two days, which sounds easy until you start realizing quite how much stuff is actually in a basement. I spend all of Saturday and all of Sunday (with the exception of meals) moving furniture, packing up shelves of things (tools, pottery equipment, gardening equipment, painting equipment, and so on), and just generally lifting things, which had the dual effect of literally exhausting my body — I was so achy afterwards that, Sunday morning, I honestly woke up because my body ached so much that turning over in my sleep provoked a sharp enough pain to stir me — and ruining a pair of pants, because I literally tore a hole in the ass as I bent down to lift something up.
What it didn’t do, though, was give me the mindspace to recover from the previous week. And worse, the meals for the weekend, with the exception of Saturday’s breakfast, were all socializing events. (Well, I didn’t have lunch either day, but that’s no surprise for me.) I was, in effect, “on” the entire time, and the cumulative effect of that was to leave me, this morning, just entirely done and wanting a day to myself, to let my brain drain of everything I’d just gone through and then fill back up with energy and ideas to face the week ahead.
I didn’t get that, of course. But maybe next weekend.
As I’m typing, there’s a Donald Trump rally going on where he apparently talked about the need to “close up” the Internet because it’s turning people against “us.” Quite who the “us” is in that statement isn’t clear to me — Trump supporters? Americans? Trump, I’m sure, would see no difference between the two, and neither would his supporters, which is but one of the problems with that whole thing.
(I am, I realized when the Scottish Independence debate was happening last year, astonishingly suspicious of patriotism; I can’t look at it without seeing the stirrings of xenophobia in there, even to a tiny degree. Patriotism relies on the “Them and Us” concept as much as any bigotry, after all, and that kind of thinking is always difficult for me to come to terms with. Ever since the General Election in the UK where the SNP swept into power in Scotland, I’ve felt far more removed from the country and the national identity than ever before. I literally feel pushed out, somehow.)
The notion of “closing off” the Internet in general is fascinating, however; for all its (many) flaws, the one thing that people have held close to their/our hearts about the Internet as The Great Hope is that it can and does democratize media and conversation — all those online have a voice, as much as that can seem horrible, overwhelming or frustrating at different times. “Closing off” the Internet, then, feels like a specifically anti-Internet idea, something that betrays the thing that we all believed in to some degree.
The more Trump says ridiculous, unbelievable, nasty things — today, he also said that all Muslims should be barred from the US, for the love of God — the more I think to myself, surely, surely this is the thing that will make people realize that it’s all gone too far and his support will fall apart. But, no, just the opposite happens: people rally around him and somehow, he continues to… well, be Donald Trump. It’s surreal, depressing and something that makes you want to drop out of paying attention to this kind of thing, except that to do so surrenders the world to those who support Trump in the first place.
All I can say is that I want common sense to win in the end, but let’s be honest; it’s politics. What is the likelihood of that happening, realistically?
And so, I’m going to try and get back into the swing of doing these Monday evenings again, every week. Between Thanksgiving planning and workloads and trying to write ahead on the Wait, What? Advent Calendar (Patreon supporters know of which I speak, because it’s for them alone), I’ve felt too scattered in the last few weeks to get it done, but I’ll try harder in future.
I’ll try harder to be kinder to myself, as well, and find some mental space to recharge and renew. It’s the holiday season, after all. We’re all supposed to be kind, right now.