Dangerous Compassions

the best intentions of powerful potato choppers who stop blogging to view sunrise

There are a lot of potatoes in the kitchen.  Yesterday I thought I wanted to roast some potatoes and then make the green beans that are in the fridge and sausages–veg sausages for me and Ming, and meat sausages for the others.  That would be dinner.

“Do you ever feel like if you speak one more word, you’ll die?” I asked Ming.

“No,” he said.

“Really?” I asked.  I was feeling kind of like that.  Like language was too much and I couldn’t do it anymore.  Word problem.  “You’ve never felt like that in your life?”

“I’ve felt that way about other things,” he said.

“Like what?”

“Like…chopping potatoes.  If I chopped one more potato, I would die.”

“Really?  Potatoes?  I think potatoes are kind of easy to chop.  Not hard like winter squash.  I kind of like it.”

“No, not potatoes specifically.  Just something repetitive like that.”

“Hmm,” I said.  I was lying in bed with my feet up, as my ankles were swollen.

Later I was wondering if I would have the energy to make the dinner I’d envisioned.  I told Ming my plan.  He said, “I’ll help you.”

“Yeah, you’ll help me if you’re awake!”  My mind went to all the times he’d been unintentionally napping, during dinner-making time.  “I hear your intention.  You intend a lot of things.  Doesn’t mean they happen.”

He made a pretend crying sound.  “Oh, I’m sorry,” I said.  “That came out way meaner than I meant it.  But it hurts because it’s true!  It’s ok, honey.”  He was pretend crying mixed with laughing.  “Come here.  Come here.”  I held my arms out for a hug, and he came to me and we hugged.  “Let me comfort myself while pretending I’m comforting you,” I said.  We laughed more and more.  It was a lovely moment.

Yesterday was too hot, into the night.  It used to be a cool temp here all the time–things changed I think ten or 15 years ago.  I woke up with my hair wet with sweat, uncomfortable in body and mind.  I went into the backyard and sat on a patio chair in the dark.  Ming put ice in my water bottle.

We opened the windows all the way, of the room we’re staying in, opened the shades also so they wouldn’t block the air, moved the fan into the larger window so it would blow outside air into the room.  I cooled down then got hot again and ate a popsicle.

The potatoes are large russets, in a bag with mesh on the kitchen floor, huge costco bag with few missing.  I have more energy in the mornings.  Afternoons, I always have a lull, on the best of days.  I like lunch to be a bigger meal than dinner, but being with other people, they have their own ways.

Yesterday I was irritable to the point of anger.  Ming asked me what I was angry about.

“Capitalism.  Mediocrity.  Capitalism leading to everything’s mediocrity,” I said.  There was a newspaper on the table near ours–we were at Panera for air conditioning.  The art on the walls was stupid and banal.  The music was bad.  “I hate just about everything, right now,” I said.

I was telling him about stuff in the garage that had been Dad’s.  “Any individual thing, I could handle.  Like, here’s a cooler.  What do I do with a cooler.  I could wash it out.  I could use it.  I could give it to Goodwill, give it to a friend, throw it away.  Whatever.  Here’s an old toolbox.  It’s covered in grime.  Maybe it’s too dirty, and I just throw it away.  Any individual thing is ok, but the whole mass of it, covered in grime from years, just being left there in the garage for a decade–I can’t handle it.”

“Why do you have to handle it?” Ming asked.  I explained how I felt partially responsible for the mess, that after Dad died, I didn’t help clean things out, and now they’re stuck there.  And I can’t handle it right now.  Lots of projects in this world, to tackle, and I don’t have much energy.  But the garage makes me sad.

Then I was talking about how when I was a little girl, I felt totally unpowerful.  More like I was trying to stay quiet and not be difficult–I wanted to be invisible for many, many years.  I believed some untrue things I heard from culture, in the air, about little girls not being powerful persons, and that continued as I got older.

Now I understand that a little kid can be a very powerful person, a kid of any gender.  And I understand I’m powerful now, but I’m also disabled now, and the power isn’t always easy to access, the physical part especially.

The sky is brightening–I’m missing the greatest show on earth.  I better go watch it.  Good morning!

By Laura-Marie

Good at listening to the noise until it makes sense.

2 replies on “the best intentions of powerful potato choppers who stop blogging to view sunrise”

You might be able to find someone who wanted to do a garage clean-out for free if they could just take the stuff–like someone who sells on eBay and at flea markets, etc.

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