if you want to go far…

two days ago i got the news that my wage levy is lifted.

in january i was at a meeting and my bank card stopped working. i checked my accounts and all of my money had been withdrawn. by the irs. and they’d put a wage levy on me.

i asked for help, hired a company, and began to wait. and pray. and surrender. and change my relationship to money and value. and assess my financial landscape. and put this in perspective to other things of value. and recenter connection in my assessment of wealth. and lose mad sleep. and learn how to speak my financial situation aloud with my dignity intact. and pray to all the deities and cast all the spells.

i was a war tax resister for many years, and this is my punishment. i still deeply agree with the politics that led to this action, but i know now that i didn’t do it the right way. i acted as an individual, as if my singular act of rage should be respected, as if it could have meaningful impact on the systems of oppression that lead to the military spending i want to divest from.

it helped me sleep well at night, but it wasn’t tied into a collective strategy, a system of accountability around whether it was effective. someday i hope to be part of larger direct action efforts around debt and taxes, but from this struggle i have learned in a most personal way the importance of the collective. i am also interested in debt coverage as reparations in radical communities. more to come on this.

i am very grateful to the small massive circle that has held me down through this. i am challenged in asking for help, a basic human thing, so these are people who read between the lines, persisted, asked awkward questions, were generous with attention and resources, and countered my negative self talk while also encouraging my humility.

it will take me a while to integrate the lessons. moving through the financial-emotional roller coaster of this year has been humbling. i wanted to share this big lesson, that going as far as i am meant to go in this life will only happen with others, because it is so simple, hard and clear. and my gratitude for the lesson is overflowing.

the quiet hours

i love the quiet hours
pale beach or soft lamp light
i slow down until the sound can’t catch me
so slow you couldn’t see me
while they sleep without dreams
while they dream of being normal
i gather light from the stars
stars, you shine? light is time
time is light moving towards us
having let go already of that old life
or, each star is a life being lived
everything we see has happened, as it happens,
we reflect and plan, stars are
until they are not
we go dark some day
but a little bit every day will keep you humble and hungry for that quiet place
between the dark and the light
when it’s too beautiful to look
when no one answers
so you have to live with those thoughts
true. true. still.
maybe it will all get forgotten
maybe apocalypse is a chaos of memory
and if so, if so, why remember, anyway
only memories make a case for it
only the smallest snapshots
and really, only a handful, two
but the gift has no boundaries
spills through fingers
always unexpected, all that vicious feeling
we’re all accidents, walking,
late for purpose.
man, if we weren’t miracles.
i love the quiet hours
no cars pass, the walkers are silent
involved in secrets guided by their soft bellies
singing internal songs that cannot be translated
cannot be measured or placed in a rhythm
in the quiet we shift into freedom
a memory
a fantasy
a structure to our sentience
a longing that seems familiar
what we mean by love
you’re free, you make me feel free
not to run but to rest
not to get lost, but to stay found
not to root but to unfurl into the earth
not to reach but to remember
we have to ‘wait till the midnight hour’
that’s all we ever need to know

Detroit Summer Spell

yesterday i got the honor of spending some time with Detroit Summer on the last day of their programming.

the very first time i came to Detroit was to work with an earlier iteration of this incredible youth program. this year, alumni from those earlier years decided to run the program again. they invited me in to give some emergent strategy framing on the front end. i had each of the young people identify something in nature that aligned with their energy, something they wanted to bring to the summer of collaboration and creativity. they picked things like the playfulness of monkeys, the easy transition of beaches, the calming force of rain.

yesterday we started out by going around the circle and asking each young person what they had brought to the summer program. it is so important to understand that we shape everything we are a part of.

we then did a brief writing reflection: what did i bring to Detroit Summer, and what did i receive from Detroit Summer that i want to bring forward into my life.

i’m sharing this here because we all know about going off and having magical, transformative experiences and then returning to life and feeling like the magic gets swallowed by the mundane or stressful aspects of life.

