My legs and hips are sore as I strive to compose this blog. I did a new yoga DVD series, and my body is burning a bit in the aftermath. In a good way.
As I finished yoga and made my usual breakfast of muesli, yoghurt, and Thai bananas, the sky was crying. It seemed quite fitting, as we and our Thai community are in mourning after the news of the death of the Thai King recently. He was the longest-reigning monarch: a 70-year reign. He was very beloved.
It felt like a full week even before that news struck us all. John and I visited a patient who has been in the hospital for awhile, due to a brain infection. I joined John, as he performed his nursing duties of a bed bath and a wound change. I didn't feel like there was much I could do, besides rub the patient's hand - and afterwards, I did some head-holding - for any of you fellow bodyworkers out there, you know how powerful this can be. It didn't last long, but he seemed to enjoy it and relax.
His wife really appreciated our coming out and supporting her. She is tired after being his main caretaker (besides the Thai nursing staff at the hospital, of course) for the last 6 weeks straight at the hospital - although her care-taking role has really been much longer than that. As we walked over to 7-eleven so she could purchase some treats for her son who is still at the Garden with us, she couldn't stop holding my hand in thanks for our support and encouragement. As we said our goodbyes, she thrust a second bag of snacks in our hands for us to enjoy - as yet another unnecessary 'thank you'.
Our business finally picked up at Hands of Hope the past couple of weeks; thank goodness. The orders varied in size, but there were several of them - we received at least one every day, in fact! It did much to pick up our spirits, as we strive to fall less short than we would otherwise - thanks to people like my Mom and Lauren's mom and their strong advocacy of the Hands of Hope producers, and John's parents too. There are at least 34 producers who are very grateful for each and every order, no matter how big or small.
And so I sit, listening to some classical music, as a few drops still sprinkle from the sky - with sadness as I feel for our Thai friends during this time of their country's sorrow.
And I'm melancholy, as I miss my mom on her birthday. I hold so many things and people in my heart - both our community here and our friends and family back home.
Let me leave you with a few samplings from the long yet illuminating book that I just finished, Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin:
“Scott, a slave, was suing for his freedom on the grounds that his master, an army doctor, had removed him for several years to military bases in both the free state of Illinois and the Wisconsin Territory before returning to the slave state of Missouri.” (188)
...The Supreme Court ruled (7-2) “that blacks ‘are not included, and were not intended to be included, under the word ‘citizens in the Constitution.’ Therefore, Scott had no standing in federal court. This should have decided the case, but [Chief Justice] Taney went further. Neither the Declaration of Independence nor the Constitution had been intended to apply to blacks, he said. Blacks were ‘so far inferior that they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect’. But the Chief Justice did not stop even there; he went on to say that Congress had exceeded its authority when it forbade slavery in the territories by such legislation as the Missouri Compromise, for slaves were private property protected by the Constitution. In other words, the Missouri Compromise was unconstitutional. The act itself, of course, had already been repealed by the Nebraska Act, meaning that the Court was pronouncing on an issues that was not before it.” (189)
“...The furor broke yet another bond of union by involving the Supreme Court, the common guarantor of both North and South, in sectional conflict. Dred Scott was sold to a Mr. Taylor Blow, who promptly freed him. He would die within a year, a free man whose name would leave a deeper mark on American history than those of the justices who had consigned him to slavery.
Speaking in Springfield, Lincoln attached the decision in characteristic fashion, not by castigating the Court buy by meticulously exposing flaws of logic.” (190)
“...Even when abolition should come, Tocqueville predicted, Americans would ‘have still to destroy three prejudices much more intangible and more tenacious than it: the prejudice of the master, the prejudice of race, and finally the prejudice of the white’. (205)