Dangerous Compassions



“When I brush my teeth in the morning, and then I don’t want to brush at night, I get myself to brush my teeth by letting myself brush without toothpaste,” I told Ming.

“Ok,” he said.

“I think toothpaste is not really that important.  Toothpaste is the difficult part of brushing my teeth.  It tastes too strong–it’s overwhelming,” I said.

“Yeah!” Ming said.

“Probably that’s why you haven’t used toothpaste in years,” I said, considering Ming’s beautiful quirks.

“Yeah!” Ming said.

“It’s way too minty!  The taste is too much.  It makes my mouth feel weird,” I said.  “Actually I think toothpaste is a way to dissociate.  Rather than focusing on how your mouth really feels and how it’s doing, people are supposed to focus on the toothpaste.”

“Mmm,” Ming said appreciatively.  “It’s something more to buy–capitalism.”

“Right.  Like a lot of modern life and technology.  I think toothpaste is a way to make distance from having a body,” I said.

mouth health

I love my mouth and want to keep my teeth if possible.  Before, I used to brush only once a day.  A few years ago I started brushing twice a day as a gift to myself.

How often do you brush?  Do you feel good about it?  How about flossing?  My teeth are very close together, and my gums are perpetually tender.

I used to feel a lot of guilt about not flossing.  Now I love myself unconditionally and love my mouth in my own way.  I claim my mouth as my own–no dentist or product owns it.  Like any part of me, it’s sacred.


We were at a natural foods store in Bakersfield, and they have samples.  I got a toothpaste sample of some ayurvedic toothpaste.

No way could I read that tiny print for the ingredients.  Ming photographed it for me to read it better.  Wow, so many herbal things.  It always makes me think–what are the odds that all those herbs are good for me?  I would guess that at least a couple of those are not suited for my body.

Either herbs are powerful and should respected, specific for a person’s needs, or herbs are weak and don’t matter, so why are you including so many.  The scattershot method of including a fuckton of herbs makes me cranky.

But I hope the toothpaste is ok.  The first ingredient is fine chalk, which I find exciting.  I love chalk!

By Laura-Marie

Good at listening to the noise until it makes sense.

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