From Awaysaway

Updates From the Village in My Mind

I was listening to a podcast this week, and the hosts expressed that they are opposed to cancel culture.

I 100% disagree.

If a person conducts themselves in a manner that shows they are a sexual harasser, a bigot, sexist, transphobic, racist, vote suppressors, domestic violence perp . . . then for me that person is cancelled.

To be clear, I do not distinguish the “artist” from the “art.”

Woody Allen. Cancelled. Shia LaBeouf. Cancelled. Rosanne Barr. Cancelled. Chris Brown. Cancelled. Dustin Hoffman. Cancelled. Quentin Tarantino. Cancelled. Bill Murray. Cancelled. Mel Gibson. Cancelled.

All republicans. Cancelled.

And my cancelled list goes on and on. And grows every day.

And this is not limiting. It is, for me, liberating.

Also, here’s a fuzzy caterpillar I saw one day while hiking in Oregon.

#CancelCulture

by Shāymus MacĀmus

For me, one consequence of COVID-19 times has been a general inability to enjoy the distraction of a TV series or watching a movie on TV. I think this comes from that fact that watching the characters go about their activities (sitcom stuff, action stuff, whatever stuff) without wearing masks pulls me out of the show — by reminding me that “Oh, this show or movie can’t be real because look how nobody is wearing a mask.” Alternatively, the show or movie can make me wistful or uncomfortably nostalgic for the “before times” — and it makes me sad for the people in the show or movie (characters and actors alike), because I know what’s coming for them one day in their future — COVID-19 times.

However, I have lately found some sort of comfort in watching 24/7 live streams on Explore.org. ( https://explore.org/livecams ) In particular, one of the “Africam” streams. It’s a camera positioned beside a watering hole called “Rosie’s Pan.” It streams night and day. It’s so remotely located that it is powered entirely by solar panels. There is the constant drown of insects. Sometimes I’ve seen an elephant come by and take a drink. Birds will sometimes fly by. Ducks will land in the water and nibble on whatever ducks nibble on. And COVID-19 has not impacted the ebb and flow of nature, day and night, over and over, at this remote spot on Earth.

by Shāymus MacĀmus

I try to be humble. And there is really no reason for me not to be. Still, I do take pride in the fact that this year, like every year, I have no idea what teams are playing in the Super Bowl. Or even if it’s over. Or who is performing (or did perform) at the halftime show.

Here’s how much interest I have in sports: 0.

Also, here’s a photo of moss hanging from a tree that I saw while hiking in Oregon.

by Shāymus MacĀmus

I am not superstitious. At all.

I find it puzzling and infuriating that any religion or religious group is granted special privileges by the government.

Also, here’s a small section of abandoned train tracks I came up while hiking in Oregon.

by Shāymus MacĀmus

The first moment I am eligible for to be vaccinated, I am gonna jump right on it. Jab me already. Please.

Like so many people, I miss the “before times.” I think back over the decades of my life, and a feel wistful for the naive manner in which I participated in life. Each year, as a kid, on the 4th of July (before I associated fireworks with a celebration of war and colonialism ....) I’d go to the city park where everyone gathered and spread out blankets to sit on and watch the display; in high school I’d go congregate with everyone else in the parking lot of a local pizza place; in college I’d go to bars crammed with people, or play pool at the edgier, smaller—but equally congested—bars; and as an adult I’ve milled around in places where other adults mill around to get the shit done that goes hand-in-hand with so much of adult life—grocery stores, target ..... All the while, blissfully unaware of the luxury of those congregate activities.

Now I wonder, how is it that a COVID-like crisis has not happened before in modern times. With air travel and Ebola, how is it that this has not happened, essentially, constantly? How will it not happen again, constantly?

And now that it looks like I might get a COVID vaccine by, what, August—six months from now—I’m ambivalent. Trepidatious even. Not because I am worried about side effects. I trust science. Rather, I simply do not want to go back to certain before times ways. I like working at home. I do not want to drive to work again. I do not want to pay a monthly parking fee. I do not want to work in an office. I like having groceries delivered to my door. I would prefer to never go to any Target ever again.

I do not miss watching movies in movie theaters. (But I do miss legit movie theater popcorn).

The “outside-my-house” activity that I most enjoy is hiking with my dog. And that is a solitary activity that includes zero COVID risk.

Really, the only thing I miss about before-times (aside from hugs) is coffee in a coffee shop. But, in truth, that is an activity that I almost never engaged in. Rather, I miss the “idea of” coffee in a coffee shop. The idea of reading and writing in a coffee shop.

