Post Phalone

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(or listen here)

Run Away, but we’re running in circles. Run Away, Run Away

Last Thursday I was alone in my house all morning and spoke OUT LOUD on the phone for an hour… what the weirdnesses. Alone. On speakerphone while sorting puzzle pieces (it is a problem, much like the spinach, but I’m on it, bluebonnet) and tidying around my house on my very completely own. Saying whatever I wanted to say whenever I wanted to say it! MotherHerisme was having a bit of surgery and SonHerisme was at school… and I, I left doors open, walking around and around in complete silence cirlces (post phalone). It was odd.

Do any of us not know someone who has COVID right now? Do any of us not know someone who has lost a loved one, or lost a loved one ourselves to COVID? Anyone? Anywhere?

The messaging being what it is here, in the myopic selfish-to-the-point-of-self-destruction USA, hardly anyone is wearing a mask anywhere at anytime for any reason whatsoever. This is INSANE. SonHerisme’e tiny 350 student preK3-8th grade school, has multiple teachers and students out with COVID. Most staff and kids are not wearing masks and are unable to distance. PreK3-Kindergarten, almost 20% of the students, are not eligible for vaccines at all. Nevermind all of the tiniest siblings, pregnant mommies, grandparents and other compromised people at their homes. We went to a High School musical production last weekend where maybe 1-2% of attendees had a mask on in the packed and crowded standing-room-only auditorium with lots of deep air passing around singing and dancing.

This morning SonHerisme was afraid to go to school because his classroom is next to the primary classrooms of PreK3-Kindergarten who cannot be vaccinated, and he has been directly exposed to COVID through classmates and teachers. He desperately wanted to stay home. Unfortunately he has missed over 20 days of school this year, due to illness (not COVID, but with COVID symptoms and therefore unable to go to school), and is at risk of not being able to move up to the next grade if he misses more school. I showed him the school system’s COVID protocols where even if he has been exposed directly to someone with COVID, because he is vaccinated, he is still required to be in school as long as he is symptom free.

SonHerisme, 13, knows this is bullshit and he could possibly be spreading COVID to vulnerable unvaccinated children. SonHerisme knows that choosing to not wear a mask indoors is bullshit superspreading nonsense. Yet, he is required to go if he wants to complete these last weeks of school and complete this school year to move up to the next class. In 5 years SonHerisme will be eligible to vote with retrospective views on how we have treated each other, treated children, treated the most vulnerable, treated the most essential workers, in this culture. At 13 years old he knows how to wear a mask in order to minimize the spread of airborne diseases. He plays sports, plays instruments, hangs out with buddies and wears a damn mask inside because he knows it is a small inconvenience to prevent spread of viruses whose long term effects we do not know about, small children are not protected against, and has killed millions of people in two short years. *sigh*

I know that our hospitalizations are not as alarming as they were in January. However, the burn-out and repercussions from COVID in our health care professionals and our health care systems, continues to be alarming. Folks are tired. Folks have quit. Folks are not able to receive the health care they need because health care employees, health care equipment support employees, manufacturing employees have dwindled away. In this country, it is too financially expensive for people to go to school and be trained to take their place. Maybe it is too mentally expensive to be treated as poorly as we have treated our health care professionals over these past two years (and continue to do so). As a former public librarian, I can attest that over the years, our treatment of people in public service has generally declined pre-COVID anyway. We stopped feeling anything other than righteously emanating our silos of entitlement with these workers, as our nationalism and distrust grew. There is some reasonable distrust of course (remember when we thought smoking wasn’t a problem even though it clearly was/is or that filling our basic food sources with known carcinogens was okay because authorities told us so? Seatbelts were optional until sometime in the 70’s!), but lawdy loo, we are entitled little bitches and mean as snakes to people in public service.

Despite that, if I could, I would go to medical school and work for the next 20 years as a physician. I would get a converted medical RV and drive around neighborhoods to give annual physicals and check-ups. Like the bookmobile, but on-the-spot basic healthcare. I’d check on the ill visits in the morning, and well visits in the afternoon/evening. After SonHerisme graduates from High School in five years, what the heck else am I going to do? Plus everyday I’d wear an awesome lab coat with my name stitched into it!

*dreams a magical unreality*

Anywho, to recenter please listen to my friend’s original composition written for her father on her new beautiful harp with carved dragonflies! This will temporarily unburden and soothe your soul. She is as beautiful and enchanting in real life as her music and presence are shown on YouTube 🙂

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

#carryonhealthwarrior #carryonpeacewarrior

ps I tried phone (FaceTime) therapy and it was not…it was just not for me. When the conversation ended with, “I encourage you to *** because you deserve it,” my mind post phaloned away.

Something of the (un)Marvelous

Artwork by Katie Daisy (I lurve her)
(or listen here)

“In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous.” So says Plato’s polymath pupil, classical Greek philosopher, and Lyceum founder, Aristotle. I’m guessing he never met a plague or COVID-19 plus variants. This cannot be true though, because there was a severe outbreak of something which wiped out Athenian culture by killing 1/4 – 1/3 of the population in 420 BC. Maybe for Aristotle “marvelous” is not a correct interpretation of his Greek. I wonder if the word used meant more “impactful with wonderment,” rather than truly marvelous.

Wasn’t it Aristotle who wrote about three different kinds of souls? Plants having a growth and reproductive soul only, while animals have that as well as being able to feel and express basic sensations along with mobility. The most evolved souls being humans with all of the above plus thought, stories, and moral reflections, natch.

None of my brainiaking things are flushing out at the moment. Yet, I’ll continue… The Aristotle quote is on my wall calendar in the kitchen. It’s surrounded by gentle, sweet, lovely artwork by Katie Daisy. January 2022. Still heavily into COVID times – driven deeper into infections, lingering physical and mental effects, plus an enormity of deaths (25 here just in the past week). Instead of true mitigation, we were initially sucked into a vortex of gaslighting for the first year, from which we have yet to recover. While the vaccines are widely available (in this country), we defy our own humane self interests and continue to allow our human selves to be sidelined by splashy crazy-town shock headlines and cuckoo influencers. It is as if we clown down to the lowest common denominator despite knowing this path is self destructive. All we can focus on is that our ability to grow and reproduce wealth/widgets/whatever is being impeded. Our response is a collective temper tantrum to get OUR way. FREEDOM to smile at school. FREEDOM to breathe. FREEDOM over what goes into my body. etc

We KNOW that mask wearing and vaccines save lives from this insidious airborne disease. If we had taken a hawt fucking minute out of our own bubble of fairy dust make believe at any time since the flu epidemic of 1918ish, we would have culturally normalized wearing masks when inside highly populated areas and when we are ill in order to save lives and preserve health as humans. It is not this damn difficult to comprehend. Cultures have been publicly communicating with their faces partially covered since the time of forever.

