Montfermeil Saturday night was not good for me.
First I drove my longest Uber drive thus far: Dulles Airport to the northern tip of Delaware, 122 miles in two hours and ten minutes. When I finished my ride, I turned on NPR. That’s when I learned the shit had hit the fan (and why security seemed extra tight/hectic at the airport). I was heartened to hear about the protests that had sprung up due to the Executive Order travel ban.
I finished the long drive around 8:30pm. I got home at about 10pm. I ate dinner, tried to relax. I went to bed.
Funny thing about me: I prefer to listen to the radio when I go to sleep. Lately, I’ve left NPR on. I liked hearing stories from around the world as I drifted off. However, on Saturday night, all talk was about the ban. Rally chants echoed in my head.
Before bed, I decided to go to a protest on Sunday after my early morning shift but before my company party that evening. But I just couldn’t sleep. I tossed. I turned. Commentary about the EO and reactions by others around the world filled the air. A rally chant wouldn’t stop banging around in my brain. My head started to hurt. I got too hot and shoved off the covers. I got too cold and pulled them back up. Sleep would not come.
At 2am, after fighting with my bed and body, I figured it out. I turned the radio to a local hip hop station. I grabbed my stuffed animals and held them tight. I took deep breaths and made myself think about something else. I finally fell asleep around 2:30am, and then woke up three hours later for work.
On the way to my gig, I caught a conversation I needed to hear. Rep. John Lewis was the guest on the NPR spirituality show On Being. I love Rep. Lewis, and, though I did not agree with everything he spoke about that morning, one thing he said stuck: Be a pilot light, not a firecracker. Be steady and dependable. Used your energy in a way that is sustainable, instead of bright and then burnt out.
I didn’t go to the protest. Instead I went home, took a nap, and then had lunch with a friend who couldn’t go to the protest. We commiserated about the current craziness of our country. I start knitting a hat and put my phone far away from me.
The next four years are going to be difficult. Pacing oneself to withstand the long haul is key to the success of our resistance.
Be a pilot light, not a firecracker.
Categorised as: Politics
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