Pan Dumb Moan I Am (by )

This year has not been what I thought it would be - that is often the case but this year more so than normal and this time not just for me. Global events have shaken all our lives to a greater or lesser extent. This upheaval has cost many their lives and upended others, I myself ended up very sick and having a nice trip to hospital in an Ambulance whilst wondering if I was ever going to see my family again.

The pandemic of covid-19 has stirred up feeling in society I had hoped were extinguished with the libration of the concentration camps at the end of the second world war but if I am honest I already know that the festering puss of eugenics was always in a shallow grave and just waiting to pop back to the surface. I am seeing the disabled and chronically ill being side lined and even told to just get on and die by those who are supposed to be our friends and protectors, authorities and work colleagues alike. I am also seeing people going out of their way to help regardless of their own hardships and that is something else - the flip side - an amazing.

Lock down has been hard on people especially mothers who have had their support networks basically made illegal whilst meeting and laughing in a pub by mostly men is absolutely fine. This stark contrasts and contradictions plus back peddling and muddled thinking define the crises here in the UK, especially as the year has drawn on and floods and storms have added to the stresses. Unemployment and employment shifts have abounded with backs fluctuating between being magnanimous and strike you whilst you are down.

Erosions of human rights especially LBGTQ+ community have begun with barely a whimper from anyone outside of the community thanks to the manufactured war between the different types of feminism and rainbows. It is a mess and a wedge driven too deep by those that once added balm to the cuts and bruises of the general bigotry of life. Allies now fight.

Many of us have lost our jobs, or in my case my entire industry - it is not a good time to work in events.

And in all of this pain and stress and confusion people were sharing memes about how Shakespeare and other such artistic heroes created and made master pieces whilst in quarantine so that's obviously what we should have all been doing - and they meant it well and mainly it was them kicking themselves up the back side but others were seeing it as duty to create and record the goings on and were telling others off for not doing so. But people where (and are) dying and we couldn't even attend the funerals except by weblink and it stank and hurt and was not... just not something that was conductive to creation for many.

I have written very little this year - I have started to loose count of the people I have lost, I keep forgetting people are now dead and that is horrendous. I missed a funeral because I couldn't get zoom to work - it is laughable and I did laugh until I cried and then I laughed and then was in a weird sob-laugh state.

And that's another thing - I was asked to perform and take part in the fantastic online array of performances and events but... I have little to no voice, I am horse - I can not sing or read out loud to the kids even so there is no performing for me - no live streams or recording my poetry for youtube. Nope - just lots of sipping various beverages and brews in the hope that they might in some way help. Add to that that I just did not have good enough tech until the middle of last month for the preferred ZOOM to work for me :/

The virus affects eyesight as well - as does the extra autoimmune system disease it has left me with so I have had to learn to adapt to even worse eye sight than I had previously - my glasses can no longer correct everything and I risk further damage before this is over. I have premature ageing of the eyes and a host of other issues. But my new glasses have made it so that I can sit at my computer again and work.... half a year into the illness.

And tentatively I have started to create again but I am not looking at producing more than normal.... oh no I keep having bouts of being poorly again or having to home school the kids due to them having a temperature and waiting for tests or isolations/lockdowns happening and I have my elderly mother to look after - no I am facing the fact that I missed a lot of the writing challenges - I started and aborted them and yet I feel I want to at least revisit those as they are normally important project drivers for me.

As such I have lists of things I can dip in and out of but I do not need to complete anything.

Fevers and Graves Disease have made my normally vivid dreamscape into living visions or hallucinations with beautiful landscapes and narratives that would make epic films. I have begun trying to record them but only have vague notes from the worst of it as I wasn't entirely conscious when they were really bad. Also until this month I had written a few poems this year - as in under ten and generally composed on twitter or facebook as they had just started as comments on the political situation.

I have been tagging the art and poems with ArtFromMyCovidBed and yes I am still spending a lot of time there and I hate it, I want to be up and running but getting up the stairs leaves me panting and coughing and gasping for breath and it is ridiculous.

My mantra is this is a pandemic and the only thing you have to do in quarantine is SURVIVE.

Having said that I am now just beginning to create again and I have lots of ideas that have been brewing in the nightsweat insomnia that plagues me and there are now a number of political and pandemic based poems. These I hope to weave into a few related collections mixed in with some of the art and stories spun from the fever dreams. They may just be chapters of a larger work or collections in their own right. They are:

Pan Dumb Moan Am I

Pan Ick

Pan Damned It

These will be specifically themed on the pandemic and on going crisis, where as Art From My Covid Bed is just any art I have produced during this recovery period.

I like these titles as there are rings and knots of meaning to them - but that will have to wait for another post.

To the world in general - Health, Hope and Happiness <3

(this piece was cross blogged from my poetry blog Turquoise Monster)

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Ok, this is going to sound a bit weird, but I had a dream last night and part of that dream as an actually usable voice assistant system (as in, Google Assistant / Alexa type of thing). I woke up all excited about this, so I need to write it up so that I can see if it's actually a good interface when I come back to it in few days, or just dream-hubris... Read more »

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One of the ARISS projects is occasional transmissions of images via SSTV, or Slow-scan television - basically colour faxes sent via radio.

Anyway, a few days ago, I saw that there was an SSTV transmission scheduled, and the ISS would be passing over England at times I would be able to try and pick it up, so I gave it a go... Read more »

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