The narrative that some how kids are missing out on developing cues because of mask wearing is just plain shortsighted temper tantruming because we are inconvenienced by a piece of cloth meant to prevent us from becoming chronically ill/dying or passing on a chronic illness/death. We KNOW that kids thrive in outdoor environments and we have had two years to figure out how to put best practices into place in order to maximize outdoor learning for schools. Yet here we are still complaining about masks equating to personal freedoms despite no masks equaling disaster level human illness/death. You want your kids to have your school experiences? Never going to happen and shouldn’t happen because PROGRESS and generations and we were not doing education very well then either. You want your kids in school learning? LISTEN to educators who have been SCREAMING for support in order to educate our future since the time of mandated public education. Because right now what we are sending our kids into are broken buildings full of broken supplies and broken people we continue to villanize despite them showing up everyday to try and impart reading/mathing/sciencing/arting/humaning skills to our collective human future. We are expecting our schools to teach academics, interpersonal skills, adulting preparation, feed our children, keep them safe at all costs, be emotionally available to our children and to us, indulge and entertain them no matter what for the majority of their awake hours 5 days each week. And yet, we cannot fathom wearing masks in order to protect the health of the staff or other vulnerable community members while they juggle all of the everythings? We are the assholes here – seriously. A plant soul who’s only focus is growth and reproduction. Unlike the plant, we stubbornly stay on course growing other people’s wealth through our acceptance of reproductive tasks, to our own collective detriment.

But, but, but, I cannot breathe! And I want full control over what goes into my body! A. You CAN breathe with a mask on (see all of human history where masks are culturally worn plus people with entire careers in environments where masks are required). And 2: If you feel you cannot breathe, this is a FEELING which can be retrained through professional support. The sensation of feeling as if you cannot breathe has evolved you into the animal soul realm!

*****break in thought and days later****

You guys. People. Humans. FatherHerisme is in the ICU dying because of COVID even though he does not have COVID. He did everything – we did everything that we were supposed to do. Yet our healthcare system is in collapse because of this damned pandemic and gaslighting pieces of shit leadership who have all encouraged selfish dipshits to baby tantrum over reality because it is too inconvenient for them until they die or their loved one suffers and dies. FatherHerisme was left for three days with increasing toxicity in his body due to kidney failure, without treatment. This means that as his body became more toxic, his skin was waxy, salty, and an odd color. This means that his entire body was involuntarily shaking and jerking about constantly. This means that he could not swallow, eat or drink on his own (yet the hospital staff did not have time to help him). This means that he soiled himself multiple times and when he was eventually cleaned up by staff, he was tossed about without regard to his screams of pain or basic dignity. This means that he received little to no pain medication or his regular medications because he could not push the button or request help because he lost some of his cognitive ability. This means that he was crying out in terror and extreme pain for THREE fucking days before they got him into dialysis.

FatherHerisme did what humans do. He gave up and withdrew into the smallest part of his being to protect himself. He shut down. He refused to take any modified medications because he no longer trusted that he wasn’t going to be hurt. He was suffering in ways I hope that none of us can imagine.

THIS is what COVIDIOTS have done.

After 10 days, FatherHerisme was moved to a rehab facility due to SisterHerisme spending 6 hours making phone calls to arrange transportation, dialysis appointments, room accommodations at a rehab facility and Doctor support. SisterHerisme did this all while sitting with FatherHerisme who was entirely unresponsive in the hospital – not even able to swallow to drink water.

On the 11th day, FatherHerisme had something to drink (a very small amount), infrequently uttered random words, but still unable to swallow he is labeled as “refusing food and most attempts to help him drink or take medications.” His body wants to live. Mentally, he wants to die.

I am feeling angry.

I agree that nature is marvelous. I suggest that due to flagrant assholery, the verdict on COVID being impactful with wonderment is still out.

I hope that you never have to watch your loved one suffer neglect on any scale. I know the staff are supremely overworked and underpaid. I also know what is inhumane. Reducing someone to an inconvenient organism when you are charged with care of their precious being is truly disgusting. Especially when you have every resource at your fingertips to make different choices.

I am angry.

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

ps. this post was written over a period of time and I do not have the energy to communicate any of this information in a different manner. Please send comfort and love to FatherHerisme. He needs to feel safe and loved no matter what choice he makes about recovery. He has had some seriously crappy things happen in his life that I feel are manifesting great depression and despondency in his brain as he works through the general body detox of dialysis plus neglect/abuse at the hospital. I love my daddy and I still need him. SonHerisme and NiecesHerisme still need him. He has tried so hard to do the right thing his entire life, even though he has missed the mark sometimes – and by miles. Sadly, he has always been aware that he has missed the mark but could never consistently figure out what he could do differently, other than by retreating to himself. I wish he had been able to reach out for support – he just has been unable to do so for reasons only he could define (or perhaps not).

I am angry and weary and completely sad.

Update going on 5 weeks now: After only being kept alive due to having a pacemaker, my father is in a better hospital and out of the ICU! He stood up three times out of bed yesterday and his bloods/vitals are looking very good WHEW W H E W WHEW. SonHerisme and I flew out to visit FatherHerisme this past weekend. Although SonHerisme is not old enough to visit FatherHerisme, and they have the COVID-times rule of one visitor for one visit within 24 hours, I was able to SEE him, hold his hand, rub his forehead and sneak a cheek kiss. COVID rules are strictly enforced there since 2 weeks ago some anti-maskers came into the hospital and attacked nurses and doctors. Humans – on brand for assholery. I know something will happen to FatherHerisme someday – but in the meantime, I would very much like FatherHerisme to be alive a bit longer, please and thank you.

And now to wrap this up and post. Y’all – 2.22.22 and all of that to you

FYI the “father of logic,” also preached genocide in his determination to influence Alexander the Great to treat Persians as barbarians and to deal with them as if they were, “beasts or plants.” Maybe he was the asshole.

Please keep each other in shelter – if you cannot, then I keep shelter for you until you are able to do so.

Legintimacy

(Photo by Kevin Blanzy on Pexels.com)
(or listen here)

Hello out there somewhere

I have started a few failed posts over the past few weeks. Things here have been busy – lovely, difficult, brutal truthing, 99/Cuckoo-ing, gingerbreadish, dog vomity, hot cocoa-ing, Christmas Carol trivia-ing, freezing rain woodsy walking, plus a shit ton of pizza and laundry with sprinkles of hospital runs.

