When we are overwhelmed it is a moment when we need our own love, kindness and compassion the most. — Matt Kahn
Last week I finally surfaced after a three week bought with the dread virus and a secondary infection that was worse than the virus itself. I came back to myself to a world that seems, in some ways, like it was created by David Lynch.
Yet for myself and my family, there is a peace that has settled over our lives. Now that we’re all healthy again, there is more time to absorb what’s going on in the world around us. At the same time, we are deliberately turning off our machines, making time for each other, sharing experiences and appreciating where we are and the natural world (and beautiful weather) around us.
As my healing took real root we began watching the extended Lord of the Rings trilogy, interspersing each disc with a few episodes of the Two Fat Ladies cooking show. We are reveling in comfort food media.
I feel more whole now than I have in ages. I’m taking stock of the work I’m doing, both paid and unpaid, and seeing what fits, what still works, what processes are valuable.
I’m pleased to discover that all the things I was doing before that felt so laborious and cumbersome are things that I still believe are worth doing. There’s nothing wrong with the schedule I was keeping, only my approach to it. My task now is to start doing them all again and remember why I’m doing them. When they feel burdensome again, remember to take a pause. After all, with the exception of my day job work, nothing I do is required. It’s all for myself, and those few of you who find what I do valuable in some way.
I do not wish to say it took a pandemic for me to make these realizations, for I’ve had similar revelatory experiences before. It’s a cycle I go through once in a while. This time it was my own illness that triggered it. The only difference is when I came out the other side they whole world had slowed down enough that I didn’t feel the pressure to go go go as soon as I was on my feet.
Which brings me back around to the title of this piece, pulled from one of my evergreen pieces of wisdom, Desiderata. I’ll note quote the whole thing here, but will link to it instead and humbly suggest you go read it and perhaps keep it nearby as this crisis unfolds. May it give you similar comfort as it does for me.
GO PLACIDLY amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons…
Find Yourself A Hobby - A generator to help you find something new to do with all the new-found time on your hands.
A good programmer is someone who always looks both ways before crossing a one-way street. — Doug Linder
We Gathered at Wakerobin Hollow - A four hour, forty song cycle, being released in nine Chapters every two months from August 2018-December 2019.
Making things in 2020 feels like a game of taking up space rather than making good work. Perhaps it’s always been this way. — Frank Chimero
OpenStreetMap Haiku - “Looking at every aspect of the surroundings of a point, we can generate a poem about any place in the world. The result is sometimes fun, often weird, most of the time pretty terrible. Also probably horrifying for haiku purists (sorry).”
I am sick. But I won’t be sick forever. This too will pass, and I’ll be left with just the usual medical issues and hitches and scars and aches and pains that come from having survived on this weird little rock for half a century. But, not only is it better than the alternative, but in between all the bad points and the agonies and horrors, there has been more than enough joy to make a footnote out of all the pain, and there will continue to be joy. I wouldn’t have missed it for the world, and, no matter what today and tomorrow look like, one day you will feel the same way. Hold on tight. Joy is always on the way back. — Warren Ellis
“There isn’t any one instance in which dwarves first sounded like dwarves or orcs first sounded like orcs, and given the breadth and imagination of modern fantasy, it’s not inconceivable that our accepted versions of fantasy dialect will come to change in the near future. For the time being, the accents we take for granted in our fantasy stories are here to stay, still informed, like almost all of the genre, by Tolkien’s influence.”
“There’s a huge weight bias against people with obesity,” she said. “They’re judged as lazy and self-indulgent. That’s really not the case. If our research is correct, you need to eat even less and exercise even more” just to be same weight as your parents were at your age.
“When I join the call, I come in midway through an excited conversation about garlic presses. Ben Dewey, the cinematographer, is wearing a sweatshirt that reads “BREAD.” Cory Cavin, the video’s director, sips from a green glass bottle of celery soda. Tuna, Baz’s dachshund, makes a cameo. The test-kitchen folks have apparently become delightful parodies of themselves in isolation.”
Currently Reading: While I was ill, I read “Record of a Spaceborn Few” by Becky Chambers. Her work is comfort food to me and this book in particular reflected my current thoughts on the Carrier Bag Theory of Fiction by Ursula K. Le Guin
I also finished Chambers’ “To Be Taught, If Fortunate” which had a similar vibe on a smaller scale, both in cast and length.
I’m now reading “The Mirror Empire” by Kameron Hurley because I have a current craving for epic fantasy.
Currently Listening: I’m not sure how it happened, but “1000 gecs” by 100 gecs has suddenly found me and gone into high rotation. If anyone can explain why I’m digging this, please let me know. I’m baffled.
Currently Working On: Relaxing and bringing all my side projects back into the flow one by one and with deliberate intention.