This pandemic continues to expose the many holes in our inhumane, capitalism-obsessed society. We’re about to see an enormous surge in the numbers of people who are unhoused. Those figures were already shameful and they’re about to become catastrophic. For the last three days, I’ve worked with the Denver chapter of Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) as a housing advocate offering support to those facing eviction. The stories I’ve heard made me scream, rage, cry, and cry some more.
Silly me, I thought it made sense to encourage an elderly couple infected with covid to emphasize their health issues during their eviction hearing in order to buy time before they were forced to move out. Wrong. I listened in yesterday during their virtual court hearing as the husband described the difficulties of his health issues and then reminded the judge that it was against public health and safety to put covid-positive people out on the street. Was the judge affected by this sound argument? Not at all.
The good news is that their eviction notice/notice to quit was served incorrectly and now the process starts over. That will buy the couple time to, I hope, recover before they’re forced from their home. That’s considered a victory in this hellscape reality.
I’m waiting to hear back from a young couple who had their eviction hearing this afternoon. There are three generations living in that apartment and the family has been desperately searching for a new place to live ever since getting their notice to quit. There’s nothing out there for them.
Tomorrow is the hearing for two brothers. One lost his job at the start of the pandemic, but the other still had a job with reduced hours which allowed them to hang on by a thread. Then second one lost his job when the employer couldn’t hold on any longer. Their unemployment benefits took so long to be processed they are now facing eviction. They spent all of July looking for a new home but, surprise surprise, no one wants to rent to two unemployed people.
In both cases, the tenants had always paid their rent on time and tried to arrange payment schedules during this hard situation. Didn’t matter. The landlords are determined to kick them out in the street during a pandemic.
We are a broken society. There is nothing great about a country that not only allows this kind of abuse but intentionally puts laws on the books that inflict trauma on its citizens. Eviction is an act of violence.
It is way past time to rise up.
Blue Flax in raised patio bed. May 17, 2018.
Nothing profound, nothing insightful or educational.
Just me posting a blue flax, hoping the image brings a moment of calm in these very rough waters.
. . . I had this view while taking a break for lunch:
No internet connection. No ugly, horrific news. Just a calm and peaceful corner of the world. I wish that for everyone. Every day.
Couldn’t find artist or location of this graffiti.
This image pretty much sums it up:
(1) right now I can’t bear to hear/see/speak about the latest atrocities committed against the planet’s most vulnerable by the world’s most powerful and (2) imperialism and insatiable greed are the two constants behind all U.S. military actions.
We’ve seen this movie.
Today I went through my email and unsubscribed from every political, environmental, and news organization that sends me updates, action alerts, petitions, pleas for money, links to never-ending bad news, etc.
I’m worn out and run-down. Exhausted.
Between the constant assault on the planet and the constant assault on the most vulnerable/powerless people of the planet, I’ve had enough. (Note: These assaults aren’t new, just more blatant than before.)
I’ve fought the good fight for many years, and I know I’m needed now. But I also know I’m no good to anyone or anything if I’m not healthy. So I’m temporarily changing my status from Activist to Inactive.
Today I’m taking action for me.
I plan on watching lots of cavorting goat videos.
I know I’m not alone in feeling overwhelmed by all the horrifying happenings in the world right now. In an act of self-preservation, I’ve spent today in a fictional world that exists in my head. I’m revising my middle-grade novel, spending time with some funny girls and “bad” guys who, in the big scheme of things, aren’t really all that bad. I know that I need to return to reality tomorrow and behave as a contributing member of society, but right now I’m hunkered down in a happier place.
The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up.
~ Mark Twain
From “The Top 40 Most Hilariously Wrong Exam Answers”
I hope that helped. I’m definitely feeling better.
A garden is to be a world unto itself,
it had better make room
for the darker shades of feeling as well as the sunny ones.
~ William Kent
I worked in my garden today and experienced conflicting feelings. Why was I born into this life and society while others were born into regions of the world that are under constant assault? I’m no more exceptional than any of those people facing horrific circumstances. Why is that I can quietly work in my garden while others know only mayhem and violence?
At times, I felt guilty for my easy day outside under the blue sky.
However, I also felt satisfaction knowing my work would help living things thrive and that my efforts were keeping materials from the landfill. I reminded myself that I was creating beauty in the world and that beauty is a legitimate pursuit.
Last spring’s poppy blooms reminding me of the beauty yet to come.
Today, my garden made room for all the feelings.
Image from Pexels.com
Now more than ever
creatives are essential.
Can’t let ugly win.
I just saw this tweet:
I responded with this:
And now I can’t stop thinking about how for years and years I maintained an Iraq death toll sign in my front yard. Every day I looked up the death tolls for Iraqi civilians and U.S. troops, and changed the numbers on the sign. The sign Zippy and I kept chained to our locust tree after other versions were stolen. The sign that resulted in vandalism and harrassment from people in our neighborhood. The sign that was my voice after my elected “representatives” refused to listen to me and the millions of people around the globe who took to the streets to demand the United States NOT invade Iraq in 2003.
Death toll numbers as of August 8, 2014
That photo is from a post on August 8, 2014, when Obama started bombing Iraq some more. I never put it out again despite the ongoing, never-ending death and destruction following the U.S. led invasion and occupation of Iraq.
Which brings me back to Adam H. Johnson’s tweet and my shame.
The corporate elites and imperialists count on us to be apathetic due to overwhelm, but it’s on me that I’ve let the people of Iraq slip off my emotional radar. Just as it’s on me that I’ve pretty much become numb and desensitized to every single instance of death and destruction. I don’t want to feel numb and desensitized, I really don’t. I’d rather be angry and in the streets with a pitchfork.
But everything feels like too fucking much.