the heart’s filthy lesson


Filed under Flowers

25 responses to “the heart’s filthy lesson

  1. Robin

    Yeah, Neil. That whole situation was pretty messed up. I felt for you the whole way. I don’t think I could have done it, although I probably would have felt that I HAD to, so I would have been like you. Head down, accept, while my soul screamed NO BLOODY WAY. But it was inevitable that it would take its toll on you. I’m sorry it has to this extent.

    I wish you and Duncan could have been in this quiet corner of the world where, like Ric and me and our friends, safely waited it out, working from home or in good, social-distanced, well-ventilated environments with no gruesome public transport commutes.

    Being vaccinated, even the first dose, will do wonders for your psyche. Hang in there.

  2. Bravo for getting out of the windowless hellhole!
    I don’t know.
    The 21st century started with the Y2K insanity, then Hurricane Katrina-Sandy-Andrew, the 2008 Subprime mortgage meltdown (I truly thought that would be the end of the USA), the 2010 Haiti earthquake, the 2011 tsunami in Japan & subsequent nuclear meltdown, the 2015 double earthquakes here in Nepal, ongoing drought in California (my house in Sonoma burnt to the ground in 2018) & east Africa, Trump, Modi, Bolsonaro, Nepal’s own PM Oli mismanaging the Pandemic — I am on outrage & disaster overload!!!
    Anyway, I would not rule out alien invasion at this point.
    Keep your mental seatbelt on, I fear it’s still going to be a bumpy ride!

    • Tara C

      You’re right, it seems like things have been going from bad to worse for the last 20 years. We barely get our heads above water when we get hit by an oar.
      I am seriously wondering whether things can ever truly get better, or if they were always this bad and I was just too sheltered and oblivious to notice. Or mabe I was just lucky enough to grow up in one of the quieter periods of human history.

      I am definitely not expecting this pandemic to be the end of our troubles, I just hope it won’t recur for a very long while. We all need to recover from this mass psychosis.

      • The mass psychosis……

        For me (you know where this is heading), all of this is not as bad as The Asshole. That, for my own brain, was more disturbing, at the meta-level. Combined with Covid though (the whole denial of it etc), it was such s mindfuck extraordinaire that it is amazing that any of us are still sane enough to tell the tale.

        My company has been stoic: people have done their best: but now I seriously need that needle in my arm.

    • Robin

      Also, of course, 9/11 in 2001.

      And the Indian Ocean tsunami of December 2004 was a tragedy that affected us enormously as well. We knew people personally who died.

      • That was unimaginable (have you seen the Clint Eastwood film Thereafter? Syrupy, in his style, but kind of amazing, actually – it all begins with the tsunami in Thailand…… it is one of those films I can imagine keeping in my collection for those 4am red wine alone times……way too sentimental; and yet kind of beautiful).

        I am not pretending for a moment that I have been through anything like this. Of course not.

        But my mind has been ravaged, savaged, and those close to me won’t acknowledge it, minimizing it to the point of no return

      • I am terrified that Tara may be right, by the way. Maybe we DID live in some relatively quiet pocket of history (the late nineties seem ABSURDLY easy in retrospect, even if I have personally been happier in the recent decade through artistic fulfillment).

        Everyone is so cleft now. Can there ever be a return to a more solid unity?

        I don’t think so.

        The fracture is semi permanent.

    • Hilarious.

      Hopefully it will be uphill from here for a while.

      I exaggerate, obviously. It has not been JUST windowless classrooms. Plenty have had windows. And this blog is a total testament to all the pleasure that has been had along the way – probably embarrasing to read if I could bear to look at it all.

      But the toll is real, nevertheless. Everyone has been scarred by this.

      • Robin

        I have to say that, in spite of attempts to keep a stiff Canadian upper lip, I have felt as though things are going downhill and might even accelerate. I can’t even follow the news that Trump is still alive and well and active politically. The idea that he might come back sickens me.

        There is so much division and mistrust and hatred in the world. It’s messed up.

        I feel I’m prone to catastrophizing right now. PTSD.

  3. @makeuprecon

    I’ve never replied to your blog before, but I read every post with excited anticipation. Yes I’m a perfume junkie, but especially these posts, which speak to the isolation, fear and sheer exhaustion of the past 18 months.

    I’m so happy to hear you’ll be getting your first dose soon. I’m fully vaccinated and while I still live in some fear (hey, 18 months of daily mass deaths takes some time to unwind from the brain), I feel safer in the knowledge that I most likely will not catch and spread a disease to those I love and unsuspecting strangers.

    The fear you expressed in your posts was palpable. I was physically shaken by the sense of claustrophobia and anger you expressed. It gave me a new take on the different cultural aspects of this disease and it’s still shocking to me, the mishandling of this pandemic around the world. I’m in the US, and I know you’re quite aware of the fuckery and propaganda espoused here by the worst of us.

