Migraine and Politics

Friday August 31, 2007

One of my best friends gets these horrible debilitating migraines on a very regular basis which she endures rather bravely. Today I felt that I must have borrowed her head, I simply woke up in a deplorable state of having a nagging headache, and I will not take medication unless I am in a state that I can not even call for help, much less when I can still walk around.

I have drank water, eaten lightly, drank coffee, and more water, and so far nothing seems to help, this is as persistent and nagging an headache as I have ever had, but frankly I have no clue as to it being a migraine since I really have no experience with those. But then I have a rather high threshold for pain, and I am starting to suspect that I know how to get rid of this pain without recourse to exogenous chemicals. I did train Aikido for three hours yesterday, but I am feeling that my body is aching for even more movement. This morning I also woke up from a nightmare, and its contents weight heavy on my mind.

But what about politics? Uhm..

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I am having an interesting affair with all that one calls politics. For somebody who has loudly claimed to have no political ambitions and then decided of her own volition to serve in a city parliament, wonderland has opened its doors. Yes it is my curiosity that is driving me, and what I am discovering is that being an actor, opposed to a spectator or voting citizen, gives me a totally different perspective on how this city and this society actually works, governs itself and interfaces.

Today I had cancelled Aikido training because there was a reception at the Erlacherhof that I was invited to and that for some odd reason I wanted to attend. Now the Erlacherhof is a place that I have entered on a few occasions having lived for over eight years just a few house numbers away from it, and it is in itself a building worth having a look at, but what got me there today was – you guessed it – curiosity. I wanted to know who was attending, I wanted to watch the people, and I wanted to just observe the whole. Clearly not much of a public agenda. Did I also have an hidden agenda?

I spend most of the time in a rather interesting conversation about one part of Berne that I find fascinating – Bümpliz and the whole of what is charmingly called City West – with two people whom I already knew. There were a couple more faces that I knew, but for the major part all wonderful people whom I had no clue as to where they were coming from. There I bumped into Karin Schorer the president of my party’s women’s city section. Karin is a fantastic woman and I have great admiration for her work and enthusiasm. You also all know that I am not a feminist, and that my approach to gender is anything but orthodox. Still, without Karin’s work and as far as I understand it I would most likely not be seating in that seat in parliament today. Still this feels as odd as anything can feel since I have a passion for causes and values, but not for those involving gender. Yet each time that elections approach, the same issue returns for our party, and that is, what choice to give the voters. Will it be two lists, one with men and another with women, or just one list with both men and women?

Karin and I left the Erlacherhof together and went for a coffee and a chat around the corner at the Blue Cat. We exchanged notes on several experiences and views on a few issues ranging from our children, health, garbage, the party… While at the Blue Cat we bumped into another party colleague and once more, more chitchat about the issues and the people of our city. I am left thinking about this bit of politics and Politics. You know, the little-p-politics and the big-capital-P-Politics. Frankly I do not think that the former is anything political, just social psychology and normal human interaction called the game of life, power and influence from which the other Politics rises, like the phoenix from the ashes, or something along those lines. I am wondering what this is all about, and know that I better be ready to go public with my own values and convictions. Right now I am enjoying the honeymoon and observing people, traffic and events.

Life is a game, a wonderful game really. I am always stunned how very seriously we all take it. I have included myself in that we. Still, what I am discovering is the incredible amount of energy that it takes to actually run a city… and garbage is a big issue. Some people are starting to claim that Berne has the most expensive garbage in the world…

I can hardly wait for the sewage problems to hit me, but right now I just wish that this freaking headache would let go of me.