Nov. 4: Still Loosh
How to describe the feeling in my chest...
A repetitive crashing on my inner wall. The townspeople in my system all bracing themselves for the next wave.
My shoulders hunch. My neck crackles when my head turns.
I slow my breath. I turn to color coded mantras on the walls that face me: "When in doubt, relax," "Trust the process," "Fucking Gratitude," and "What is expected tends to be realized". I watch the tacked November 2020 calendar page lilt and sway in the tossed air from the ceiling fan. The large-bold title font emphasizes a kind of certainty that this month does not reflect, at least today anyway.
I would love to say that everything is completely fine.
I would love to take the gratitude route and list everything I have, because it is so much.
I would love to take a deep breath with everyone I know. Magically line up friends and family from here to Canada and spend all day giving long hugs and genuine words of hope.
But I am stuck on one side of a border that will not be crossed for the foreseeable future. My family and friends who already only see me once a year or less, can no longer be reached with a few travel booking clicks and a packed bag. I'm also specifically stuck on the much more fearful and confusing side of that border. I'm in a place where the news can be anything. The truth can be chosen at will. The violent oppression and frightful policy against my fellow humans can be spun into "great for America", and an election that carries global consequences can still be undecided as the week wears on, because half of America seems fine with ignoring death, corruption and the rise of white supremacy. If I go too deep into those realizations and the questions that follow (Have we all been hacked? What is actually real anymore? What's the point?) I will surely break down, so instead I hold my mantras tight, batten down my inside hatches, face today's tasks and not the world's.
The waves still crash in my chest. Everything rises and tumbles downward together. Gratitude and guilt, anxiety and hope, infallible belief in love and deeply felt fear all flow and collide on my insides. In the coming days I will scroll, refresh, ignore, pray, read, avoid, and breathe deeply. Perhaps the answer is embedded in that American tradition: take care of me first and worry about the consequences later. I hope it isn't. I hope there is a future where at least a little more care is taken, a little more information is honest, a little more unconditional love is focused upon. I won't stop hoping.
I am also stuck-by-choice in another day with zero social media. A few people have applauded the choice. A few have lamented it. Most people have said nothing. After a full month, it's still complicated for me. Sure, I miss the 5-second satisfaction of a good meme or a nice shared moment in someone's day. I no longer spend time trying to brighten the digital space with emoji-filled comments and little hearts. I'm less informed on what you've been up to, what you last ate, what your baby looks like, where you are and what you're dealing with. And you don't know that I road tripped to Vegas, Tucson, and Sedona with my best friend, went to a COVID-safe wedding on a cowboy ranch, and got a new tattoo. You maybe don't know about the Halloween event we threw in our backyard with some kickass bands and merchandise, or the couple of days I played a 2005 Miami cop for an upcoming Netflix series (a nonspeaking role but I did get to arrest a guy). Unless you live with me, you probably don't know that my good friend and fellow artist, Charles Way, is staying here in his transition to LA, and that the house is filled with his disciplined dancing, big smile, and beautiful song lyrics day after day. You may not know that I'm still taking piano lessons and will be singing and playing Jingle Bell Rock for a digital Christmas concert, or that I'm 4 weeks into a writing class on Creative Research and get to interview A.C. Thompson over Zoom later today.
I'm still COVID-19 negative. I got my latest test yesterday, and despite so much travel and human interaction, I have been masked, sanitized, distanced and cognizant, although Arizona gave me the vibe that the Coronavirus barely existed, which was strange to witness.
I'm still utterly lucky and loved, housed and healthy.
I'm still writing and acting and singing.
I'm still worrying about money and time management.
I'm still throwing together taco nights, coconut curry, vegan sandwiches, and miso soup.
I'm still doing breath work every day.
I'm still editing films and websites and co-running an actor's group.
I'm still sane and smiling overall, despite missing out on social app dopamine and filling more of my hours with books and essays on deep and difficult human stories.
I'm still the proud mother of dozens of thriving house plants.
I'm still... here, and able to write out my thoughts and work harder and better every day, blessed by a house in the LA county suburbs, a car that works, a film company gaining steam, and a network of artists who keep me in a lighter frame of existence.
I'm still Loosh, perhaps more every day. :)