Dangerous Compassions

night apart

night apart

Ming and I spent a night apart.  He went to California without me, to take a load of stuff.  It was the first wave of our move.

He went with two friends.  He spent the night in Los Banos.  Wow, it was our first night apart since I was in the hospital more than three years ago.


At first I was worried; I didn’t want to be home by myself.  I asked my good friend Ariel if I could come stay at her house.  She said yes–she has a guest room, and her kids were scheduled to be with their dad.  Great timing for a quiet visit.

Then Ariel got covid, and I knew I’d feel weird at her house.  Even though she would not be contagious by then, I know myself.  I’d worry about catching a germ.  So I decided to stay home.

Then I got slightly excited about it.  Maybe I could learn something from the night alone.  I enjoy trying something different.  So I wrote a list in my journal of ways I wanted to care for myself when Ming was gone.  I started looking forward to the quiet.  Felt like a retreat.


Of course I would not really be alone–Bunny would be here with me.  And I have friends I check in with every day over txt.  My ancestors are always with me also.

And we live in community.  There are people I see in the courtyard and the driveway on a daily basis.

what really happened

I did great.  I got a little agoraphobic.  That’s normal for me, especially when I’m alone, to stay inside where I feel safe.

I got through most of the first day alone skillfully.  Then Ming and I had conflict–that caused disruption, and I was derailed from my plans.  The anger wasn’t fun, and being far apart made it more difficult.

I wrote Ming three intense emails, and we had a few phone calls.  I’m sorry that when he’s stressed, his boundaries can go out the window.  That can really mess things up.  And I’m sorry violence is the way of the world.  It would be way easier to live with integrity, if boundaries were respected and people didn’t use so much force.

We learned a lot from this conflict, and we have new ideas to think about, regarding stress and boundaries, travel and disability, communication, and social patterns Ming has established over the course of his life.


I’m sorry I didn’t get to care for myself in the ways I wanted to.  I lost sleep because I needed to stay up later than I wanted to, for a phone call with Ming.

Not getting enough sleep is bad for my health, including my mental health.  I knew it wasn’t good for my immune system, to be sleep deprived.  But I didn’t get sick, and I’m very grateful for that.

Why not have that life of advanced caring for myself all the time?  Or maybe more frequent retreats, without Ming needing to go somewhere.  I’ve never lived alone, and I think about what culture tells me I’m supposed to want, vs what I really want.  It’s fun to learn about.


I recorded myself singing my current favorite Sufjan Stevens song Lamentations.  A cappella is very different from the electronic version I adore.  But maybe you would like to hear it anyway.

Learning how this mic works, and the limits of my chromebook.  But the mic is on loan, and I hope to have better equipment one day.

I need more singing in my life–please let me know if you would like to sing with me.

By Laura-Marie

Good at listening to the noise until it makes sense.

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