It’s been one of Those Days in The Ivory Tower. You know the ones.
It started as a pretty average day. You know those ones too. Where everything is just moving along at a reasonable pace, nothing too fast, nothing too slow, nothing to make one wiggle and burst into uncontrollable giggles, but also nothing to make one dissolve into a puddle of tears in the corner of the room. And then it wasn’t anymore. Then, all of a sudden, it was one of Those Days.
A number of things happened – I shan’t bore you with them all – that made me want to peel off my skin and huddle in that there corner, slowly making the puddle referred to above, appear. Sometimes it doesn’t fit, my skin. While I sat miserably contemplating exactly how to go about unzipping my outer layer, the phone rang and I landed back in reality with a bump.
The call was about a 7-year old, HIV +ve girl. She’d got the deadly virus thanks to her stepfather’s on-going abuse. Seven. Years’. Old.
At the same time, I received an e-mail with photographs of a woman living in a faraway rural area with little access to anything, let alone medical help, who is having a nasty skin reaction to her medication. I cried. Not purely because it looked so sore and uncomfortable, but because of her eyes. They were dull. Not blank dull but the kind of dull that reflects a life of poverty, harshness and struggle.
This was followed by a call asking what to do for a heavily pregnant woman who was convulsing after eating rat poison in an attempt to kill herself.
There I was, whinging and whining and bemoaning my place in this unjust and nasty world we live in, when actually, I’m so bloody privileged it’s ridiculous. How dare I be miserable in my kushy (sp?) job, a warm home with full cupboards to go home to, people who love me all around me and on the end of numerous telephones, all with their accounts paid?
So I cried, deep down crying, and pulled myself up by my bootstraps and made a vow with myself to spend more time finding nice things to do, for me and other people, and to spend less time navel-gazing in a quagmire of self-indulgent misery
I need to get out of the city, too, I’m getting that breathless feeling.