Like Words Together Reflections from the deep end of Practice.


Comics as Diary

Attended an awesome session online today about using comics as a form of personal diary. Mari Naomi, an artist I've come to appreciate, shared how she uses this approach.

She draws one each morning, taking no more than 10 minutes. She uses something from the previous day as inspiration. She showed us a bunch of things she's drawn and then we all drew together!

Nearly 300 people of all descriptions drawing from the same prompt together! Definitely a win for pandemic technology hacks.

The Believer magazine has been facilitating these, they call it Friday Night Comics. Today's experience is likely to turn me into a subscriber.


No Justice, No Peace

Today the men who killed Breonna Taylor as she slept failed to be indicted. One was, for endangering property. None for her murder by cops.

There is no justice for so many in this country, but especially so for Black people. Tonight uprisings are happening all over. Tomorrow I'll be reminding students that these events are cries of pain, the voice of the unheard, and rage at police violence.

The President strokes the flames of hated and division. He doesn't discuss peaceful transition of power if he loses.

Today the CDC's website agrees that over 200,000 lives have been lost to COVID.

Today I went to the Japanese bookstore and supermarket. I picked up my calligraphy and ink themed art box, gifts for a friend, special grocery items for a couple of friends, and some food to make an extra comforting dinner. I also picked up comics and games. All tasks related to joy and comfort today.


Self-care Isn’t Free Time

Scattered in clover.
Yellow faces gazing upward.
White petals unfurl.

Haiku turns us inward, teaches us to see tiny details deeply. Teaches us to pay attention. I return to it to get the pathways of poetry writing reconnected.

I started new medication to help with my anxiety; the stuff that arises out of my own special Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria. I think it’s helping, although it is honestly hard to tell as I feel anxious and down.

CK and I water talking about people who keep saying online how they have so this free time now. We consider that some folks have lost jobs, which accounts for it. Some folks just were always out?

In theory I should have more since I’m not driving around, running errands, etc. I don’t have more time. It might be that the time is going to keeping myself grounded, which doesn’t leave me free time.

It doesn’t feel like abundance this time. I need to use it to stay functional. If it were truly free time, perhaps then I might be using it to tackle more projects.


Self-Care Gratitude

Last night I realized that I'd been optimistic about the number of things I'd want to do the first week back from retreat. This morning, before teaching, I contacted a friend I'd been planning to see this afternoon and asked to reschedule. This gave me more downtime at home after teaching my morning classes. Time to catch up on some household tasks, walk the dogs, and feel a little more rested.

Over the past few years I've got better about telling people I can't make it rather than try and push myself through. The years where I could just keep pushing myself are long-gone, thankfully, and I have to make time to rest. I've become someone who naps when I'm tired, tries hard to get at least 7 hours of sleep, if not 8.

A topic my new therapist explored with me was self-care. She's worked with a lot of people who are in caring professions who respond with a blank look when asked about self-care practices. I was glad to be able to honestly tell her that, while I'm not always great about doing it, I do have practices. I also try and practice what I teach, so I journal, meditate, do yoga movement, and have a gratitude practice.

Learning self-care for me was a crash course, necessitated by health crises. I'm grateful for the skills I've learned and continue to learn about caring for myself. It has taken me a while to see that caring for myself is really helping care for the people I love in the long-run; I can't be of help to anyone if I'm too burnt out.