I just couldn’t get motivated to write yesterday. I awoke three hours before dawn to begin the day’s work on the phone and computer.
The day started off on a discouraging note when a lawyer pooh-poohed a day rate that’s comparable to an amount I can live on for a month. Another person called to say a payment that was to have shown up in my mailbox yesterday was just going into the mail and would be here late. A couple other folks told me they would be late doing other things I’d been waiting for. Other phone calls were not returned.
I have an expression to describe days like this: “Pushing a rope.”
Three people told me about vacations they were about to take, were on, or had just returned from. One chastized me for not having joined them. “I’m chained to this phone,” I replied lamely. “Anyway, I live in a vacation paradise year-round,” I said without a whole lot of conviction.
After dealing with a succession of problems, delays, and disappointments, I finally ran out of gas. So I took a time out. Screw it, I said.
I fell asleep in one of my wingback chairs and had a disturbing dream about being behind the wheel of a car, physically paralyzed, as the car moved forward controlled by dumb luck alone. And yes, the dream expressed exactly the way I was feeling about the day and all the good I’d been able to accomplish.
I woke up disoriented with cobwebs between my ears. This day wasn’t getting any better. The sky had clouded over while I’d slept, and I could tell there would be no rain to fill my empty water tank. Only depressing gray light.
I spent a couple hours researching choral music, hoping that might cheer me up. It didn’t. It all sounded so churchey, nothing particularly uplifting.
Alex called and I told him about what I’d learned about the Okeechobee Jail over the weekend. “Are you alright there?” I asked. “I mean, do you feel safe? Are the staff people treating you okay?”
“It’s sufferable. But I will be glad to leave here, even if it means going to a different institution,” he answered.
That didn’t make me feel a whole lot better. If anything I began chiding myself for being such a sad sack all day. I should look up to Alex as an example. I should stop feeling sorry for myself and be a stoic like him. Yet I just felt worse because I felt so powerless to help him. He still hasn’t gotten his books. The people who run that jail just don’t give a damn. Spiritual hospitality—dream on!
Right about now you’re probably wondering when in this story am I going to pull out a razor to slash my wrists, but the day didn’t end that way. The day actually ended on a high note.
Earlier in the day I’d received some disturbing news about a staff member at Pendleton who has been making threats about giving Paul Henry trouble. I’d made a phone call to ask some questions, and by 9:30 last night a phone call was returned with my answers. I got a virtual peek into this staff person’s personnel file and learned everything we need to defend the boy. I learned enough to anticipate what this staff person’s game is and what we must watch out for. If a finger is raised against the boy, we will be ready to nip it off immediately.
So I’m not feeling so powerless and paralyzed afterall. I went to bed last night energized, ready for the next day’s challenges, and feeling the day was a success.
Groove of the Day