anxiety: a public memoir

*TRIGGER WARNING*

Coronavirus, Racism and Injustice: No One Is Coming to Save Us, the fact that a boot is crushing the neck of American democracy, the fact that protests can function as cop fundraisers, bailout funds, the fact that bailout funds are vitally important, paradox, the fact that critiquing the violence of these protests ignores the violence of police brutality, of American military imperialism, of the 'successful' riots of 1968, How to Be an Antiracist: Ibram X. Kendi on Why We Need to Fight Racism the Way We Fight Cancer, How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X Kendi, Fighting Racism Even, and Especially, Where We Don’t Realize It Exists, An Essential Reading Guide For Fighting Racism, read read read, educate educate educate, radical change? how? where? radical self-reflection and critique? accountability? interpersonal community building and conflict resolution?, race war, civil war, the fact that non-violent protests got us to where we are today, a caste system in India and a racist president in the United States, Even with a Harvard pedigree, caste follows ‘like a shadow’, Wherever Suraj Goes, His Caste Follows, Climate change: I work in the environmental movement. I don’t care if you recycle., Dear White People, This is What We Want You to Do – Inside The Kandi Dish, “I want you to remember George Floyd when you vote in November,” Joe Biden, Van Jones: It's not the white racists we have to worry about, “CNN's Van Jones says that the black community is tired of hearing empty promises of change and that they should be more worried about 'the White Liberal Hillary Clinton supporter' than a white racist,”, “throughout the Weimar era the Communist Party of Germany (KPD) regarded the centre-left Social Democratic Party (SPD) as its main adversary; the KPD considered the SPD to be 'social fascists' based on a theory proclaimed by Stalin and supported by the Comintern in the early 1930s, according to which social democracy was a variant of fascism, and even more dangerous and insidious than open fascism,” Antifa (Germany) – Wikipedia, the fact that Van Jones was the commencement speaker at my graduation, “pessimism of the intellect, optimism of the will,” On Black Pessimism and George Floyd, “the black conspiracist’s imagination is a perfectly refined pessimism, one that offends liberal hopes for social progress,” Pope: Pull Together, Avoid Pessimism in This Coronavirus Era, George Floyd protests: America is at a 'turning point', philosopher Cornel West says, “When will it end? When will the tipping point come and the script change? Mothers in Atlanta will advise against holding your breath,” “We are witnessing America as a failed social experiment” – Dr. Cornel West

the fact that i think depression can be (problematically) portrayed/perceived as cool and edgy, the fact that its not cool and edgy, the fact that it sucks, the fact that anxiety is often portrayed/perceived as awkward, uncool, paranoid, the fact that lame is ableist language, ‘Lame,’ ‘stand up’ and other words we use to insult the disabled without even knowing it, the fact that accepting and inclusive spaces can also be kind of like not fun like not cool in a way, the fact that 'cool' or hip spaces can be so shity and just like empty, the fact that i'm not sure how to balance this, the fact that i went to this halloween party in palo alto last year (2019) and there was a chill (?) room upstairs (that wasn't what it was called, i forget, a quiet room maybe) for people to go and relax and hang if they were feeling overwhelmed, the fact that every party should have that, the fact that World of Warcraft is real life, the fact that I used to play it for hours as a teenager and just dissociate from the physical world and my physical needs, the fact that my parents used to say it was a waste of time, the grind, leveling up, the creation of meaning for the pursuit of substanceless goals, dissociation from the real world, Why is organizing so common and fun in video games?, the fact that ann cvetkovich talks about anxiety-induced depression but i think i have depression-induced anxiety, the fact that i'm constantly doing things which prevents me from feeling empty and lost, the fact that bird noises keep me from sleeping, insomnia, the fact that i wonder if birds have to worry about blue light as well, that environmental psychology article that Randy sent me, the app f.lux, Pastoral Living in Stardew Valley: Mesmerized by an Online Game, Depressed and Anxious? These Video Games Want to Help, For the Uninitiated and Bored, an Introduction to the World of Gaming, Chill out: a new wave of relaxing video games shows there's more to them than violence, And relax … the joy of video games where you do almost nothing, How to re-discover video games as a bored grownup, Love bytes: how a video game is preparing my boyfriend and me for living together, This Dreams remake of the Stardew Valley town is beautiful, the fact that I grew up on pixel art, the fact that I think that Stardew Valley represents a white idealized return to the land that is absent of history, erasure, excoticized forest spirituality and white small-town community, virtual reality, video games, the fact that the economic system of Stardew Valley is capitalism but housing is a right, the fact that prices are stable, lack of complexity, In Over Our Heads, the fact that Stardew Valley is more a critique of workaholism and complexity than it is capitalism or anything else, Office Space’s Neoliberal Workplace Has Only Gotten Worse, When Capitalists Build Too Much, Back-to-the-land movement – Wikipedia, Back to the land: are young farmers the new starving artists?, A growing number of young Americans are leaving desk jobs to farm, The Rise of the Rural Millennial,

