I am not content.
I look at this blog and I want to update it. I want to update the website, too. I want to get new photographs and collect more information to put here and post more often and and and and….
And I’m writing my dissertation, with which I am currently also discontent (it’s not good enough, it’s not long enough, there’s not enough information, there’s not enough time, blah blah blah blah)…
I am not content with:
– my health (I am content with not having cancer again, but other recent tests that require lifestyle changes are not making me very content)
– my bank account balance
– my participation in life in general outside my home
– the state of unpacking the boxes inside my home (come on, I’ve been here 2 years now!)
– current events in my country and the world at large (understatement)
and and and and
Discontent is not supposed to be an end state, or a pit from which one can never emerge. To be discontent is supposed to be like being unhealthy or uncomfortable in that it is supposed to stir us to action. It’s supposed to be the early warning signal that Something Is Wrong and needs to be made right. Discontent should be transitory; a mental check-in on the state of one’s world and an opportunity to regroup and rebuild and all the words that begin with re- that make the world inside and outside the self better.
And yet we are bombarded by situations and people and life simply repeating at maximum volume: I am not content. (If my Facebook feed had a theme lately, it’s this one.)
It’s pouring rain. I missed this sound this summer more than I realized, if my reaction is any indication. The scent of wet leaves and earth, the sound of the runoff from the roof and the pattering on the window next to where I’m typing, the need to turn on a light because it’s so dark in the room that I can’t see my fingers on the keyboard, distant rumbling thunder that never seems to call any lightning… Rain in Portland is a welcome experience, no matter how many times it rains. I don’t know if I just love rain, or two years in SoCal without it made me miss it, but there are few things better in life currently than sitting in this chair and watching the rain fall.
Of course I am doing a great deal more than watching rain. I wouldn’t be me if I wasn’t. Continue reading
For most, July is the “middle” of the year, when things slow down and get lazy, the heat of the summer (or the cold of the winter, if you’re in the other hemisphere) starts getting to you, and thoughts turn not to immediate plans but the past and the future. For me, it’s the final month of the liturgical year in Kemetic Orthodoxy. As I’ve been practicing this religion since the late 1980s, my life definitely has a rhythm that July is not the middle, but the round-up and wind-up of everything I’ve been up to since last July. July is time to tie up the loose ends, finish the projects, and prepare for what is coming in August and beyond.
This July is no exception. Though I did start something new – my Patreon projects, specifically, are now live and seem to be doing well so far – I am mostly in wrap-up and ending stage on other things. I’m giving my first paper as a Ph.D. candidate at an annual Coptic Studies conference in a couple of weeks, and am finalizing my presentation for that. I’m finishing up work on the Ancient Egyptian Daybook Planner and shipping of the many boxes of the original Daybook that released earlier this year. Continue reading
With the advice and help of some friends, I am now listed on Patreon as a content creator. If you’re unfamiliar, Patreon is sort of the digital equivalent of the fan clubs people my age and older were part of when we were younger. In return for monthly support of an artist, patrons receive perks including early access to various projects, Patron-only projects, tangible gifts, and more. I actually have two different Patreons directed at the two very distinct parts of work I do around Egypt and Haiti, respectively. The button below and elsewhere on this site is for my Egypt-related Patreon work; if you’re interested in the Haiti-related work I do, check out the Mambo T Patreon instead. You’re invited to check them out and spread the word – with enough support I will be able to cut back on freelancing and spend more time writing and creating things for us to enjoy. Thank you so much!