I’ve seen stuff going around about Canadians with negative COVID tests forced to quarantine at home (?!?) and those with positive tests to relocate to designated facilities. Lost a little sleep last night worrying about my Canadian brothers and sisters to the north (well, I’m in Hawaii now, so like…the north and 2500 miles to the east amiright), so I look into it a little, this morning.
The article goes on to explain that while there are “a few” isolation facilities (in two more paragraphs, this “few” is revealed to be thirteen, nbd), the Canadian government is frustrated with all these conspiracy theorists using the phrase “internment camps” and spreading “misinformation”.
Gayle Bursey, the director of definitely not internment camps, says they’ve been using “contact management” to definitely not intern people, but ‘would not comment on the number of individuals who have used the centre thus far, only stating that they have had a “positive uptake” and “are managing our capacity to ensure that we have space for those individuals who need it most.”’
These awful, silly conspiracy theorists! Can’t they see the Canadian government is just trying to help?
Okay, so then I enter the same search phrase into DuckDuckGo and voila — scads of recent news articles. Choosing one at random, because they all say pretty much the same thing, because it’s Trudeau’s actual announcement:
“As soon as possible in the coming weeks, we will be introducing mandatory PCR testing at the airport for people returning to Canada. Travelers will then have to wait for up to three days at an approved hotel for their test results at their own expense, which is expected to be more than $2,000.
“Those with negative test results will then be able to quarantine at home under significantly increased surveillance and enforcement. Those with positive tests will be immediately required to quarantine in designated government facilities to make sure they’re not carrying variants of potential concern. We will also in the coming weeks be requiring nonessential travelers to show a negative test before entry at the land border with the U.S., and we’re working to stand up additional testing requirements for land travel.”
So please, people: public service announcement, don’t be so unsophisticated as to conflate something wholly reasonable, like mandatory detainment in a designated government facility, with something unreasonable, like an internment camp. Pull yourselves together.
At this rate, we should be able to polite language ourselves straight to the politest of totalitarian disasters, which will definitely not involve internment at any point.
BUT, you know what I appreciate? My friend Kanani, and her mindset. She texted me the other day and asked how we were doing, and I said xyz and good and how’s she doing, and she said, “I’m just over here keeping the vibe high.” She’s aware, she’s tracking, every time we communicate we’re at about the same point of situational awareness, and she’s keeping the vibe high, because she understands that’s the most important thing a person can do. And her doing that reminds me to do the same, even when I forget.
I really enjoyed this Teal Swan video yesterday:
I highly recommend you watch rather than settling for my ham-fisted paraphrase, but you know I have to do it; so, she gave a great example of how conflicting values can arise. Basically one person who grew up with a tyrannical parent, versus another who grew up with a parent absent or oblivious to the threats and hardships faced by the child. These two children could potentially grow up to have conflicting values re: authority. The former would be of the “Don’t Tread On Me” mindset, while the latter would welcome the sense of authority as a referee and buffer, in the world, between him and the ways others choose to misbehave.
In a situation like the one we’re facing now, perhaps, these two perspectives will fundamentally and perhaps violently disagree. Conflicting values + personal unsafety = war. So, how on earth can these two perspectives find unity?
By caretaking one another’s sense of unsafety, she advises. She describes it like this: me and whoever I’m in conflict with are both backing away from one another, because conflict amiright, and I can see that there’s a cliff behind my opponent, that I’m trying to warn her about. My opponent sees that there’s a cliff behind me that she’s trying to warn me about. But we’re both feeling unsafe about the cliff we can see, not the cliff we can’t. By caretaking one another’s sense of unsafety, we can find unity even in conflicting values, because what we have in common in these heightened dramas is that we’re all feeling unsafe.
Nick, Abe and I tried to play act this out in real life, yesterday on the lanai, and it was a spectacular failure, so turns out it’s a lot harder than it sounds. So, it was kind of like playing cowboys and Indians, except we called it red pills and libtards. Right off the bat, we realized that sort of language wasn’t helping us take the other’s sense of unsafety seriously, so we changed it to red pills and wokes. First I told Nick, “Okay you’re the woke and I’m the red pill so I’m going to —” and before I could finish my thought, Nick said, “Nope. Nope. I’m not playing a game where I’m a woke, fuck that.”
So then I rolled my eyes and said, “Okay, I’m the woke and you’re the red pill. And I’m sorry but now you have to do the work of caretaking my sense of unsafety because I’m too focused on dumb shit to even realize that you could, like, possibly have a sense of unsafety, about anything. I mean, as far as I can tell, you ARE the unsafety.”