Summary: FatherHerisme, SisterHerisme, BrotherHerisme, and families all arrived here (one day early with 12 hours notice – I’m fine!) for Christmas while MotherHerisme was in the hospital. FatherHerisme also broke three toes while here, requiring a 4 hour Urgent Care visit. Community is full of the ‘vid.

Yet, here we are in 2022! It’s a weird thing to think about because time is basically a jumble at this point. The American Medical Association is breaking step with the Center for Disease Control, saying that the CDC guidance is confusing, causing more dangerous spread of COVID, and adding to the overwhelm in health care. DUH duh duh duh. No shit. Collapse imminent. DUH. Kids are stressed. DUH. Adults are numbed out stressed. DUH. But, wooo howdy, the stock market is up! Whatevs. I had some tasty spinach for lunch and other people shit in gold toilets. It all means the same thing, which is to say, nothing except for stress and an unbelievable amount of illness and death. Yay Humans!

SonHerisme on returning to school after winter break, “I want to just go back to school with my friends, momma. I’ll wear my mask and keep it on the entire day. I’ll lift up the bottom just to eat a little bit of lunch and drink some water. It doesn’t matter anyway because we are all going to be sick and no one cares. I just want to hang out with my friends.”

*sigh*

I asked him who he thought the helpers are. When you’re feeling hopeless, always look for the helpers (hat tip and curtsy to Mr Rogers). “I guess you and some of my teachers and the school counselors and Mrs. (Principal) and maybe doctors and nurses and maybe the people working at the grocery store and gas station. Maybe also the people who keep the Internet on. I guess.” That’s right, buddy. There are always helpers. Lean on the helpers and look to them for guidance and support during difficult times. “Okay, momma. I’m going to school and I’ll try not to get COVID.”

GOT FREAKIN DAMN y’all – after this he said he was also going to make a mental note to speak to the principal because they hadn’t had a lockdown drill (code for active shooter) yet this year, and a lot of the kids would’ve forgotten how to do one over COVID.

I mean… what the actual freaking fuck are we doing, people?!!?

I am weary y’all. Seriously shitticiously weary, as I suspect we all are.

Yesterday I finally spoke with an old friend from High School. I previously stopped contact with him because my own brain soul being could no longer cope with reconciling the feigned intimacy with the reality of my own life. He has reached out multiple times. I was aware of some, because the messages came through FatherHerisme (which I think I have spoken about before and will link if I can locate the posts, otherwise feel free to insert an interesting tale about how this came to be – be sure to include an old timey small town barbershop!). Other times I was unaware he was attempting to contact me because I had blocked him to give my brain soul being some space. I have known him since I was 15. This has been a very long connection. ANYWHO, blah blah blah, I forgot to block him somewhere and we set a time to talk earlier last autumn. He never phoned. He reached out in the New Year to talk. We set a time. He did not phone. About 2 hours after the set time, he texted asking if I was going to phone, and to see if I was still awake. He also phoned and left a message. It’s all so very dumb. We texted back and forth blah, blah, blah and I ended with a set time that I would be phoning him. I wanted to get this out of the way. I did not/do not want to be lingering texting etc.

I phoned. He answered. We caught up on families. We exchanged “omg COVID is heavy and hard,” convo. We said, “goodbye.” He said he didn’t want to wait another two years before we speak again and how much he loved me. I responded, “goodbye,” because y’all, I just cannot with this.

After the call, I cried for a while in my car. I am not quite sure why I cried – but I suspect it has to do with intimacy. I don’t mean sex, although that is a significant grief as well. I mean intimacy as a companion partner, as a knowing of another person or a feeling of being known by another person and providing comfort and space for that person and them doing the same for you. Someone physically present to take your hand when heavy, light, or mundane news is shared together. Someone’s arm available for leaning against or looking for yours to lean into. Someone to laugh, cry, or numb with because you have been or are going through the somethings. A safety for you as well as a receiver of your safety.

I think this is why I cannot be connected with him anymore and why I’ve tried to put a break in there. He reaches out in a manner which implies a level of intimacy we do not have. We have never had. And I grieve lack of real intimacy all of the time. Not a grief of intimacy with him (which is also a surreal recognition for me), rather a grief of intimacy for myself at all. I cannot tolerate the pretense of pseudo-intimacy with him. My brain soul being cannot absorb any more lies or pretend from myself or others about the reality of the things. I have spent a good deal of my life spinning weft and warp reality into wishes I thought were real. This almost got SonHerisme and me killed – the most dramatic depth of my self deception. I just cannot do it anymore. My a-game go-to has always been pretend and disassociation, but I have reached the end of the internets on this pretending thing. My High School pal is a reminder of pretend intimacy and my own shortcomings in self-protection/self-worth and I just cannot continue. I could guess why he wants to continue – but, that will once again be another narrative I will have spun on my own.

In some ways I am sorry for it because there is a sort of hopeful optimism in feigning intimacy. In my case, I feel it is just simply unhealthy. Any optimism it stirs is like a sugar high or drunkeness with a huge inevitable crash or reality hangover on the flip side.

Perhaps this explains my distress over a recent dream I had involving someone I do not know at all in real life, who was very persistent in wanting to have sex(which is HILarious if you know me irl). I kept saying, “no, this cannot be right. I do not even know you.” Eventually I forced myself awake (lucid dreamer in the house -woop woop!) to stop the whole thing. I guess even in my deep subconscious I am trying to establish boundaries.

Obviously I need intense therapy – I can’t even find pretend fun in pretend dreams with people I pretend know! JAYSUS

Intimacy is a generational issue in my family. My parents are terrible at it (both growing up in abusive homes with non-functioning parents – alcoholism, death, physical/emotional abuse). The grandparents I knew were terrible at it (also both growing up in abusive homes with non-functioning parents – alcoholism, untreated mental illness, abandonment, physical/emotional abuse). And so on for a few more outter circles of my nuclear family and past generations that I know about.

I do not want to pass anymore on to SonHerisme than I already have. I am also not sure that I have the strength to figure this out. I suspect that therapy is the way to go. I also know that therapy is the place where I will have to speak out the things and I do not want to do that. I am supremely sick of myself in that regard. Yet – here I am writing about it… blah blah blah

Maybe I can ask a therapist to read all of this bloggy nonsense and get back to me with a task list.

Maybe you guys can send collective healing protective comfort vibes to SonHerisme and me to magic it all away and make all of the things right.

