Dangerous Compassions


“Wow, that trip was such a success!” I told Ming as he drove.  “I didn’t shit my pants even once!”  We laughed.  There had been bathroom concern, because of a medication I’m still getting used to.

“We didn’t get into even one car wreck,” I continued.  “We didn’t die at all.  No hauntings–no abductions.  And most importantly–we didn’t catch bedbugs.  Yay!!!”  No pandemic contraction, no automotive issues.  Not even a flat tire.

Months ago, I thought we couldn’t do this trip on our own.  I tried to recruit friends to drive us.  Community is my favorite, and I love inter-dependence–asking for help is important.  But I must admit: it’s convenient to travel just the two of us.

home again

Coming home from a trip, I’m usually freaked out and very uncomfortable.  I get in a horrible mood, and I feel like my life is not sustainable.  This trip, I was happy to come home.  Felt like a new kind of success.

“Why do I feel so happy?” I asked Ming.  “Usually I feel like crap, coming home from a trip.  I think it’s because usually I’m not satisfied.  This trip, I got exactly what I needed.”

It’s special to work hard planning something and it goes great.  I grieved my mom, felt my feelings, cried every day, cared for my body, visited important sites of my past, saw two cherished relatives, ate strawberries, went to the beach, prayed, asked for what I needed.

There were hard times: allergy attacks, impossible beds, discomfort, wrong turns, an argument, a panic attack.  But overall, we did fucking amazing.


I want to show you some people who I met in person on this trip.  These people are brilliant, bright, and kind.

Here’s a radical mental health artist friend in Sacramento who I met in person for the first time.  It was fun to bring them special food and talk.


Here they are picking flowers for a daisy crown.  We were at a park near their house.  My schoolgirl playground skills paid off.


Here’s an artist friend in the Bay Area who I also admire.  We met on instagram!  We walked around a library with Ming and had nourishing conversation.  My heart was full, to be near this extraordinarily dear charmer–a highlight of the trip.  I gave zir baby succulents, which ze hold in a little paper cup in zir hand.


Here is a radical mental health friend I actually met long ago in person, at the Icarus Project ten year anniversary event, but we barely knew each other then.  Now we’re good friends, so it was like meeting in person for the first time.

Here we are in Davis at the Burmese restaurant, before he and Ming went for a walk at the redwood grove.


It’s a big deal!  Meeting in person is an intense way to know someone.  I have a lot of penpals, internet friends, zine friends.  Virtual is way easier.  In person is overwhelming!  But some things are worth getting overwhelmed for.

like a prayer

Here’s something I wrote to myself in my journal, the night we arrived in Galt and I was crying because I thought the place we were staying was too beautiful.  It was like a prayer, telling myself I can have resources and beautiful things.  I talked to myself how I would talk to a dear friend.


Good wishes to your journey.  I wish you every success, getting what you need.

By Laura-Marie

Good at listening to the noise until it makes sense.

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