the fact that the eight-hour day movement had its own song:

We mean to make things over; we're tired of toil for naught but bare enough to live on: never an hour for thought.

We want to feel the sunshine; we want to smell the flowers; We're sure that God has willed it, and we mean to have eight hours.

We're summoning our forces from shipyard, shop and mill: Eight hours for work, eight hours for rest, eight hours for what we will!

live work play, ♫ “Where Do the Children Play?” ♫, the fact that the best part about college was communal play, and the fact that my community existed (even thrived) without dependence on technology or travel, major cities, smaller cities, the fact that rural areas feel like a retreat or isolation, the fact that i'm not sure where the fuck one can play nowadays, 8 hours for work, 8 hours for life, 8 hours for play, the fact that i wonder how long it takes to do each thing, the fact that i began this process by searching for “how long are you supposed to brush your teeth” at 6:28pm, the fact that it is now 7:50pm, the fact that communal living can reduce the amount of time spent on daily chores and life maintenance activities (the “live” of live, work, play),

activity low average (hours high average (hours)
sleep 7 9
cooking & cleaning 2 3
exercise 0.5 0.5
meditate 10/60 20/60
answer emails
shower 5/60 10/60
brush teeth 4/60 4/60
pee 2/60 3/60
poop 4.3/60 0.5
wash hands 3.22/60 5/60
buy groceries 10/60 20/60
laundry 4/60 4/60
commute 0.25 0.5
cleaning 10/60 29/60
total “live” 9.75 13.5
work (weekend) 5.4 5.4
work (weekday 8.5 8.5
total “live” + work (weekend) 15.15 18.9
total “live” + work (weekday) 18.25 22
time left (weekend) 8.85 5.1
time left (weekday) 5.75 2

