My Day Today

By: Loolwa Khazzoom, Founder, Dancing with Pain

November 7th, 2009 • Living with Chronic PainPrint Print

Today was a chill day – Shabbat. I woke up, went back to sleep, woke up again. Said qadous (also known as “kiddish” by Jews of Central/Eastern European heritage), ate breakfast, and listened to music while putting away my laundry. (Yup, the same four loads I’ve been yammering about all week.)

Feeling much better. Bug juice seems to have kicked in! Cough is under control, though I still feel this asthmatic congestion in my chest. But I’m on the mend.

Cleaned the kitchen and the patio. I find it to be a relaxing, grounding way to spend Shabbat, although technically, it’s not what how we’re supposed to focus our energies during this day. Whatever.

Then I gathered up several newspapers that had piled up in front of my door. The past couple of weeks have been too hectic for me to even keep up with the weekend edition! I spread them out on my living room floor and sat on a cushion, catching up on the world. And remembering why I didn’t read newspapers or watch news for years.

Just reading about all the craziness in the world, not to mention the journalists’ take on the craziness, left my body in pain. So I danced and felt much better. Then I went on a 1.5 mile round trip to a café and got a medium mocha. They forgot the whipped cream. Meh. I was still thoroughly delighted to hold the steaming cup of nirvana in my hands.

My body was a bit tweaky, pain at about a 4+ in various parts, but that all kind of worked itself out as I walked. And it was a lovely day – cloudy, just the way I like it!

While walking, I thought about my experience reading the newspaper. I do enjoy knowing what people are talking about, but as someone who is both a provider and consumer of media, I find myself irritated by the choices the editors are making about what is considered “news.” I know too well from inside how the stories that I think are more important, more thought-provoking, and more transformative are shunted aside, in favor of the same-old, same-old social scripts that serve nobody and nothing. 

Makes me want to bang my head against a wall. I’m cancelling my newspaper subscription as soon as Shabbat is over.

Ditching the paper as a reader is in alignment with the direction I’m taking as a writer. I used to be a professional editor harasser – also known as a published writer for print magazines and newspapers. As I shift my focus back toward my writing, I find that I have neither the interest nor the energy to plead my case with editors about why this or that story is important, never mind having to squish my writing sensibility into the little boxes of their particular format.

As the Brits would say, “I can’t be bothered.”

Which is why I thank the Universe for the holy internet. We writers no longer need to go to them. They can come to us. Ahhhhh.

Back to the newspaper: I was extremely disturbed to read about the gang rape case in Richmond, CA. When is this society going to wake up and look at the roots of violence against women – the garden variety ways that women are what I’m calling “effeminated” (seriously, why doesn’t that word exist in the dictionary, whereas “emasculated” does? what’s that about?) – our power and sense of self subtly, gradually, insidiously, and persistently eroded.

Why was it possible for that gang rape to happen, people wonder. Why did the people just stand around. Well, let’s see here. How about having a look-see at the attitudes towards and images of women, all over the damn place. That’s why it happened and why people let it.

I await the day that we launch mandatory self-defense classes for girls starting at the age of, I don’t know, say three with boundary awareness, then gradually working up to some serious ass-kicking and gun-wielding by the pre-teen years.

Speaking of which, I think that women should be able to carry guns 24/7, indoors/outdoors. Especially women with any kind of disability. I mean, fuck, why are men who sell diamonds allowed to carry guns, but women – targets of violence around the clock – not allowed? Note to the world: Our bodies and lives are more precious than property.

Anyhow I’ll address this whole issue more on my brand spanking new writing website,, which is launching in the next few weeks. I mean, it’s already up, but the content is like, five years old. I’ve got a whole new, blog-enriched site posting shortly, where I can yammer on and on about any and all topics. Stay tuned.


Thomai in L.A. November 8th, 2009

As the birth mother of a boy and spirit mom of a boy, (both are young men now) I know that teaching healthy boundaries is important for everyone.
Starting as young as 18 months, that for instance, if I am tickling them and they say, “No, stop!” I immediately stop and back off.  If they really want to be tickled, they have to say, “tickle me, tickle me”.  It’s the little exercises like that & actual self defense courses that make the difference.
I’ve taught women and girls in classes, and boys while raising them.
1st line of defense, stay or get away from trouble
2nd line of defense, verbal
3rd line of defense, physical
Everyone can benefit from understanding healthy boundaries, in business, personal life, and as part of society.   Nowadays, many mother’s  instruct their children to “use your words” . It stops children from thinking that crying, screaming, whining is the best way to get what they want; it teaches them to articulate their feelings more clearly.

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