November 3, 2009

Day 3 Sacred Space- H1N1

Ok I believe I am on the mend for real this time. I am sitting in Oso, back table, headphones on...things are getting back to normal. I no longer consider myself to be sick, I am SURE my contagious window has long since past. I still have a cough, usually do for well over a week after a flu, wellness is a journey, not an off/on switch. So here I sit, better, a little weak, and with this left over cough which I am pretty sure is more than common after illness. I am noticing though that the way I look at things differs from some of those around me. Just by coughing, I elicit a choreographed turning of heads complete with looks of what I imagine to be fear and irritation, maybe a little indignance and anger. The womyn sitting to my left seems to have an idea that I am doing something wrong. I am going to assume it is me being here when “I’m sick”, I bet she has no idea that my take is that I am finally “better”. Ahh, perception, such an interesting conversation generator, such a coyote trickster, causer of mishap and misunderstanding.


I remember once when I was 22, Ayla and I were in Sydney, Australia visiting her biological father. We went to one of those indoor ball places, the loud and obnoxiously coloured pay-per-use indoor playgrounds that inclement weather suddenly put into demand. I was used to people fawning over my beautiful and intelligent child. Admires would ask all the time if she was mine, to which I would promptly beam “Yes!”, proud as hell of the job I was doing despite my age, or perhaps, I would muse, because of it. I did just this while standing in the ballpark, mind a little numb from engaging in consumer driven contrived child play, and was shocked when the womyn looked at her in disgust, picked up her own child, and stomped off to the other side of the building. Ayla turned to look at me, as confused as I was, then I understood. She had a full set of rail road tracks under her nose, she must have sneezed and was now dripping with snot. Nothing scares a suburban older mother more than snot, a by-product, I believe, off too many TV commercials convincing us our world is unsafe by way of being unclean, and the news, which bombards us at every turn with complete paranoia about disease or to be more accurate the threat of it. To be fair I have never really understood germ phobia. I believe dirt is necessary in our food supply and give much credence to the “5 second rule”. When my children use a dirty spoon by accident here at Oso, I look at it as an opportunity to build immunity. I know I am coming from a very different perspective than this Aussie mom, I could possibly stand to encourage my kids to wash their hands more often. That said I will not give in to dirty looks in the coffee shop because of my well covered coughing. Sick people are a part of our community, and yes at the most intense moments, out and about may not be the best place for a person with the flu, but when we are on the mend, in need of a disturbance to the monotony of bed and bathtub, we need places to go, halfway houses. What better place than somewhere I can sit, and drink tea while slowly getting myself back to work? I am no threat to anyone's health.

I know there is a swine flu panic on at the moment, this despite the fact that I am one of those strictly no news folks. It is not always possible to hide from the product we call “news“, as though it bore actual resemblance to the text book definition;

“newly received or noteworthy information, especially about recent or important events”

It has meant I have hidden my illness, worried about dealing with objection to my presence, something that is especially hard to take when I am already not feeling well and in need of love. I am going to remember this should I ever get self righteous over someone stepping on my immunity, and remember I am responsible for my own health. Instead I will offer a smile, and add “Get kale” and “A good nights sleep” to my “To Do” list.

“Do you watch the news? Why or why not?” is the question in 12 days journal #205


  1. I am so sorry that you had to deal with those looks! I am sure you are surrounded with those that support you - but I have to put my two-bits in and remind you that I too agree with you - are bodies are amazing - a little hygiene and healthy living can go a LONG way!
    Glad to hear you are starting to feel better.

    (I read your blog regularily and miss you when you're gone - just thought I'd throw that in here! loving you!)

  2. I admit to watching the news or listening to it often. And I justify it by sayingI want to be informed and although I know that most of the news and opinions you hear on TV are inaccurate or represent a narrow perspective and I invariably disagree with most, if not all of it, I feel it's useful to see how the mainstream thinks and what they believe asz in the end, that is what creates a lot of our reality, no matter how much you try to ignore or resist it.
    As for flu and germs etc. we are becoming far too dependant on cleanliness and healthcare. I would suggest that any more than a half dozen visits to a healthcare person in a lifetime is too much. The tendancy is for everyone to be dependant on a doctor for "health" or on drug companies, just like the in other areas where we are dependant on others. Dependancy is a lot different than co operation or fair exchange of goods or services.
    That's my rant for today.

  3. I admit, I have reacted like the Aussie womyn (it happened yesterday). But I do believe when you are sick...nurture yourself. Down time is necessary. Curl up...drink tea...Allow the flu to take its course. And by doing may also help dissipate the spread of the flu.

  4. Forget drinking tea , doing yoga and all that hippie crap. You need to eat some wild meat and wash it down with plenty of red. Maybe I need to plan a hunting trip to the Kutenai's and knock down ann Elk or two for ya. Got three does today so the freezer's full. Hope all's well.
    Big Daddy Cash

  5. That was really funny!!! I laughed out loud at the recanting of the Aussie woman's reaction. I don't watch the news. It's fully of bullshit meant to scare. Screw that. My only news source is

  6. I might have reacted like the Aussie woman, but not because I'm a germaphobe (I share your perspective on that), but because, even after 8 years of parenting, the sight of snot potentially running into a child's mouth still revolts me. LOL.

    As to the news, I feel the same way about it as Anthony, but I generally choose The Daily Show as my source. I do also enjoy The Onion, though! LOL.