work (34.4 per week, / 7 = 4.91; average hours per day worked on weekdays = 8.5, average hours per day worked on weekend =5.4 hours), What is the Average Hours Per Week Worked in the US?, Average hours employed people spent working on days worked by day of week, A brief history of the 8-hour workday, which changed how Americans work, The U.S. is the Most Overworked Developed Nation in the World, New Report Confirms Just How Shitty US Workers Have It, sleep (7-9 hours), How much sleep do we really need?, cook and clean and eat, 2-3 hours, Guess How Much Time You Spend Eating on an Average Day, Americans Cook the Least, Eat the Fastest, Americans Spend an Average of 37 Minutes a Day Preparing and Serving Food and Cleaning Up, Number of hours spent cooking per week among consumers worldwide as of June 2014, by country, How Much Time Do Americans Spend on Food?, exercise, 30 minutes a day, How much should the average adult exercise every day?, How much exercise do you need?, meditate (10-20 minutes a day), How Long Should I Meditate?, How long should I meditate each day?, answer emails, 1 hour (conservative estimate), The cost of email interruption, U.S. Employees Spend 209 Minutes a Day on Work Emails, Data Shows, You spend 5 hours per day looking at your emails, How to Spend Way Less Time on Email Every Day, Here’s how many hours American workers spend on email each day, How much time are you spending on email?, getting dressed for exercise, shower, (5 minutes, once, every other day, or 10 minutes, once a day), the fact that i definitely have been known to taking showers longer than 10 minutes but we wouldn't want people thinking i waste water, How Often Should You Shower?, You Don't Have to Shower Every Day, Dermatologists Say, Showering daily — is it necessary?, brush teeth, 4 min (2 min, twice a day, morning and night), use the bathroom, pee (6-8 times per day, 20 seconds each, 2-3 minutes), Quiz: Is My Pee Normal? Test Your Urine Knowledge, How long does it take to pee? Harvard's Ig Nobel Prize honours the year in wacky research, poop (3-21 times per week / 7 = .43-3 times a day, 5 minutes a poop, 5 minutes a wipe = 4.3-30 minutes per day), the fact that “the average mammal — regardless of size — takes just 12 seconds to poop,” the fact that i really doubt that #, the fact that some people must have rocket poops, the fact i'd like to live a little geez, the fact that 12 seconds per poop is textbook rushing life, savor the small moments, The 'Three and Three' Rule of Pooping Tells You If You're Normal or Not, Here’s How Long It Should Really Take You to Poop, The Healthiest Way to Wipe Your Butt, wash hands (30 seconds x (6.43-11) = 3.22-5 minutes ), Show Me the Science – How to Wash Your Hands, buy groceries 10-20 minutes (60-130 hours a year, divided by 365), go to the grocery store, go home from the grocery store, put away the groceries, 7 Facts about Grocery Shopping that Might Shock You, 3 Grocery Shopping Habits That Are Costing Everyone Time and Money, Grocery Shopping Statistics: 23 Fun Size Facts to Know, How much time do you really spend grocery shopping?, The Average Worker Spends 51 Percent of Each Workday on These 3 Unnecessary Tasks, do laundry (4-17 minutes per day), How Much Time Do You Spend Doing Laundry?, By The Numbers: How Much Time We Spend Doing The Laundry, HOW MUCH TIME DO YOU SPEND DOING LAUNDRY?, How Long Does It Take To Do Laundry? (Complete Guide), Charts by Topic: Household activities, How the World Does Laundry, get dressed for the day (17 minutes a day), Never Be Late Again! Study Uncovers How Long It Takes To Get Dressed, The morning routine: 30% spend over a week in getting ready each year, put on shoes, brush, shave, put on make-up, commute (15-30 minutes, twice a day, 1 hour a day), These are the states with the longest and shortest commutes — how does yours stack up?, logistics, plan, look places up, schedule, google maps, wait in line, clean living space (10-29 minutes per day), clean car, take car to the shop, We've Broken Down Your Entire Life Into Years Spent Doing Tasks, How Much Time People Spend Doing Stuff In Their Lifetime, Your Life In Numbers, the fact that to get all of this stuff done you'd have to be a coke-ambien/adderall-xanax robot, coke or adderall to get it all done, ambien or xanax to fall asleep at night, the fact that im not sure when i'm supposed to socialize, go to the park, make art, do drugs, drink alcohol, dance, read, watch TV, writing, have a picnic, go on dates, have emotional breakdowns, volunteer, organize, When Labor Day Meant Something: Remembering the radical past of a day now devoted to picnics and back-to-school sales, support my friends and loved ones, go biking, conversations, texting, in person converstions, phone conversations, job, life's work, utopia of daily life, You Don’t Want Hygge. You Want Social Democracy., Inventing the Weekend, The Overworked American, Liberation Through Vacation, Time Is Political, Working for the Weekend, The Fight for Free Time, More Free Time — for Everyone, Germany’s 28-Hour Workweek, Living, Not Just Surviving, Caring in the City, Palaces for the People, public space, the time to enjoy public space, the comfort to, the safety, the money, the ability, Your hygge-obsession is weird and misunderstood, please stop, The hygge conspiracyHygge – Wikipedia, Gemütlichkeit – Wikipedia, Gezelligheid – Wikipedia, american anxiety, housing crisis, trump for president, white nationalists, terrorism (predominantly white young men), war, gun violence, theft, cancel culture, the american dream, magical voluntarism, the myth of the american dream, pull yourself up by your boostraps, The politics of depression: Mark Fisher on mental health and class confidence, Seize the Hamptons, Time After Capitalism, Quarantine Journal, from “When Spring Comes”:

What is it we want from life? What do we truly need? What is the world we want to live in? Do we want to service a capitalist machine that never lets us rest, never allows us to stay idle for a second and spend time with our families at home, except when it accidentally breaks down? Does that machine—a machine that feeds on the exploitation of our labor, on mindless consumerism, on the destruction of the natural environment, on the suffering of humans and fellow animals alike—deserve to be repaired? Do we want our children to keep servicing that same machine? Is our past the future we really want for them?

What do we plan to do when spring comes back around?

Killing Time, “The Concept of Work”, “Essential Services”, “Disappearing Problems”, “vital professions,” “essential services,” On The Irony of the Essential Worker – Four Fourths, Lost and the nostalgia of forced community, lack of paradox of choice, necessity, essential services,

Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.

Velvet Buzzsaw, take out the trash, sanitation workers,

the fact that it constantly feels like I have something to do, google keep, Google drive, Google docs, google sheets, Gmail, Asana, to do list apps, Bullet Journal, responding to texts, calling friends, calling family, spending time with people, feeding myself, drinking water, using the bathroom, brushing my teeth, exercising, meditation, apply for jobs, the fact that i really shouldn't be looking at job search sites at night, the fact that it's no wonder that i have insomnia, writing, mental health, therapy, news & journalism, nonprofit & philanthropy, Against Productivity in a Pandemic, The Slackification of the American Home, the fact that I have to create lists of all my friends or I forget about them, the fact that I don't think this says much about my friendships or the depth of my friendships, the fact that I think it's reflective of the times we live in, distraction, anxiety, dissociation, the fact that I wasn't meant to remember so many things, the fact that I can barely remember all of my daily tasks or essential life maintenance activities and to do that I need a planner, the fact that we were meant to live lives of necessity, the fact that we aren't meant to live lives of anxiety and planning, virtual realities, the fact that my friends are mostly virtual in this moment, none of them are in front of me, none of them are within earshot, I can't touch any by of them by reaching my hand out or hugging them or hear their laughter or see their smile or the clothes they're wearing, they essentially don't exist, the present moment, campus life, bumping into people, the deece, drunk deece, the fact that i wrote this before covid19, social distancing, quarantine,

the fact that the slower anxious pace of grocery stores nowadays kinda feels great to me, the fact that the collective anxiety in this moment feels kinda validating and calming, the fact that i feel less isolated in my anxiety, the fact that there should be a name for driving-next-to-a-truck anxiety, the fact that i almost had a heart attack, a semi truck not just a pickup truck, the fact that the coronavirus pandemic has an unofficial film in Spain, the fact that If You Have Anxiety and Depression but Feel Better During Coronavirus, You’re Not Alone,

