Sunday Muse # 133

Morning Amazing Musers! I know it has been a crazy time, and an even crazier week, so here is an image to take your minds off  things.  I look forward to seeing the directions you all take!  http://thesundaymuse.blogspot.com/

Victory

When waves of dread wash over you 
and the salt burns your lungs and eyes 
the flame of hope stays brightly lit
We can hear your victory cries.

©2020 CBialczak Poetry

58 thoughts on “Sunday Muse # 133

      1. It’s a lot of things, but that is definitely one of them. And everything I’m hearing is making it sound like it’ll be another year before a vaccine is available to the general public, assuming that one of the ones being tested now is successful. I don’t know if I can make it another year. I know I shouldn’t feel this way as a Christian, but I’ve lost pretty much everything that makes life bearable (again, much of that is COVID-related but there are other things going on too), and my work is much more difficult and less rewarding under these circumstances.

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      2. Western USA. (I don’t say more specifically than that, because my blog is based on true stories and I want to keep things as anonymous as possible, although you can email me if you really want to know.) And they finally announced today that Joe Biden appears to have won the election, and he practically promised more severe lockdowns in the last debate, so things aren’t going to get any better any time soon.

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      3. I voted for Trump, although very hesitantly and reluctantly because Trump is an egotistical buffoon. (I voted for Gary Johnson in 2016.) But he is at least somewhat making an attempt to approximate the kind of policies I usually look for in a President. Biden doesn’t worry me as much as many of the other people who were going for the Democratic Party nomination; if I survived an Obama presidency, I can survive a Biden presidency. But Vice-President-Elect Kamala Harris just downright frightening. I’m from her state, so she is familiar to me, unlike most people who voted for Biden-Harris just because they aren’t Trump. She is the most liberal senator in the US right now. She will say and do anything to get elected and flip-flop her positions to whichever direction the political winds are blowing that will further her career, even more so than the average politician. She got her start in politics by having an affair with a married man twice her age. She spent years as a prosecutor locking up people for using marijuana while she joked about her own marijuana use off camera. And she used her office to raid the home of undercover journalist David Daleiden and put him in jail for exposing federal crimes committed by a major supporter of her campaign while doing nothing about said federal crimes. And now the only thing standing between her and the presidency is the man who will be the oldest president ever and honestly does not look very healthy. To me, the USA means liberty, free speech, personal freedom, and rewards for hard work, and the policies of the radical left feel like a threat to all that. So in addition to losing everything that made life bearable, now I’m losing my country.

        Christine, I’m sorry, I know we don’t see eye to eye politically, and I’m sorry I hijacked your comments for a political rant.

        Also… all of this COVID stuff happened when I was still recovering from a very difficult 2019. I was dealing with mold damage from a leaky roof, the insurance company not communicating well, multiple problems with toilets, the garage door opener not working, the garbage disposal leaking, and getting ripped off $2600 for some preventative work on the house that really just made everything worse and I had to undo it myself. I was looking forward to so many things this year so life would finally feel less stressful and back to normal, and instead I got the opposite. I just don’t know how much longer I can hang on.

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      4. I’m sorry to hear this I, from reading this can see how hard it must be to have faith, to hang on. How easy it is for me to say hang on when it you feel you can do only the opposite, how hard it must be to see a light at the end of, what seems like an endless dark tunnel. Seemingly no light at the end. They say things get a lot worse, before they get better.

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      5. I know. And therein lies the conflict… as a Christian, I know that there is always hope, but the Bible never promised comfort in this world. It’s just been a long time since I have felt this hopeless, and I can’t get close to people to share this because of social distancing and the fact that a lot of my friends are kind of jerks when it really comes down to it.

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      6. Good question. The redeeming qualities are that they are my social life. As life dragged into my 30s and 40s, I got more of a social life outside of church, but the kinds of things I liked to do for fun are the kinds of things that most people around here who are into those things do not share my values or beliefs. And conversely, my social life within church shrank (until I left that church, and I haven’t really had a social life at any other church I’ve been to, but that’s a long story) because my church peers don’t like to do the same things I do for fun, since their lives revolve around their children and families. Sometimes I love being unique like that, but sometimes it feels like a very lonely path to walk.

