This week I don’t have a conventional staff pick for you. For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been struggling with depression and burnout. To top it off, today is a rainy, gloomy day here in Raleigh, and I’m not having much success generating the level of enthusiasm I like to have for a staff pick. So let’s moan for a minute, shall we?
There shouldn’t even be a Sorry State newsletter this week, because I’m supposed to be on tour right now with Scarecrow. However, the week before Christmas the world once again seemed to collapse as the omicron variant of COVID spread like wildfire over the country. Loads of my friends and family contracted covid in the middle of December. I ended up even having to cancel visiting my family for Christmas, since my mom was feeling sick on Christmas Eve and there was nowhere to get tested to see if she had COVID or not. I enjoyed the low-key Christmas with my partner Jet, but the entire thing was depressing, especially since the Scarecrow / Scalple tour seemed less and less likely with each passing day.
This all felt like an unfortunate rerun of March 2020. Scarecrow’s first real tour was supposed to start the last week of that month, but the first wave of COVID infections caused everything to shut down. That experience felt so surreal that it was, strangely, easier to take. This time it feels more like a direct kick to the stomach, which is exacerbated because government guidance around COVID has somehow gotten even murkier. When our March 2020 was canceled, it was obvious there was no way we could go out. This time around, it’s a total hodgepodge. Until yesterday, I was worried that canceling the tour wasn’t the right decision and people would think we were paranoid or something for pulling out. While I see some shows and events are going ahead, it seems like most things are canceled. And it does not escape me that this is the second time we’ve had to cancel a tour, and I worry people will think we’re flakes. Of course, this is just one example of how, the way the entire COVID situation is being handled, it feels like all the bad stuff falls on each of us individually, even though individually we are all powerless to make any substantive change.
Sorry State has had a busy holiday season, and while I am thankful for that, it also meant that the disappointment of the tour being cancelled arrived when I was feeling exhausted, and the disappointment and exhaustion combined to make me feel depressed. I spent the few days surrounding Christmas moping around the house, not listening to music or doing much that I enjoyed. I just slept, read escapist books, and fought the urge to look at my phone, at which I mostly failed. This week work demanded that I kick myself back into gear, so I’ve made a point to eat better, exercise, and meditate, which has allowed me to get some work done, including the newsletter you’re reading right now. But it’s been a struggle, and at the end of each day it’s tough to find the energy to enjoy the things I love, like music. So even though I have a big stack of records I acquired over the past few weeks, they feel inert, like dead weight rather than the spiritually rich totems that I usually see them as.
So, that’s where I’m at. Tough times, everyone. Take care of yourselves.