the fact that i'm not sure if i want this job in portland or not, the fact that its hard for me to think about committing 2 years of my life to something i know will make me a certain kind of miserable, 40 hour work weeks, 9 to 5, clinical psych research, commuting, the fact that commuting in sf would probably be a lot worse, the fact that rent is more in sf, the fact that i want a break from the physical pain and emotional stress of living in a van, the fact that if i wanted a job job then this is likely the job i would pursue, the fact that academia and research seem really isolating, the fact that at least in grad school i'd be immersed in a community of peers, the fact that i would love some more financial security, the fact that i could save up money if i had this job probably, the fact that i'm not sure i even want to do clinical psych research tho, the fact that i haven't even applied to the job, the fact that i'm confident i'd be a strong applicant, the fact that im pretty disillusioned with psychedelic therapies, the fact that im not disillusioned with psychedelics, the fact that i dont think i want to live in the US, the fact that i don't speak any other languages, the fact that i think its pretty fucked up that learning another language really isn't stressed in US education, the fact that i think i'd like to travel to central or south america, the fact that i dont want to be just another white tourist, spiritual extractivism, the fact that i'm curious how genderqueerness and masculinity exist in central and south america, the fact that i'm curious how genderqueerness and masculinity exist in berlin, the fact there are certain qualities that i look for in a place, good weather, sunlight, progressive politics, groundedness (vs. new age spiritual bs), intellectualism, work-life balance, queer friendly, good public transportation, bike accessible, Powell's, Chinese garden, rose garden, Japanese garden, Mother Foucault, cheap eats, mental health think tank, the fact that i need to remember to reach out to Colin (Sarah's former partner) about his friend Michael, the fact that my body hurts, the fact that im worried about my finances, the fact that i've had to spend thousands of dollars on van repairs, the fact that i haven't been sleeping well, the fact that many of my friendships are dormant, the fact that i don't know where I'm going or what im doing with my life, yay, the fact that grizzly peak vista point, frowning ridge, and grizzly peak blvd overlook are all great spots in Berkeley to park my van overnight,

No Go Tokyo, the fact that the political is personal, the fact that Twelve days in the desert left Jared Leto clueless about coronavirus, “Smithereens”, Stay in this Spanish glasshouse retreat from the latest Black Mirror series, the fact that watching Avenue 5 makes quarantine feel really cozy, Do you realize / We're floating in space?, the fact that covid19 is like The Leftovers but in real life, the fact that in The Leftovers 2% of the world's population vanishes into thin air one day, the fact that the event is known as The Great Departure, the fact that covid19 is really making the possibility and necessity of socialism abundantly clear, the fact that Reality Has Endorsed Bernie Sanders, Coronavirus in Florida: Most Tampa Bay counties terrible at social distancing, study says, the fact that i'm from tampa, born and raised, the fact that I grew up playing ice hockey in tampa, Spain turns ice rink into a morgue as coronavirus deaths pile up, the fact that this is a real time covid19 map, the fact that here are live covid19 stats, Here's what's wrong with Gov. Newsom's stay-at-home order: It's a legal mess, the fact that This Is Not the Apocalypse You Were Looking For | WIRED,

the fact that covid19 is a global pandemic, the fact that it feels hyperbolic to use those words but its the truth, the fact that The Coronavirus Crisis Is Political, honestly duh, the fact that many people are disregarding the seriousness of coronavirus, the fact that their behavior and attitudes are misinformed and selfish, the fact that some people are acting pretty normal, Urgent Messages from Italians in Coronavirus Quarantine, the fact that Marc Maron's comedy special “End Times Fun” is truly great timing and definitely recommended viewing (trigger warning: heteronormative and misogynistic under the banner of “comedy”), Marc Maron's End-of-the-World Anxiety, the fact that Marc Maron’s Netflix Special Predicted the Pandemic Panic, but He’s Doing Just Fine, the fact that Netflix is slowing down in Europe to keep the internet from breaking, the fact that Marc Maron is a comedian and tone is really difficult to convey through the written word and one should keep those two things in mind when and if reading the following excerpt from his special,

I don't know what's happening, people. I don't know. But it's pretty clear the world is ending. I don't want to shock anybody. Seems to be happening, though. I thought we'd get out. I thought we'd make it under the wire. I thought I would, you know. I'm 56, but I don't know, I think we might see it. I think we might see it. Certainly it's been ending environmentally for a long time. We've all kind of known it, we knew it, but I think on a deeper level, the reason we're not more upset about the world ending environmentally is I think all of us, in our hearts...really know that we did everything we could.You know, we really...Right? I mean, we really did. I mean, think about it, we—you know, we...We brought our own bags...to the supermarket.Yeah, that's about it. Like, we brought— We brought the bags.Right when they told us, we brought 'em,and it just wasn't enough, it turns out. Just not enough...to, you know, get us over the top with this.

