It’s been, um, an eventful couple of weeks, hasn’t it? Ongoing plague, worldwide protests, and discussions of some very long overdue social changes finally getting started. I guess Covid-19 has been good for one thing…it made sure that people were home without the distractions they usually use to insulate themselves from the horrors that the police have been visiting on Black people for centuries and they’re finally getting mad about it.
About damned time. I’m glad to see that serious discussions about defunding the police and revamping the training and required standards of behavior are finally happening, as well. The fact that the police have a massively bloated budget and are supposed to be in charge of way more things they should be is half the problem, and when you put that into the mix with screaming racism, it’s a quite literally fatal combination.
On a positive note, Twitter’s push to amplify the voices of Black artists and writers has given me a whole lot of new folks’ work to check out, and I’m loving it. I’m particularly happy to see a lot of folks pushing to amplify arts and stories that aren’t only about Black trauma. I’m uncomfortable with how everything is often centered on what boils down to “educating White people about systemic racism”. Not because I’m uncomfortable with the subject matter, but because at a certain point, it stops being helpful and starts being trauma porn, and joins the ranks of things like queer people are only about rainbows and glitter to cover the tears of love denied, and Native Americans are only about Colonialism and the Trail of Tears, and none of us get to be real people just making fan art or writing sci-fi or fantasy or ya know, things that aren’t about being a hated demographic and how it makes our lives terrible. (I say “our” because I fall in to the queer category, but hey guess what! My art has literally nothing to do with what it’s like to be a bisexual woman in a straight-passing relationship or the shitty things that people have done to me because bi women are hypersexualized, because really? That’s a part of my life, but it’s not something I feel needs to be on display or be the defining feature of my existence. I don’t owe anyone that glitter.)
I also have a problem with this growing idea lately that we all need to stare, unblinking, down the Firehose of Suck, like it’s A Clockwork fucking Orange. The world is, and has always been, a shitshow, but it is also full of wonder and beauty and good things, and so are we. Focusing exclusively on the horror is bad for the collective psyche and accomplishes nothing but damaging everyone’s mental health. I’m not saying ignore the suck, but ffs, GO LOOK AT A PRETTY SUNSET OR LISTEN TO A PLEASANT SONG AT LEAST ONCE AN HOUR WHILE YOU HAVE A SCRAP OF SANITY. (I’m a certified health care professional whose field deals pretty heavily with mitigating the damaging effects of stress on the human body. LISTEN TO A PROFESSIONAL WHEN I TELL YOU THAT STRESSING YOURSELF OUT ABOUT BAD THINGS HAPPENING, WITHOUT A BREAK, WILL STRAIGHT UP KILL YOU IN A HORRIBLE WAY AND TO KNOCK IT OFF. Go get a glass of water, take your vitamins, read a good book, and get some damned sleep. You can’t fight injustice and build a better world for everyone if you’re insane or dead.)
*slowly takes a deep breath, focusing only on my breath going into my body*
*exhales slowly, focusing only on my breath going out of my body*
*repeats for a total of three calming breaths*
*takes a sip of water*
Now, where was I? Oh, right. So yeah, seriously, there are some awesome new to me artists and storytellers cropping up all over the internet lately, and I’m looking forward to checking out their work. I encourage y’all to go seek out new to you folks, too, because more art is good! The world needs more artists. We need to envision the world being better, or what the hell are we even fighting for?
As for my stuff, I’m working on overhauling my website, and getting my studio workspace reconfigured to focus on making jewelry more, as well as figuring out how to sell jewelry and do any kind of travel in a world where I can’t be in physical proximity to other people. In all honesty, there’s a non-zero chance that this is going to be my only website for a little while, if I can’t get the hosting and ecommerce situation sorted. I’ll hold onto my domain, but there may not be an active website on it for a couple of months. We’ll see. I might be able to pull something off.
Hope y’all are holding up okay. I’ll try and write more often. I don’t mean to be as radio silent as I have been. The world has been A Lot lately, and I might be a witch, but I’m also just one little river nymph with only a small stream and a bit of small swamp to her name. In the meantime, drink more water, get some rest, wear your mask, wash your hands, and let’s go see about building a kinder world, shall we?
(Originally posted on Patreon at https://www.patreon.com/riversdaughter.)