The Reemergence of Ragsdale

It has been awhile.

Four years to be exact, although it feels like an age since I was sitting on a stoop in Sibiu, pontificating on the delights of Romanian rosé. and fancying myself some ridiculous wayward gypsy princess. Reading through my last offerings to this quiet little website I found myself reeling with a whiplash brought on by nostalgia, condescension and bitter laughter. All directed at my “past Tashie.”

“Wow,” I thought, wryly, as I flashed back to that self-absorbed little twit, wandering aimlessly through the Carpathians, “I really had no idea to even CONSIDER how lucky I was and how much things could change in a matter of a few years.

Grabbing up Jake and Doc Fauci wherever I can

On a global scale, things erratically degraded at such an alarming rate that even though I did spend a fair few hours on my trip watching BBC World News, I wouldn’t know how extraordinarily extreme my news watching habits would become. How dark I would get. How deeply I would submerge myself in the crepuscule of the world, and particularly, the state of The States from which I was originally issued. It got so dire that I couldn’t function unless I fully digested a 4-5 hour chunk of news in the day, explicitly setting alarms for myself on Sunday nights to never miss Jake Tapper’s furrowed brow and pointed questions, eviscerating the likes of Kellyanne Conway and Stephen Miller, or John Oliver’s systematic takedown of OAN, Brexit, Climate Deniers, even Dr. Fucking Oz. I had to get that enlightenment regardless of the fact that I never once felt lighter.

With the introduction of Covid 19 into the fray I felt an almost zen-like fucked-upedness. The panorama of pandemic pandemonium concurrently created a twisted schadenfreude and a level of desperate anxiety that none of my plethora of traumas ever prepared me for. A long, steady marathon of horror coupled with the disbelief that human beings could be THAT STUPID. And of course the ever-present belief that everyone I love was gonna die. As I came daily to the pantheon of current events I seemed to morph into an irascible, bellicose albeit exhausted shell. And the funny thing about shells is that they can empty of everything in a matter of seconds.

Throughout the worldwide tsunami of nazis and hate crimes and lies and viruses I was fighting a war against the world myself. Technically it is diagnosed as “Multiple Trauma Disorder.” What I would like to call it is my tourbus of demons. My evil groupies. The memories of all the hurts and muck and bullshit I have tried not to drown in like Atreyu’s damn horse. Focusing on the news and global turmoil I just kept on getting hit with The Horrible.

Sexual assault hit the hardest.

Or so I thought. In actuality not being BELIEVED about that was strangely more destructive.

The loss of relationships with people supposedly closest to me because of this or because of the nuclear fallout of my life in devastation mode, grasping at the madness of the world around me to ignore the rotting kipple of my own thoughts, was overwhelming. When I started to pour out the contents of my shell it seemed it wasn’t just my built up experiential damage I was sloughing off but people as well. In a matter of a few months I “lost” a giant chunk of “framily.” It was a vacuity of such suddenness it felt like a death, but worse because they were still there. Breathing. Living. They just didn’t want to do it with me.

“Change”

The worst part of all of this is that my creativity (and perhaps my liver) has been the one to suffer the most through all of this. I get it. I basically spent four years having things HAPPEN to me. As they did I lost myself in pieces, bit by bit. I lost all capability of being able to MAKE thing happen. I SHOULD have written. Or painted. Or whatever. I should have poured my soul into creation therefore preserving it but I had myself a goddamn funeral and interred the bones of my thoughts so deep in the mud they couldn’t even have a chance to push up daisies.

Jesus there are a lot of metaphors here. The eyeroll is practically seizure inducing.

I am emerging from this. I do believe in the horizon and the path to meet it. I’m sweeping off the dust and clearing the cobwebs of this old website. I started painting and drawing again. I actually only watch the news for an hour or less these days. I might have Biden to thank for that but here we are. I hesitate to admit to any massive change but maybe a metamorphosis of a sorts. It does no good to me or the world to hide in my own dank basement of thinking. Let’s call it a reemergence of Ragsdale. Older, creakier and definitely battle scarred but perhaps ready to throw down some stories and pictures, create some stuff, do the things and get back out there again.

9 Responses

  1. Stefanie
    | Reply

    Tash, I am so proud of you. This is so beautifully written. You my dear friend are a stunning Phoenix rising up from the ashes of adversity. And I for one, can’t wait to see what other amazing things you create!

  2. Cameron G Rose
    | Reply

    CNN has reported a dramatic drop in ratings, but it worth it not to have a cheeto sociopath in the white house.

    “Older, creakier, and definitely battle-scarred but perhaps ready to throw down some stories and pictures, create some stuff, do the things and get back out there again.”

    This does in inspire me to make some plans for myself

  3. Penney Woods
    | Reply

    The written piece above is fantastic. The writing is beautiful and so is the art. Keep creating, Natasha, the world needs your voice.

  4. Daisy
    | Reply

    You are amazing and talented. Beautiful prose from a beautiful woman! We shall travel this year!

  5. Ivy
    | Reply

    Hey hey my fellow islander. Keep writing. Keep digging and maintain that creativity of yours.

  6. Evan Ragsdale
    | Reply

    So, my daughter it has been a wild ride for most of us. However, that is not to denigrate your feelings which has to be enhanced by your distance (mileage wise) from the source of much of your a anguish. As your father, I feel bad that you had to go through all that. There is no doubt in my mind that you, with the assistance of your helpmate in life, will be stronger for it. Still believe part of what will help is your yoga, hiking and exercise regimen for you and Jason. As you move into the next phases of aging you will become more and more able to understand, as you illustrate so aptly in this very well written piece. I love, salute and support you!

    • Natasha Ragsdale
      | Reply

      Thank you so much, Dad. I am glad you finally read it. I know it was probably hard for you. I love you and will call you tomorrow.

  7. Evan Ragsdale
    | Reply

    Sorry did not prove read my response very well. Please excuse misplaced articles!

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