Taking care of myself

(Written in September 2006)
Yesterday, I made a conscious decision to take care of the traumatized baby — to make her my first priority — that was partly why I lost myself in a book — because that’s the only way I know to really give myself a rest from “soldiering on”.  It does feel like I have been able to shift something, managed to get back from the political limb, managed to get back to the baby as first priority.  What I haven’t been able to get to is some sense of feeling good about taking care of myself.  I did manage to brush and floss my teeth — usually a good sign.  I see, it’s “soldiering on” but in a different direction.  Taking care of myself is much harder than, say, doing the political stuff — typing up essays and posting them on the website, etc is much easier than taking a bath.  I haven’t done the oil massage in ages.  I haven’t even washed my hair in a week.  I have had some quick showers.  But the long slow bath and beauty ritual that a lot of women seem to enjoy isn’t something I do. I think Kayla really enjoys her morning shower and putting on her makeup — she said something yesterday about how much she enjoyed it when she slows down.  I envy her.  When I slow down, I feel the discomfort that can only be kept at bay by constant activity.
What am I feeling right now?  Cold across my chest.  It feels like there is a black ocean of pain, submerging me to my heart, surrounding the planet.  Yes, there is so much pain.  I’m wearing a black-and-white prisoners bracelet from Tibet, and my black-and-white Tibetan Terrier is curled up next to me and I’m aware that one day she will be gone…

I can’t do it — I can’t call my senators and tell them to vote against the surveillance and detainee bills — I can just feel that it’s too much of a stretch today.  I’m sitting here in pain and tears —— OK, if I can’t call, I can pray: Let hearts be changed in the Senate so they refuse to pass bills that curtail our civil liberties.

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