Dreams, literally and figuratively (Tuesday, August 11th, 2020)

To shift so jarringly from the remnant feelings of the high I was riding courtesy of Sunday which had been one of my best days to waking up at 5 am to one of the worst and most terrifying nightmares I ever had.

The premise was straight forward: Russia bombing the bloody hell out of the U.S. And in the nightmare I died in the midst of the bombing…from the bombing. (An interesting point of information: this was my second war related dream in three days—I had endured another one last Sunday). Uncanny and eerie, furthermore, was that as I awoke, trying to exhale the feeling of fear incited by the nightmare out of my soul, I took a peek at my iPhone to see what time it was and saw a notification from the Washington Post with a headline saying something about Russia finding a Covid vaccine.

As I search for the article now I find it: “Russia unveils covid vaccine ‘Sputnik V’, claiming breakthrough in global race before final testing complete” by By Isabelle Khurshudyan and Carolyn Y. Johnson. [1] … Continue reading

The article says Putin’s daughter took this new experimental vaccine. It was apparently made by the Gamaleya Institute in Moscow. The institute appears not to have a website and I can’t find any information about it. At least not via cursory Goggling. Just articles telling the same news story, mostly.

But back to my Russia nightmare…the few fragments that managed to stay with me (I wrote them down when I woke up for fear of forgetting).

I’m part of some U.S.- Russia Summit. I hadn’t felt comfortable being there in the first place. A critic of Putin, and Putin’s critics often finding themselves someplace between prison on dubious charges and dying of homicide the discomfort would make sense, of course. Along with a several other people…dignitaries I suppose (how and why I get the invitation to attend my unconscious did not supply me with) we proceed to sit down in a massive sized theater-like venue. Then to my left a bomb explodes. People die. I’m lucky. And now I’m on the run and joining forces with some on-the-run militia. The military conflict ends up an international affair as there people of all races and ethnicities on both sides of the conflict. One of my friends in this new war is Saudi Arabian. At some point I’m hiding in a wide and tall building or even campus of buildings I think. One of our plans for defense is…interestingly enough…sort of like Russia’s old “burn and scorch” war strategy where we burn a series of buildings near by expecting the fire to spread to us and therefore we turn on these emergency hoses to protect ourselves. One of my friends thrusts me into a sort of immobile space-craft…a flying saucer…the friend traps me in it thinking he or she has done me a favor, but, alas, amidst the ramifications is my incineration. The Russians mustered through the fire too fast and I was gone. And then I that’s when I woke up.

What left me with the most malaise was that, sadly, I wouldn’t be so cocky as to assume Russia might not ever try attacking the U.S. Especially with President Trump in office. We ought to remember and keep remembering, even though the media focuses more on Covid and questions about Biden’s ultimate choice for vice-president, we did learn that U.S. intelligence agencies had significant confidence that Russia was paying or offering to pay the Taliban to kill U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan. It actually baffles me that this was not perceived as an act of war or an instigation. Well, former Whitehouse chief of staff, CIA Director, and Secretary of Defense,  Leon Panetta… he agrees with me as he explains to the BBC. [2]“Leon Panetta: Russian bounties close to ‘act of war’ with US”; July 1st, video, … Continue reading He reiterates this in his op-ed piece for the Washington Post:

“If Russians are, in fact, paying money to those killing our men and women in uniform, they are just as guilty of murder as those pulling the trigger. What they are doing is as close to an act of war as you can get, and it demands that we do everything necessary to defend our troops.” [3]“Trump has no excuse for his failure to take action to defend America’s troops”; June 30th, 2020, at 11:52 am; … Continue reading

He adds:

“When I was defense secretary, the toughest duty I had was to deploy our forces into harm’s way. It was essential that they had all of the support and weapons they needed to accomplish the mission. But in addition, they must have the latest intelligence on the enemy they are fighting so they are prepared for the worst consequences. This is not about who did or did not brief the president. It is about life and death.

