3 Days until the TWD Season 7 premiere airs.
3 Days until that moment, the moment we in TWD fandom have been dreading, and anticipating…and dreading.
3 Days until we must bear witness to Negan savagely beating one (or more) members of our sweet gang to death with Lucille, a bat wrapped in barbed wire, a weapon created for the very specific purpose of shattering the skulls of certain, chosen members of a group, a community, while the others must kneel, and watch, and sob, and grieve, and accept the horror that is their lives now…a life of constant work, of constant worry, and of constant fear, a life of indentured servitude to a tyrant who seems devoid of compassion, of kindness, of reason.
As Robert Kirkman, said, so eloquently during AMC’s TWD retrospective special, “TWD: The Journey So Far,” the moment when Negan brings the bat down upon his victim is a moment that “changes absolutely everything, moving forward.”
3 Days, people, until that fateful moment.
We’ve been waiting.
But are we ready?
I don’t know, gang. I thought I was ready.
And then, this happened:
And then, it was like…whoa, whoa, whoa….wait. What? What?
What. The. Fuck. Is. That. Shit?
Like, in one moment in my life, I was completely and blissfully unaware of that shit. And then, my TWD buddies sent it to me, via group text (a.k.a. our lifeline. Daryl Partners forevs! ❤ ❤ ).
I watched it, and I watched it again, and as I watched, my world started to come down hard, and fast, all around me, with a deafening roar, until my ears were ringing and my mind was racing and I didn’t know what was happening, or where I was, any more.
The streak of blood across Rick’s cheek. Negan’s talk about the right hand, the right hand man. And Simon handing Negan Rick’s hatchet, and Negan looking at Rick, that long look, before he drags Rick to the RV, holding Rick’s hatchet…what the fuck is he going to do with that hatchet? Is he going to cut our man Rick Grimes’ hand off with Rick’s own hatchet?
And then the slam of the RV door, behind Negan, dragging Rick, throwing him into the RV, and the horrible moment of silence, the horrible moment of not knowing what just happened, not knowing what is about to happen, inside that RV, that silence broken only by the soft sobbing in the background, male, and female.
And, as the camera pans down, we see, first, Daryl’s bloodied blanket on the ground, and as the camera continues down, the shot rests, just for a moment, on the bloody remains of what once was a living, breathing, beautiful, brilliant, beloved member of our sweet, sweet gang.
I cannot. I cannot. But, I must. We must.
As Glenn Rhee told Daryl Dixon, in TWD Episode 510, “We can make it together. But we can only make it together.”
(Long, ragged breath, here. Glenn. Glenn…I cannot. I cannot. But, I must. We must.)
Because we must, darlings, in the spirit of a much-needed rallying cry, and in the spirit of the Law of the 7 P’s, I am going to take us through The 7 P’s of Surviving TWD Season 7, barnfullawalkers-style.
For those of you who haven’t learned the Law of the 7 P’s, it goes like this:
“Proper prior planning prevents piss-poor performance.”
Now, this saying may sound old-timey and lame AF to some, while others of you may be rolling your eyes to the back of your head and beyond at this point, because you’ve heard your parents, and your grandparents, say it for like your whole freaking life, but I am telling you, kids, it wasn’t until I was in my mid-thirties until I first heard the Law of the 7 P’s, and frankly, I wish someone had told it to me sooner.
It may have saved me a lot of trouble over the years.
So, in the spirit of paying it forward to young humanity, I offer you my personal patented system of The 7 P’s Of Surviving TWD Season 7 (additional “P” words may, and will, be added as addendums, i.e. add-ons, because we all know I can be loquacious AF when I get on a roll…)
- Partner(s) … (as in, Daryl Partner(s) ❤ Now, darlings, back in the day, just before the TWD Season 4 mid-season premiere, I penned my first prepost, thus starting a time-honored tradition at barnfullawalkers (along with some of the best playlists I have made, yet…I don’t know why, but the prepost playlists are always extra awesome. Maybe because we’re all so stoked for the upcoming TWD season.) :
In this post, I came up with the idea of securing a “Daryl Partner,” a ride-or-die-fellow -TWD-fan-friend (s) who will be there to support you in these dire times, when a favorite TWD character meets his or her untimely, and tragic, demise.
We predicted this time long ago, my friends, this time when we are looking at the imminent death of one or more major, beloved character(s). And here we are, only days away, crying at stoplights when sentimental songs come on the radio, or when we see a certain post, or rewatch a certain TWD episode.
I know you all know what I am talking about, because we are all in it, people. We signed up for this crazy ride, and shit’s about to get real (even though, you know, it is only a show, but we TWD fans know it’s so much more than that. It kind of reminds me of that Harley-Davidson saying from back in the day, “If you have to ask, then you wouldn’t understand.”)
Whether in the IRL or online, your Daryl Partners are a vital lifeline for you right now. Keep the lines of communication open. Reach out, check in with each other. Give, and receive, the love. These are trying times.
