Now, isn’t it a shame
How we break each other’s hearts
And cause each other pain
How we take each other’s love
Without thinking anymore
Forgetting to give back
Isn’t it a pity”
Yes, again. It’s important! I’ve been writing about mental health since before it was cool to talk about mental health. Just kidding. It’s always been cool to be vulnerable. I should say that I’ve been writing about mental health since before I realized the extent of my own illness and crisis. Now, I’m not in any danger zone, at all, and I’m also attempting to make sure that crises aren’t realized within these blog walls, without at least somewhat being realized within my own brain and then told to Cassidy. I struggle with the real-time crisis talk, but I also don’t understand it, and often myself, until I use my blog to figure things out. It’s not fair, but it’s also not fair to avoid the weird processes I have. They help me, if not us, so it’s a start to know that and to see how I can make them help my not-so-little Bowman Family of Six. That said, mental health is important, and so is this whole darn world, and I’m writing this in retrospect, for the most part.
One of the worst (or potentially best, depending on who you ask) aftereffects of my postpartum and grief-induced existential crisis is that I learned to no longer believe everything is going to be ok. Of course I have always known that tragedy and trauma strike, because my early life was marked by both of those things, but maybe that’s why I tended to gloss over everything. It was a coping mechanism. I know that bad things happen to good people, and good things happen to bad people, and most people are somewhere in the middle. No one gets any guarantees. I knew that and I know that, but it was almost like I put that away on a shelf and didn’t ever really think it applied to me; to us. Especially during the early parts of the pandemic and we didn’t get sick, and for the most part, our loved ones didn’t either. The anxiety and nervous stomach and crowd intolerance all but went away when I didn’t have to be around humans. We had a gorgeously healthy baby, an adorable puppy, another gorgeously healthy baby, and a home renovation too.
I’ve always thought our fragile relationship, started from magic, was being held together that way too. And I guess it was, but that’s never enough. I’m horrified at years I’ve lost not working on myself and us. It just didn’t occur to me that we could split up, the way it didn’t occur to me that we would ever get COVID. Yet we did (except for Scarlet), and of course we haven’t split up our marriage and I never want to, but it’s like a fall to earth to realize how fragile we all are. And relationships are living and breathing things. I’m very aware that everything can change, and life feels threadbare right now. It’s been a rough week of news, among many rough weeks of news. In Walgreens, Scarlet read a newspaper cover about a shooting right at our local mall. The news was blaring about Tyre Nichols, and the babies both turned to the TV (as babies always do) and their wide innocent eyes didn’t seem to know what they were seeing, but they had to have known it was beyond comprehensible. They had to know that it’s the farthest thing from Elmo or Daniel Tiger, and even worse than the Jurassic Park and Star Wars scenes that Rider favors.
It occurred to me, and still does, that maybe things really won’t get better in our lifetimes. Maybe it’s a push and pull of intelligence and horrible politicians and their game of tug-of-war with our rights. Maybe diseases will get worse, and we’ll turn into the mushroom people from The Last of Us. Shootings might get worse. We can leave this country, but it will only somehow shield us from shootings and stripped rights, and won’t protect at all against climate change and mushroom people politicians. Maybe we’re charmed, and maybe we’re not. Maybe there’s no such thing, but it’s only as real as what’s in your head and what helps you sleep at night.
Who am I to say right now? Maybe if you have a great will to live and let others live, you should be granted some sort of special access to get through hard times. Exemptions. I know that’s not a thing, but you can stay as savvy, stealthy, and safe as possible. We didn’t get sick because we took precautions until we couldn’t avoid it anymore. We wear seatbelts and never drive drowsy. Heck, I’ve never had a cigarette or been drunk. I’m built for survival; maybe you get a reward for that. No guarantees. It’s throwing your hat in the ring to live safely, but boldly, with your heart.
But how do I explain
When not too many people
Can see we’re all the same
And because of all their tears
Their eyes can’t hope to see
The beauty that surrounds them
Isn’t it a pity
Isn’t it a pity
Isn’t is a shame
How we break each other’s hearts
And cause each other pain”
Concert for George – Isn't it a Pity, Featuring Billy Preston from Alan Terrano on Vimeo.
Eddie Staudt says
Indeed it’s always been cool to be vulnerable Tamara. Every bit as cool as Rider’s long locks! Your mention of just how fragile we are made me think of Sting’s touching tribute song “Fragile.” Being built for survival allows us to deal with the lessons we learn from our vulnerabilities and rise above as many of them as we can. At times we have to reach down deep to find that strength and really feel it, but it’s in there! I would have loved to be in that sold out audience at the Royal Albert Hall that night. Truly an unforgettable event for the ages.
I’m repeatedly saddened by man’s inhumanity to man. We seem to be the only species that treats one another so cruelly, often not even for food or to gain power, but just to demean. At the same time, we also seem to be the only species who can choose to act selflessly, strictly for the benefit of another. I like following these people on social media (shoutout to Jimmy Darts!) because they remind me of the capacity we all have to love.