Pandemic journal: Week 13

Week 13: June 8-14, 2020. Theme of the week: clarity

Monday, 7:50 AM

I realized my muscles felt very tight so I went out on the deck and danced and stretched to Cream — haven’t thought of them in years, but psychedelic rock was surprisingly wonderful to start the week. Almost makes me wonder if I should set this week’s theme to reflect how I felt while outside moving my body with the crows and little birds flying around me. (But then, last week, “liberation” felt very freeing at the start of the week and by the end was increasingly an abstract reminder.)

Yesterday I went to yoga and the instructor read a Terrance Hayes poem about James Baldwin, which is more of a BLM statement than she’s ever made in the past. It doesn’t feel like enough, but I’m glad it wasn’t more silence. 

I was in preschool meetings all yesterday afternoon, and I have a call today, a meeting tomorrow, a meeting Wednesday which I’m co-hosting, an info session on Thurs, and there will probably be at least 1 more meeting over the weekend! 

Tuesday, 8:32 AM

The Chronicle’s protest coverage has gotten better, centering Black voices more and naming white supremacy and police brutality. Yesterday I watched John Oliver, Kimberly Jones (whom I found from his show), and Trevor Noah, and I’m sure I played games, but if I did anything else with the 3+ hours between calls and meetings, I don’t remember. Oh! I decided to postpone tomorrow’s Meetup, and I wrote an explanation: I can’t not talk about anti-racism right now, but I refuse to talk about it superficially and I don’t have the energy to go deeper with this particular group. I sent it to the 8 people who were RSVPed, which isn’t taking much of a stand, but it exercised a muscle that needs it. 

Wednesday, 7:10 AM

I just learned that two of my friends have survived violent attacks (not recently). It’s terrible to think I’ve avoided this violence that so many women have endured (and often not survived); I remember my shock and horror when another friend told me her story, and said she assumed I had some story of my own, and I had to say I don’t. Is it wrong for me to raise a child to trust the world? Do I put them in harm’s way by not having these scars of my own? I’ve been thinking that I’m brave, but it’s also possible mine is the bravery of one who hasn’t been threatened. 

My (Black) therapist was willing to meet yesterday, after cancelling last week’s session, and we talked a little more about racism than we have before — well, not about racism specifically, but about self-care and being tired with white people and hoping for change. I mentioned needing to work on my anti-Blackness, as an Asian person, and I hope it felt ok to her; I hope I didn’t act like I thought we had the same experience as POC. But it felt great to talk about it and I hope that wasn’t my healing coming at her expense. I don’t think so, but I’m not the one who gets to decide that. 

10:23 AM

BTW I realized last night, given the activities I now have stacked into many of my evenings, I should totally reframe my “I did nothing all afternoon” assessment to a very reasonable act of energy conservation — like performers taking afternoon naps before nighttime performances. Sounds silly, maybe, but I truly didn’t think of this before. I work at journaling every morning from 7ish till 830/930ish, and do movement or preschool work from 4/5/6ish till as late as 9 many evenings, and I’m on with Owl from about 9-5 daily. Yes, clearly, I do need that midday time to rest! 

Thursday, 7:13 AM

I had a really good talk last night with a friend I’ve been struggling with on many levels. I don’t think I even fully realized how much I was hurting until we talked it out; I didn’t realize how much I was holding back or twisting my behavior, leaving so much unsaid. I woke really happy, and I notice I am way, WAY happier with Owl today (also, the meeting I co-led yesterday went well). Reality is also setting in, though — even though we had this beautiful conversation it doesn’t erase the real challenges between us, and promises/declarations aren’t actions. In other words, even though we both want things to be better and deeper and always honest, that work still lies ahead. 

Saturday, 8:44 AM

Trying something totally different this morning: writing outside, on our deck, on Owl’s little table which I’ve moved out here just for this. It’s shaded here, at this hour, so it’s pretty chilly; I’ve got on socks and a long sleeve and a sweatshirt and a light wool scarf and leggings, a blanket over my lap, and am sitting on cushions and have a mug of hot tea alongside. I just couldn’t stand Owl’s noise anymore. Actually it’s none too quiet out here; the birds are in full conversation, there are cars and trucks going by, planes overhead, and the sounds of people’s music or squirrels or barking dogs or what have you. I suppose it’s not actually loud but in my current state of overstimulation I’m picking up on everything, even the leaves in the breeze. But: it’s not Owl. 

In processing recent conversations and events, my theme of the week has been so spot-on (thanks, R, for giving me the idea on Monday!) — I’ve just had so little interest in what’s not important to me, and so little patience or energy to equivocate. And, perhaps, I can be less equivocal because I’m continuing to build all the good things and supports and avenues of exploration that I want, so it’s easier for me to say “fuck this other thing”. It feels like a place of great strength — not that I’m not nervous and emotional and all, but there is a baseline of security and self-knowledge that is very lovely. 

Oh, gosh, and I know I’ve been laying groundwork for this for a long time, but it can’t be a coincidence that for this HSP this strength coalesces simultaneously with not having to go out into the world.

Sending loving thoughts to epidemiologists.