pandemic 2020 day 1

March 18, 2020. These are frightening times. covid-19 outbreak across the world. here in the usa we do not have testing yet available for the asymptomatic, test kits are slow to roll out. i have spoken with acquaintances who have been either in close contact with someone who got sick and tested positive, and yet because they are asymptomatic themselves, they cannot find a way to get tested. statistics are showing 2-3x jumps in the number of cases in major cities, as tests become more available. god knows how many people are carrying covid-19 and spreading it without realizing. though the sacramento region has only had 16 estimated deaths and 150 estimated cases, we know these numbers are not accurate. i myself could be carrying the virus and don’t even know. the grocery stores have been ransacked for basic things i need now, a thermometer for instance, soup, bread. i am still going to work as a mental health clinician for an outpatient clinic, and most but not all of our appointments are being conducted by phone. i am trying to keep a positive attitude and a sense of humor so i can help my friends who are scared just laugh. the streets are mostly free of people. going to work is now a welcome escape from the fear and hysteria. traffic unusually light. city unusually quiet.

January 2, 2020

up at dawn thursday, first month of the year. i listen to the heater ignite off the pilot while drinking coffee from my union jack mug. the heads of the palm trees are bobbing, dancing. i see them through the window, signaling the storm. i think back on what i have accomplished and ahead to the challenges i face. into my sixth year (first year as a manager) for a nonprofit organization. i am responsible not only to my staff but also my psychotherapy caseload. stressed and tired i come home looking for calm and rest. while i wish i could be building community, i cannot always summon the energy. i tend to devote more time to my writing projects at home. i have to strike a balance to sustain physical, emotional, spiritual, and psychosocial health. there’s only so much you can do in a day. i am trying to devote more time to reading fiction. considering how life has gone this past year and what lies ahead, i guess what i hope for is to keep a spiritual core. move away from self-criticism or comparing myself against other measures, and towards acceptance of my life, as is. there are plenty of ways i feel disappointed. and while i want to allow myself to feel, i also want to check it against my reality, the context of my life, and show myself some love for staying on the pulse, and going after what matters, courageously moving forward in the proper direction. being successful in my chosen career. i am lucky and blessed to be alive and have my family and friends, food and shelter. i have enough cash on hand to navigate a capitalist society, and a fair amount of freedom to roam around and position myself in the places where i feel useful and valued. i am grateful for the gift i have to outreach to my community in ways i see i can help make a difference. thank you for visiting and reading. i wish you all the best today and in the new year. keep the faith. keep after your dreams.  – katya w. mills

the self sets the limits

the spirit and soul is shining underneath, waiting to break out of the rock that conceals it, out of darkness for us to see and believe. meanwhile the world goes on waiting for you to arise. will you ever? the tarnished lack in a rusty controlled mechanical sort of perfection with an intellectual hook demands a miraculous effort. most are pulled out of the path of life and retired, subservient to other forces, equally bad as good, fenced in by unnatural designs. oh! the self-set limits of life experience. and very well worth living and dying for!

journal

journal # 04.09.18

i experienced a period of several years when life became more challenging and lended me freedoms i had before, and lost. i can appreciate these socioeconomic freedoms more than i could before, when they had come more by luck and birthright and privilege than hard work. this time i would have to earn my freedom. early to rise, i kept the pulse on my spiritual practice.

apple core

this morning i awoke beside you and stretched and growled. you called me tiger and i showed you my claws. the sun was not up yet but we were. i took my meds and fed the cats. we went down the road to the am.pm. we discovered the coffee there is first rate. you got some chocolate chip cookies for breakfast, and i didn’t mind. i made a cadillac with half hot chocolate. we aren’t that young anymore, but we love to be kids together. maybe that’s the core of our apple?

typewriter.ten

I was a proud twenty and five and wasn’t gonna grieve some misspoken awkwardness in a common beehive. The world then was an accident before it got taped off, a natural intoxication, a Dionysian dream. How could I turn away? I wanted to be out on the streets and not miss a thing. Only when confronted by the sadness of financial insecurity in a large American city, would I submit myself to a nine to five, pushing papers like a mule. I was young and full of pride. I skipped down the sidewalk, afternoons away from work. Whatever I witnessed I either photographed or wrote down in my journals, then took home to type up — only that which had captured my heart.