It's been extraordinarily hard to write anything publicly since The Month Off ended. At first, I thought it was merely that I had spent so much of it writing that I had effectively overextended myself and needed a break. This has happened before, were I'd be absent for a month or two before getting back to more regular posting.
That didn't happen this time.
It's been over six months since I last wrote regularly. Even the last post I had done happened in a rare glut of energy and left me feeling exhausted afterward. In that time, it's not like I've been idle. I continued working on the storage system for the basement, a tool chest to hopefully clean up my shop, and even started a more ambitious project to convert my Ender 3 into a Voron Switchwire.
So why haven't I written about any of it?
The short version is, trauma. Every week, and seemingly every day brings new word of new restrictions, new criminalizing of people's healthcare or even their public existence. I've had weeks filled with friends needing to pack up their entire lives and move cross country just to live as they did for decades before in the same places.
It's infuriating. It's heartbreaking. It's exhausting.
And for me, it's working. I've had a lot of terrible past experiences which left me with a heightened sense of when I should get scarce. It's a protection mechanism; disappear, blend into the walls, be forgettable, be unnoticeable, is what it says. That's really the point of all of this happening in the US, of course, drive those deemed unwanted out of public life, creating space for bigotry and fascism to grow. Even if the thought of writing is there, even if the time is there, even if the energy is there, when faced with the actual act it's hard not for me to just...shrink. Of course, no amount of shrinking will protect anyone from what's coming. You don't build a people-eating machine if you intend to stop feeding it people.
It's been hard to even write in my paper journal.
Instead I find solace in numbing myself with films I've seen over a dozen times before, just to keep the silence and roaring agony of my own thoughts at bay long enough to throw myself at another work day. Eventually, though, you run out of movies and the numbing no longer works. You've memorized them all; even the parts you like best, are so treadworn they no longer have emotional effect.
I'd like to say that, "eventually, things have to change." There's some desperate need to put a positive spin on this at this point in the narrative -- after all, isn't that how it's supposed to go? There seems no spin positive or otherwise available.
I would like to say that I'm finding solace in working on projects, but many of those have been frustrating too. While I did more or less complete the storage system, the tool chest has been difficult as I'm using much more complex joinery techniques than I've used before in my woodworking. While working on the Switchwire conversion, I damaged the Voron Zero I had built months ago. I'm only now getting it back into one piece because of spring plant season. Raised beds needed to be weeded, fertilized, planted, and fenced off from squirrel access. Containers needed similar treatment. It's all very physically demanding work, and difficult to share as the photos would be an opsec risk.
This post alone can be considered one.