Pandemic journal: Week 9

Week 9: May 11-17, 2020. No theme this week. 

Monday, 7:33 AM

This morning I danced to “Wonderful”, matching my movements to the slow tempo, getting kind of weird and experimental, using the furniture and the shelves and the floor cushions and finally the floor. There were a lot of moments where I thought, if only I had more flexibility or strength, I could keep taking this roll or this gesture farther — and that was ok but it was interesting even going there just in my mind, extending myself imaginatively past what my actual body is capable of enacting. In my Tues/Thurs classes the instructor says we’re doing research on our own bodies and I certainly did plenty of research this week, with bhangra and house dance and yoga; it’s been a fruitful week for internal movement research, and it feels good to see that in my improvisation. 

Short-haired Asian woman with sunglasses

Yesterday after a tiring Zoom with the family I had a long call with CA. We were kind of out of touch with each other for several years, but it’s a comfort that in this time of crisis, we’re there for each other. Our long history together enriches our conversation, as does, probably, having different social circles and communities. After almost 2hrs of politics and reopening and what the future might look like, she remarked, “Well, I don’t think we solved anything, but it was really good to talk about it.” 

Tuesday, 8:07 AM

I woke early and decided to take a walk. I wound up in the rose garden; I didn’t expect it to be open but it was, and it was so moving to be in a public space, my god! And not at all hard to stay distant from the few other people I encountered. I had a lovely ramble around, everything dewy or wet from rain. 

Steps leading downhill into a garden
Morcom Rose Garden, Oakland

Yesterday in my regular call with R she said, “You’re holding so much space for so many people,” then added, “Bitches better appreciate,” which made me laugh. She’s right; I am, and it is work, even when it’s something I want. 

Thursday, 8:02 AM

Yesterday I realized I’m so tired I could fall asleep at any moment even in the morning… that’s bad. And yet it is still horribly, horribly difficult to get to bed any earlier, somehow. Really what I need is more space from Owl… but who knows when that will be possible. There was a SC thread about preschools reopening and I realized I don’t feel good about school, I don’t feel good about not having school, I don’t know what safety would look like and I’m not even sure it’s possible for this age group. One mom, a doctor, responded that she was “ostriching” because it’s all too much to think about. 

Sunday, 9:10 AM. 

My responsibilities as preschool board president are ramping up and I had a meeting yesterday where I felt totally in over my head. It’s not impostor syndrome, where I feel like I’m faking and I’m afraid everyone will find out. This feels more like: I’m upfront about my lack of experience, I’m upfront about what I don’t know, I’m listening and working and doing my best — but I’m afraid it will turn out my best isn’t good enough. I also have to acknowledge, though, that that has never been the case in my memory; usually people tell me I do well. And I often disbelieve it, because my way of doing things doesn’t match up with how I’ve seen others do things; therefore I can’t conceive of my own strange self as being a good leader or a respected thinker; I can only see myself as different, not original. I’ve been saying, about being president, that even if everyone else experiences me as capable and sympathetic, I will only experience myself as fumbling and scrambling and working furiously to keep up! 

But I was thinking back to my lifelong sense of myself as really different from other people… it’s taken most of my adult life to recognize that actually I have a gift for creating connection and making people feel comfortable and included. And also that I create and strengthen others’ feelings of connection even as I myself don’t feel truly connected/safe except with very few people. I remember in high school I thought I would grow up and date a certain type of person — charismatic, popular, well-liked, a leader — and I see now that it’s because I wanted those qualities to flourish in myself, but didn’t think I could achieve that without attaching myself to someone else (a white person, frankly). One of the great discoveries of my recent adult life is learning that I can do and be all of that by myself. 

Sending loving thoughts to all incarcerated people, whether it’s called that, or detainment, or something else.

"FREE THEM ALL" painted on a rear windshield