the fact that i find apocalyptic language really weird and voyeuristic and often privileged and off-putting, the fact that i probably engage in it too, the fact that i don't mean to disregard the very real suffering that people worldwide are and have been experiencing,

I don't know what it's gonna take to get everybody, you know to ... like, you would think at this point that we'd ... like, haven't we been entertained enough? Weird thing for me to say, but Jesus. Like, isn't there something that could bring everyone together and just realize, like, we've got to put a stop to, like, almost everything. Right? Oh, my God, what would it take? Something terrible. That's what brings people together. Nothing good. Occasionally a concert outdoors. But that never really goes anywhere. It's gotta be something bad and big. Get everyone to fucking snap out of this ... Fuck, whatever it is, trance of like ... It's ... well, I think we do it adaptively. I think it's sort of like, “I'm doing what I can in my life.” Well, that's not enough, you know. I don't know what it'll take. Does the sky have to catch on fire? Would that do it? If we all walked outside and went, “Oh, we fucked it. Fucking sky's on fire. God damn it. I knew were in trouble, but fuck, it made the jump from land to sky. This is bad.” One guy standing there, “It's not on me, man, I brought my bags,”

the fact that service workers are losing work, the fact that i was sent home from my shift abruptly at the restaurant because the bay area was put on lockdown, the fact that i think covid19 is bringing to light how royally fucked our everyday realities are, housing, inequality, food insecurity, healtchare, the fact that this situation is making me think of this book preston shared with me recently titled Seeds of Peace: A Buddhist Vision for Renewing Society in which (according to Preston) the author Sulak Sivaraksa urges the reader to contemplate the profound effects (global, societal) that would follow a collective moment of breath, a great pause, the fact that we have created virtual realities that are divorced from the substance of life, the fact that we could solve most of our problems if we just tried, the fact that i keep returning to the phrase “essential services,” the fact that i think many services that are deemed non-essential in the short term are in fact essential in the long term, the fact that i also think this moment is and should be a moment of reflection for everyone on the necessities of life, the fact that we live with so much excess, the fact that we should really eat the rich, Affluenza, How to Do Nothing, the fact that public health measures to covid19 represent state-sponsored non-compliance in the status quo, in business as usual, the fact that what if we collectively as people refused to comply, the fact that this situation also reminds me of the Leftovers which is a show set 3 years after the “Sudden Departure,” a global event that resulted in 2% of the world's population disappearing in a moment, the fact that the show depicts the aftermath of this catastrophic event, the despair and confusion, the spiritual toll, the psychological pulls towards getting back to life as normal, the psychological push against doing so, the fact that to pretend things are normal when they are not is really fucked up, mass incarceration, the fact that humans are not meant to caged, the fact that social disruption seems to be the only way to really change things, the fact that if solutions aren't disruptive then they're not really solutions, the fact that if solutions are disruptive then they're suppressed, Weather Underground, the fact that i have the logo of the Weather Underground tattooed on my right foot,

Weather Underground Mr. Robot, ecotopia, the fact that in ecotopia the citizens of that society have created an 'ideal' society by focusing on essentials like reducing unnecessary pollution through things like travel and personal vehicles, the fact that the book is also text-book white patriarchal environmentalism, the fact that i feel such a push and pull towards the 'real issues,' essential services, the fact that i worked at riker's island and i've never felt the same since, the fact that i feel a pull because they're the real issues, the fact that these are the things that 'matter,' the fact that cities collapse when sanitation workers strike, the fact that life goes on when bankers strike, An Ode to Sanitation Workers, pink collar work, life and death, Diane's memorial, Our Town,

Emily:

In a loud voice to the stage manager. I can't. I can't go on. It goes so fast. We don't have time to look at one another. She breaks down sobbing. The lights dim on the left half of the stage. Mrs. Webb disappears. I didn't realize. So all that was going on and we never noticed. Take me back — up the hill — to my grave. But first: Wait! One more look. Good-bye, Good-bye, world. Good-bye, Grover's Corners . . . Mama and Papa. Good-bye to clocks ticking. . . and Mama's sunflowers. And food and coffee. And new-ironed dresses and hot baths . . . and sleeping and waking up. Oh, earth, you're too wonderful for anybody to realize you. She looks toward the stage manager and asks abruptly, through her tears: Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it? every, every minute?

