Black Lives Matter

Personal

I’ve lost many friends and loved ones. I know what happens when you keep ignoring your losses and don’t try to deal with the pain; you may not be dead, but you’re sure as hell not living. It took me over a decade to finally figure that out. Now I’m slowly crawling out of my mourning-debt, and many other emotional debts, to finally start to come back to myself and my life.

This life matters, right now, you reading this, your life matters. Even if you believe in an after-life that’s free of pain and suffering, you matter now. I matter now. Black people matter now. Those dying from Covid-19 matter now. Those who will die from Covid-19 because we as a society care more about billionaire’s checkbooks matter.

When I ignored that my life matters for all those years it made me sick. When I ignored the importance of my loved ones to me by not mourning them it broke me.

The purpose of death is to remind us that this life matters.

It’s an opportunity for us to recognize where our personal priorities are wrong and adjust them so that we can live again. So that we don’t miss time with our next loved one who’s going to die.

Our nation purposely kills Black people every day. Our nations purposely kills people of color every day. Our nation is currently, purposely, letting tens of thousands of people die because it’s the people our nation doesn’t care about. Hundreds of thousands. Literally. Our nation is not only ignoring these deaths, but causing them, justifying them, and promoting more death.

These deaths should remind our society that our lives matter and that we need to adjust our priorities. They don’t.

Our nation is sick. Our nation is broken. We as a society are sick. We are broken.

These protests, all throughout our nations history, are reactions trying to cure this sickness. Appropriate reactions! Necessary reactions! Good reactions!

Unless we change course, drastically, we will remain sick forever. Each of us individually caries the weight of that sickness. When we excuse or ignore these deaths it slowly kills our ability to love others. We’ll trend towards excusing more death when we should be trending towards more love.

“I don’t understand why they’re ruining their own community.” Buildings aren’t communities. People are communities. They’re trying to protect their community from a government and society that doesn’t want them to exist. This is a community trying to heal itself.

“I can’t condone violence or looting.” Unless it’s from the police, right? Our police force is rooted in violence and oppression. It is built on white supremacy. It doesn’t matter if individuals in a police force are good people when the system they support itself is built to oppress.

You can see this very clearly in the police reaction to armed, screaming white protesters wanting haircuts and Black protesters wanting to not fucking die. The media reaction. Your social media feed’s reaction. Your personal reaction.

The only way out is for all of us to care. For all of us to recognize Black Lives Matter. Immunocompromised lives matter. Old folk’s lives matter. Your life matters. Our lives matter. This isn’t happening to “them”, it’s happening to “us”.

Please, start doing the work to wake from this nightmare. It’s hard, but if you don’t you won’t be living, you’ll continue dying because you don’t care about life.

Nineties Web Nostalgia

Personal

Back in the mid to late 90’s most of the information you could find about your favorite bands was spread across many sites made by fans. Very few bands had official websites and Wikipedia didn’t exist. So we all just stole content from each other and created our own sites with 95% identical content presented slightly differently. 1I loved how each site had slightly different versions of lyrics.2I chose a random footnote plugin and I like this a lot, but I’m not sure if it’s accessible. I’ll hop on my wife’s mac later to see if VoiceOver can see them. :(

I created probably half a dozen Nirvana fan sites with all the usual accoutrements and was part of a community that would help each other learn how to make websites with patience and enthusiasm. I still remember before that community when I couldn’t figure out how to make my first Geocities site show up and some dude in the chat pulled a “duh, you have to name the front page index.html.” How was I suppose to know that!?

Basement Dwellers

Personal

Growing up I found having my bedroom in the basement very convenient because I was able to keep track of where everyone in the house was at all times. I recognized the gait of each family member as they walked around upstairs, and I’d keep a mental note of where they were. Downstairs, my brothers’ rooms were right next to mine, so I always knew who was there as well.

There are many reasons it’s useful to know where everyone is; let’s just say, sometimes I’d like to avoid any parental entanglements. So, if my dad was in the office just down the hall from the top of the stairs, I’d have to be extra quiet or he might hear me. But if he’s in his bedroom, I’m quite safe to just stroll on up to the kitchen to grab a snack really quick.

Blog year in review

Blog Meta, Personal

OK, you caught me… I’m just writing this so I can post something in December and have a more complete blogging year. Sometimes filler posts can be excellent because there are no expectations! Not this time. Sorry.

Anyway, I wanted to post something each month this year, which I didn’t quite accomplish, but I did post more than 12 times, so that kind of counts. My real goal was to be more open and sharing of myself with friends and loved ones and to scratch a little creative itch. I think I definitely succeeded at those goals despite having much more I wanted to do.

Early Morning Mourning

Personal

Yesterday I attended my 4th funeral in a year, and my 10th in 10 years; most of them for loved ones who left far too soon by suicide. I also missed some other funerals I’d have liked to attend over those years. I luckily had a chance to ride to this funeral with some friends who I loved, but had never talked about anything really personal or deep before. As we talked it was fairly light and reminiscent of our lost friend, but we all shared a bit of our other recent losses. They had lost friends, family, and loved ones too, and this was our second funeral this year we’d been to together. It’s interesting to me how a shared experience helps you share more of yourself with others than you normally would.