1 July 2020 — The COVID Diaries: Staying Sane in a Time That’s Not

Dear Diary,

Just a few quick things.

Thing 1: I went to the food cart pod in our little town today, and this dude showed up, went to two carts, said, “I don’t need anything today, I just didn’t have any cash to tip last time I was here,” and then he popped cash money into their tip jars. DEAR LORD, DIARY, I CANNOT EVEN TELL YOU HOW MUCH I NEEDED TO WITNESS KINDNESS. I legit teared up. Swear to God Almighty Maker of Heaven and Earth, it was a GIFT to watch that. It was like rain after drought. It was like sparkling joy in the midst of whatever cluster we’re in right now with rampant unkindness and a global pandemic and folks unwilling to listen to people who are being harmed. I wanted to follow that dude home like a puppy. Just to soak in his goodness for a little longer. But I didn’t because I occasionallyevery now and then, just to mix things up have appropriate social boundaries. Not following the dude was like my gift back to him. You’re welcome, kind dude. Keep being excellent. ...  read more

I Thought I Was Fostering Diversity. Turns Out, I Was Amplifying Oppression.

In 2016 I was super concerned about making sure I wasn’t in a social media “bubble.” I wanted to proactively avoid exclusively following, friending, and interacting with people who could provide me with a nice, comfy echo chamber and who would parrot back to me what I already think. I wanted to be open minded. I wanted to cultivate diverse perspectives. I wanted to be able to listen well and learn and grow.  ...  read more

14 June 2020 — The COVID Diaries: Staying Sane in a Time That’s Not

Dear Diary,

Alrighty, I started talking to you in March, Diary, so I could keep a record of what the After Times are like. I knew then we were entering a New Phase — hopefully a finite new phase, one limited to weeks, perhaps months — and I wanted to Remember what Really Happened. What it was Really Like. How we Really Coped.

Well, I’ll tell you, Diary, I’m Fatigued at the moment. And yes, technically it’s been an Era of Increasing Fatigue, starting with Becoming a Mother, followed by Becoming a Mother of Children Who Experience Disability, followed by Becoming a Mother of Twins, followed by Realizing I Have a Mental Illness and Depression Sucks Ass, followed by Realizing I’m a Person of Profound Privilege and Have Used My Power Poorly by Staying Quiet in the Face of Injustice, followed by Trying to DO Better Now That I’m Beginning to Know Better, followed by the Election of Donald F. Trump (yeah, yeah, I know his middle initial is J — I just feel like my interpretation is more accurate), followed by the Dissolution of My Church Because It Turns Out Exclusion Has Always Been a Main Tenet of the Christian Faith, followed by Living in a Country That Cages Asylum Seekers — including babies — During the Worst Displaced Persons Crisis the World Has Ever Known, followed by Horrific Crimes Against People of Color and Folks Who Are LGBTQ (which has Always Been Happening, but bless us Whities for Our Willful Blindness in the Face of Injustice), followed by… oh, IDK, Diary… it’s just Basically a Shit Show rn, you know? ...  read more

9 June 2020 — The COVID Diaries: Staying Sane in a Time That’s Not

Dear Diary,

Confession: I legit don’t get it when white people say they’re not racist.

I’m white. I’m racist.

Oh, I’m trying to be anti-racist, as in ACTIVELY WORKING AGAINST RACISM.

And also, I’m racist in that I’m participating in an ongoing way in upholding structures that discriminate against people of color.

I mean, if racism is the systemic oppression of a minority by the group with power, and if I benefit from that system in terms of wealth, access, and safety, and if I continue to use those benefits with alacrity, am I not more than simply privileged? Am I not engaging with the system? Am I not passively prospering due to it? And if I am — if I fight some things that are racist but not everything that is racist — can I claim to be not racist? ...  read more

8 June 2020 — The COVID Diaries: Staying Sane in a Time That’s Not

Dear Diary,

Thursday was Demonstration Day.

Because black lives matter.

Friday was working through feelings with my middle baby who’s not a baby.

Because she’s ANGRY, and she’s SAD, and she doesn’t understand why precious people like her aren’t treated fairly. And I don’t have answers for her other than It’s OK to be furious — THIS IS RIGHTEOUS ANGER, BABY — and it’s OK to be distressed — THIS IS HEARTBREAKING — and it’s OK not to understand inequity and injustice and the horrific treatment of our fellow humans — BECAUSE RACISM AND OPPRESSION AND ABUSE AND MURDER SHOULD NEVER MAKE SENSE — and I am WITH YOU in all these feelings. Me, too, baby girl. Me, too, with the rage and the grief and the confusion. ...  read more

5 June 2020 — The COVID Diaries: Staying Sane in a Time That’s Not

Dear Diary,

Is there a kind of tired we’re not right now?

That’s the only sentence I wrote all week. In the back of a spiral notebook I was using to make lists and organize details for my parents’ move.

Is there a kind of tired we’re not right now?

Jotted between moving boxes and assigning jobs to my children and reading the news about pandemic updates and protests across the nation and the president alternately hiding in the basement of a White House gone dark and sending military force to remove priests and parishioners  from church steps to pose with a Bible for a propaganda photo-op to pander to the Religious Right. ...  read more