from these reflections, they wrote brief spells: i use my power of ___(insert things you brought to the program)_____ in order to generate _____(insert things you received from the program)_______ in my life.

many of the spells involved using the power of humor, kindness, listening, calm, confidence in order to generate connection, community, happiness, belonging and creative work. i was impressed and inspired by the growth of relationships and sense of community between my first session with the young people and yesterday.

shout out to zena, jon and dakarai for taking this on and doing a beautiful job! Detroit Summer forever!

small reviews

this summer has been a series of close and distant struggles interspersed with a life of immense joy. here are some things i am enjoying:

Atlanta: The exploration of cool and uncool, making it and failing, safety and danger…this show goes so far and gives me a comfort in how uncomfortable and honest it’s willing to be.

Attack on Titan: Anime heaven. High drama, low logic, fly strange pacing, more questions than answers.

The Call podcast: great conversations with dope women. The lastest interview is with the homey Samhita!

High as Hope, new album from Florence and the Machine: I love how big and dramatic their music is in general. This album had lines that felt big, tender, and perfectly tuned to this moment in time. “oh/Jesus Christ/it hurts”, “grace/I know you carry us/grace/it was such a fucking mess/grace/I don’t say it enough/grace/this is the only thing I have any faith in”, “remind me that it’s such a wonderful thing to love”, “give me arms to pray with, instead of ones that hold too tightly”, “the loneliness never left me/I always took it with me/but I can put it down in the pleasure of your company”…and then these bits on the changing planet, changing climate, on safety, on morality, on surrender, that just feel perfectly timed, and perfectly sung. Florence gives me satisfaction in my Stevie Nicks place, epic witchy truth telling music. Florence sings in the scales of oceans and gods, both vocally and topically. She floods me with feeling.

The King is Always Above the People, stories from Daniel Alarçon: the homey has always written incredible stories and continues his legacy here, dancing in and out of his own history with touches of fiction and emotional, uncomfortable truths.

Lamp Lit Prose, new album from Dirty Projectors: I’m glad I listened to this album on a plane without distractions. Dirty Projectors is one of my favorite bands when I’m in a quirky soulful place. This album may be their most political to date, with songs about zombie apocalypse and “monsters eating their young” interwoven with dynamic and compelling love songs. They have lots of pretty sounds from their mouths, but continually choose to juxtapose those sounds creatively instead of resting in the beauty. They keep my attention.

M Archive, by Alexis Pauline Gumbs: AAAAAHHHHHH. I blurbed this book, and it’s only been out a couple months and I had to read it again because it’s that excellent. Visionary. Prophetic. Beautiful. Matter of fact. So good. Honest.

Pho, Ari Lennox: this is a sweet sexy album. lovely voice, cuddling lyrics.

Queen Sugar: I keep yelling Oh Shit at the screen when I’m watching this season. I love the ways they are adding layers to these characters.

Steven Universe, Vol 1: This show has amazing songs. This show is amazing. The degree to which people appreciate Steven Universe is a new measure for how much I can really like said people.

Scorpion, Drake: KIKI! There’s a lot of great music here. I felt personally invited into this album by the sample selections – Mariah, Lauryn, Big Freedia, MJ. He could use editing, but not because there’s bad stuff. There’s good stuff and great stuff, and he leaves a lot of that good stuff in, which keeps this from being a great album. My cut: Nonstop, Emotionless (that sample! that social media critique! line “hiding the world from my kid” line!), God’s Plan (he’s beefing at the level of karma), I’m Upset!, Sandra’s Rose (the beat is just rich and lovely), I’d There More (Drake on the edge of a meditation retreat), Peak, Summer Games (that 80s glamor shot space movie beat), Nice for What? (twerkfection – pleasure music for working women? yes, still on repeat), In My Feelings, Finesse, Ratchet Happy Birthday (I would just call it Drake Happy Birthday cause it’s not really ratchet), That’s How You Feel (I like the wordplay, the Nicki snippets, just the combative energy), Don’t Matter to Me, After Dark (I love all of this song, levels of love), Final Fantasy (bedroom threats) first half, March 14 (journal entries).

plus: seeing Janelle Monae in concert was great… her stepping into her queer sexy idol self is impressive and endearing.

plus: seeing The Carters in concert with my sisters was exquisite. I wasn’t sure how the narrative would land on me, but I was moved to tears and rooting for them and screaming and loved the surprises and the movie they made alongside the concert.

