The world is not too uplifting at this moment, to give an understatement. I've had to impose some level of digital detoxing on myself, to resist the temptation to check the news every five minutes on my phone. Reminding myself that whatever is happening in the world does not have an immediate, direct bearing on my own existence. Crazy killings and riots in the US, China clamping down on Hong Kong, Malaysia blaming its foreign workers for spreading Covid.
There's no point in denying that this feeling resembles some form of grief. What is lost is not only human lives and livelihoods amidst the backdrop of the pandemic. What recent events evoke is the loss of faith in humanity, which ugliness had always been there, but covered under layers of carpets and duct tapes of distraction. I'm not a rainbow and ponies kind of person - verified by IBM Watson in its astute judge of my character - I just have some expectations of society to function in a way that makes sense. For people to be kind, respectful, and compassionate. For leaders to lead. For the weak to be taken care of. For human lives to be above money. For justice.
The fact that I'm reading the above slightly scoffing at myself (hello Ms Skeptical) makes me even sadder.
Life continues and while I've been intermittently blue objectively speaking things are moving along well. Routines have been kept, the garden has been keeping me sane. I just harvested my first batch of kangkung and made kangkung belacan, which made me feel proud of myself. I'm wondering if the growth of kangkung is perpetual and I just need to keep fertilising the soil and harvesting the leaves, or if it eventually gets tired of growing without growing and fades away. I feel you kangkung! Let's keep growing on! お互いがんばりましょう！
Work has commenced, and I'm enjoying it. There are many new thoughts that I am exploring, and I've been reading a new book, Data Feminism by Catherine D'ignazio and Lauren F. Klein, which is really well-written and inspiring.
Courses that I've been taking on Coursera are also progressing. Much like gardening, the learning process takes time and I'm trying not to take on too much until I'm able to finish the three that I've been enrolled into. So I'm looking forward to a few weeks later when I should finish these first few courses so that I can go for others.
I haven't been able to draw for weeks though. I miss it. It's not that I haven't tried, I have. But I've never been able to keep the vision or the grit to keep going on after starting, and I end up defacing the paper in frustration. It's like running on an empty tank. Which, considering the thousand other things that I've been doing (and that I've been distracted by), isn't so surprising, but I just still miss the sensation of pen poised on paper with purpose.
It's like writing this blog post. It's taken me hours to get this far. I feel like canning it but I'll just publish it before I do. Take that, perfectionism.