Maybe

Perhaps

ugh

Damnit

Janet

Legit – what the hell am I doing? Carrying on. Ice-melting the bottom of the driveway for safety. Never ending laundry. Drinking of the tea. Burning of the candles. Handing over board responsibilities to the next group. Slopping over to carline for the picking up of SonHerisme. Narrowly, fruitlessly, dodging COVID …so far. Neglecting some things. Doing other things. Life. As one does #carryonhealthwarriors

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

ps. NieceHerisme has COVID – she suspects from schoolmates without masks etc because her state does not allow schools to require them and her entire friend group is COVID+. Pfizer announced yesterday that its vaccine does not protect against Omicron variant unless boosted with third dose. NieceHerisme was scheduled for her booster next week. Fuck it all to hell. What a legacy to leave. Stupid damn leadership acting like fools with idiotic foolishness motivated by greed. Stupid damn lemmings motivated by misplaced evangelical Christian tropes to follow greedy inhumane asshats. Y’all I am having many angers.

The oak fought the wind
and was broken.
The willow bent
when it must,
and survived.

-Robert Jordan

I’ll leave you with this – the lady willow standing alone in my front yard died a painful death over three years with multiple ice storms, and never came back. The oak trees in my forest yard are standing strong surrounded by their forest support. Fuck you Robert Jordan.

Willow or Oak or Ash or Elm or tiny little bush with berries – let’s all stand together and support each other humanely, with love.

Mother of Roots

(Photo by Gary Spears on Pexels.com)
(or listen here)
Mother of roots, you have not seeded
The tall ashes of loneliness
For me. Therefore,
Now I go.

The beginning of the poem, “Goodbye to the Poetry of Calcium,” by James Wright. I’ll post the entire poem at the end of the post, if you’d like to read it as intended. In the meantime, I am using the phrase, “Mother of Roots!” as my new swear. You are most welcome to join me.

Holiday times – getting all of the things done all of the time for all of the people to feel all of the seasonal happy merry joy joy. I’m in full on donkey kong mode.

  • Tree up – check
  • Ornaments on – check
  • Nutcrackers on window patrol – check
  • Fairy lights up – check
  • Wreaths out – check
  • Gingerbread house finished – check
  • Stocking stuffers lined up – check
  • Gifts for the people – check
  • Gifts for SonHerisme – check
  • Seasonal shows watched (except the mistake) – partial check
  • Cookies – looming (ingredients on hand)
  • Teacher gifts – looming (supplies on hand)
  • Note to Family about fancy Christmas Eve dinner plans – looming (lowering expectations)
  • Outfits at the ready – gah! not even close

Since before SonHerisme I have tended to Christmas up the place, European Christmas Market style. Perhaps trying to capture my magical moments of childhood having spent 4 Christmases in Germany – THE most magical place to be at Christmas for a kid. Chocolates, gingerbread, hot spicy beverages, sloshity snow, and best of all, freedom of movement in and out of the places. I lived in Germany from ages 11-15 years old. I had my own transport pass and lived in the suburbs of a small town near a large city – all connected by public transportation. For a girl from the suburbs of a US midwestern city, this change in freedom of movement was truly life altering. In the US the only places I could reasonably travel to on my own were down the street to a friend’s house, the neighborhood school two blocks away, and the neighborhood swimming pool. Even the library was too far away on major roads for me to bike on my own. At that time, the area was considered desirable for it’s distance away from the things of living life. Anything outside of neighbor-school-pool, required a car (public transportation was an absolute abomination to even be thought about). Just as I hit middle school, when my independence was screaming to be let out, we moved to Germany. It was glorious for my adventuring spirit!

Our house in Germany was about one mile from a large river’s local ferry port. For a tiny bit of pocket change, I could ride my bike down to the river, ferry across, bike/walk up the hill on the other side, get an ice cream cone, and make the return trip in about an hour. This adventure usually had my little brother in tow – but he was a lot of fun so I did not mind at all. We could only afford the ferry and ice cream (or warm pastry in the winter!) if we hadn’t already spent all of our money at the candy shop in our town. As soon as my mother gave us money each week, my brother and I would plan out what sweets to spend it on. Our older sister, not so much as she was very responsible and a grown-up teenager type person who could not be bothered with the sillinesses of the childrens.

The candy shop in our town had walls of candy you could select and put into a paper bag. We always chose the chocolates with liqueur or toys inside. The only restrictions set by the shop were by our wallet limits. Occasionally the candy shop person would throw in an extra “children’s chocolate” for us because it was “healthy.”

During the Christmas Season, we ran rampant through the local markets, pockets burning with our money itching to be spent on some glorious treat. Inevitably an oversized warm ginger fragrant almond dressed baked good, a few crusty shelled hot chestnuts, and sugared nuts, would make it into our possession (and happy tummies). Small doses of spiced wine would make it in there as well. A zillion wooden toy things, straw ornaments with red ribbons, fairy lights, and street musicians were dazzling everywhere. I caught the Christmas ambience bug there and have yet to let it go.

As I was trimming the tree, MotherHerisme and I had the following exchange:

MotherHerisme: You really enjoy putting on the ornaments and all of the Christmas stuff, don't you?
Me: I suppose I do. I really enjoy packing it all up and putting it all away at the end most of all.
MotherHerisme: That is very sad and Christmas is supposed to be happy.
Me: Okay.
MotherHerisme: So, you're saying that if SonHerisme and I weren't here, you just wouldn't take out any of this stuff and decorate?
Me: No, I would not.
MotherHerisme: If it was just me here, would you decorate?
Me: I am not sure.
MotherHerisme: So you're saying that you do all of this just for SonHerisme?
Me: Of course.
MotherHerisme: Well, I guess you better really enjoy the next four years then.
Me: Is something happening to SonHerisme in four years?
MotherHerisme: I'm just saying you better enjoy it now because it's over in four years.
Me: Do you think that SonHerisme will be dead in four years? What are you talking about?
MotherHerisme: You have four years left for Christmas, that's all I'm saying.
Me: Okay.

Pretty, pretty Christmas on the outside. Inside is a different story.

SonHerisme loves all of the things and the doing of the things. I am trying, and have always been trying, to give him unconditional love, connection, warmth, comfort and delicious memories to carry on for himself or switch up if he has his own partner and children.

On today’s docket: SonHerisme is home with a fever and stuffy nose (not COVID), so cornstarch ornaments and gluten free gingerbread are listed (along with laundry, cooking regular nourishment, and cleaning bc of the stuffy nose tummy troubles).

Life, it is a happenin’

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

ps Our local Board of Education voted to remove COVID vaccine proof or testing requirements for student participation in athletics. Locally, our hospitals are full and our infection spread is above 9%. While I understand some logic behind removing the discrepancy of who should be tested, I disagree with removing the procedures entirely.

EVERYONE should be submitting proof of vaccination to participate in collective or group activities. EVERYONE should be tested regularly to participate in collective or group activities. EVERYONE (except the tiniest humans) should be masking in collective, group or indoor settings. It is the only way to determine where and how the virus is mutating, spreading, and impacting our communities. We have plentiful resources on this Earth. We are continuing to choose the path of unpredictable long-term illness repercussions/mutations and global impact – again.

