I feel like half of my life is cooking while listening to podcasts. I took that, ‘the nutrition children receive in the first 3 years is vital to future eating patterns’ thing *really* seriously (aside from Christmas cookies). But also, it’s methodical… I’m making something, my hands and brain are occupied (note to self: make 2017 the year I finally learn how to knit), and it generally leaves no crack for the din to seep in.
*A note on coping tools: For me this little series is a way to catalog what helps and what works, because when anxiety inevitably blooms after reading the news, it can be extremely easy to forget and to actively despair. (This happened the other night when I found myself researching how to build a fallout shelter until 2 a.m. On the plus side I learned a bit about trenching.)
Some of these coping tools available to me are obviously rooted in class privilege, as in, I have child care part-time, which means 1) I can afford child care and 2) having it sometimes allows me to create pockets of time in which to partake in the activities that help keep me sound. I recognize that many, many people do not have these sorts of options and resources.
For friends I see struggling now, especially those in targeted communities and the survivors (who are constantly triggered by the president elect) please stay sound, or as sound as you can. Identify who and what helps you, supports you, encounters you mutually and reciprocally, and keep them all so close.
As I grew up, Atari turned into Nintendo turned into computers and Xbox and tabletop gaming remained. There are video game worlds and series that are very special to me; I should always have a t-shirt on that says: “I’d rather be in Tamriel,” because it’s always, always true. Though I no longer have the time to keep up with any video games as a player, I’m always paying attention to what is happening because so much vital social critique and mirroring, as well as progressive art, is happening in gaming. All the hub bub about Grand Theft Auto? Those games are pretty brilliant satirical send ups of our culture–a harsh but true mirror by masterful game developers that outrage people who never play or understand them, which is great marketing.
As an introvert and person with severe social anxiety, I can attest that Pokémon GO is a pretty warming experience. Though I’ve uninstalled the game, I played long enough to understand it and have the game play experience and be informed. Indeed, there are far more stories about people with ASD or mental illness interacting in ways that they have not been able to for sometimes years, than there are about pedophiles and muggings. Last week when I was feeling ‘meh’ and stressed, I found myself with 30 minutes to kill and parked and walked a few miles around a heavily Pokestop-populated downtown area, where I saw a lot of people seemingly like me who enjoy being among people for a spell, but not necessarily interacting, having a sense of community and happy, shared experience. I saw a 65-year-old woman comparing Pokédex with a 20-year-old man, and an older man in a wheelchair being pushed by a young woman–he was navigating, telling her where they needed to go next.
notes for a poem, and all the feathers i’ve found at my feet within the last month.
a clutch of thick / lilac at the entrance, woven / silver bowl, stone / fruits. water poured runs / it through. two / webbed coals glow. / from them: sturdy white / hyacinths. a breath in; / call back your own iron / fillings. an exhale mutates / them: gems drop piling. / ribbons wind back the spine’s / spool. all walls anointed hyssop, myrrh.