“kindness eases change” for real

dear aliens-unseen-and/or-beyondhumans-and-spirits/gods/deities-and-other-benevolent-entities-aware-of-this-planet,

it’s probably selfish to ask for your help. you may only know my planet from its space garbage or psychic toxicity. nonetheless, today would be a good day for some advice or intervention.

this morning i witnessed a white man screaming at a black man in detroit. i was preparing to give a brief talk, so i finished it with Octavia’s words, “kindness eases change”…how did she know this? and how do we practice this with those who are not practicing?

i was born in the US and in my lifetime it has not much improved as an experiment in coexistence. mostly it’s been this same type of black and white interaction, with different clothing on. there’s a constant turning away from each other, competing against each other, harming each other for complex reasons and then not growing beyond the harm.

our planet is gorgeous and fecund, but my species is swallowing everything with greed based consumption practices and crowding the biodiversity out of existence. and then we try and come together, sometimes the pressures of the world push us down until we explode.

i am thinking a lot about what kind of freedom is available for sentient beings, and, in a separate but connected part of me, wondering if sapience always has to move us away from freedom because something about being able to think leads to control behaviors. almost everyone i hear talking about freedom is simultaneously proposing an alternative system of control. perhaps we have strayed too far from freedom in our evolution, and it will take many generations to remember how to be wild.

how long is long enough? how long is too long? are we on time?

i’m sending this message to you through many minds, because my comrades and i do not have access to the space range communication devices on our planet. or confirmation of most things we would need to know to send this message to you, such as your existence. still, i write this, and others will read it and it will become a small part of collective consciousness. and i suspect that any species more evolved than us will have the capacity to know what the collective consciousness knows.

how do we get through this? how do we keep going when it’s really very hard and overwhelming?

there are many ways to look at history, one way is as a scroll of suffering. i wouldn’t want to live at a time before this, even though it’s all going to shit right now. perhaps it is my limited imagination, or my ego, which thinks i am more free than my ancestors were, more connected.

i am tired of the story of suffering, of being defined and sorted and gathered and deepened by shared suffering.

i am many kinds of people, and i want us all to get a cosmic, psychic, material break. i think we need a breath in between all the cancer and breakdowns and trauma and bad leadership and kidnapped children and racism and hatred.

i will speak for me, i need a break.

so how do we generate boundaries that don’t become borders? how do find the balance between the self and the collective – how do we learn how full our cups should be in order to have enough to share without getting empty, without constant spilling?

all i’m really saying is we’re tired, i’m tired and i often feel like that’s not allowed. but it’s for the whole species, i’m tired like a velociraptor.

how do we be tired and stagger ourselves and get humble and make our small offers valiantly and with joy? how do we grieve without losing sight of life?

how do we become a species worth keeping?

all answers welcome…i’m sure you aliens-unseen-and/or-beyondhumans-and-spirits/gods/deities-and-other-benevolent-entities-aware-of-this-planet will channel it back through human mouths and fingers and i am open to it, i need it.

thanks,
amb

star wars and summer

yesterday i went to the star wars costume exhibit at the detroit institute of the arts and i highly recommend it. i would tell you all about it but it’s actually important, as a fan, to say that the best part was just standing close to the actual things that they wore, to just feel the force in all of these small items, to look at the puppets and the wool and the dresses and say thanks for shaping me. so go if you can, it’s up until september!

this summer i am writing a ton of things and may not be able to post too often. i am really learning about my introvert nature this year, the place in me that just needs quiet time. i am naming it here and with loved ones because i have no intention to let people down or be anti-social. i am actually with people so deeply, i am in the most nourishing intimacies i have ever experienced. this period of my life is all about staying available to something much larger than myself, and staying quiet enough to hear it.

but i do want to encourage people to:

– rest whenever you can, deeply and well. act as if you can store up sleep and you need as much stored up as you can get.

