Which Way From Here?

My candle burns at both ends; it will not last the night. But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends— It gives a lovely light! —- Edna St Vincent Millay

Dear Family,

I slipped into a little black hole during September. We had an extended Matilsky family reunion that lasted three weeks, which was both fabulous and fun for all young persons involved, and varying levels of extremely exhausting for their parents.

Due to a desire to not-sever family relationships, we collectively agreed to not-talk about Covid or politics during the time we were together. “Watermelon” was the Safe Word.

But the whole time, I kept reading news headlines while putting Kai to bed each nap and night, and it felt like I was attempting to bottle a volcano of sadness and worry and anger - just without mentioning it to anyone.

One night I got a ferocious headache after a day spent Thinking and Cooking Too Hard, and I felt drained and exhausted and depressed and lonely. I stayed in bed for twelve hours.

Meanwhile, Eliza and Ivy truly had an amazing time - they slept over with Aunty every night, and hung out with everyone, and became so empowered by “WATERMELON!!!!!!” that Eliza said maybe “we should try for a watermelon life” from now on.

By the end of the reunion, I had decided to try a modified media fast so that my news digestion system could have a little break. I spent two weeks attempting to figure out some way to both read about what is happening in the world…and to not be subsumed by it.

How to integrate information while Existing Peacefully?? I am accepting actionable suggestions for sure. Because I sure didn’t figure it out during those two weeks!

I did plant a mini forest, thanks to an amazing donation of 70 trees and shrubs plus hundreds of Other Plants, and then I dug a fish pond. Both are still works in progress but I am very excited to finish the pond before the rains come, and to learn about natural pond management, water gardening, and aquaculture. The viburnums in our mini forest are already growing gorgeously.

I got many interesting comments from many of you last month, which I had intended to share with you all while continuing this dialogue I often have inside my head, concerning Health et al.

However, I can’t seem to manage it. I am watching the totalitarian and corporate facism that is deepening in the USA, and it makes me wonder: when is it time to call it, and duck out from this political/economic maelstrom? When is enough…enough? HOW does one duck out? And what am I prepared to sacrifice for what I think is right?? As one wise uncle recently noted: how do we keep all of this from getting into our mind, the most vulnerable place for infections (in thinking) to take root?

See, I’m not talking about the safety of the vaccine right now, or the relative dangers of Covid, or the relative efficacy of the vaccine on immunity and transmission, or even whether you or I should get vaccinated. I AM talking about whether it is ever, ever okay for governments to force people to receive medical treatment.

I feel like I am very qualified to discuss this, because for the past 12 years I have spent the majority of my waking hours working exhaustively to improve the health of my family and to AVOID us becoming a public health burden. It turns out that exactly zero of the things which actually helped my children and my sweetheart and myself were recommended by any “public health” agency and their corporate overlords. Instead, for the past twelve years I have busted my butt while discovering a seemingly never-ending stream of dozens if not thousands of ways that our systems enrich corporate and political pocketbooks by making people LESS healthy.

So here we are: I still can’t think of a single situation where the government should be making health choices for me and my family. Provide us with information; sure. Make it possible for anyone who wants a Covid vaccine to get it; fair under the circumstances. Discuss and compile recommendations; fine (although you’d have to embark upon an at-least ten-years-long reform campaign to prove you are somehow no longer corrupt, in order for me personally to even give those recommendations the benefit of the doubt, if the “you” in question is profiteering government and corporate entities). But: mandate that my family’s employment or entrance into Public buildings and polite society be contingent upon our vaccine status? No flipping way.

I have been trying hard to come up with a single scenario in which I would trust anyone else to determine appropriate public health measures for administering medication to members of my family…and I come up empty every time.

And this brings us to now. A time during which people like my family are currently the focus of finger pointing and blame, and our lack of willingness to acquiesce to current mainstream political demands may plunge us into a new adventure. Which way from here? What does one do when the economic and governmental systems in ones country is pulling the noose ever tighter? How to sidestep a negativity infection??

I will let you know when we know. And I hope your family is NOT currently being pressured to make decisions that go against your beliefs and personal health goals.

Love as always, and thanks for being there, Sarabeth