The quickest way to identify community issues is to look in the schools. Testing everyone every week. It is not a perfect solution, but it is a better step in identifying trends and hotspots, not to mention avoiding singling out and potentially shaming kids who have zero say in the decision to vaccinate. Mondays: Staff, K and younger. Tuesdays: Grades 1,2,3. Wednesdays: Grades 4,5,6. Thursdays: Grades 7,8,9. Fridays: Grades 10,11, 12. Task Universities with a similar schedule for their populations. We know that asymptomatic spread is an issue. We know that vaccinated spread is an issue. We know that the health repercussions for the unvaccinated are significantly worse than vaccinated. We also know that we have a certain percentage of people who cannot receive the vaccine for medical reasons. Aren’t we worth it? Aren’t our kids worth it? Aren’t our communities worth it? What in the sam hill mother of roots are we doing to our kids?

It just makes sense. To me. To this truly sideliner non-medical, non-public health professional. Test everyone on the regular. Secure healthcare(which includes food/water/clothing). Secure housing. Secure equitable education. I have spoken. This is the way. Also, yes, I have written to the BOE.

Do you know why I chose a Cicero quote for the post image? Known as calm, intelligent, wise, and a great orator, Cicero also held multiple government positions steadfastly holding on to the idea that level heads would prevail, as the republic fell around him. *sigh* MOTHER OF ROOTS or perhaps the swear should be, “Dark Cypresses!”

Goodbye to The Poetry of Calcium (by James Wright)
      Dark cypresses -
      The world is uneasily happy:
      It will all be forgotten. - Theodor Storm

Mother of roots, you have not seeded
The tall ashes of lonliness
For me. Therefore,
Now I go.
If I knew the name,
Your name, all trellises of vineyard and old fire
Would quicken to shake terribly my
Earth, mother of spiraling searches, terrible
Fable of calcium, girl. I crept this afternoon
In weeds once more,
Casual, daydreaming you might not strike
Me down. Mother of window sills and journeys,
Hallower of scratching hands,
The sight of my blind man makes me want to weep.
Tiller of waves or whatever, woman or man,
Mother of roots or father of diamonds,
Look: I am nothing.
I do not even have ashes to rub into my eyes.

WAS aka Winter Ambedo Silence

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(or listen here)

Weather event Wednesday is expected this week. While we have seen sweet little snowflakes (not a dig on sensitive struggling people) already this season, we have not seen stickage. Being an adult with the things needing to be done, and living on the side of a rocky Appalachian range foothill, I have mixed feelings about these gloriously magical, twinkling-sparkle, frozen knife sharp, red-cheeked and chilly weather events. I love it because of ambedo, muted frosty boot crunches that feel like warm silence, hot cocoa, sleds, and whispers of wildlife poking about. I dread it because of the hill and our inevitable ice-on-the-roads danger thing (bc Danger is NOT my middle name, nor do I work at USPIS – also, what’s up, Danger?). Shovels are at the ready, and pet safe ice melt is being picked up today.

Sweet SonHerisme is on day 5 of some virus – test at the pediatrician confirmed he does not have COVID. WHEW. Mixed messaging and fatigue has kids removing masks at school until they are caught by a teacher. Our school positive infections jumped from about 100-150 new positive cases per week to over 250 new positive cases this past week. Locally our hospitals are struggling with ability to handle basic emergency care and finding beds. Not just for COVID, of course, but regular everyday humans gotta human emergencies.

SonHerisme’s teacher, our golden ticket teacher we waited patiently to have the privilege of working with, has had enough and is leaving the school as of winter break.

I feel and hear the soulbreak from health care professionals to grocery employees to parents to young friends. Then I look around and see so many unmasked people, so many refusing to vaccinate, so much indignation at courtesy/respect/acknowledgement of humanity. It seems to be manifesting in this surreal realm of extreme focus on personal indulgences and revelry at all costs. I’m all for any excuse to indulge and celebrate. However, with the nature of this global pandemic, I’m not feeling the throw caution to the wind vibe. More, drop treats off for neighbor and chat on Facetime or bundled up outside with a distanced shared bottle of something vibe.

With feeling all of the feelings and following all of the valid information followings, I made an entertainment faux pas which has had me off kilter for days. I blame the seductive lure of wintery environs, an aga stove, suspenders, and a fluttery snowflake blouse. Oh, and actors who are too adorable not to look at. Stupid dumb people hiring the stupid dumb entertainers doing what they do best and sucking us in to tuning in to the things and feeling the feelings. I thought I could handle a little levity and beauty with apocalyptic overtones. I cannot. There is no amount of handsome husbanding, potato roasting, sweet awkward tweening, goofy stress adulting in a gorgeous idyllic country home at Christmastime, to ease the trauma of a human hubris induced culling of humanity(sound familiar?!? EERILY too familiar!).

DO NOT get trapped into that Silent Night without preparing for deep pain feelings. I made it to the point where the suspendered dad lost his control and then could not continue. It is too … real. Even with the distanced unreal beauty of the actors and environment, the situation is too real. I am not generally made for watching traumatic things, unless they are Marvel/Star Wars kind of fantasy trauma (?). I allowed myself a moment of judgement lapse for my own visceral boundaries because of a stupid snowflake blouse and imaginings of a different kind of holiday with complete disregard for the actual story they were trying to tell. I was dazzled by a picture and my soul gut got seriously punched. My bff bravely watched it through to process with me. She describes the movie as having blergh-iness. It is a trust trigger for sure – which is an acknowledged difficult place for me. BFFHerisme did tell me about the pivotal ending, which is decidedly not for this mommy during an actual global pandemic. Hard pass. Deleted it from my “resume watching” list. Good gravy and grief. Snowflakes, suspenders, and beautiful people. Amen.

I have spent a few days cleansing my brainiac with some ambedo plus Christmas movies, Christmas shows, Christmas decorating, Christmas gift preparing, extra tea, holiday mugs, and taking care of SonHerisme. Oh, and also MotherHerisme… which isn’t cleansing, but is time consuming, and that too, can be helpful.

Please take good care of yourself. As backup, despite close to zero ways I resemble Keira Knightly or her character, I am sourcing a snowflake blouse and extra potatoes because of preparedness. That’s my take-away and I’m sticking to it.