Remember, we can make it together. But, we can only make it together.
(Blinking back tears, trying to compose myself, again.)
As Andy Lincoln said so eloquently during the TWD retrospective special, “I think the audience needs to not watch the returning episode alone. Be with your loved ones, and hold hands, and make a nice meal. Really say nice things to each other, and tell them you love them, before embarking on this returning episode.”
Listen to the beautiful, wise man, loves. He knows.
2. Personal Coping Methodology/Pharmaecopia: We all have our own ways of dealing with stress, loves, some more advisable than others. Nobody is here to judge, and if you are, well, then, you need to know that around these parts, we are all about love and acceptance.
Some years ago, I came up with a saying, “For every vice, adopt a virtue, and vice-versa.” And, in my life, I have held true to that, and it in the process, I have had lots of fun and have managed to keep it relatively tight and tidy over the years.
I highly recommend it.
Personally, I like dabbling in a rock-n-roll lifestyle, and I also like taking care of body, mind, and spirit. It’s like having your cake and your kombucha, too.
So, my personal coping methodology may include a pot of green tea earlier, with a shot of whiskey later. I may do my yoga to death metal. I may stay up way too late blogging, and need two or three strong cups of coffee with that CoffeeMate Sweet Italian cream creamer stuff to get the kids to school on time (barely) and me to work by 8 am (again, barely). Or, on my off-day-weekdays, I may drop the kids off at school, come back home, and go back to bed, and ignore the piles of dirty dishes to be washed or piles of clean laundry to be folded. (I really, really love those days.)
So, darlings, it’s time to stock your larder with lovely things to eat, maybe some chocolate for when those seratonin levels start dipping. Green tea, Sleepy Time tea, Bach’s Rescue Remedy, perhaps something a little stronger. Drink plenty of water. Take your supplements. Make your bed extra cozy, take a mental health day from work, and hide under the covers. Bingewatch Gilmore Girls. Hug your loved ones, cuddle your pets.
Keep in touch with your Daryl Partner(s).
Do what you gotta do, gang, whatever works for you to get through the day, as long as it doesn’t do undue harm to self or others.
3. Physical Exercise: Even if you are an avowed geek who reviles exercise, it would do your body good to step away from the screen and go for a walk, outside, with or without earbuds, for thirty minutes a day whenever possible. Physical exercise staves off depression, it keeps your heart and bones strong, and it keeps your lymphatic system moving, which bolsters your body’s immune system. If you break a sweat, that’s even better, as sweating helps the body to rid itself of toxins. Just remember to drink plenty of water. And wear your sunscreen.
Whatever exercise you like to do, it’s a great time, and great weather, to do it.
Biking. Treadmill. Gardening. Yoga. Dancing. Swimming. Stationary bike. Running. Laser tag. Pilates. A spirited bout of air hockey, pinball, or foosball, even. Go bowling with your Daryl Partners. Take your dog for a walk.
But, whatever you do, darlings, if you are out and about, please do not, I repeat, DO NOT, take any money, candy, or puppies from any shady clown, or clowns, you may see loitering about.
And please, do NOT ever follow said shady clowns into the woods, even if they say there’s a really awesome clown kegger going down there.
Nothing good can come from that, darlings. Not a damn thing.
Unless, of course, you happen to be Norman Reedus. ❤ 😀
4. Pampering/Panacea/Parasympathetic Nervous System: You might not even know what some these words even mean, but the basic message here is that you’ve got to let your body, mind, and spirit rest, relax, and recover whenever possible, especially now that TWD Season 7 is upon us.
See, kids, the parasympathetic nervous system is the involuntary part of the central nervous system that recharges, repairs, and rebuilds our body’s structures, organs, and systems when we are resting, sleeping, or deeply relaxed. It works in conjunction with the sympathetic nervous system, the voluntary aspect of the central nervous system which is on high alert when we are in “fight or flight mode,” or in modern society-speak, the “multitasking” or “getting it done” parts of our daily lives.
To be able to tackle the challenges that we face throughout our days, and soon, throughout our Sunday nights, we need to pamper ourselves with relaxing activities like soothing baths, yoga, meditation, massage. Even putting your feet up with a cuppa something lovely and watching a favorite feel-good movie, or show, can help your body’s parasympathetic nervous system take over for a spell, and recharge your batteries.
Naps are good, too.
5. Posts, Pictures, Playlists, Procrastination, Prayer/Ritual, Predictions, Prognoses, Promises, and (Shameless Self) Promotions & Plugs: As always, dear readers, I will continue to show my endless love and devotion to our favorite show with blog posts, which may include some, or all, of the following:
Pictures, playlists, prose, poetry, links to other pop-culture sites and media, and other forms of parody (as long as it’s hilarious).
I cannot promise week after week of 10,000+ word epic recaps and deconstructions, a la my Season 5-style blog posts, because my life is too full, and too busy, these days. If an endeavor doesn’t contribute to raising my kids, making a paycheck, or keeping a home furnished, fed, and functioning, then any additional activity or hobby pretty much takes a back seat to what needs to be done in the moment. (And, as nobody has offered me a job yet doing this, then this blog is, out of necessity, filed under “hobby.”)
