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Kenopsia

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"Love is like infinity: You can't have more or less infinity, and you can't compare two things to see if they're 'equally infinite.' Infinity just is, and that's the way I think love is, too." Fred Rogers

Kenopsia - n.  - the eerie, forlorn atmosphere of a place that’s usually bustling with people but is now abandoned and quiet—a school hallway in the evening, an unlit office on a weekend, vacant fairgrounds—an emotional afterimage that makes it seem not just empty but hyper-empty, with a total population in the negative, who are so conspicuously absent they glow like neon signs. (Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows).




This is a weird time. I feel like there's competing feelings raging inside me. I think it's worthwhile for me to share what I've been contemplating. I'm back in remote classes for the remainder of my semester of school. It's been an adventure to say the least, but in some ways I am grateful to have access to education, and to …

Asynchronous

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"Our society is much more interested in information than wonder, in noise rather than silence...And I feel that we need a lot more wonder and a lot more silence in our lives" Fred Rogers

What a time to be alive. Those words have been truer than in this current sociopolitical moment. Feels like we're on two juxtaposed timelines. One where folx are continuing to go about their lives as if nothing has changed, and another that is nearly eschatological and dystopian. Everything is normal and simultaneously it's not. What the actual hell is going on? How we both know but also not really know. Maybe it's because the threat that we're facing as a collective populous is not quite visible in the ways that we traditionally consider dangerous. In fact, it's microscopic, subtle, and obscure. It's at once nowhere to be seen and absolutely everywhere. How do we escape the thing that's all around us and beyond our control. Control. There's that word again. Th…

Whelmed

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"Little by little we human beings are confronted with situations that give us more and more clues that we are not perfect. " Fred Rogers

Some days we're overwhelmed, while others we are underwhelmed. When are we just well ... whelmed? I think of how often I hear from others that they are overwhelmed, and that feeling leads them to paralysis. It's that moment of having too much, excess, or more than we can bear that scares us into submission. We shut down. We break down. We stop moving. The irony is what we really need to is to keep moving but do so strategically, in ways that give us back control. We just need to do or handle one thing, and one thing only before moving on to the next thing. I think about what happens when my laundry piles up. I've done one load and need to fold it, but then here comes another, and another, and suddenly I have a mountain of clean clothes that seems so insurmountable that I cannot even begin to imagine tackling it. So I don't. A…

Cope

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"You haven’t healed, I can tell from how cruel you are.” Warsan Shire
We're all carrying things with us. Some of things we're carrying visibly weigh on us while others are cloaked but remain heavy nonetheless. The thing about heaviness is that we have the potential to transform it. Oftentimes we get caught up in believing that the hardships we carry will be part of us for our entireties. In reality, we can shift the weight, redistribute it, or even better lighten the load. I don't think we ever really unload all that has stayed with us but I do believe that we can compact it, extract its essence, and convert it into something more manageable or even useful. What a powerful sentiment. There's hope in that. 

If we don't have to hold all this heaviness forever that can mean a great deal for us. That means that how we feel, what we're holding, and how we're carrying it will not always be this way. Things aren't hopeless. While some things may be permanen…

Endangered

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"Empathy is simply listening, holding space, withholding judgment, emotionally connecting, and communicating that incredibly healing message of you’re not alone.” Brene Brown

I saw a tweet the other day that stopped me in my tracks and made my jaw drop. How could someone so succinctly summarize this seemingly convoluted concept I had rattling around in my head. She said, "Americans are really good at acute compassion, but pretty bad at chronic empathy. We without questions, haul strangers out a raging flood, give blood, give shelter. But we are lousy at legislating safe, sustainable communities, at eldercare, at accessible streets and buildings. It is the long-term work that makes the disasters less damaging. But we don't want to give to the needy, we want to save the endangered. We don't like being care workers, we want to be heroes. The world does not need more heroes.  We need more care." Sigrid Joy Ellis

We struggle with sustained care. We want to fly in, save…

Human

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“Anything that’s human is mentionable, and anything that is mentionable can be more manageable. When we can talk about our feelings, they become less overwhelming, less upsetting, and less scary. The people we trust with that important talk can help us know that we are not alone.”Fred Rogers


You know who is awe-inspiringly human ... kids. Children are the most remarkable embodiment of what humanity can be. What would our world look like if we sought to emulate the humanity of children? We have our humanity tamed as we grow older. Children are carefree, fearless, and zany. They show affectionate readily, communicate candidly, and ask questions. Their curiosity for the world around them is their greatest asset. Kids are weird. They do things without reason but also have this profound worldview that is less clouded by socialization. They don't hold back for better or worse. They cry, express joy, laugh a whole lot, and feel their feelings. They can be so human it hurts. 

We used to be …

Exhausted

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"The health of the eye seems to demand a horizon. We are never tired, so long as we can see far enough." Ralph Waldo Emerson
I am tired. I am absolutely exhausted. I am completely depleted. I don't think I have ever felt this tired in the entirety of my life. There's something distinctly about the tiredness I'm experiencing as of late. It's not just that my body feels unrested regardless of how much I sleep, it's the general lethargy that pervades through the days. Life is tiring. Having to be a person all of the time is depleting. Needing to do, needing to be, and needing to know is a whole lot. There's so little room and time for existing without the world or the people in it needing or wanting something from me. I have found myself turning off my phone and disconnecting more and more. I just disappear and pretend to not exist for a little while. It's almost peaceful but I know what awaits me when I return from my few moments of solitude is a bar…