It is tough enough to look parents in the eye after their loved one has been killed in action knowing that you tried to do everything you could to protect them in battle. But to look at grieving parents knowing that the Russians were putting a price on the heads of their loved ones and that nothing was done about it is both shameful and disgraceful.”

Indeed.

Perhaps my unconscious was meditating on just that when creating my dream?

It’s been quite awhile since I’ve put as much attention and energy in politics and political activism as I used to. The pandemic played, for sure, a major role.

I think for the first six weeks or so I was glued to the news and writing a poem about the tragedy. But it became overwhelmingly depressing. Not to mention anxiety inducing! My attention began to shift from Covid19 to polyamory, monogamy, and sexuality. Maybe an unconscious coping mechanism? Sex, after all, can be very comforting. That then led to my realizing I had polyamorous feelings which then led to a severe episode of anxiety and depression as I was not sure how to process it. And nearly two-thirds of my summer was pulled down and discomforted by that whole thing.

Now I find myself onwards and upwards, as they say. I confess that my polyamorous feelings remain (I do insist it’s an orientation for some just as monogamy, homo/hetero/bi-sexuality) but I also must say that in terms of choice on the matter, I feel less moved by these feelings. What does that signify? Maybe that the period of intensity was so bound to discovery and discomfort with the discovery that it became a psychological storm. Now the storm has passed. I’ve made my peace.

Of late, my one of my most intensifying interests is dogs! I think it was part of the…

…Participating in WordPress Growth Summit. [notes & reflections]

Matt Mullenweg, Co-Founder of WordPress and CEO of Automattic is delivering the opening remarks.

  • Rebuilding Local Journalism in the Age of COVID

– Fernando Diaz, from the Chicago Reporter -engaging

 Graham Watson-Ringo , — wanted to save legacy newspapers, but said it doesn’t work that way , (Rivard Report became San Antonio Report; non-profit news; “hyper local”; gov’t and politics…)

Kinsey Wilson…

Next is “[Blogging] From Zero to a Popular Blog and Podcast: Finding your Voice Through Your Passion (Americas & EMEA)”— I suppose this is pretty exactly what I’m hoping to learn.

The session summary says: “Follow the story of Kristin Smith, a media professional with very little spare time, who built a popular blog and podcast using WordPress.com. In the process of blogging about her passion for cooking, she found her voice and a new mission. Be inspired, learn how to get started and get over your fears, and leave this session with clear and easy next steps.”

While I wait for this session to start I will complete my thought on my intensifying interest in dogs that seemed to really reach a tipping point over the weekend when I fell in love with the small dachshund Winnie, brought her home, and then brought her back.

And it wasn’t just falling in love with her and growing attached. It was also discovering how sensitive our dog Yago is. How possessive and quick to jealousy he gets, that he’s intimidated not only by bigger male dogs, but even older, sickly, smaller female dogs. He whimpered in concern over his jealousy of Winnie. As for Winnie, the tiny beauty, the poor thing, she was shaking and shivering because Yago kept trying to intimidate her. When I held her in my hands she calmed down some, moved her stomach towards me, licked my fingers…ahh…

There’s very little I enjoy more than dogs. I believe I love dogs even more than sex! (And I do love that sacred act!). I think only keeping my diary, and living with my wife bring me more happiness than dogs.

What is it I love so much about them? It’s interesting to explore my attachment and love because I first recognize it intuitively and emotionally as opposed to intellectually or rationally. That is to say, my whole being bathes in warmth, happiness, pleasure, fascination, spirituality (connection with the universe), curiosity…

Next session about to start…

“confidence…snowballs from there”

[4](Are there examples of where my confidence still lacks?)

“consistency, confidence, and authenticity”

[5](am I consistent?, confidence? Authentic?; how so or in what ways not and why)

“just do it”

“meet other like minded people”

She feels successful when she moves people, she says.. open up conversations…

She just started running ads on her site.

She says she does a lot of reaching out to people.

