Where do I begin.

That’s a bigger question than I would have guessed. My life is one of fits and starts, periods of frenzy followed by episodes of interminable withdrawal, where my thoughts seem not to matter even to myself. As writers I think we form identities around our work, and these can be tricky to manage; the outlines aren’t always clear. It becomes a matter of what we should say versus what we want to say, who we ought to be as opposed to who we are.

I’ve been trying to be a better person. Really I have. However, the bar for entry is awfully low these days and no one’s got any class, so maybe it’s a place to get comfortable. I’ve writing again—by which I mean, writing and finishing my work and trying to get it published as opposed to filling journals and Google docs with words that serve no purpose beyond the ephemeral. So there’s that. There’s also the gigantic fucking mess we find ourselves in, where the president is urging research into the therapeutic benefits of 409, and the bodies of our elders are piling up in semi trucks or in the far reaches of nursing homes while half the country has convinced itself that the entire world is in on the hoax.

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Life is precarious now, my friends, no joke. I feel like one of the deer that wander through our suburban neighborhood, all my senses on alert yet only vaguely aware that the incongruous object in the setting is me. It’s hard to know how to exist on a flat earth. There are edges beyond which you might actually disappear.

I’m not ready to do that. That’s what it comes down to. I want to remember these years if I survive them, so when my grandkids one day ask me what I did while our country was dying, I’ll be able to say it wasn’t nothing. I’ll be able to say that at the very least, I noticed.

How do you keep on keeping on?