We just looked at each other, and over to Abe, and back again for a bit, listening to the birds sing, trying to figure out what to do next. Nick finally said, “Well, I’m not wearing a mask no matter what you say, so if you think that’s gonna kill you, then just go ahead and die.”
“Hmm,” I said. “So, like…here’s something. When I learned that all the COVID deaths were either due to a prerequisite average of 2.6 co-morbidities OR being locked up in a nursing home like animals by, you know, Cuomo, my reaction — I mean, me as Hannah,” I said, tapping my own chest, “was like…oh! Fuck this. We should all get on with our lives. Unless we have 2.6 comorbidities or we’re 90 fucking years old.”
Abe and Nick shrugged and nodded. I continued, thinking real hard: “But…I guess if I was, like…in a state of very poor health and I’d already convinced myself that I had zero agency in regards to my health…?,” I screwed up my face thinking really hard, because it’s super tough for me to put myself in those mental shoes. “Because it seems like a lot of the wokes are in fairly poor health and so I guess hearing ‘oh, COVID only kills people with 2.6 co-morbidities sounds like a non-issue to me, but maybe for them they’re like, ‘oh, that’s my song! I have all my co-morbidities listed in my bio!’ Or whatever.”
“Yeah, that’s reasonable,” Nick said. “But the thing that gets me is always: THEN what? THEN what? Okay so we flatten the curve for a million years. We all wear a mask. Then we wear two masks. We close everything. We shelter in place. We wait for a vaccination —”
My brother interjected: “Oh, if I could, real quick? There is a little bit of good news there.”
Nick and I waved him to continue.
He glanced sideways at his screen to read: “Pfizer has released a statement saying the vaccine, so far, has had no unanticipated, rare side effects.”
Nick and I processed that for a second and then we all guffawed. “Wow! Wow. That is a very conditionally worded statement,” I laughed.
“So yes, there have been effects,” Abe clarified. “Yes, there have been side effects. Yes, they have been rare. BUT, they were not unanticipated. So there you go,” he finished with a flourish.
“Perfect,” Nick said. “That.”
“Please finish your thought, babe,” I said.
“Right. Okay: then they tell us the vaccination won’t even mean an end to all the masks and things being closed. And they just agitate and agitate for more and more control, and I’m like: okay, yeah, let’s say we did it perfectly, we just go home and stare at the walls for a month, for a year, for the rest of time, waiting for some signal. THEN what? They never seem to think past the threat. They don’t think past the threat, so as long as someone’s pumping out the threat-flavored kool aid, there’s nothing else to think about.”
“Sounds like Trump’s fault to me,” I offered.
“Obviously,” Abe and Nick said in unison.
As you can see, we are really bad at this. But, even having given it more thought, I’m still a bit flummoxed.
I’m imagining the compendium of people I’ve disagreed with most, in the last year, and asking myself how to better caretake their sense of unsafety. I guess the thing that makes it the hardest for me is that their sense of unsafety seems so large, and encompassing, so demanding. It’s not enough for themto xyz because that’s what they think is right to do; we ALL have to xyz.
I’m not abandoning this train of thought, but I do feel it’s relevant to share two Summit News headlines right about now:
Stuff like this makes the game of caretaking one another’s unsafety a lot harder going one way than the other, as we discovered on the lanai. It’s easy to talk about echo chambers but when half the population has had a small handful of themes strategically over-emphasized in their awareness, and legitimate threats to all of us obscured by linguistic acrobatics…sigh. I’m still not doing the thing Teal said to do.
Caretaking people’s sense of unsafety. Well, here’s a thing. Maybe it just comes down to asking — remembering to ask. I just had a phone conversation with a friend the other night, and we tentatively agreed on xyz things, and then he said, “As long as you’re not into that Q nonsense,” and I said, “Sorry bud, I’m all the way into the Q nonsense.” The conversation took a distinct turn for the worse, with me maintaining the same tone I’d had for the first hour of talking, and him framing me like a crazy without even meaning to, but unable not to, and emitting various huffing/chuffing noises. So we got off the phone, obviously.
It didn’t occur to me to just point-blank ask him: I can see you’re not a fan, and that’s fine (it was another one of those “I haven’t checked it out and I never will” deals, which is SOP these days), but what’s your greatest sense of unease and unsafety about/around this?
I can’t say, but that might have led to a more fruitful interaction than getting crosswise about Wayfair’s fifteen thousand dollar metal utility cabinets.
