I have been walking around for the past month with much on my mind and in my heart. Life is good, but there are many challenges and events that are causing me to think hard about my choices and actions. It seems like when I'm feeling this way, I'm less expressive and more introspective. My usually boundless energy dials down. Maybe this is so I can use it more on the inside. I know I haven't been wholly myself to the people who know me. I also know that this is who I am when I am processing. So this post is less an excuse or explanation than it is an expression of where I'm at.
Andy was laid off from his job a month ago. We saw it coming for several months. The technology he works in (motion picture film - as opposed to video) has become nearly obsolete. There just isn't work anymore to keep film labs like his going. We will be okay financially, although we'll have to make some changes. My focus right now is on how he is doing with the change to his life, and the ripples out to our family. Work is important to our identity and sense of worth in the world. This next year will be an exercise in re-discovery and re-building for him, for me, for us as a family. We have lots of resources and support, but still, it's frightening.
The Vancouver Poetry Slam Safe Space issue has rocked my world significantly. The revelation of incidents of sexual assault and harassment that have taken place in a community of people I love have shocked me and made me question my perceptions. How can people I care for be having these experiences and I didn't know or see it? I am learning a lot about the dynamics of power and coercion within communities. I am tremendously proud that so many people are stepping forward to get involved in making safety a priority at the slam. My heart soars when I hear and see people stepping up and saying they are changing their own minds and hearts about this. I am encouraged to see the strength and wisdom of so many people young and old, experienced and new to the community, coming together to make good changes happen. I am also grieving the loss that goes with finding out that there are people who I know who have done damage. I am hopeful that there will be healing. That's the way the process is shaping up. I am grateful for those who are taking leadership, and for those who are participating in any way to keep this moving forward.
Fiona is coming home for the summer. She has booked her flight, and I've arranged for storage for her university stuff for the summer. I'm coordinating long distance with her to get scholarship applications done. I am feeling echoes of the excitement and drama that we all experienced last spring as she received her acceptances and offers and decided where she would go. One year later we are all so much better at this. Looking back I can see that she and we have come a long way, taking the first big steps to launch her adult life.
Alex is going back to school part time in May to do Trades Exploration. He'll experience a bit of several skilled trades and get some basic certifications that will help him with applications for further education and employment. This may lead to skills that will complement his film-making abilities. Skilled trades are needed on movie sets, and also useful for finding work between projects. We're proud and happy that he is moving forward.
I'm on call for ESS and had a callout this week to an apartment fire. The details are confidential, but my own experience I can talk about: I am grateful that nobody was injured or killed. I am glad for the opportunity to help people in need, with a place to stay and the basic necessities while they figure out what to do next. There is always an emotional impact for me once I know the evacuees are okay. I lay away the other night, not dreaming, just seeing three apartments engulfed in red. Beds, kitchens, belongings, burning up like a blowtorch. It took a while for that image to go away. It's frightening to think what might have happened each time, and sad to know how close one can be to homelessness when a disaster occurs. I am left feeling grateful for my own network of support and love. I am practically militant about the importance of having homeowner or tenant's insurance. In an emergency, it makes the difference between staying in a hotel until you find a new place, or couch surfing or a homeless shelter.
question: How are you? Really.
mompoet - still here - just a little more on the introverted side of the wheel for a while