I do, however, promise you this: Any and all offerings from barnfullawalkers will be 100% all about the love for TWD, our sweet gang, and my TWD family worldwide.
And, now, comes the Shameless Self-Promoting & Plugs part of the P’s: If you like reading my blog, follow my @barnfullawalkers Instagram account, and you will be treated to my many postings about TWD, and my obsession with pop-culture in general.
Sometimes, I even post cool pictures of my garden, or the world around me, or even an occasional selfie. It’s like getting little morsels of the blog around the clock.
Show the love, people, not only to my IG account, but to any of the IG accounts featured in this post, if you’re not already. You’ll be glad you did!
In my own personal coping methodology, prayer and ritual are a big part of me getting in the zone. Building small shrines to Rick and the sweet gang, burning fires in the fire pit, working in my garden, burning candles, incense, and making cut flower arrangements, whimsical art, etch. are all rituals that I do to get myself focused to write, to post, to create. It is also my way of showing my undying love and devotion to TWD.
I am almost always listening to the barnfullawalkers musical playlists that are in varying stages of creation, or completion, as I am doing these rituals of mine, that help me stay connected to TWD and my personal creative offerings and edits.
Whatever your spiritual beliefs, or non-beliefs, may be, I highly recommend all TWD fans to engage in their own personal ritual when times get tough, to send out the love.
So, go ahead, light a candle, create a shrine, or find some creative way to show Rick and the sweet gang, and TWD, the love. I know, from many of the amazing offshoot projects that have blossomed from The Walking Dead comic and television series, that many TWD fans are already doing just that.
And it’s everything.
Prognoses and Predictions: Ok, here goes, gang. I know I originally predicted that Glenn Rhee, and/or maybe Aaron to be my top guesses as to who Negan picked to get the bat.
I am amending this guess, after many compelling hours discussing, reviewing, and theorizing with my TWD b’s and online TWD family. I am now, along with many, many TWD fans, predicting that both Glenn Rhee and Abraham Ford are the unlucky victims who get beaten by Negan’s prized weapon, Lucille.
It is hard to say it, let alone imagine it, but I can only pray that if that is indeed the case, then hopefully both Steven Yeun and Michael Cudlitz are kept on in a directing/writing/production capacity, especially since any actors who were around for Season 6 had to, to some degree, continue to show up for work at TWD productions until the airing of the TWD S7 premiere episode, so as to not give anything away.
Whoever gets the bat, may TWD, Inc. make it worth their while in the end. I am sure that the airing of this premiere episode will be difficult and emotional for the cast and crew on many levels (as it certainly will be for the fans), but I do imagine it will also bring a great deal of relief, especially to the actors that have had to keep this secret for many months, even from their closest family and friends.
I was going to go into other predictions, and theories, with this prepost, but I am thinking that maybe I will get into those thoughts later, and address them in future posts. I have many thoughts about Rick, about Daryl, and about Dwight, whom I predict will play a major role in continuing to teach us about the inner workings of Negan, and the Saviors, and who will, I feel, play a key, probably tragic role in the uprising against Negan.
¡Viva La Ricksistance!
6. Pacing, Prioritizing, Perserverance, Processing, and Purity of the Art Form: As difficult as it may be to process the intensity, the plot twists, and the losses of beloved characters as the TWD story continues to unfold, we as fans must respect the purity of the art form and roll with what Kirkman, Gimple, Nicotero and Co. are dishing out. They have a plan, they are super inspired, and we must have faith in that.
The fact that millions of people are feeling real grief over the anticipated death of one or more beloved fictional characters, and the potential maiming, trauma, heartbreak for other beloved fictional characters, proves that Kirkman, Gimple, Nicotero and Co. are doing, well, a smash-up, bash-up job.
Pace yourselves, darlings. Power off if you need to, go outside and be in nature. Make taking care of yourself, and the ones you love, the priority. We are in this for the long haul.
We must perservere.
And the final P?
7. Porn music. Because porn music really does change everything.
I dedicate this post to my sister, Peg, who has been a diehard fan of the TWD television series since the beginning, and whose birthday is on Sunday, 10/23. I love you sweetie. Stay strong. I am with you, always. ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤
And to all the TWD fans out there, I love you guys. Stay strong, and remember:
“We can make it together. But, we can only make it together.”
Until Sunday, gang. Be well, and enjoy the playlist. ❤
Pee-Pee Pants City Playlist:
DJ Shadow (feat. Run the Jewels), “Nobody Speak”
Zero 7, “In The Waiting Line”
Seapony, “Nobody Knows”
Banks & Steelz, “Giant”
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, “Red Right Hand”
Echo & The Bunnymen, “A Promise”
Led Zeppelin, “The Song Remains The Same”
Greenspan (feat. Tt the Artist), “Never Gon Die”