    I’m so happy you’ve survived this year and that you’ll have a better sense of safety very soon. Thanks for all you write, it’s always a bright spot in my day, whether a rave about Heliotrope or a rant on our dystopian nighmare 🖤

    Hang in there!

    • Thank you so much for this.

      Every time I write about what I know is nothing compared to what other people have suffered, I feel guilty and want to press delete. And I feel a compulsion to do it anyway, as a release. It is therefore really gratifying to read that another person on the other side of the world gets something from it, meaning it is not just a ‘rant’ but helps someone in some way.

      Please comment more often!

  4. I am so thrilled you will be vaccinated, thank goodness.
    Considering the whole pandemic though, i am only partially optimistic. Too many place still have it raging out of control, and too many idiots refusing to be vaccinated, which will lead to stronger, more resistant variants. So while I am hoping for the best, I am still keeping myself braced for whatever may come next, which hopefully could be the welcome news of the orange shit-gibbons demise.

    • I think a cautious optimism is the only way forward. I hope this will be my last boneshaker: I myself am in the mood for writing about something else, I truly am. I want to write more positive posts. At the same time, I want to write about things that are actually happening, and not force some Disneyfied version of reality.

  5. You will get through this and truly you already have! This pandemic has f—ed us all up in some ways. But actually things were all ready a mess before we even heard about COVID.

    • Of course. Life itself, just the nitty gritty of it, isn’t easy either. And political extremes will always exist.

      At the very least, though, not having to constantly feel suffocated will be a boon!

  6. Yay for vaccination, i had covid in january and am still not totally recovered. Things will be better soon, i hope

    • Sorry to hear this. How bad have your symptoms been? Have you had both vaccines (a friend of mine said that having the second Astrazeneca after having Covid was actually far worse than the illness itself).

      I really hope you improve quickly and make a full recovery.

  7. JulienFromDijon

    1° Your problems are worth saying. And there’s no “but”.
    (No butt joke this time :p )
    You being able to word them, and in a summarized version, is a healthy sign. And I like that for you.

    It’s counter-intuitive, but in a therapeutical framing (a diary/blog is one IMO), to consider our own problem as puny would be the bad reflex.
    I feel for you, because it’s hard to teach, and in a foreign country, and with a workplace astray from your home, then with the mask and all. Being a teacher rarely comes with the respect for your work position, and/or your efforts. (And the persons, who are the earnest to do their job well, are ironically the more prone to get a “burn out”. Those who don’t, they have a harder skin).

    Psychiatrist says it : too often people tend to relativize their problems, as a light form of denial. For sure, children are dying of hunger, and some Roma is always burning somewhere, but we still have to address our issues.
    (Memory doesn’t help, too. One’s mind reassorts old memories that fit your current mood. Bad memories tend to come back up when you feel bad. The same with world news. It’s easier to pick bad tv news as bringer of sense, in a false sense of doom, than to address that you feel bad, and then you cherry-pick the news that fit your mood)

    2° Vaccine = good news. The second shot is the one that get you the most tired.

    I had a leeway to get a first vaccine shot a month ago.
    The second shot is for the coming days. Everyone around me told me that the second shot was the one that got them the most tired. I dunno why but be prepared. (Parents, sister, brother, sister-in-law… and different brands of vaccine).

    It was positively weird to get the vaccine, because it was in the official party/feast hall of a nearby country city. It was nice, slow-paced and lively.
    Most of the paperwork was done before the shot, so it was weird to not been ask money or another form of ID after the shot. The “precious” was free. (thanks France)
    At that moment, thinking about the anti-vax roaming in the media, I was flabbergasted.

    I got a mild fatigue and the sensation of a bruise from the shot, for 2 days. (It was a Pfizer). It was reassuring for me to have some symptoms, somehow it meant that the thing was doing its work.
    For the second shot, expect to feel sh!tty for half a week (rather 4-5 days), as if you got the cold. (Maybe expect to be forced to call sick for work, if you don’t telework. More prudent).

    • Thanks for all of this information, Julien.

      I have voiced enough outrage on this Burnt Narcissus already, but I truly am indignant that all the workers in our schools are expected to work normal days on the day of the vaccine (and in the case of the second one, it is a day off, but they have incredibly hard ‘summer seminars’ the day after – for me it is unforgivable).

      I am the kind of person that, if I truly do feel dreadful, there is no way I will be going in to work. However, there will be literally hundreds of my fellow Japanese co-workers who will somehow weather it all, even if they literally die on the spot.

      It is all really quite fucked up in truth.

      I relate to what you say about feeling it in the veins – this is all going to happen to me on Monday; I hope I don’t feel ill, but a little ‘something is going on’ shall be acceptable.

      Thank you for caring. x

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