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Updated: Oct 19, 2023

It was a time of things breaking - loss of possibilities.

I found myself alternately crying and laughing at the stress and absurdity of it all.

Friends swooped in to help, but even generosity and assistance couldn’t dispel the feeling of dread - losing control over a life built on subsistence, dependent on government programs to remain afloat. Organizations previously reachable by phone or email now expected a high level of technological expertise.

There was no longer any human to be found at Human Resources.

On top of all that, close friends or their partners were dying, forcing us to look at our own mortality and make necessary preparations.

It seemed no amount of philosophical reflection was available to ease this time - so I retreated into fictional lives available through streaming. I joined with lives found in available characters created by writers and actors in order to facsimile an alternative reality. I spent long hours bingeing on what was available, feeling, when immersed into the imaginary world of others, a measure of relief and hope. If someone could imagine these made-up people and orchestrate them into a story-line within which I could find some peace for a time, why not?

I grew to understand the cliches of frustrated housewives relying on soap operas, guys who dive into sporting events as drowning men reach for a life-preserver, teenagers easing their angst in made-up apps. People had become their mode of escape from the insanity this world now represents.

No matter that

- world events are increasingly leading humanity off the cliff to war and climate disaster.

No matter that

- leaders everywhere are choosing to break instead of mend our fragile governing systems.

No matter that

- millions of humans swarm all over the planet seeking basic sustenance wherever they can find it.

No matter that

- wisdom and kindness are in short supply and bullying greed seems to rule the day.

The truly good in life exists, but is being swamped by the truly awful. Won’t someone please initiate a Good News show like John Krazinski an Emily Blunt did during the pandemic, where only stories bringing the best of humanity are covered?

To navigate all this with an aging, failing body sometimes feels like just a stretch too far.

So I volley between the hope of fictional life and the daunting necessity of the real

bumping along as best I can with the blessed help of a few - crying and laughing all the way.


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