        But you’re right, some of these people for whom my only contact with them is reading condescending memes they share on Facebook and Instagram, maybe I need to cut them off.

        But on the other hand, I don’t think it’s healthy to live in a bubble surrounded only by people with your world view. I was just telling someone else on another blog a story related to that, which I will copy and paste here…

        During the COVID era, a band that had a few big hits in my formative years (I’ve used their music a couple times in my blog) has been posting on their Facebook page a couple times a week live videos of their lead singer playing music from his house, singing and playing acoustic guitar. I usually turn it on while I’m checking Facebook (although I’ve been mostly off Facebook for five days because I can’t deal with people right now) and WordPress, listening to the music and skipping his occasional political rants because we obviously don’t see eye to eye politically. The band is working on a new album, and a couple weeks ago they released a new song which was blatantly political. I turned it off halfway through.

        A few days later, I decided to go ahead and watch his show that day. At the end, before playing the new song, he mentioned getting a lot of negative comments about it. Then he said something awesome… he admitted to living in a bubble and reached out for those who disagree with his politics to email him and share what they believe and why they disagree, because he wants to understand the other side instead of view them as caricatures and stereotypes. So I emailed him, thanking him for reaching out and being willing to listen, and I explained some of my views. He never wrote back, he probably got a lot of emails, and I was kind of hoping he would because then I’d have another minor celebrity that I could claim to have spoken to before… but he did mention on his next show some of the interesting things people said, and one of them sounded exactly like what I said, so he did read my email (either that or someone else said the exact same thing… haha) (specifically, it was that I did go back and listen to the controversial new song, and I realized that it wasn’t all BS and he does raise some good points).

        Anyway, if I were to cut out all the jerks, and if the musician here had not attempted to reach across the aisle, we would have missed out on opportunities to have those kinds of conversations. But at the same time, I could probably stand to be a little more discerning as to who is and is not beneficial to have in my life.

        And one last point… I lived so much of my childhood knowing what it was like to have zero friends that it hurts to cut anyone out of my life for any reason, even if the reason that person was in my life is in the past and never coming back… you know?

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      7. First of all, one of my very closest friends is a Trump supporter. She also likes to party and has a very active social life with her husband. I like being home. I liked being a republican but I hated Trump. But it comes down to doing some soul searching. Find out who you want to be. Not what you show the world, but what do you really want to be when you “grow up”. I realized there were things I don’t want, that I have worked so hard for. I ask myself now why I worked so hard for something I no longer want and I realize I used to do a lot of what I thought I should do, not what I wanted to do. It makes a difference. I talk to everyone I meet. I find people that have similar views and similar interests. Are they all friends? No, but I am comfortable in my bubble because I believe it is a happy and healthy bubble!

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      8. Honestly, I have rid my life of all the people who don’t treat me the way I want to be treated. I have had tons of friends over the years and some of the relationships are not worth the heartache. When I put in effort and it is not returned, I used to look at it that they didn’t want to talk to me. Now I think, I don’t have time for this childish relationship. I don’t do or say anything but that is my last piece of effort. After losing so much, I have found out that some people really do care and others, it is just about the show.

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      9. Greg, I get it. It isn’t political, what is going on now, if you look at it from a human standpoint. You’ve read my About Me? Well, after losing my husband I hired an estate planner to help me here minimize. He sold everything worth any money, for tag sale prices. I mean 2 or 3 chainsaws, lawn mower, nail guns, ladders, tools, electric tools, saws, fishing gear, archery equipment..and that is only the garage. In the end I got $1200! I am still devastated. Then less than a year later I lost my son. I have honestly been trying to find things that make me happy, like building my miniatures. I find that if I am happy then it doesn’t matter what the rest of the world is doing. But this time around, I’m not settling for sort-of happy…This time I am happy or I am not involved.

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      10. I understand, and I agree. The problem is that all the things that made me happy before are things I can’t do anymore, mostly because of COVID but also to some extent because of political divisiveness.

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      11. Let me tell you a little bit about what my life was like a couple years ago. (When applicable, I am using the same pseudonyms for places and sports teams that I use in my blog. It’s really not hard to figure out what and where I’m talking about, though, and I think I’ve told you privately where I’m really from.) (Also, I know I haven’t said what I do for work, for spoiler reasons.)