– reflect on what the longest-term commitments of your life are, and see if you need to make any adaptations in order to actually center those commitments in your daily life. don’t put it off, don’t wait on answering your calling.

– have a summer that feels like a pleasure and a celebration as an act of resistance against an administration that seems to want to break us with misery. tap into childhood fun self, get a kids swimming pool even if you’re an adult, count lightning bugs, watch sunsets, make out in summer rainstorms, go someplace you have never been, even if it’s in your same town, eat ice cream, wear booty shorts, cultivate your joy.

<3

civility and small resistance

I said this on Twitter:

“things to never be civil about: concentration camps, genocide, white supremacy, misogyny, harm to children, mass trauma, state violence, rising fascism.”

things that people wanted to add:

bans on Muslims or other people
attacks on women’s rights over their bodies
partner/domestic violence
state killings of citizens
stolen/corrupted elections
harm to lgbtq youth

conservative responses included:
calling me fat, saying I had a booger in my nose, telling me that none of the things I mentioned are happening, and that not being civil equals screaming and/or hate, and that liberalism is the cause.

that last point might be worth considering.

when people say none of these things are happening, in spite of photos, footage and testimony from the border, it reminds me how important it is to find trustworthy sources of information. I have the New York Times and Washington Post, The Guardian, BBC and Al-Jazeera on my phone. I look for what shows up consistently across those sites. I use them to back up claims that people make on social media. I also trust people to tell their stories, and trust organizers to develop campaigns rooted in transforming real conditions.

the main thing I want to expand on is what civil means. the definition of civil is ordinary, courteous and polite. being civil is how we create a sense of normalcy in the world across different cultures and opinions. when we see injustice happening and we remain civil, we are part of normalizing the harm, and we become complicit in things we would never openly claim to be for.

disrupting is not acting from hate. in my life the bravery to risk disrupting the norm has always been rooted in a deep love of community, of family, of humanity, of this planet. it is being willing to seek the truth, to speak the facts, to question laws that allow or encourage harm.

when those with power are doing inhumane, or anti-planet things, our choice to be disruptive, to be impolite, is one of the ways we wage small resistance that can be become mass resistance and large scale cultural and political transformation. we have learned this from ancestors in our lineages who helped expose and break massive systems like chattel slavery, or holocaust genocide.

small resistance historically has looked like a wrench in the gears, a slowing things down, a rancid ingredient in master’s food, enslaved people teaching each other to read and write, letting a fugitive sleep in your basement, learning how to give each other reproductive care, slipping each other cannabis for medicine.

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small resistance these days looks like turning people who are supporting and promoting racist, transphobic and inhumane policies away from your door. it looks like stopping next to police cars that have pulled people over and watching or filming them until the person stopped is allowed to leave. it looks like naming -isms and -phobias in real time and learning together. it looks like local direct actions at the homes of congresspeople who make decisions that harm humans or the planet.

the forces we are up against are so massive that it can be overwhelming to contemplate getting to freedom, having just governance, feeling something other than shame about the decisions of this country. but each of us has the power every day to disrupt the normalization of violence and othering, to hold out for higher standards of humanity. and sometimes it’s as small as saying no, you shall not sit here and have a normal meal while children scream for their parents as a result of your work.

abolition spell (summer solstice)

on this day of the longest light, i turned to the i ching for some summer solstice wisdom, something to guide me, guide us, through this challenging season.

i cast coins and got ‘the taming power of the small’ hexagram – i have been feeling overwhelmed and terrified and wanting something massive as a response to the current news. all the more strategic people around me point to the small and steady steps we must take together. their words and this hexagram humble me. i forget that small is all.

