20 September 2014

Thunder and sudden rain. Summer is going out with a bang. I am restless and tired, or rather: I am tired but I have things to do and should get a move on. 

I am supposedly subtitling a video in two languages. By now, I have watched it about a thousand times. It is an excellent short documentary about the right to food and women peasant farmers - who have been feeding the majority of the planet's population for ever. Yes, the majority of the planet's population. Not a bad job.
Over and over I watch the clips of these women, African, Asian, Latin American, digging, watering, harvesting, smiling, talking. About cooperation, family, childcare, seed sharing, organisation and mutual support. This is where I usually stop the tape and take a deep breath. For a brief moment I feel a strong sense of family, of being connected. I want to cheer and shout, women peasant farmers are feeding the world!
But of course there is more to come, the usual terminology: land access, tenure rights, gender discrimination, corruption, caste systems, land grabbing, biofuel corporations, palm oil plantations, struggle, evictions, globalisation and so on.
Enough to make any woman weep.

Yesterday, a friend involved in immunology research sent me some new findings about fatigue as a symptom of autoimmune disease and how to properly diagnose it and thus treat it more effectively. Actually, the bit about treatment is rather short, a mere suggestion to be active when you can. Suggested activities include walking and cycling. Start at an easy pace and gently build up some stamina, it says. Yet nothing about the reverse scenario for former ardent cyclists for whom even thinking about a bicycle feels like too much of a physical effort. It all ends with an appeal to not ignore fatigue. Nice one.

I have no idea how these two issues connect apart from the fact that I want to rest my head on my desk and close my eyes. Which is why I am now getting up to make more coffee.


  1. I am right now taking a break from weeding, my chickens have been gathering around me to eat the bugs and seeds which appear as I pull. This feels to me to be the most basic and right thing. It must be in my DNA, just as it is in my husband's DNA to hunt meat. Neither of us need to do these things. I do not have to grow food. I can buy it. I do not need to keep chickens- we don't even eat that many eggs. But. From the dirt and the chicks spring riches that nothing else can compare to. For me, at least.
    I am so grateful to be able to do these things, even as an expensive hobby, because I have a need for them in my soul. I feel linked to women everywhere.
    Fatigue- oh, how easy for someone who has never experienced it to make such suggestions. It is like someone who has never experienced anxiety or depression making pronouncements about those things. It is like a man telling a woman what she should and should not be able to do with her body.
    You know yourself. You know what you can and cannot do. You know how to live your life as best you can.

  2. If it helps, I hope you can remind yourself that telling comfortable western women that their less fortunate sisters wade through paddy fields just so we can eat rice is important!

  3. Your video is very important. Care for yourself as you must so that you keep on doing such things.