The “cold moon” will be the last full moon of the calendar year, on the 19th. We just got hit with a blizzard here, in Hawaii, really… so I guess the blizzard didn’t wait, but it was definitely invigorating in a way. Power went out for about three days, so just coming back from camping helped me be in the mindset for using the camping stove for meals, hand washing dishes, hand washing laundry. It was cold, but not super cold, we lost the fridge food, but not the freezer. My favorite tree came down and some others as well, a lot of small damage including all three of my greenhouses. I don’t know where or if I’ll set up another one. The damage of this year, the loss, it doesn’t make me feel like giving up, but it makes me realize how far I am from controlling nature, and since my hobbies are outdoor and nature-related, also my hobbies and goals to a large extent are out of my hands. This state is backward of pandemic progress as I’m sure a lot of places are, my family got kicked out of the swapmeet for trying to eat food sold at the swapmeet, “at the swapmeet,” no sign said we had to eat in our car, but I guess that’s the rule.
Everything is uncertain right now, my husband doesn’t have work and won’t really apply until the vaccine requirements are lifted, we don’t know if we will settle here now that he left California or a new place, or if he will leave by himself for work. So my family is together, but with a huge tension that we don’t know for how long, when or if… We are not doing badly though, we are all in good health and although grumpy not too PTSD or depressed or paranoid…
I’m still into the moons of the months, shifting that perspective on time somehow makes me feel like I have more time, which feels good. I know that the sun calendar is more accurate astronomically, but something about the moon calendar makes me feel more at home. Maybe since I’m part Chinese and they are still on that system, or maybe for other reasons, but a few months after remembering it, it still soothes me a bit. So I’m preparing for the Cold Moon, and I’m hopeful that I have time left in the year, but at the same time the year is ending and I’m thinking about trying to make sense out of it.
My take on the pandemic was a cold (rhino virus are colds and COVID is a rhino virus) which was more deadly than a normal cold, but marganilally deadly in the grand scheme of the universe descended on the news, who either ethically or unethically super hyped it, kind of forcing the government to take action against a respiratory pandemic, which it had in the 1960s, but Gorge Bush had changed the laws to be able to enact stay at home orders, which wasn’t the US that most people thought they lived in. I thought the US would value freedom above public health (as usual) just because that was the image I mentally had of that country, but it sure didn’t, it followed China in almost all ways after criticizing China repeatedly… in an article about Sweden’s Anti-Lockdown one comment by Lars Calmfors was “We like to think of ourselves as being very rational and pragmatic, “I can’t recognize my country anymore.” We are on opposite sides of the lockdown issue, but the same boat of having our view of the countries we live in forever changed. America home of the restricted and the panicked. It doesn’t sound right, but I guess it’s the truth lately and perhaps it has been the truth longer than I was able to see it was?
I must admit I feel more pain for African Americans lately, now I have to check that my kids don’t watch Youtube videos my dad or husband are watching of news with people being beaten or horrible anti-Chinese ranting. My husband watches one stock analyst who thinks it’s classy to bash Asians publicly on financial news… it really brings down my level of respect for not only that guy, but my husband too, those who really believe in racism, they have a limited ability to be logical, because the real truth has always been a stunning diversity of ability, ethics, and talents in each family, if each family is so diverse, how could it be so that the larger races are not so? It wouldn’t be, it’s just a simplified notion born of fear, taken at times too far, but it seems to gnaw the sense right out of the brain to hold those tendencies. Everyone knowing cats knows they have individual temperaments, only someone who doesn’t know them at all would think them all skittish and unfriendly. Racist people are simply people who don’t have the mental capacity of understanding each human being is an individual hodge podge of culture, values, talents, dreams, and identities. It is difficult when it’s your turn to be on the bottom of the social ladder when the people being ranted about are the same people you are trying to inspire your kids to learn extra about… it’s harder to feel it than it seemed like it would be.
I’m trying to think of 20 good things that happened this year,
- I learned about Harriet Tubman, she was so cool. We glossed over it in school to the extreem, now I was teaching 1st grade social studies and it came up so we watched the movie. I had no idea she commanded the army and saved so many people. It’s also important to see how much the non-african american anti abolutionists helped, altruism and ethics exist often, they just aren’t universal.
- I learned about Ghandi, also saw the movie. You always here about him, but since it’s not US history, very glossed over. I immagined Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King were the first, but Ghandi was doing those things, he was really ahead of both his time and this time.
- We celebrated Indigonous People’s day this year, my daughter was excited to celebrate a new holiday. We watched Dances with Wolves and made Navajo flat bread, maybe next year I’ll have something better planned.
- We (our home school) celebrated Veterins Day/Rememberance Day for the first year, after learning about WW1/WW2/Cold War via the “Oversimplified” Youtube serries and also Ken Burns first hand WW2 documentary. We walk at an ex internment camp, because it’s our closed park, and we are also Japanese and German, so it was particularly important to me to eventually get through WW2 with my daughter. Not to say people are bad, but people are capable of bad things and there we can and must make the descision of if the crowd is going the right away, what we can do and what we should do on an individual basis.
- We went camping and didn’t celebrate Thanksgiving. I’m a big fan of gratitude, but not just on one day and not a holiday associated with genocide of my ancestors… not for me.