Screenshot 2018-06-21 20.49.31

i am a baby witch, learning to trust all the data i can see, cast, feel, read. and learning to protect and wield my power, to direct my intentions.

but i am a full grown abolitionist. at this moment, abolition is a crucial, non-negotiable stance for those who want to see a different world.

abolition is the act of abolishing an oppressive system. when slavery was the law of the land, there was an abolitionist movement. slavery became technically illegal, but in practice it morphed into the modern prison system, and is the primary way to understand what is happening with immigrant families at our borders now – they are dehumanized, families separate or together, in cages.

since this nation was brutally established on other people’s land, we have been and continue to be a nation addicted to cages, seemingly unable to imagine what it would be like to actually live with freedom as our guiding principle. and with a system as pervasive as our prison system, funded by wealthy corporate interests (wealthy because we buy what they sell) and/or direct taxpayer dollars, we must understand that we are either abolitionists or complicit jailers (or, if the irs has us by the neck, both).

i signed up with mijente for their call to action, and donated to raices for reuniting families. i am also supporting a member of my own community who was recently separated from her newborn in prison, siwatu-salama ra, and invite you to join me.

the other small thing i can offer is an abolition spell, for siwatu, for the babies at the border, for their families, for all political prisoners, for all nonviolent offenders, for all those who have caused harm and are not being helped to find a different way.

..

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all that is light
break bars between teeth
grind bricks down to dust
explode a sunscale life force
in each direction
until the cages shed like dead skin

brief steamy night
slip through the cracks like rain
nourish the soil, the parents who cannot hear their children tonight
and in the dreams of the babies
let them be held
so they know to keep growing

sun sun sun
let them grow up strong, one tree,
two trees, forests that break the foundations of slave culture
burst the seams of prison walls
find home beyond the trauma of this night

all that is light
beam into the hearts of parents
who would ever let a child,
any child,
scream in terror where they came for safety
find the crack in the spirit and
fill it with gold

all that is darkness
abolish ICE
abolish slavery
abolish prisons
abolish borders
abolish colonialism
abolish our addiction to punishing everyone who needs healing

solstice come
solstice go
solstice come
solstice go

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amc2018 report back (satisfaction, titillation, saturation)

the 20th anniversary of the allied media conference was a magical abundant beautiful gathering.

i proposed three sessions that were accepted, was invited to be part of a fourth session, helped organize a network gathering, hosted the closing ceremony, and was spontaneously invited to speak at the two other sessions i attended. i also partied every night for the first time in years. the result is that my brain, body and spirit were fully engaged and i feel spent and nourished…and somewhat over exposed. next year i am going to work on being more of a listener.

here are some highlights from the weekend:

on thursday we had our first ever ‘facilitation for liberation’ gathering, hosted by aorta, baby azadeh, maryse mitchell-brody, and the emergent strategy ideation institute (which is mostly me for now, with seeds planted for growth). it was a room full of some of the hardest working movement facilitators alive today. we put our attention on connecting, relationships, meaningful conversations and getting clearer on our commitments. there will be a zine produced from the gathering, and we’re dreaming about where we go from here.

on friday i started the day at the plenary on ending sexual and gender based violence and it was incredibly powerful, really landing how crucial telling our true stories is to shifting the culture of rape, harm and incarceration.

that day i got my hair dyed bright pink in my commitment to being a weird mermaid gem all the time.

i caught part two of autumn and maryse’s facilitation training and was invited to be on their panel about facilitation magic with movement elder erika thorn and durham movement mama manju ranjendran. they both broke it down – erika putting us into touch with how tiny we are in the vast arc of time, and how most of that time has not been ruled by patriarchy – that her magic . manju spoke on how her perfect dimpled baby is her cofacilitator and creates magic.

