So I did not suffer any significant side effects from the second dose of the pfizer vaccine apart from a sore arm, but five days post vaccine I did have a bad migraine. This coincides with my PMS, so I think the stress from the vaccine exacerbated my PMS symptoms. This morning (11 days post-vaccination) I went for a slow morning walk and I felt slightly short of breath and my heart rate was slightly higher than usual, so I am going to try building up my cardio fitness slowly again.
I did not meditate at all (why is it so hard), but I did bring out the camera for practice. It is interesting how my awareness and perception changed when I am intentionally looking to take a picture, even though the environment is the same. I started to notice things I didn’t before. Photography, like cooking and cycling for me, is a meditative activity, because it forces my brain out of its habitual patterns. I couldn’t help but compare it the process of photography to life itself: perhaps instead of waiting for beauty and interestingness to arrive and sweep us off our feet, we can instead learn to develop the capacity to notice the beauty and interestingness that is already around us.
I still have difficulty doing things I used to love, like reading and writing. I still think it is related to the ongoing chronic pandemic. We need time away from things, even if it is things we love. Time is needed for ideas to accumulate and stew. We also need different types of stimuli, situations that would provoke us in different ways. But day after day I am like Sisyphus performing almost the same routine, and the things I loved to do no longer felt like a much needed respite from my daily life when they now have become the only things I can do. Like the air that is stagnant when it doesn’t move.
I am aware of how lucky I am to be safe, so I am not complaining, just writing it out as matter of fact. I am also aware how much denial is in action when the world is very slowly melting down because covid, climate change and feeling the effects of terribly designed societies – but I still try to find peace and beauty in the mundane of my life. It feels wrong to try to not suffer when other people do not have that choice, and it also feels wrong to walk around trying to take pictures when there is so much suffering. But if it is all going to end badly anyway, I would like to fill up my life with more moments of not-suffering. All my life I have been suicidal because life just felt like nothing but suffering to me, and it is only the recent years that I have begun to experience otherwise. I will need these moments of not-suffering to tide me through when shit really hits the fan.
I feel like I am living a long goodbye: to the elderly people in my life, to my youth, to the world as we know it. Every day I live the dissonance of knowing things are very wrong, and yet I am in my Sisyphian bubble of my little daily routines. There are waves of grief but I try not to let them distract me from being present, of trying to still cherish everything that still exists before they are gone.
When this whole virus situation started it felt depressing that it was going to last more than a year. Now I just don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. It is going to take years, if at all. We just cannot sit still enough to solve problems, and we are terrible at delayed gratification. It is not that the virus or climate change is unsolvable. It is our deep-rooted psychology that is unsolvable.
I don’t really get too sad when terrible things happen anymore. I used to feel really affected by any devastating event, even if they happened at the other side of the world. I felt sad because these events felt like they were against the natural course of events, but now I feel like apart from entirely preventable or unlucky accidents, everything else that is happening is only an inevitable outcome of our psychology.
We as human beings, have never really figured out to love and cherish ourselves. Enough to let go of all the shiny things that prop us up artificially but do not truly matter. We want to feel safe at all costs, at the expense of working towards true safety, because it is just too difficult to tolerate discomfort.