Rest: Day 18

I have a honking cold. I caught the cold last week and tried to rest through it over the weekend, but this is a big one. I am trying to resist the temptation to make this entire blog about self care.

One aspect of being a privileged member of our society is that I don’t pay as high a physical and psychological cost to merely “be” in the world. I can call in sick at no risk to my job, I can “take it easy at work”  for days after I get back from an illness, my job doesn’t grind me down (usually). I don’t get yelled at or glared at by random strangers, I don’t think about my safety on a usual day (unless I am preparing to press against the boundaries of my civil rights to engage in peaceful protest).

I really don’t need as much rest as some folks. But these aren’t usually times and this whole challenge is an acknowledgement of the psychological pollution that has been unleashed in our usual spheres of discourse. I remember teaching for 2 weeks in Lima, which in 2008 was a very polluted city. The 7th largest city in the Western Hemisphere (larger than Dallas and Ft Worth combined at that time), Lima is a semicircle fanned around the elite central district on the coast of the Pacific. Every day I would hurtle 2 hours through thick traffic from my hotel by the Swiss Embassy to a textile factory far on the outer edge before hurtling back to the downtown to teach that night. The pollution left me dizzy, nauseous and with a headache. Each night I would gulp chamomile tea in hopes of soothing my lungs.

This current atmosphere is like a polluted city. We have to close the windows, limit our time outdoors and work to remediate the toxic effects on our spirits. We need to protect our ability to provide strength and compassion at the moment of OUR choosing.

I fiddled with a new pattern yesterday. Read more about the creative process at my studio blog.

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