i spoke on how i realized i had facilitation magic after a bidet accident that left me soaking wet, facilitating a closing circle for a group of reproductive justice activists – and they still trusted me! i shared that the primary condition for my magic to work is willingness in the participants. if they are willing, almost anything can happen. and for some reason we had to sing destiny’s child’s hit ‘say my name’.

the friday night opening ceremony highlights included a performative unveiling of hosts una and aya, mad amc babies on video and on stage reflecting the growth of the conference, halima and sage inviting our grief, baby nzinga asleep on halima’s back, rv mendoza’s performance, a brief and powerful conversation between tarana burke and mariame kaba. and the fashions of jenny and nadine.

that night i went to asadullah’s epic annual queer house party, themed ‘we out here’, spun by dj rimarkable. i wore a white crop top and leggings, and felt excellent, receiving the peak compliment that i looked delicious.

on saturday morning, my homey chandra came from phoenix to take my headshot for the spiritual resilience fellowship. she made me feel such ease.

then i rushed to catch the rebel alliance to wakanda session which was held by manju, makani themba, kai green, and terry marshall, with sterling toles and jenna peters-golden creating art.

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autumn was supposed to be on this panel, but it was at the same time as the healing justice lineages session, and autumn is a major part of that amc history. to my delight i was invited to be her replacement. here are the notes i shared on star wars (most everyone else focused on black panther):

jedi is actually an accessible state of being – its not about lineage but about humbling self to the force and practicing
– ref: anakin, rei, boy with broom

relationships matter, the collective matters, no matter how special you are
– rose and finn (from starstruck to accountability)
– basically all of rogue one…play your position, be part of a collective body learning
– how jedi get taught to stay humble – luke, obi, anakin…rei is the first humble student we see. even with the force you are vulnerable to ego.

relationship/alliance doesn’t require sameness of culture or values, but a shared purpose/commitment to life. the rebel alliance is made up of so many different kinds of cultures and systems, different agendas. but they are all committed to life, which is more than i can say for the US ruling elite. and that commitment to life has to sustain us and guide our choices even if we aren’t together.
– reference: every rebel alliance convergence, yoda’s solitary life, paige’s bomb dropping death

the dark side is in all of us. don’t give up or ignore it – don’t stop fighting it in yourself or others’. learn what it needs to teach us about balance, and fight the behaviors, but believe in the people.
– reference: luke and darth vader, rei and kylo ren.

later on saturday, autumn and i recorded the first ever live episode of our podcast, how to survive the end of the world. our producer, zak, already turned it into a real show! it was so fun to do!

then i dashed to the space where emergent strategy spells was scheduled to happen, but the room was too small, so the amazing conference organizer figured out a solution on the spot and we all flowed back to the room where the podcast had been.

for emergent strategy spells i shared how i was thinking of DNA, which appears, in two dimensions, to flow through a narrow crossing and open out to be inclusive. in the same way, we need our magic internally, at the small scale, at the intersections, and as far out as we can imagine.

the structure of the spells we worked on:

i/we claim the power of (insert something that is a place of weakness or shame for you; example: my big fat arms)

i/we embrace my/our (insert what that place represents; example: my vast massive body)

with this power/gift i/we can (insert things this gift or power offers you; example: hold my nibblings, comfort my friends, rest with my lovers, have strong boundaries)

i/we plant the seed of (insert a radical act or practice you can’t currently do consistently, but wish to do, related to your gift/power; example: loving my body without exceptions) for my/our liberation.

after working on individual spells and sharing them in pairs or trios, participants formed small groups. these groups were each microcosms of movement. they shared their personal spells and crafted a collective spell based on intersecting needs. the primary words in the resulting collective spells were vulnerability, authenticity, love, interdependence, pleasure and liberation.

on saturday night i wore a sequined jumpsuit and twerked on various vehicles.