        I live alone. I am a social introvert. I need a balance of alone time and time with friends. Much of my alone time would come on weekday evenings. My job is exhausting during the week, but I try to arrange things so that I have everything for the week done by Friday afternoon. On Friday nights, if I’m not too exhausted, I would head over the Drawbridge to Jeromeville, where some people I know (who are not connected to the fact that I used to live in Jeromeville) are part of a weekly game night group, playing mostly hard core strategy games but occasionally throwing in some party games too. I’ve had an up-and-down relationship with this group over the years, because some people in this group are intellectual snobs, but the group tends to be kind of transitory as people move in and move away, and the last couple years I’ve gotten along with the group better.

        Saturdays I had a Dungeons & Dragons game that met at my house for a while. I enjoyed being able to have people in my house every once in a while… not all the time, but every once in a while.

        Sunday morning is church, and most of the rest of Sunday was typically alone time. For a while I did blues fusion dancing on Sunday nights, but I kind of decided before COVID that that wasn’t really my thing anymore. The crowd has changed, and the last few times I went I just didn’t enjoy it. (My last time was in September 2019, and for the last couple years I was only going once a month or so, twice at the most.)

        Another good friend had a monthly game tournament on one Saturday out of the month. The people in this group, which also included most of the D&D people, were probably my closest friends.

        In the fall, I would spend three to five Saturday afternoons across the Drawbridge in Jeromeville watching UJ football. I usually went to those alone. Also, for seven years (2013-20) I had season tickets to Capital City Royals basketball. I went to about half of the home games, usually with friends, and sold the rest. (I had already decided to give up my season tickets before COVID, since many of the friends I used to go to have moved away. In general, people have been leaving my state in droves because, well, it’s kind of becoming a Third World craphole; I counted 17 households whom I know personally off the top of my head who used to be part of my social circle but have moved away in 2019 and 2020 alone.)

        I generally had more socializing in the summer. For a while I had another group of friends who did karaoke often. And I usually took a few day trips to Bay City to watch Titans baseball.

        Once a week on Friday night or Saturday afternoon (and usually twice a week if I had a long time off work) I would treat myself to a meal at a restaurant that was either cheap or that I had a coupon for. This was always a highlight of the week for me. I would always be unhealthy and refill my drink at least once, bringing a full drink home to sip on the rest of the night.

        So… like I said… all of that is now gone with COVID. Game nights and church aren’t allowed. That stuff has been happening online in various forms, but it’s just not the same, and it’s so tiring with how glitchy and inaudible video chat usually is. (D&D moved online before COVID in September 2019, when the game master went back to school three hours away in a city that I haven’t made a pseudonym for yet and another player moved to Texas around the same time.)

        Sports aren’t happening. UJ’s conference didn’t have a football season this year. There will be a shortened basketball season, but without fans in the stands. And even when pro sports started again on TV with no fans, I boycotted it all this year because everything has become so political. I don’t go watch a game to be lectured about my white privilege and to watch players act disrespectfully toward law enforcement and their country. The teams here seemed way too focused on protesting and not enough on winning; they all did horribly this year, and the teams I despise the most all won championships. The UJ basketball team just posted a video introducing the team, and the entire video was just focused on what races and ethnicities and genders the players identify as and what pronouns they use. That’s nice, but I’m tired of the way everyone just seems so hyper-focused and obsessed with that. I just treat people decently no matter who they are. Major League Baseball, additionally, approved some rule changes pre-COVID that completely ruined the strategy element of the game and reward teams that spend a ton of money on raw power. It isn’t the same game anymore.

        Karaoke is illegal and unsafe. Visiting relatives for the holidays is unsafe and discouraged. At first, restaurants were closed too, or only offering takeout with no people watching and no free refills. Then the rules changed again and outside dining was allowed, and most (but not all) places brought back free refills, but as I’ve written before, the weather around here is usually such that there is a day in early November when it feels like someone suddenly flipped a switch and it went immediately from summer to winter; that happened last Friday, so now eating outside to unwind on a Friday night is cold (and dark, because of daylight saving).

        I finally met someone a year ago, and just when things were going really well, COVID happened and it’s not safe to have excessive physical contact anymore. I’ve seen her take pictures with friends and family where they aren’t wearing masks, and she works at a preschool and day care and has little kids touching and hugging her and breathing on her all day, so I don’t know if I feel safe.

