Eaton Hamilton

the problem with being trans is cis people. The problem with being queer is straight people. The problem with being disabled is abled people. The problem with being Black is white people. In other words, prejudice.

Tag: children

I try not to

Painting: Eaton Hamilton Couples Counseling, unsure of size, oil sticks and fingerpainting, 2022

The one time I went, for a period of about 6 weeks, I loathed couple’s counseling. I didn’t have an ethical person to attend with. My partner had already told me weeks before we attended that she was leaving me, and then, even despite our long talks about logistics, later claimed I’d fabricated this. On my side, I was desperately trying to get my partner to re-engage, and for that we needed truth on the table, but her agenda was to “win” the therapist so the therapist would find me unreliable. My partner was very calculated, very buttery faux-warm, and it worked, and it then became hard for the therapist to believe anything I said, and for me to respect the therapist. I needed to talk about a series of gaslights, and my ex saying I made up stories, rather than telling the truth, and the therapist chided me because, she said, my ex was obviously sincere.

I’d been feeling, after an increase in violence at home, imperiled, and I left counseling after my ex confided to the therapist that she’d been “waiting and waiting and waiting for [her] to die.”

Hello? I had time with that partner. I knew when she was sincere and when she was manipulating a situation, though I, like many others who knew her less well, tried not to believe she was as Machiavellian as she truly was. I’d had to see, and emphasize, the good side of her to stay. It turned out she was about to manipulate every “helping person” that came our way. The therapist, but later her lawyer, my (!) lawyer, two divorce counselors, all our mutual friends.

You both must form an intent to save the relationship for things to work in couples counseling, or don’t bother. That’s what I learned.

*****

This week the Doomsday Clock moved up to 90 seconds to midnight. I watched bleakly, wondering if we’d be able to pull it back, sad and alarmed for all the children who are having to grow up around such complicated adult destruction.

But I also wondered how parents who take their children to dance, or soccer, or piano hoping they’ll have a leg-up as adults, who plonk helmets on their heads and buckle them into car seats, who feed them 3-square and make sure they get enough sleep, justify letting them sit in toxic air all day in school without the protections of masks and HEPAs. I wondered if they will have intact bodies after many, many covid infections, and if they don’t, as now seems increasingly likely, whether they will be mad. Furious. Livid at the parents who disabled them.

Another young Black man, this time in Memphis, was lynched by police. Mass shootings in CA targeted Asian Americans.

How can we cope? What can we do? How can we change things?

When I am desolate and there seems no way out, I keep Margaret Mead’s quote in mind:

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed individuals can change the world. In fact, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

Happy New Year!

Painting: Eaton Hamilton 2022, oil on stretched canvas, 20×20″

ID: Two small kids run barefoot through a green meadow wearing red and white striped shirts and blue shorts

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Folks, we made it! For all my isolation, 2022 seemed to zip by with me, as usual, always behind, behind, behind. It helps, I guess to have meaningful work you love (even if more than half the time it is crunchingly hard). I hope you have that, too. It means the world when disabled people have been cast aside, officially by governments (legislated super-poverty, systemic ableism, MAiD, triage out of hospital care, lack of SARS2 mitigations) and unofficially by friends and family, who find vaccinating, wearing a mask and improving their ventilation absolutely a road too far to protect the vulnerable and children. Three years of selfishness is killing the disabled.

I don’t have high hopes for 2023 given we’re getting “Kraken” with the SARS2 omicron variant XBB 1.5, which is virulent, transmissible and a great evader of all the current treatments. It’s what we get when we pretend this thing is gone, instead of dealing with it, and there will be worse ones behind it if we don’t start cleaning the air, just like we once learned to clean the water. Problem is, SARS2 is wrecking our immune systems, more and more with each reinfection, which means all the other nasties are getting better footholds and overwhelming healthcare already stressed by bad right-wing government and SARS2: strep throat, foot and mouth disease, meningitis, measles, malaria, tuberculosis, cholera, pertussis, influenza, pneumococcal¬†disease, and gonorrhea. We’re also seeing huge rises not only in long covid (LC) but in SARS2 sequelae like sudden death from bloodclots and heart attacks.

There’s every reason to make the virus pass through multiple filters before it reaches your face. You don’t want to get it. you especially don’t want to get it a second, third, fourth, fifth time. Protect your precious body. In the end, it’s all you have.

Maggie May Ethridge: Atmospheric Disturbances

 

The atmospheric disturbances that are part of a coupled union … most of us know them.¬† In Atmospheric Disturbances, Maggie May Ethridge, a talented US essayist and memoirist, takes our hand and walks us into the abyss of her long, abiding relationship to a man with bipolar illness. Because of Ethridge’s soaring talent, this portrait of a disorder becomes a searing, raw chronicle at the closing shutters of marriage, and their re-opening and re-opening and re-opening.

 

Good Bones by Maggie Smith

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Another of my favourite poems is Good Bones by Maggie Smith.

Poetry

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