Nattering on

It’s been a long minute between updates on here and that is largely due to the fact that I am just a walking husk of a person and three tiny brain cells at the moment. It is also for other reasons—exciting and exhausting and happy and heavy ones—but mostly the husk thing. 

I also haven’t been reading much and have felt enormous pressure to pump out reviews just to keep Manic Ciggie moving (which I also haven’t done). But! Then I remembered I made this dumb blog and can just waffle on about shit if I want to, so here we are. 

The last month has been miserable for most people, and mostly women, all over the world. It has been a particularly embarrassing month to be Australian. It’s understandably almost impossible for us to speak up about these things, but I am just one of millions of women who have been hurt by men for as long as we’ve been around them. Physically, sexually, verbally. On the street, at parties, in bars, in my home, in the morning and at night and in the afternoon. If women universally have one thing in common, it’s these stories. Right now, tragedy inflicted upon women by men is being reported constantly and across the world and, while it is necessary and belated, it’s been a gruelling time for all of us.

Being angry about the mammoth, exhausting, time-consuming, heartbreaking effort it takes for women to survive has naturally taken up a lot of my time. Then, suddenly, out of fucking nowhere, the mid-north coast of the country became one giant flood. The same areas that were on fire last year are now drowning. People are losing their homes, their pets, their cattle and horses and land. My hometown is close to these areas but largely unaffected. My mum still lives there and a few days ago she told me that a friend of her cowboy mate from church (I do not know his name; this is how she refers to him) literally lost his house when it floated into the Manning River. What. The. Fuck.

It genuinely feels, now more than ever, like the world is breaking. And for some bovine reason I have started a postgraduate degree. When I finish writing this I will furiously check it is edited correctly (because that’s what I’m studying) and probably berate myself for not fully understanding how it all works even though I’m only one month in. I’m trying—which it is nice to think is the most important thing—and right now anyone making it through the most depressing 24-hour news cycles while contractually obliged by work or school to accomplish literally anything except lie horizontally and stare at the ceiling is doing something truly astonishing (in my opinion). 

Someone once said to me that there is a difference between swimming and keeping your head above water. I don’t feel like I’m swimming most days (husk or not) but I believe that simply managing to stay afloat is half the battle. I think I’m getting pretty good at that, although the state of the world can make it even more difficult sometimes. So, I hope you’re all doing okay—whether you’re swimming or doggy-paddling or just barely keeping your nose in the air, it all takes monumental strength, and we don’t give ourselves enough credit for that.