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

ps. also going through the Shadow and Bone series with SonHerisme (I’m on Six of Crows). My kind of readable trauma! SonHerisme is caught up in Fahrenheit 451 at the moment as well. My side-hustle reads are: What I Learned from the Trees, Hermann Hesse, and a soul sweetener- The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse. How about you?

pps also mom failed my baby as he took about an hour to get into the shower and then came out demanding if I had any food prepared for him while I was in the middle of a work email… so I snapped at him. I snapped at my sweet ill SonHerisme :,( Onwards to apologies, snuggles, and eggy comfort sandwiches. MotherHerisme has been a hawt mess as well. Life has been served.

*whispers* gently, gently with yourself, sweetmomma

“We often wait for kindness… but being kind to yourself can start now.” said the mole. From The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy.

Un Petit Exposé

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(or listen here)

Nous avons peut-ĂȘtre Ă©tĂ© exposĂ©s au covid.

Posiblemente hemos estado expuestos a covid.

Wir waren möglicherweise covid ausgesetzt.

meh – it doesn’t matter how you say it. Last week we spent a day in tentative quarantine to wait for test results when we had been exposed to an active positive COVID friend through a mutual buddy. What a weird day to wait and see if we had to cancel our hosting Thanksgiving for 10 – some of which were traveling over 8 hours to visit. Spoiler – everyone who interacted with the positive COVID person has fully tested negative, so we were in the clear and proceeded with the things of the Thanksgiving with our group of 10. LUCKY for sure.

This was a wake-up call to reign in the slack. We’d been at a few primarily unmasked outdoor social events recently and hugging friends. Unless they are medically unable to receive a vaccination, or an under-5, most of our social circle are vaccinated with at least one jab/shot/inoculation. The day our visiting Thanksgiving people left, I received my booster. My body tends to react to any vaccine, and the booster remained on point with this trend. About 48 hours of fever, headache, swollen/red/tender arm and neck, red cheeks, nausea, debilitating joint pain, and extreme exhaustion. You know what I didn’t have? COVID requiring hospitalization or death leaving my 13-year-old parentless. You’re welcome, community/world – I am not deliberately leaving a vulnerable child subject to further trauma and he still has a chance to be a productive empathetic contributing member of our human society. So there’s that. At least for today, we are okay.

Over this past week, I thought a lot about how many people are struggling this time of year. The people who cannot be with loved ones for whatever reason. The people who came before us who we pretend to venerate on Thanksgiving but who we stole lands from and committed genocide on. The people who did not receive good news about being infected with COVID or some other scary diagnosis. I don’t bring this up it’s because I feel the need to tamp down any positive experience with tragedy. I do think it is more difficult to appreciate the wonder of what is when we fail to recognize the reality of how we got here or what is happening around us.

The Piscataway, Iroquois, Susquehannock, and other woodland native tribes once moved through the area where I live. The Iroquois nation developed and negotiated agreements between tribes through a vast council where all tribes could be represented (but not necessarily have a say in decisions), including European settler representatives. Of course, when decisions were made that did not suite us (my settler ancestors), we used force and viral warfare. That’s right, we deliberately sent infected people, blankets and other trade items into native tribes so that the tribe members would become ill and die.

There isn’t any chance that we did not understand this was morally reprehensible and wrong. Deliberately sending infections into places where we knew people did not have any immunity build-up or access to any cures. *sigh* Now we pretend our motives for infection spread are about our personal freedom and liberties to conduct our bodies as we see fit even when we know there are those in our communities who cannot receive immune support. Despite having access to better, faster, and more information about diseases and human behaviors, along with technology support, it turns out we aren’t that evolved from our European colonizers in the 17th/18th centuries. Freedom, personal agency, liberty does not extend to putting someone else’s life on the line when you exercise your rights. Hello seatbelts, speed limits, drunk-driving rules, no-smoking zones, vaccine requirements, food labels and regulations, water contaminate disclosures, hazardous waste disposal rules, OSHA…

In this country, ages 5+ have easy ready access to a COVID vaccine and ages 18+ have easy ready access to boosters 6 months out from vaccines. We all have easy access to masks. Our government has treated non-white people like crap. We must do better to earn respect, gain trust through accountability, and recruit everyone who is able to receive the vaccine. We also need to wear masks inside and outside in crowds at all times for the next year at least. Our vulnerable populations depend on those of us who can to do what we can. Exercise our freedom, personal agency, and liberty by doing our part to take care of our community, if for no other reason than that when we are in need (and all of us are at some point) our community can be there for us too.

That’s my two cents on the COVID shiz.

The chestnut oak I had cut down almost two months ago probably saw a Piscataway family heading down to one of the Chesapeake tributaries to gather water or follow deer and turkey for a tasty feast, as they prepared for wintering. I thought about them as I sat with my sweet SonHerisme and family as I ate my little plate of green beans, mashed potatoes, and vege dressing and gave thanks for all of the things.

I am very thankful for you. Thank you for sharing this space with me and for “liking” and commenting as you can when you can. I hope that you are more often surrounded by health and comfort than not. And fairy lights.

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

ps. In other news, I am once again re-reading A New Earth. It turns out, I can’t not do the things of the efforts and trying for something, anything, no matter the pain it brings from the inevitable disappointments. So there it is.

Jab(berwocky) #1

(pic mine, wise woman words)
(or listen here)

COVID vaccine #1 jab received!

Locally, we have established a very efficient system of Sneetches into the community college gymnasium. Apply star (jab). Sneetches wait 15 minutes. Sneetches out. I got a star upon thars! Well, 1/2 of my star. Because of my history with cancer (tips hat to malignant melanoma to keep favor with 5 years NED!!!), I am receiving two doses of Moderna.

I was so adrenalined up excited to get started with my vaccine, I thought that I might be spared any aftereffects BWAHHAHAHAHA. Although, mine are not anything compared to others I am hearing about. After a few hours I felt, well, sort of foggy as if I’d slightly overindulged in alcohol consumption. I couldn’t concentrate and everything around me seemed sort of otherworldly. Overnight, my tummy reminded me how unhappy it is when disruptive things enter my body, and I awakened in the night with a heavy headache.

Today, I am a bit tired (or is it the rain and let down of the vaccinetapation?), my arm is for sure sore sore sore, but am otherwise just fine and going about the business of being me. Yeah, don’t be jealous because that business already involved two vomit clean-ups and one massive temper tantrum needing addressed (generous eye roll). Then again, there was a hot spinach lunch…so… do you, boo.

Good luck with your vaccine jab, if you are getting it, whatever your timeline is! Let us slay that Jabberwocky like nobody’s business!

O frabjous day!

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

Vaccine fight free zone here. Be a reformed Sneetch please and thank you. I know that so many people are worried about the jib jab contents and I am sorry that we have that anxiety to deal with on top of everything else. Sending {{{hugs}}} and wishes for health all around.

And I am going to add a 1/2 star to my belly and Sneetch this Beetch up!

