Operation Oysterhood: 27 November

OYSTERHOOD is reclusiveness or solitude, or an overwhelming desire to stay at home.

— @HaggardHawks

A mixed bag of a day. Horrible news interwoven with miracles and things getting done despite unbelievable obstacles in their path. It is hard to believe that a day has only twenty-four hours. Every single one of them feels like eternity now. And it takes forever every day in the morning to get started. At night, I am scared to face going to bed. Thank goodness I am usually awake around five a.m. and can force myself to open my eyes by seven latest. In the evening, I put on the TV and hope for it to put my mind enough at ease to fall asleep eventually. I am afraid to be left alone in my own headspace for too long. It is frightening there at the moment. Any kind of external input is a welcome distraction. I function. I get things done. But by now I am only pretending to cope.

The thing is that I am still physically healthy, I do have a roof over my head, I can feed The Cats, even buy an occasional book, but I am trying to hold on to so many dreams in the process that are on the verge of shattering that the burden feels impossibly heavy.

I think the worst is that the worries are so overwhelming and often so paralysing that even when the most incredible things happen, they only bring temporary relief – they can no longer be enjoyed and celebrated with the kind of abandon they deserve.

A few things I read, was reminded of, today:

This interview with Nick, where he says:

What have you found most supportive and/or heart lifting in this time?

There hasn’t been much, to be honest. It’s been awful. Almost every day has been a struggle, and the struggle is made worse by the fact that I know everyone else is struggling too. There hasn’t been a great amount of levelheaded, public honesty about how difficult this has been: we’re always looking for the positive angle, or the deft and lucid summation of the medical-political omnishambles we’ve been living through. I think it’s enough to say that it’s been horrible, it is continuing to be horrible, and that I cannot wait for it to be over. People have been and haven’t been supportive; what lifts the heart one day doesn’t work the next. 

I can’t be too curmudgeonly, though. uHlanga’s writers, suppliers and distributors have responded so wonderfully and bravely to the challenges we’ve been facing and will be facing for some time to come. But I think we’re all just doing the best we can. There’s really nothing else to it.

And then, Sally’s moving post about 2020: “Good riddance to 2020 (almost)”

And this interview Debbie reminded me of (I watched it live on TV a while back and watched it online again today): “Exposing the men who hate women” (Shattering!)

It was Black Friday today, but apart from a takeaway dinner with my love at his place, I stayed home and bought nothing apart from a croissant for tomorrow’s breakfast and two chocolate chip cookies for dessert tonight. I want to spend my money on books on the 1st of December at the Book Lounge when they celebrate their thirteenth birthday. I often think of which institutions I am desperate to see survive this insane pandemic and its aftermath, and libraries and bookshops are always top of the list. A life without access to books does not seem worth living for me. How will they survive? With our support.

I want Karavan Press to survive, but I am publishing against all demands of logic and hoping against hope that we will somehow make it.

Dreams can be like children. You never forgive yourself for neglecting and forsaking them.

I have done what I could. The generosity and assistance of the people I work with have been overwhelming. And soon, there will be time to rest. I just have to somehow make it until then.

Be kind. Wear a mask. Support local.

“Physical distancing remains one of the key strategies to curb this pandemic.”


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