Photo by Amish Thakkar via Unsplash

Kanye West
This past week a post about Kanye West’s Bipolar Disorder appeared in Instagram Stories under Kim Kardashian’s byline. In it, Kardashian made several important points:  (1) it is complicated and difficult to understand; (2) the pressure and isolation in West’s life is heightened by his bi-polar disorder; (3) when a bipolar people most need help, they are incapable of seeking it because they are manic.  Her plea for compassion was unusual for a celebrity of her sort, but anyone who has dealt with the ravages of mental illness know how much that is needed.*

The New Normal 
Though the statistics tell a different story, almost everyone I see on the streets around town (Oakland, CA) is wearing a mask and thereby protecting themselves and others from COVID.  It is interesting that even though masks are hot and uncomfortable, it has become automatic to wear one. I have several styles:  homemade, surgical, stylish (from Anthropologie) and one made of some kind of plastic that seals tightly and looks like something athletes wear in a very different location.  Some people have been so rude as to giggle when I wear it.  

Finding Hope:  What I’m reading this week
The Tree Where Man was Born by Peter Mathiessen  
My friend Jim Martin recommended this book because he knows how much I love traveling to Africa (and has led many of my photo trips there).  I am seventy pages in and, aside from failing to keep all tribes separate, I take heart in knowing that tribal hatreds appear and then wane (as do pandemics for that matter), alliances are formed, animals’ numbers decrease and then grow again and through it all, humans move forward.


*You can read a fictional version of the effects of Bipolar Disorder on the life of a family in my novel, Kiss Me Over the Garden Gate.



About Alexis

Alexis Rankin Popik, author of Kiss Me Over the Garden Gate, is an award-winning short story writer whose work has appeared in The Berkshire Review and Potpourri Magazine. She has penned numerous articles about local history that have been published in Connecticut Explored and the University of Connecticut School of Law and The Hartford Seminary publications. A former union organizer, Popik traveled the country educating shipyard workers about health and safety and founded a labor-management health plan before turning to writing fiction full-time. She lives with her husband in New England.
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