Evan X. Merz

musician / technologist / human being

Tagged "covid"

Drowning in 2020

The cover for Drowning by FYNIX

What a year.

I remember the year we had our second child, Leta. That was a difficult year. Having a two year old and a newborn in the house was not easy. Ultimately, I failed that test in many ways. I don't think I failed as a father, but I did a lot of damage to myself in order to get through the year.

I changed jobs shortly after Leta was born, but I was never able to succeed at that job. The anxiety from the birth and changing jobs just took over my life. I developed ulcers and other health issues that took me years to beat.

This year was harder. I know I'm not alone when I say that I felt like I was drowning. With the virus ravaging the country and a president who insisted on calling it a hoax or downplaying its effects, it felt like the world was closing in on me.

And that's what produced this album. I wrote it in the first few months of lockdown, when there was much false hope, but no real hope for an end to the unfolding tragedy.

This music differs from most of my other music in many ways. For one, there's only one collaborator on it, unlike my other recent work which has featured many other collaborators. Also, it's much darker. It's a bleak, synthesized hellscape that chokes off the light. It's violent and dark and lonely.

Just like 2020.

I'm proud to say that I didn't fail this year. As the world was melting down around me, I didn't drown. I swam. I was promoted at my job. I took a leadership position in my community. I volunteered at the local library. I made things. And I didn't come out with any new health problems.

But still, the year mostly felt like I was drowning.

Thanks for listening!

2020 Changed Me

2021-01-01, Evan X. Merz

I have so much to say about 2020 that I'm not quite sure how to say it. The year was simultaneously fantastic and terrible for me and my family. A lot of good things happened to me to 2020, and I was able to avoid a lot of the worst things that were happening around the country.

I'm having a hard time talking about 2020 because, among so much suffering, my family actually did pretty well. Nobody in my family died of COVID. My kids are doing well with remote learning. My wife and I have begun volunteering in our community, and really getting to know our community. I even got a promotion at work.

I want to talk about all of this, but it feels like gloating. The pandemic is not over yet. There are so many people still suffering so much due to the negligence, stupidity, and incompetence of our elected Republican leaders.

So what can I say?

I can say that 2020 changed me. It changed me in a lot of ways.

One of the odd, quirky traits that I developed during lockdown is a passionate interest in 20th century Navajo artists, especially those taught at the Santa Fe Indian School by Dorothy Dunn. This includes people like Harrison Begay, Woody Crumbo, and Allan Houser. But for me, the best among them was Quincy Tahoma.

I don't know how this interest developed, but it's so unusual that it's the one thing I feel comfortable writing about at this point. Which is a long winded way of saying that, although I'm no expert, I'm going to write about some of the art that I've fallen in love with in the past year.