In remembered rapture, bell hooks writes of visits to Toni Cade Bambara shortly before her death. I want to share what hooks writes about the subject of their last conversation because so many of my friends – especially my friends who are teachers, activists, writers, and/or scholars, jobs that often involve constant work with and against and for political and ideological convictions – have at one time or another had to learn, and re-learn, the importance of making time for self-care. As Audre Lorde reminds me daily from my phone’s home-screen: “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.”
Toni wanted to talk seriously with me about her concern that I was working too much. She felt I was allowing myself to become too isolated, that I needed to get out more, to socialize–to have more fun. We talked about the fun times we had shared. We talked about the place of pleasure in our lives. She wanted me to remember that pleasure is political–for the capacity to relax and play renews the spirit and makes it possible for us to come to the work of writing clearer, ready for the journey.
from remembered rapture: the writer at work, page 237