You are all invited to my marshmallow toast party! Stars, 1/2 stars, or no stars upon thars. xo

Milquetoast with Preserves

(or listen here – my voice is weirdo as meirdo)

I slept fitfully last night, as on many previous nights. How about you?

Personal and national economic anxiety? check

COVID repercussions and it’s developing variants? check

Blatant inhumanity of neighbors? check

Perseverance of grossly misaligned boomer white supremacist privileged gaslighting legacy? check

Raising my sweet SonHerisme to face craptastic consequences of all of this shit for which he has zero responsibility in the creation? checkMATE

As one of my totally teenager niece’s says, “UGA.” (not a shout out to them dawgs, obvs)

I am proud that one of my representatives presented the impeachment articles. I wish there were more decisive and firm actions being taken or pursued – it seems like milquetoast consequences to this yogaball chair non expert (of course I am sitting on a yoga ball chair and now you know something more about how to frame your perception of me which is most likely accurate af – apologies and you’re welcome). Unfortunately I have very limited knowledge of how the legislative procedures work and even less super federal law knowledge. I have to count on my communication to my representatives as my means for fighting for our democracy. Or random texts to a former High School government teacher who has the *eye roll ‘n sigh* perfected.

These situations are all hard lessons with coping skills I honed during my challenging divorce. It seems so familiar to me to note we have entered a time where we must find our trusted people and count on them (see previous post). We have to do our own hard work of finding our peace and centering in it so that we can use our oxygenated replenished strength and rebuild the same of others around us. As we all saw in real time last week, emotions spread quickly, especially when they are passionate and unfortunately exacerbated when they are righteously negative in a mob frenzy encouraged by a charismatic narcissistic inhumane leader. Nazi much? People died, people were hurt, property was damaged, bioterrorism was used by the deeply disturbed mask/COVID deniers – ahhhh! It’s all too much really.

My separation and divorce were too much. We almost all got killed through the process (spoiler alert – we did not get killed… sometimes I wonder if this still ends with a ‘yet’).

In order to preserve myself and function, especially as I was an immediate single parent in a lethal situation, I had to recognize the truth, or rely on my trusted people to tell me what truth was/is. I was forced to define my boundaries while recognizing there are boundaries which are out of my control. Advocate for swift firm consequences when boundaries were inevitably breached. Center back into my peace. Repeat day after day after month after year.

For all of us, our children are watching and learning from us. Our parents who have been staunch systematically deliberately programmed Republicans their entire adult lives, are watching us. Which is ironic as GenX on down were raised to share, be inclusive, fight for justice for the underdog, and community oriented. Our trumpian and progressive neighbors are all watching and waiting to see what happens next. We can center and preserve our peace so that our children learn how to recognize the critical importance of self care especially in supremely trying times. This practice will allow us who are able to, take up space and advocate for democracy and truth in ways that we can control: with our resources (grab-your-wallet style), our time (writing letters to representatives, attending civic meetings, keeping informed from vetted quality sources), and our own personal commitment to things we are passionate about with firm boundaries in place.

Not everyone who commits or supports atrocities is held accountable or reaps consequences. See every divorce from a narcissist and the grossly disparate prison population statistics for example. Life is not fair, we already know this hard lesson. Our world is flawed, but we can love it anyway. This isn’t pollyanna milquetoast love, this is set boundaries with consistent consequences and preserve your own wellness, love. I see these pursuits as consequences for those who behave badly – consequences we can absolutely control. Maybe we have a duty to ourselves, our children, our community, our nation and our global community to preserve our personal boundaries and wellness. (article link)

At 12, SonHerisme balks now every time I mention love outside of my love for him which must never ever ever ever be mentioned in public – EVER never. “Mom,” in his newly deepening indignant boy-man voice, “why are you always thinking everyone is going around spreading love?!? Mando is NOT going to fall in love with any of the people on the show and move to the beach!” My response, “love is the thing that makes everything exist – everyone is looking for its signs.”

Below is an exercise prescribed to me during my most difficult and terrifying days. Most of the time I would come to a space where I would channel Oprah (I do not use her anymore, but thank you, Oprah!). She is what would get my car to park in a safe space, get my breathing under control and my body moving so that I could make that walk through the metal detectors into the basement of the courthouse. Maybe this will be useful to you too and you can harness your own inspiration if needed (like maybe Drew Barrymore or Rep. Katie Porter and sorry L, but I don’t think that Greg Davies will work here UNLESS he is literally walking next to you with a menacing face to keep interruptions away or to hand you occasional libation, an OB one might say – overgrown butler and now I’ve made a nonsense segue which has ruined the moment apologies and you’re welcome).

Look around you and see something very specific, anything, and make a mental note of it. Listen for 5 seconds and make a mental note of what you hear. Can you smell anything or taste anything? Make note of that. Find something you can touch and make note of that. Close your eyes and relax the inside corners of both eyes. Lift your shoulders up to your ears then gently release them down through your shoulder blades. Relax your jaw and release your tongue from the roof of your mouth. Take a deep in-breath on a 5 count. Hold for a 5 count. Release that breath on a 7 count. In this moment you are safe. In this moment SonHerisme is safe. In this moment you can breathe in love and breathe out love.

If you can, as you can, go do the things even if the things are preservative rest.

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

ps. according to Chase’s Calendar of Events, yesterday was hot tea with a poem day and I liked that bit – the rest of yesterday, though… anywho #carryonpeacewarriors

Long Black Branches

the Potomac
(or listen here)

Here is what I need and perhaps you need it as well:

Have you ever tried to enter the long black branches of other lives —
tried to imagine what the crisp fringes, full of honey, hanging
from the branches of the young locust trees, in early morning, feel like?

Do you think this world was only an entertainment for you?

Never to enter the sea and notice how the water divides
with perfect courtesy, to let you in!
Never to lie down on the grass, as though you were the grass!
Never to leap to the air as you open your wings over the dark acorn of your heart!

No wonder we hear, in your mournful voice, the complaint
that something is missing from your life!

Who can open the door who does not reach for the latch?
Who can travel the miles who does not put one foot
in front of the other, all attentive to what presents itself
continually?
Who will behold the inner chamber who has not observed
with admiration, even with rapture, the outer stone?

Well, there is time left —
fields everywhere invite you into them.

And who will care, who will chide you if you wander away
from wherever you are, to look for your soul?

Quickly, then, get up, put on your coat, leave your desk!

To put one’s foot into the door of the grass, which is
the mystery, which is death as well as life, and
not be afraid!

To set one’s foot in the door of death, and be overcome
with amazement!