Also, here’s a photo of a drop of water I saw while hiking.

by Shāymus MacĀmus

You won. You won by millions of votes. The voters need support in the form of cash, debt forgiveness, eviction prohibitions, free vaccinations, universal health care, anti-discrimination policies, defunding the the police—and funding anti-recidivism investment, decriminilization of recreational drugs anti-addiction assistance. It’s not a handout. It’s our money. It’s our resources. Make it happen. F_ _ k the republicans. Make it happen. Make. It. Happen. Now!

Also, here’s a photo of flower I saw while hiking in Oregon.

by Shāymus MacĀmus

I’ve been researching, with limited success, where would be appropriate on the Fediverse to include posts to this blog.

I consider my “From Awaysaway” to be personal blog. A place where I can post personal thoughts, maybe poems I write (if I write any), vent about politics, engage in self-therapy by writing about my own issues, and share photos that I take.

Currently, I am leaning towards the (https://writing.exchange) Writing.Exchange Fediverse instance.

Also, here’s a photo of a deer I encountered while hiking in Oregon.

by Shāymus MacĀmus

I don’t do New Year’s resolutions.

Usually.

But I wanted to start journaling again. So I “resolved” to do so, starting January 1, 2021.

I used this an an excuse to try using a fountain pen—for the first time. And I used that an an excuse to research fountain pens, so I could decide which one to buy and use. Eventually, I opted for a Sailor 1911, the “Loch Ness” version. Sailor is a respected fountain manufacturer, and the 1911 is a top-rated model (based on my research). I personally liked the “1911” moniker because that was the year my grandpa was born. I liked the “Loch Ness” part of this version’s name because it ties in nicely with my Scottish heritage.

I also used this as an opportunity to research and invest in a nice journal. I opted for a very simple Midori journal—the MD Notebook Journal A5, 1 day/1 page, dot grid. Relatively inexpensive. It’s a spartan journal, but that’s exactly why I like it.

So now, after three weeks of using the Sailor 1911, I can truthfully report that I love it, and love using it. It’s fun to use. It’s fun to fill the ink cartridge thingy. It “feels” good on the page. It makes my penmanship look better than it really is. I look forward to journaling every day.

Because this is my first fountain pen, I cannot compare it to other fountain pens. But for journaling, in my opinion, a fountain pen (or at least this fountain pen, for me) makes for a more mindful, reflective writing process. And, for me, that’s a major benefit.

Oh, and here’s a photo I took of a bird, while I was hiking in Oregon.

by Shāymus MacĀmus

As a progressive, it has been hard for me to feel excited about Biden. I’ve been more excited at the prospect of Harris (as woman of color) potentially becoming president in 4 or 8 years, but even that excitement has been substantially tempered by her history as a prosecutor.

But today, hearing Biden speak calmly (and with strength, confidence, empathy) of systemic racism, the climate crisis, the COVID deaths and challenges, and of democracy’s victory, I literally breathed a sign of relief. Frankly, I also breathed a sigh of relief when the swearing in was completed—without the crack of gun fire.

The world has seen how fragile our democracy is. I wonder how the world can trust us to keep promises (or to act globally) when it has seen that every four years a complete asshole can be elected and turn everything into a festering pool of hate and chaos.

But for just today. Relief.

Also, here’s a photo I took of an owl that I saw while hiking in Oregon.

by Shāymus MacĀmus

For me, an impact of COVID-19 has been an inability to watch an entire episode of almost any TV show. Some of it is probably just because of the low-grade anxiety that is always here now. It has made me generally fidgety when watching a TV show episode.

But some of it is also because of my nostalgia for the before times. I try to watch an episode and pretty soon it does not seem real—because the characters are hanging out together. They might be hugging, eating breakfast at a diner, playing cards, laughing....all without wearing a mask. All right up close to each other. Right up in each other’s business.

And realizing that the TV show is depicting the way it was. Not the way it is now. Any maybe, just maybe, might not be again—at least not exactly the same. Realizing that, makes me nostalgic. Nostalgic and sad.

Maybe because I’m an introvert the pandemic, in some ways, has not been as personally horrible for me as for others. I don’t know. But maybe it has impacted me just as deeply as anyone else—just differently in some ways.

Also, here’s a photo a spiderweb I saw while hiking in Oregon.

#COVID-19 #Pandemic #introvert

by Shāymus MacĀmus

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