on sunday i hosted the first pleasure activism workshop. we listened to audre lorde’s ‘uses of the erotic’ – it was incredible to hear her voice fill up an auditorium. we generated questions on the text, the ideas, in small groups. each group then passed one of their questions to a nearby group and received a question from another. each group took their new question and created a workshop activity to explore the question. these activities will become a digital zine to go with the release of the pleasure activism book this fall. i then shared some ideas from the book – i know i’m excited by these ideas because i got lost in them and ran out of time.

i then got to be in conversation with mariame kaba on abolition and education. she taught us so much – words from danielle sered that ‘when someone causes harm, that is never the first violence they have experienced.’ mariame taught us that for her, transformative justice is how you want someone to treat you when you lose your shit. she was just brilliant, and the questions were big ones.

from there i got to watch the closing plenary from backstage, titillated by the speakers’ work on large screen, una and michi, ricardo, francesca – all people i have respected for a while.

the closing ceremony was a bit of a dream. i am grateful that i have been able to be part of the experiment of the amc, part of the history and the present.

i felt bittersweet at the closing, because as thrilling as it was to do all the things, i also know i must find a way to take up less space in that incredible home. it’s changed so much, for everyone, for me. i feel part of that, a distraction in that, grown up by that, moved by that.

and i am excited to be behind the scenes more in coming years.

i ended the conference tipsy at the cass cafe with djs nandi, meow and just beige. my name-twin nibbling adrian was my dance partner and was so fun to teach and learn from. got to have some great conversations. i was not planning to dance. i danced for hours. i wore my new birkenstocks and they were surprisingly good for dancing. it took a full day of elevated knees to get back to my normal grade arthritis pain, and it was worth it.

the conference gives me hope that we will find and uplift solutions to our impossible problems. i am wide open to the grief this moment requires, the letting go of any lingering nationalist supremacy. and i believe the magic and practicality we practiced at the conference will help us in ways we can’t currently imagine.

allied media conference 2018 closing ceremony spell

we made it y’all! 20 years of transformation and love and learning by living into it all together, experimenting for liberation.

we are the seeds of future freedoms, future value systems, future mythologies. this weekend we have been wild dandelion seeds filling the air, searching again for places to root, land and become multitudes. we do not long to be cut flowers, beautiful and temporary. we long to be rooted plants that move with the cycle of life.

we have found paths here, in workshops, in this auditorium, in healing circles and spaces, in kid spaces, self-organized spaces, and all over the dance floor.

at 20 years we can feel ourselves pressing at the seams of this container, on the edge of our next growth spurt. it is time to plant the seeds of our next twenty years.

and, inspired by our musical guest video 7, what if we knew we couldn’t be held down? what if we planted that way – as if we are inevitable? how do we cast spells together that way?

let’s learn, let’s practice. let’s cast a spell for the next twenty years, from now through 2038.

how old are you?
what is the world like?
what is this community centered around?
what climate shifts have happened – are we at war? at peace?
is the amc still in detroit?
is detroit still detroit?

what we will see in 20 years is what we shape. right now let’s shape the future, repeat after me.

we claim the power
of our outrageous grief
our righteous anger
our responsibility for our precious lives
our interconnected individual and collective joy
and our impossible magic

we embrace our edges
that they may teach us to grow
in right relationship to the living world
our human messiness
our weird and brilliant wonders
we know how to be
in so many incredible ways

with these gifts we can
foment a revolutionary now
that centers love, care, needs
creativity and magic

we plant the seeds of radical honesty
vulnerability, authenticity
and the kindness that eases inevitable change

we will not settle!
we will grow weirder and wilder
more interdependent
for our liberation
for our liberation
for our liberation!

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closing invitation:

lila cabbil invites all of us as media makers to help us share the story of our water crisis in Detroit and Flint. help us through the blackout. visit affordablewaternow.org

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going away present! robin at flaming idols made us candles! our candle blessing:

we are each other’s seeds
we are each other’s soil
we are each other’s rain
we are each other’s light

the 20th annual allied media conference is complete!