This morning I woke up to the hazy orange-gray of a post-apocalyptic Oregon dystopian late summer day on fire.
My roommate told me that the refugee camp she worked at in Syria had burned to the ground (arson, not wildfires-caused-by-gender-reveal-party-bullshit-coupled-with-climate-change) and had instantly made 1300 people homeless.
My whole house smells like smoke, even though the windows are closed. I went outside for less than a minute to leave water for the squirrels and crows and then spent 10 minutes hack-coughing.
Thousands of US citizens have been evacuated from the homes, losing everything.
The number of COVID cases is climbing quickly toward 200k
Black men are still getting shot in the streets.
White teens are shooting protestors and then being praised for it by their conservative elders.
We still have 4 months left of 2020, including a super polarizing election that has the potential to start another Civil War.
So I cannot tell you emphatically enough: YOU NEED TO FIND SOMETHING YOU LIKE TODAY.
Something. Anything. Many things.
FIND THE THINGS AND LIKE THEM.
Look, I know we live in this culture where it’s weird to like things in the middle of strife, as if everything is so horrible that the only “right” attitude is to fully commit to misery and banish all pleasures or whatever.
But here’s the truth: None of us can afford to sink into the pit of despair. We need to keep our soul buckets filled with drops of gladness and our gas tanks topped off with life-energy. We need to find small joys and hold tenaciously fast like small rodents clinging to tree branches in the midst of a raging storm.
You can still unapologetically like things. You are allowed in these hard times to find pockets of pleasure and moments of joy. In fact, you must.
Because, you and I, we have to keep going.
So, go get yourself that Pumpkin Spice Latte. Even though I’m more of a Mexican mocha gal myself, I’ve never understood the vitriol over this controversial fall bevvy and it’s PSL offshoots and “abominations.”
So pumpkin spice stuff doesn’t really taste like pumpkins or spice! So it’s probably made of pure chemicals! So it’s radioactive orange color resembles the color of our burning sky and the cheeto-faced Monster Drumph! SO WHAT? Surely it’s alright for people to enjoy the things they want to enjoy?
You know what I say? Savor that Simulacrum!
Just let other people like things. Let yourself like things. WE REALLY FRICKIN NEED TO JUST UNAPOLOGETICALLY LIKE THINGS RIGHT NOW
For me, I’m staying in my bed and keeping the curtains closed. I’m crying tears for all those who have lost so much. I’m praying for rain. I’m canceling credit cards I don’t use. I’m eating scones with the apricot jam my high school English teacher sent me. I’m reading a Regency-era romance novel. I’m writing these words to you. I’m laughing at memes. I’m watching this video of Collin Braley, playing a poignant marimba composition in the midst of his burned down music studio in Ashland, and I’m weeping—humbled and hopeful to be a member of this humanity where a person could somehow have the strength to make beauty while literally standing in the ashes of his dreams and plans.
We are allowed to have both joy and sorrow. One does not dishonor the other. They are compatriots and friends. And we are allowed to taste both the bitter and sweet on our tongues, finding notes of sadness and hope as we savor the wonder in the wreckage.
THREE GOOD THINGS
1) The Dodo’s baby animal feed is always my go-to warm fuzzy feels spot on Instagram. And I recently discovered that they have a Youtube channel! SQUEE!
2) Drag Race Canada is finally on Vh1!