The Mood On Monday, The Ugly Bits


A pingback from The Errant Moon (Waves hi!) led me to Imperfect Patience: Oral History. In the post, the author points out that “Publicity shots … always show pretty faces.” They talk about the need to chronicle the ugly as well as the pretty. “According to Landdeck, We are at least thirty years from the time historians will be seriously writing about what this pandemic is now doing to people. We should leave a record. And the record should not be just about the pretty people … We need to record our fears our unattractive and embarrassing fears about outbursts.”

So here I go. If you are researcher in the future, Hello & good luck with your thesis, project, book, interactive hologram.

My ugly truth is that there are no ugly bits. I get to spend the day with my husband, whose company I enjoy above all others. My horses are in the backyard, so even if I can’t ride [Or Not], I can pet noses anytime I want. Having someone around has made me more productive. I’m a week ahead on blog posts, I’m working on my fiction. I even got my work assignment submitted on time, something I have been having trouble with. Plus, there is a built-in excuse for an off day. Sloth got you down? Feeling unproductive? Well, of course you do, there’s a global pandemic going on.

Oh yeah, that.

I’m horrified. I’m terrified. I worry about those I love. I worry about strangers on the Internet. I continue to click on headlines even when the stories will stress me out. I choke up during the Thank You commercials. Still, these are all happening at a remove. I don’t know anyone who has gotten sick. The closest death has been the in-law of a friend from long ago (virtual hug). I’m still waiting on tenterhooks for that first name. That first person I know IRL.

I have been dealt an excellent hand of cards for ducking the disease. Pick an indicator, I’m on the shiny side: female, no underlying conditions, young, or at least youngish, etc, etc. I will hear that the virus disproportionately affects X segment of society and then think to myself ‘I am not in that group’ and then feel relieved and then feel bad for feeling relieved. I feel like Winston asking them to put the rats on Julia rather than on himself.

I have not wanted to say any of this. I feel reluctant to write it even now. Partly, not to tempt fate. I see how easily it could all go bad, e.g illness, job loss, disruptions to the food supply. Partly, I don’t want to be cruel. Your life has gone to shit? So sorry, we’re good over here. Haven’t seen your horse in over a month? So sad, Imma gonna go feed mine a carrot. So, I post pretty pictures and amusing stories. Or amusing pictures and pretty stories. First do no harm.

That is my ugly truth. I’m having a nice time. Except for the existential screaming.

Stay safe. Stay sane.
Katherine Walcott

15 thoughts on “The Mood On Monday, The Ugly Bits

  1. 1: do no harm
    2:…….do no harm
    3: do no harm
    You’re winning in the ‘being a decent human being’ category and some of us REALLY appreciate the pretty and amusing stuff…especially right now.

  2. ditto. Too much focus on the pandemic makes you crazy. Or crazier, as the case may be. You are blessed. Believe it or not, it makes me feel better to know you and Greg and Rodney and Milton are OK.

  3. I vacillate between wanting to be an ostrich and totally oblivious (except for the once every 2 weeks grocery run, which clearly is an eye-opener), and spending eight hours researching the state of things online. Neither are a particularly good approach, but the latter usually wins because I don’t want to be one of those people who, after our country goes to complete shit, says, “Gee, I never saw THAT coming!” Since I had my ear to the ground early (it’s called knowing the right people), I was a full month ahead of any public declaration of a health crisis. So I was pretty prepared for what I thought might be the worst case scenario. But this has turned out to be worse than the worst I imagined. And even back then, what I thought might be the “worst case” felt almost embarrassingly over-exaggerated. It was not. So I’m taking a half-assed media break. By that I mean I don’t spend eight hours a day online, but I do try to grab the highlights, then scram. Because I’m stressed, angry and sad. And I’m also FAR more worried about our “cure” than the disease itself.

    1. My last horse died in 2001. I still have dreams of riding him, and I still wake up crying. If you want some unsolicited advice, make the break a clean one. It will hurt more to start, but end up easier on you in the long run.

      1. I dream about riding every night. Have for many years. Current horses, deceased horses … come one, come all. Weird, I know, but I actually enjoy it. And yes, I’m pondering the pros and cons of staying in touch. I do have first right of refusal if something should ever go sideways, but even then it would be foolish of me to take him back unless something significant changed with the home team. Not a happy thought there, either, I’m afraid.

  4. Good to hear from you, my friend. I was worried.

    As for the news, I have thoughts. So many thoughts. I try to focus on how it affects me. Which seems selfish, but is also a way to determine my personal action items. What can I do? What do I need to do? Can I help? Can I help by staying out of the way?

    My routine is to tune into a station that shows thumbnails from CNN, MSNBC, BBC America & Fox. I do a quick survey of the headlines to see if the aliens have landed while I wasn’t watching. And then I walk away.

  5. I still follow along with your blog, albeit a bit less quietly. Hard to imagine because … so hard for me to do the quiet act! We are on the same page with all the questions. It can be exhausting. So yes, small doses of news and updates, then back to my regularly scheduled program of horses, dogs, garden, yard. (Notice no mention of housework or cooking) Reluctantly, I sold my youngest horse last month and I’ve pretty much been moping around ever since. No fault of his, but I brought him home after two years of boarding and …. well, let’s just say he turned out to be quite the stud muffin. Literally. So yeah, can’t keep him here with my two senior boys and mare, and I had no intention of boarding a horse forever. Found him a great home, but … damn. Never sold a horse before. It (really, really, really) sucks. I miss him greatly. *sigh*

    1. Thanks. I’m very sad too, especially if I let myself wallow in it too much. Mostly, I miss him when I ride any of my other horses because he was the horse I was going to ride until … well, until there was no more ride left in me. He was that kind of horse. Honest. Comfortable. Personable. We were a really good fit and he just kept getting better and better the more we worked together. He came such a long way in such a short time. The gal who bought him is only about 20 minutes away. She wants me to come visit. Maybe even ride him when she goes overseas this fall. I dunno. Can I say goodbye over and over again without wanting to kick myself every time I leave him? Maybe. But maybe not. She sends me updates and videos. Makes my heart sing that he’s the barn favorite (again) and he’s riding so nice for her. But I still can’t help looking at those videos and thinking that should be me on his back. I can still close my eyes and feel the way he moves, still have dreams where I’m riding him. He was a great horse and worth every minute I ever spent with him, but who knew he would go rogue when my mare went into heat? Well, to be honest, I kind of suspected he might, which is why I boarded him for so long. He’s out in a very large, mixed herd now, on 85 acres and doing fine. That wasn’t an option here. I did what was best for him, not me. I hate adulting sometimes. 😦

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