        And then to top it all off, I hear this morning that Alex Trebek died; not entirely shocking, since he has been very public about his health struggles lately, but I’ve been actively trying out for Jeopardy the last few years.

        So… yeah… there it is. I feel like I’ve lost everything that makes life bearable, and everyone who acts like they know what they’re talking about keeps saying nothing is going back to normal any time in the next couple years.

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      12. Would it make you vomit if I said there is a way to look at things in a more positive light? I don’t mean “cheer up” or “stay positive” I mean, what can I do now that works with life in this shit state of COVID and everything else. There has to be a way to find something positive otherwise you are looking at a long winter. Totally off the subject but do you play bananagrams? The math teacher and I at my old job were nuts playing that. Anyhow, I’m home all day by myself. I keep busy. Do you do anything crafty? I know there is a guy here on WP that paints miniature figures for gaming and stuff. I will see if I can find it. I mean even if you find out from someone on here, “what the heck are you doing to not go crazy”… I think there are more people than you realize who are going through the same thing and looking for help. Sometimes thinking together brings up some good ideas.

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      13. It wouldn’t make me vomit, because I know you’re right, but it’s just hard for me to see right now. I don’t do well with change. I thought I finally had myself figured out, then everything came apart. My job keeps me too busy to be crafty; most of my creative time is spent writing my blog. And I’m just out of ideas for what else I can do…

        I have played Bananagrams before, but it’s been a long time. It’s fun.

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      14. Greg, I honestly think that if we crack down on this hard we can get it under control. I think that is the only way it’s going to stop. Almost 25K new cases of Covid in the UK! It is everywhere.

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      15. I have mixed feelings about this. As I said in my political rant comment a minute ago, the idea of deciding which businesses to close and which to leave open, telling people they can’t travel, all that kind of stuff seems so blatantly against all the values upon which this nation was founded. The Constitution does not allow one man’s arbitrary whims to decide public policy unilaterally. But on the other hand, it does seem true that the places with more strict lockdowns do seem to have the virus a bit more under control, and around here, the times when the virus spikes again are when the rules aren’t being enforced. I really don’t think there is an easy solution, so I can’t really recommend that things be done differently, unless we are willing to just live our lives and take our chances.

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      1. I have found a lot of people who I talk to regularly on this blog. I know I don’t know them personally, but I feel like I have some people who are becoming friends. I mean I have someone in Florida who tells me to stop by when I go down to see my dad, I have people say that I can stay with them if I visit the UK or New Zealand. It is not a huge group of people but I am in touch with them every day and it is just that connection which helps me.

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      2. A lot of people I used to call friends think it is weird that I love to crochet or that one of my favorite things to do was to bring my therapy dog, God bless her soul, to the nursing home. That to me made me happy. People couldn’t understand it. I ended up going less and less just because it wasn’t what felt “normal”. Now I am dying for a new therapy dog so I can go back to doing what I love.

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      3. Aww… doggy… I grew up around cats, but I totally understand. I love other people’s dogs.

        I know there is more that I did not reply to yet… I need to leave soon. I’ll continue that tonight. Thank you for listening. 🙂

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  1. Have just been reading the long screeds from Greg and from those trying to help him. I feel sorry for him but frankly Greg, you need to get a grip. I know people who have REAL problems, families suffering because of loved ones being isolated in hospital or care-homes, people whose operations have been delayed because Covid takes precedence. And then there are the homeless, the poor, those who struggle to put food on the table for their children. Everyone is having a hard time. I live alone, I have no family in this country (the UK) so I haven’t seen any close member now since February. Two friends died recently, one from a heart attack when I was with her, and another from cancer. Those are troubles.
    As for losing liberties, in a democracy everyone loses one or two things which they regard as liberties, that’s the way it works. We give it a try and if it doesn’t work, then we vote someone else in who can hopefully try something different. Why don’t you give it a try? Wake up and smell the roses, stop worrying and learn to love the bomb!

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    1. My opinion has continued to be that there is something which can keep each of us going. You have read about my son…First my husband, then my son, then COVID…I learn to make my own happiness in what I am given and be thankful.

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