SEO

Katherine, from “[Blogging Demo] Design Experience: Customize Your Website (Americas & EMEA)’   [6]Kathryn Presner —audio went out, people complained, didnm’t seem to have impact, some wanted money back

Next up: “[Business] Creating Accessible Content (Americas & EMEA)”: “Learn how to create accessible websites with the WordPress editor, allowing you to reach more people than ever. We’ll explore common accessibility issues, how to spot them, and why it’s important.”

Passing thought: need for nothing but “hope for the best”—today’s entry has gone Susan Sontag diary style—notation heavy, necessary when I went to keep details on record at the cost of eloquence and vividness ..

Melissa Silberstang

“Melissa Silberstang is a Happiness Engineer and an accessibility advocate living in Kentucky. She currently supports the mobile apps, and helps people build and manage their WordPress.com sites. Outside of Automattic, she rescues cats and makes zines.”

And Jorge Calle “Jorge Calle is a technology and design enthusiast. He helps people all over the world build their own WordPress.com sites. When he’s not engineering happiness, he contributes to a cat shelter in Quito, Ecuador; and works on personal projects around blogging and productivity.

“He recently finished working on the first phase of an investigation about creating accessible content with WordPress.”

“accessibility” : how to create accessible content?”

An interesting part of the “Growth Summit” was the three minute one on one “speed networking” sessions where people get paired up and video chat.

I encountered a British Trump supporter in one of my speed networking sessions. This bit of information about this person arose because I uttered something I think about Trump maybe being psychotic. I forget the context but it wasn’t totally out of nowhere. I don’t think, anyway. I told him I understood there would be different views on Trump. He said I just needed to “understand” where Trump “is coming from” and who he was exposed to most throughout his life. I did concede that who we are exposed to can influence who we are but that only reiterated for me the sense that Trump may be psychotic since he gets along with autocrats and criminals, it seems, most of all.

What did I gain most from this event thus far? How would I assess it? I wonder if the session on increasing one’s blog readership/audience could have either lasted longer or been broken up into a slew of segments. I say this because on the one hand, the successful blogger– Kristin Smith– who was kind enough to chat with us about her success I imagine there was a sense of let down regarding a desire to learn more about becoming successful enough as a blogger to quit the “day job” so to speak, which Kristin Smith says she had not but was aspiring to. And of course I do wish for her success. But also, in a similar respect, learning more about the multitude of examples of people who succeed with their blogs in this or that way might also have been a bit more of a confidence booster. I began to feel a little doubt about my $79 which I spent in hope of genuinely learning something… I guess some random piece of information that I never once considered, which, if I would now do, would increase my success as a blogger. To be fair, Kristin did tell us what she believed to be the fundamental principles of her success and they seem reasonable to me. I think I noted this earlier: confidence, consistency, authenticity. Furthermore, over the years I have struggled with all three. Perhaps if I improve those specific skills I will be “pleasantly surprised.” All in all then, I think her session was helpful and inspiring, even though I can’t help but think, even on her behalf, or in the spirit of my own hopes for her success, that as opposed to the “it’s hard to make it, most people don’t, if you’re expecting this to become your full time job, good luck” feel, I’d be curious to learn more about those who frankly make a lot of money blogging, more than enough to “quit the day job” and pull it off without being unethical!

References

1 https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/russia-unveils-coronavirus-vaccine-claiming-victory-in-global-race-before-final-testing-is-complete/2020/08/11/792f8a54-d813-11ea-a788-2ce86ce81129_story.html?hpid=hp_hp-banner-main_virus-vaccine-russia-500am%3Ahomepage%2Fstory-ans
2 “Leon Panetta: Russian bounties close to ‘act of war’ with US”; July 1st, video, https://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-us-canada-53244009/leon-panetta-russian-bounties-close-to-act-of-war-with-us
3 “Trump has no excuse for his failure to take action to defend America’s troops”; June 30th, 2020, at 11:52 am; https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/06/30/trump-has-no-excuse-his-failure-take-action-defend-americas-troops/
4 (Are there examples of where my confidence still lacks?
5 (am I consistent?, confidence? Authentic?; how so or in what ways not and why
6 Kathryn Presner

Leave a Reply