Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Joining the Picket Line

Yesterday, I did an interview with a Greek newspaper yesterday. The article was meant to be published tomorrow, but guess what?

Tomorrow, in Greece, the journalists are going on strike.

As some of you know, I'm currently writing a book. Not about what happened in Athens specifically, but about the year I spent in Europe, which of course Athens was a part of. Other, way happier stuff happened too, and while I've been working on the book for a couple of years, I'm now in the midst of tackling it full time, with the hopes of having it completed by Christmas.

But today, for whatever reason, when I heard about the journalists, I fell apart. Just cried and cried, like a little kid, sniffling and snotting and everything. Not about the journalists, you understand. Not about the story not being in the paper tomorrow. In fact, I don't really know about what. I think it's all just starting to catch up with me.

I'm exhausted. I am so, so tired of dealing with this. Tired of doing it day in, day out. Tired of not being able to just wake up in the morning, sit down, and do my work. Tired of having to hash and rehash the most horrible thing that's happened to me, and answer e-mails, and scan documents with my signature, and give my passport number and my father's name, and beg for answers. Tired of losing my appetite, and my hair. Tired of becoming more and more aware that I am dealing with a country that seems to have, on the whole, very little interest in justice.

Unfortunately, as a writer, I don't have access to stress leave. Which is why I've been trying to keep working, no matter how bad things get. But today, I've made the decision:

I'm on strike, too.

Just for the afternoon, but I reserve the right to continue on into tomorrow. As Charlie Brown would say, I just can't stand it anymore. No more answering the phone. No more e-mails or rehashing. If I had a sign, it would say "Piss off".

Although according to the laws of my union, I reserve the right to change that as the day progresses.

1 comment:

Dan said...

What a mess.

Oh Nat - thinking the necessary thoughts and having the inevitable and personal reactions I am - to this case, to this blog, to your book (your book!), to the wedding next year, to the delays and hassles, the near-harassment by the justice system, the striking and the calls from human rights groups - what can I call it but a big tangled mess?

You're right to go on strike, of course - right to take the time to lay it all out and figure out where you need to be, and where, and how. *Who* you need to be.

This is a good time to write.

Writing, for me anyway, offers access to a clear space, a whole space - that, and permission to step aside from the world of actual things and land squarely on the long winding trail of my own words. You make of your experience - whatever its nature - the raw material for the story you tell.

But you know all that - you're writing your book (which is so much more to you, I know, than just *a* book). That's the right place for you to be right now, I think. Not on a plane to Athens. Get on that plane on your terms - not those of a foreign justice system's unionized employees.

Dore and I are with you.