Stage Manager:

No. Pause. The saints and poets, maybe they do some.

the fact that i also feel pushed away from the real issues because we live in a world that doesn't care about the real issues and that is supremely fucked up and difficult to deal with while working in those fields, the fact that people burn out as social workers and therapists, the fact that you have to go into debt to be a social worker or therapist, the fact that teachers don't make enough money to pay rent, the fact that i'm inspired and scared to think about what our world could like if we treated all of our problems with this much efficiency and collective willpower, the fact that in this moment we have a collective purpose, Wild Wild Country,

Rajneeshpuram Peace Force Logo the fact that we could live in society based on necessities and collective flourishing would follow, Palaces for the People, I’m usually self-interested, but this virus has shown: if we do not care for people, what is society for?, the fact that Capitalism Caused the COVID-19 Crisis, the fact that Socialism Is Love, the fact that it's hard to even imagine what we could achieve if we were no longer at war with ourselves, the fact that capitalism is selfishness, the atomized individual, the fact that capitalism represents war not only with each other but also with ourselves, the fact that capitalism is warring against the parts of ourselves that are inclined to cooperate and flourish in a collective and public ways, the fact that an Irish priest named Richard Hendrick wrote this poem titled “Lockdown” about the coronavirus pandemic,

Yes there is fear. Yes there is isolation. Yes there is panic buying. Yes there is sickness. Yes there is even death. But, They say that in Wuhan after so many years of noise You can hear the birds again. They say that after just a few weeks of quiet The sky is no longer thick with fumes But blue and grey and clear. They say that in the streets of Assisi People are singing to each other across the empty squares, keeping their windows open so that those who are alone may hear the sounds of family around them. They say that a hotel in the West of Ireland Is offering free meals and delivery to the housebound. Today a young woman I know is busy spreading fliers with her number through the neighborhood So that the elders may have someone to call on. Today Churches, Synagogues, Mosques and Temples are preparing to welcome and shelter the homeless, the sick, the weary All over the world people are slowing down and reflecting All over the world people are looking at their neighbors in a new way All over the world people are waking up to a new reality To how big we really are. To how little control we really have. To what really matters. To Love. So we pray and we remember that Yes there is fear. But there does not have to be hate. Yes there is isolation. But there does not have to be loneliness. Yes there is panic buying. But there does not have to be meanness. Yes there is sickness. But there does not have to be disease of the soul Yes there is even death. But there can always be a rebirth of love. Wake to the choices you make as to how to live now. Today, breathe. Listen, behind the factory noises of your panic The birds are singing again The sky is clearing, Spring is coming, And we are always encompassed by Love. Open the windows of your soul And though you may not be able to touch across the empty square, Sing.

proletariat, plebian, protoproletariat, Biden, action, entertainment, drugs, travel, nuclear family, dinners, comfort, organizing, activism, mobilization, materialist society vs. material change, spent, semiotic society, Philip k Dick, 4 kinds of dystopia, white men, technology, distraction, entertainment, the fact that the average “U.S. consumer” watches 4-5 hours of TV every day, video games, travel, Total Entertainment Forever, ♫ Pursuit of Happiness by Kid Cudi ft. MGMT ♫, the fact that quality of life as a concept is an individual pursuit with measures that reflect individualism, Leonard Nevarez, civic duty, the fact that the human mind wasn't made to conceptualize money, the fact that it's not something we were evolved for, the fact that we also weren't evolved for math but that stuff I can grasp pretty easily, the fact that I actually really enjoyed calculus, problem-solving, limbo,

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