Yeah. I guess that’s the biggest and best takeaway so far. I’m going to try to remember to ask people what it is they feel the most unsafe about, and then just let them have that. Not try to argue them out of it. At least allow the talk about that, and not about whatever it’s ostensibly about, when in reality the only thing any of us are talking about right now is our sense of unsafety — even Kanani when she says “I’m just over here keeping the vibe high.” An authentic conversation about unsafety is better than an inauthentic conversation about anything else.
Final thing: I applied, interviewed, and have now been accepted as a candidate in Teal Swan’s next Completion Process Practitioner training event! If I pass — and I don’t plan on failing — I’ll be a certified Completion Process Practitioner on April 11th, following an intensive training event in Las Vegas. I’ve mentioned the Completion Process a couple times before, because it’s an incredibly useful tool, and Teal’s approach represents an honest to god revolution in trauma therapy.
I have a lot of reasons why I want to take my spiritual practice in this direction — primarily I’ve found I can break through my own barriers as a student when I flip the script and start teaching, so teaching is just a life hack I’ve discovered for selfishly becoming a better student the things I consider important — but I thought I blew it on the interview when the gal asked me what my main reason is for wanting to attend the event. I laughed and said, “Well, mainly to meet Teal.”
She raised her eyebrows and said, “Oh yeah?” Like, maybe I’m just a fan girl type.
I said, “Yeah, I’m totally a fan girl,” in case that’s what she was thinking. “There’s never been a Teal Swan in the history of the human race and there will never be another, so meeting her would be a pretty big deal for me. Also to advance my own spiritual practice and connect with others, above me and below me on the authenticity path.”
Authenticity always has been and always will be a big deal for me, and the most frustrageous situations and conversations of my life are the ones where I can’t figure out how to hold that, or come back to it, in the context of some singular or mutual misunderstanding.
And I know what you’re thinking: “Hannah, how are you gonna spiritually self-help anybody when you’re such a dick?”
Well — that’s a good question. I didn’t used to be a dick, I’ll tell you that. I was always very nice. People were like “everything is the patriarchy’s fault” and I was like “okay, I can see that.” Other people were like “killing animals is god’s will” and I’d be like “okay, seems a little much but I can see that”. Some people were like “we need a strong national agenda with strong borders” and I was like “I can definitely see that”. Others were like “we need to lead the other nations to radically change our relationship to carbon emitting activities and paradigms” and I was like “I can see that”. I guess it never mattered as much to me whether or not the evidence of my life experience supported that claim — I could just see that the evidence of their life experience supported that claim. And my life has been so weird, relative to the normally expected trajectory and values, that I knew I was too weird to be, like, imposing my shit on them. I knew the evidence of their life experience wouldn’t and couldn’t support what I’d found to be true for myself. Plus I’m an introvert, plus I find conflict distasteful, plus I’m empathic to a fault, and so I didn’t go around handing out a lot of disapproval or even disagreement. I always enjoyed finding common ground more, and there’s always some common ground to find, so why not just do that.
I think the shock to my friends of the Hannah developments of this past year — and when I say friends, I guess I kind of mean it in the sense of that old toast, “Champagne for my real friends and real pain for my sham friends” — is, wow: Hannah’s, like, a dick now. Just flame throwing, right? They’re like “but black lives matter” and I’m like “don’t even START with that shit.” “But the New York Times is above reproach —” “NO.” I’ve wanted to spray people, like you would with a bad dog. Don’t even try your PC linguistic acrobatics, with which you’ll usher in the totalitarian regime that anyone with even half an eye on the horizon could have seen coming, on me, I’m not having it.
And I’m not. I can see and feel the events of 2020 and beyond forcing the processes of momentum, contrast, value-refinement, preference-selection, and focus-correction to speed up, intensify, and become its own sort of automaton. And I remain focused on authenticity, even as that focus reveals me to be…kind of a dick. The paint’s not dry on me yet, I know I’ve got a long way to go, and I’m going to be faking zero percent of that journey.
So anyway — I’m sure I’ll have more on that to say. It will be fun to get to the mainland and launch, simultaneously, our wildland fire government contracting business AND my new practitioner credential as a for-reals woo woo subject matter expert.
Most of the influences I follow there are, like…dead, or not currently physical embodied, if that makes sense…? So getting in a room with Teal Swan for a week of intensive training sounds like the water my soul craves in a big way. And you know — Teal can be kind of a dick herself, so I don’t think it’s like a dealbreaker.
Namaste for now, motherfuckers.