Dangerous Compassions

strawberry power

What’s life like?  Lots of answers to this question.  Some people have given up and are trying to entertain themselves and keep themselves as safe as possible till they die.  Others are undaunted and adventuresome.

I was telling Ming yesterday, some people think covid and “everything that’s happening in the world” means they have to be sad.  They have a responsibility to be sad.

Maybe it’s a version of “if you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention.”  I like to pay attention to my strawberry plants.  The sunflowers, how many borage flowers are bloomed and glowing indigo blue today.  News could be real, or partly.  But my garden is too.

A kiss is real.  The softness of Ming’s lips, how my lips feel with his.  The suspense of how many times we’ll kiss this time.  Which kiss feels sweetest.  Probably the fourth kiss of ten.

When I was in the hospital last year, I had to stop eating.  I stopped before I got there, actually.  I was like a cat who stops eating and goes to a secluded place to die.

But I let Ming drive me back to Las Vegas and take me to the emergency room.  I was supposed to stand in a line to check in, but I couldn’t stand up.  I realized that a lot of people in the ER weren’t having an emergency.  I thought people who could stand up might not be having an emergency.

So I didn’t eat for four days–they gave me veggie broth and juice, in the hospital, for every meal.  The veggie broth was salty brownish water, but there were tiny bits of carrot in the bottom of each bowl.  How I savored them.

“Is this cheating?” I asked Ming.  The dehydrated carrot bits come to life in the bottom of my bowl.  He said if you could read the newspaper through the broth, it was fine.

Later they wanted me to poop before I left the hospital, but my mom asked, “How can you poop, if you can’t eat?”  Mama always asked the good questions.

But I was going to say, yeah, when I didn’t eat food for a while, I realized how good food is.  I can eat now, every day!  Three times a day, at least, whatever I want!  Wow!  Sometimes I just lie in bed, thinking of what to eat.

Is that valid?  Hellz yeah!  Should I be sad instead, about Afghanistan or climate change or my privilege?  I could think about a lot of things–endless possibilities of terrible things.  But it’s not going to help anybody, if I’m sad or incapacitate myself with the realities other people consider important.

Sometimes I wish I had a crazy badge.  Yes, I am certified crazy.  A judge decided there’s no possible gainful employment for me–I didn’t make that up.  I got a 9 on my ACE quiz.  I’ve experienced 35 of the 37 adult manifestations of childhood trauma.  I’ve heard voices ever since I can remember, so at least since I was 3.   That’s not even on the list.  Or when I stopped talking–that’s not even on the list.

I walk around in mostly clean clothes and don’t usually talk to myself in public, but do you think that means you know what happens in my head?  It takes a lot of energy to self-care myself into the functional person you see today!  It takes Ming a lot of energy too.

Tea he made me is still on the stove.  I took a good nap.  I make decisions and change my mind, but I call that flexible and try to enjoy it.

By Laura-Marie

Good at listening to the noise until it makes sense.

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