Fakequity, 6-month Mark

Street art in Seattle’s Chinatown/International District
“Please be Kind to Yourself” photo credit Erin Okuno

I was planning to try to write something serious since we are weeks away from the 2020 election and we recently passed the six-month mark for COVID19 disrupting our lives, but with the latest news of President Trump and the First Lady testing positive for COVID19, the profundity is not jelling. Instead I’ve gone to the dark side; the dark humor of where I’m at. I think it is part of the six-month slump and rather than fight it, I’m going to ride its wave.

Just a few weeks ago, 9/11 to be exact, was the six-month mark of schools closing in Seattle. On 9/11 I was much more introspective and grateful versus in the dark humor mood. The hardships we’re all enduring has flatten-the-curve (remember that mantra from a few months ago). The measures we’ve taken have prevented many from contracting COVID and has kept many people alive. Thank you. All of us making collective sacrifices keeps precious supplies available for those who need it, keeps medical staff focused on the most sick, and we can further take care of each other.

Now the dark side.

Bleach – If you got it use it. Time to disinfect our timelines and views. I don’t have enough time to entertain the Proud Boys and their loudest mouthpiece. Bye boys. I’m not even going to denounce you because there is nothing there to denounce.

Flatten the curve – Remember that saying from March? I hope you’re still adhering to it. Stay home, stay safe. You’re less likely to run into someone yelling “All Lives Matter!” This past weekend I drove by someone yelling this in a small coastal town. I shrugged and sent him thoughts and prayers.

Zoom-Bombing – I recently wrote about incidents of racism online. It isn’t anything to joke about, but sometimes you have to laugh at the absurdity of people and how they spend their time. Someone is so sad and lonely they sit around looking for meetings to join that they don’t want to be in to begin with? Dark, seriously dark times. I have nothing smart to offer about how to deal with these sad incidents other than thoughts and prayers, and hot-tip don’t publish your meeting links.

Wildfires and smoke – Once upon a time if you said the word smoke, it meant “Yo, let’s take a smoke break,” or “let’s go smoke a joint.” Now it means spending more time indoors with those you love, as if you haven’t already, to avoid the smoke. Climate change is real folx. If you don’t believe it come to the West Coast and stand outside for 10 min breathe in this crap. A friend and I were texting back and forth that gentrification is causing the smoke hanging in my neighborhood, it was a dark humor conversation, but there is truth to it. Gentrification is pushing people of color out of the city, which adds to their commute times. No amount of Teslas driven by gentrifies will fix this.

Facemask – One of my favorite stories of the pandemic was how at the National Cathedral a masonry remembered seeing a case of N95 facemask in the crypt. Something about the word crypt and a hidden case of precious coveted and needed N95 facemask made this story something to remember. If you have a crypt, please go check it for a hidden cache of mask, hand sanitizer, and toilet paper. Another friend shared how she several years ago had ordered two cases of N95 facemask after a really bad smoke storm swept through Seattle and she wanted to make sure they had a stock on hand to hand out to unhoused people. Now we need those N95 facemask for both COVID and smoke, who would have guessed in 2019 this is where we’re at. Please take care of our homeless neighbors right now too. Thank you to everyone wearing a facemask in public.

That Debate, what Debate – If you watched the Presidential debate earlier this week, you will understand what I mean. It wasn’t a debate. I’m not sure what it was. Have we learned nothing from the past few month of virtual meetings? Every kid who is in a virtual classroom knows the power of the mute button. Just watch a kid who accidentally gets host control, THE POWER they have – they can mute anyone they want and eject anyone from the meeting.

Allowing a bully to keep talking isn’t a justice based way to lead. One of my favorite books is The Art of Gathering by Priya Parker. In it she writes a host job is to protect the gathering, the debate moderator team (I place blame on the entire debate committee, not just the moderator) they knew who they were dealing with and did not protect the audience from the verbal tirade.  

We’ve lost a lot of talented people in the past few months – Rep. John Lewis, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Chadwick Boseman, Rahwa Habte, and many others during the past few months. Some of them were taken by COVID19, some by related causes, and others through natural causes. Somehow their deaths sting more right now. Maybe it is because we’ve lost the ability to mourn in ways we have traditionally known. No humor here, just reflection and gratitude, and a mix of other emotions.

Please VOTE. If you want to see our way out of 2020 we’ll need some collective goodwill through voting.

Lastly, earlier this evening when I planned to write something more profound I pulled out one of my other favorite book The Book of Joy by his Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. I revisited the passage on intention setting. My intention this Friday is to be ok with 2020: I accept you 2020 and all your needs, quirks, and however you want to emote – you and I will be ok 2020. 2020 and all of us here is the Tibetan prayer of the Four Immeasurables to marinate and pray or reflect on:

May all beings attain happiness.
May all beings be free from suffering.
May all beings never be separated from joy.
May all beings abide in equanimity.

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