To sit down in front of the weeds, and imagine
god the ten-fingered, sailing out of his house of straw,
nodding this way and that way, to the flowers of the
present hour,
to the song falling out of the mockingbird’s pink mouth,
to the tippets of the honeysuckle, that have opened

in the night

To sit down, like a weed among weeds, and rustle in the wind!

Listen, are you breathing just a little, and calling it a life?

While the soul, after all, is only a window,

and the opening of the window no more difficult
than the wakening from a little sleep.

Only last week I went out among the thorns and said
to the wild roses:
deny me not,
but suffer my devotion.
Then, all afternoon, I sat among them. Maybe

I even heard a curl or tow of music, damp and rouge red,
hurrying from their stubby buds, from their delicate watery bodies.

For how long will you continue to listen to those dark shouters,
caution and prudence?
Fall in! Fall in!

A woman standing in the weeds.
A small boat flounders in the deep waves, and what’s coming next
is coming with its own heave and grace.

Meanwhile, once in a while, I have chanced, among the quick things,
upon the immutable.
What more could one ask?

And I would touch the faces of the daises,
and I would bow down
to think about it.

That was then, which hasn’t ended yet.

Now the sun begins to swing down. Under the peach-light,
I cross the fields and the dunes, I follow the ocean’s edge.

I climb, I backtrack.
I float.
I ramble my way home.

Poem by Mary Oliver From West Wind: Poems and Prose Poems

A poem, Have You Ever Tried to Enter the Long Black Branches, by Mary Oliver read by me for you which is my way of reaching out and giving you all a post-COVID hug with maskless wild abandon! (except for K who wishes to receive this as a cup of hot tea *wink* which will be shared with M who brings all of the Emma Bridgewater Ă  la table!)

Love, Ms Herisme xoxo

ps. Well

If our government officials who can make a difference today, choose to not make a swift decisive hard boundary difference today, I’m afraid that we are in for even worse over the next 10 days. The time of separation is the most lethal when leaving an abuser. If this is too obtuse for you – our president is a narcissistic abusive criminal and voting him out of office has made us vulnerable on a lethality scale used to measure the likelihood lethal harm will come to spouses/partners/children in abusive situations. I don’t want to know this, but I do and now you do too. You’re welcome!

Also, the COVID variants which are anti-body resistant have a faster spread including through children. *sigh* Wear a damn mask fuck all please. Assume you have COVID and everyone you are breathing the same air space with is going to die when you breathe masklessly with them. Get your damned shit together and stop being a virus spewer. (not intended for you bc I know that you are wearing a mask – I am yelling into the ether of lost people devoted to inhumane thoughts and actions then couching it in dramatically swishing righteous cloaks of Jesus and conspiracy wack-a-do as moral superiority).

I digress because my emotions and brainiac are what they are… koyc (kiss on your cheek, post covid natch)

Lanterns

(Or Listen Here)

I cannot tell you how we moved. I had rather not remember. I believe my “effects” were brought in a bandbox, and the “deathless me,” on foot, not many moments after. I took at the time a memorandum of my several senses, and also of my hat and coat, and my best shoes – but it was lost in the mĂȘlĂ©e, and I am out with lanterns, looking for myself. Emily Dickinson letters

As we move out of this Gregorian calendar year 2020 and into Gregorian calendar year 2021 (shout out Pope Gregory XIII matching the Easter celebrations with Spring equinox!), it seems as though we will all need our very best lanterns to find each other, to find ourselves and our paths wherever they may lead. Many of us have lost precious people, precious things, income, health insurance, our own world order where we defined ourselves, and more to 2020.

At this time last year, the meme was “How do I know what to expect next year, I don’t have 2020 vision.” Damn, that seems like a dark foreshadowing omen now. Not the wicked cool Gaiman/Tennant/Sheen Good Omens kind of omen, more the creepy fucked up serial killer psychotic orange clown kind of omen that nobody wants. Now we’re all going to be, “hindsight is 2020 yo!” (apparently we are all beast boy now)

The vaccine is coming of course, but it will be some time before it reaches most of us (myself included). This is right and proper, for me, since I am okay to stay at home for the time being. Vaccines should be going out to front line COVID medical workers, all other healthcare workers, grocery/gas station/essential living workers, teachers and school staff, vulnerable populations (including children), then finally people such as myself. Currently there is not a vaccine for children at all. There are recent medical reports that question what we have been thinking about children, schools, and covid. DUH seriously every single bacteria/virus spreads like wildfire through childcare/school institutions. 1 kid has lice/pinworms/ringworm/flu/cold/bronchitis/etc = everyone gets lice/pinworms/ringworm/flu/cold/bronchitis/etc in every family with even little to remote contact with that child. WTF were we thinking that somehow this particular virus was just going to skip that ripe environment. The ol’ HH (human hubris) strikes again!

In the meantime, we are all mentally exhausted. We have reached a space where the realness is hitting very hard and direct. Even those entrenched in the conspiracy world can no longer deny the effects of COVID-19 whether they “believe” in the existence of the virus or “believe” in mask wearing/social distancing or “believe” in a vaccine – the world has changed for everyone. Far too many of us have allowed too much space for persistent lack of empathy. We are literally killing ourselves for a truly fucked ideology which says it is a noble individual’s right to purposefully inflict defined potential lethal harm on others in the name of personal freedom!

This is taking a serious toll on our mental health. Those of us who have experienced relationship with narcissistic abusers have already gone through the excuses, denial, numbness, shock, grief cycles innumerable times. We have coping strategies, not all of them healthy of course, but we have them. Again, this ain’t our first yo-yo through the crazy rodeo.

As we see everyone else moving through these same emotions with us, we are in pain. We are all in pain. This is a deep collective grief.

Those unhealthy coping strategies are cropping up as the pain is too great. We may choose not to remember anything from this year or how we landed where we are in this lifetime. I can feel the mental distress rising and I am sure that you can too, if you are able to feel anything beyond grief at this moment. This is where the rest of us, despite having lost our navigation as well, grab our lanterns (as we can and when we can) and go out into this deep darkness to look not only for ourselves but for you as well. Even if only through prayers, ringing bells, texts, memes, delivering cookies and meals, fixing coffee for a peaceful moment, lighting candles, burning sage into a New Year’s Fire, opening doors letting the old ways pass and the new ways in – we are out there with each other trying our very best.

I am not sure that I can light your lantern for you – most likely that is an unhealthy fool’s errand and I cannot. But know that I am trying very hard to light my own and will gladly share it with you.

Healthier 2021 Wishes to you all

Love, Ms Herisme xoxo

#carryonpeacewarrior #carryonhealthwarrior but whatever you do, please do #carryon or let someone else carry you for a bit by phoning one of these Mental Health Hotlines:

Mental Health America and National Suicide Prevention Hotline 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration 1-800-662-HELP (4357)