- We celebrated the winter on December 1st, it made me feel ahead of the game and I don’t often feel that way. My sister’s birthday is the 31st and I don’t feel the need for bunched up holidays at the end, but I just didn’t make the schedual change that worked for us ever before. There is a certain freedom of knowing our holidays don’t affect other peoples, for some reason I always felt stuck with the traditional holidays I hated, but I really haven’t been, it’s only been a prison in my own mind.
- I started homeschooling my daughter, it was a really rough transition, her public school was open and took her, but she hated it. It depressed my father that she came to homeschool, I don’t know exactly why, but nor do I truely care. I had to restructure my life quite a bit. I use a hybrid system of Acelles computer learning that some 65,000 public schools students use, so it doesn’t really feel like home school to me, we are very organized and though so it feels more like a private school of two than a homeschool, but either way it’s going very well academically. We do computer coding, robot building, lab science, Spanish, theatre, music ext that there wouldn’t be at public school, but also the “common core” stuff as well. It was a good thing, but it didn’t feel good at the time, kind of like pregancy is for me…
- We watched “Hidden Figures” it was a really good movie, it helped inspire my daughter in both math and computer coding, it gives you a bit of racism, without too much, which is nice to use to talk to kids without depressing them too much.
- We watched “Ruby Bridges” that movie was so so, but the story is really powerful. Part of the reason I don’t understand my father is that he lived in the time before segragation and he had to not speak his language of heritage ext because it was outlawed to do so in Hawaii in WW2, they outlawed Hawaiian in Hawaii… they outlawed Chinese and Japanese, he made an active choice not to pass down any of our heritage to us, because he thought it would only possibly hurt us. My sister then was a Japanese major in college, I wan’t but did learn Japanese and Chinese. So my sister and I regained our heritage and my father abandoned his and part of what divides us is that we embrace who we are, our roots, and in my opinion my father has no authentic culture, but instead a gaping void of emptiness.
- We didn’t have electricity for a few days and then when we did the kids were really excited to have it, I wouldn’t have thought to turn it off myself, but living without it is really valuble to knowing what it affects (for us the water pump is electric so it stops everything modern) and therefore being able to understand why it was an advancement, why we pay for it and what comforts it provides, both for me and for them. I’ve lived without it for periods before, and camping, but not for days, I was born in an electric world.
- My husband left his job and mom’s home, I didn’t think he would ever leave his mom’s area, I don’t know where will end up, but it’s nice to see him get out of the immigrant area his mom moved him too over thirty years ago, I’ve been wanting to get out of that area for thirty years and I thought he would never leave.
- I got so grumpy with my family that I made it clear I have boundaries and will leave any of them who doesn’t want to meet a middle ground with me, and I actually will.
- I got inspired to try to live my best life when this is all over, like the end of Shaw Shank Redemption style… I gave up/took a strategic break for now, but I’m gathering mental energy and strength to keep trying to accept the massive changes to my mind and lifestyle.
- I felt a lot of loss, we lost many pets, lizards, fish, we lost a large beautiful tree, other trees, three greenhouses, took a lot of damage to the ponds, tarps, pathways… but something about the loss was freeing, maybe even healing. Because I faced them. In the past I would deny the bleeding and I was disconnected with how I really felt or was affected. This time I had loses, I felt them, I grieved, I can move on whole… when you don’t feel them, you have more energy and look more cheerful, but you aren’t really whole and you aren’t really joyful. On the other side of grief is joy and freedom, on the other side of denial is more denial, bitterness, twisted perspectives about reality…
- I discovered Chopin through the Frederick games, I started falling in love with Chopin’s piano music and started playing it on piano. I thought I would play more cello, but in the end I played a lot more piano and had that to turn to when I felt depressed, Chopin music is great for those times, he was quite depressed and it resonates between the soul of the music and the moment of desparation of the human soul.
- I broke free of feeling responsible for my parents. Through seeing how codependant my father wants to be emotionally, I realized that it isn’t a fit for me, I can do all the things I think are right to do to help him, but we aren’t friends, we aren’t kindred spirits, we weren’t close before the pandemic and we aren’t close now, we didn’t have common interests and we don’t have common interests. There was some amount of wanting to be like a Hallmark movie that has completely died and now all I want to be is like non-toxic coworkers.
- My daughter, who is six, continues to have a great relationship with her best friend, we may not see many people, but having someone that my daughter can share life with adds to my well being, I’m sure many people are isolated and they didn’t get an opportunity to change that, but I guess I have “here” on WordPress and she has a great best friend. If I knew my daughter was lonely and didn’t have a chance to meet other kids, it would break my heart.
- I am more greatful in general for the good things we used to have, museum access, swapmeets, concerts, being able to stand 4 feet away from other human beings, the fresh air on my face without a swampy mask irritating me.
- I found Acelles Academy/Power Home School, which helps a lot with keeping home school organized. It wouldn’t be enough without what I suppliment, but pretty much all of it is good, so it’s 80% of what I would have to organize myself already organized and then I can just add to it. I really like the enthusiasm of most the teachers and the content is pretty legit, better than when I went to school for sure.
- Suprisingly Word Press kept me connected to the world as much as I wanted to be. I had a lot of adjusting and thinking to do, but I didn’t feel disconnected because of a few other articles people were writing about the real experiences of the pandemic world, I knew I wasn’t alone, and I didn’t feel like I was. Some people struggled more with depression and others were crazy productive, but I think it’s fair to say we all felt the pinch of having to adjust to extra regulations and shift to ever changing restrictions rather than carry on with a “normal world” we were already used to living with.