making the world (thank you to the women’s march)

i wrote visionary fiction for six hours today, taking breaks to watch the women’s march. watching the aerials, the masses, i am feeling so moved.

i intentionally chose to be out of the country writing my novel this month, it felt like the most radical and self-loving move for me.

i am surprised by how exciting the women’s march became, so much adaptation, so much responsiveness. it turns out to be a space where the most radical and most moderate of my loved ones were on common ground. with so much documentation available for those of us who aren’t there for whatever reason.

i remember organizing the us social forum in 2010, so much smaller in numbers but nearly two years of work at a local to national scale. i remember how hard it was within the process, trying to hold values, balance need, grow analysis and relationship. and how sometimes it didn’t feel like those outside the organizing process had compassion and/or respect for the work. the exhaustion of doing all that work and also having to push against that impatience produced a heartache in me that took a long time to pass. the process viscerally changed where i was willing to put my organizing heart.

i can only imagine that that is magnified a gazillion degrees with this march. much less time to organize, overt adaptations of leadership, message, even need along the way. i want to send the women who galvanized all these people several standing ovations, for what you did, for however you pulled it off, and for how it has and will change and shape you. i want you to know i and so many others see you, applaud the work, applaud the transformation, and will make sure to provide pathways into existing work for the masses and masses you inspired to move.

when i had written a chapter to satisfaction, i went in the ocean for a bit, and i met this octopus.

i know, they are so amazing.

so while we sort of intertwined limbs i was chatting with this octopus about what it was like to be in the ocean and know how amazing and powerful it is, and then have new people show up all the time who don’t even know how to swim or breathe underwater, who may not even see you there. and they bring what they think are new ideas of the sea, feel its vast force for the first time, and bring new tools and structures and messes.

the octopus, i’ll call it pussy for shits and giggles, took some time to answer, so long i almost forgot questions could have answers. then it said this poem to me, called ‘how to welcome’:

oh you came!

you came to make the world
i am so glad you are here
this is your house too you know

as you can see it is a mess
i would apologize, but such a mess
took many peoples’ forgetting, even yours

it needs all of us
sweeping up detritus, mending reef
singing ink into the cold depths

listening to the waves and whale mantras
even though we have been divided many times
even though we have lost the words

we get still, listening for a way,
and then a next way
relinquishing the idea that there is one way

some of us were born here, in this mess
we have been making the world since forever
and before that and before

my mother makes the world with love
my grandmothers season it with sacrifices
my great grandmothers keep its secrets

now you, bright minded free bodied
vulgar, tender, honest humans
ancient and pulsing still with desire

tired of effort, who can’t yet turn away
and the so-young humans, just beginning
and the babies, rooting the masses in future

yes! you came!

i see you humans on the edge of your hearts
who love the world but cannot admit it
who seem to learn by destruction, consumption

you are welcome (even though)
we have needed you and needed you
you are welcome (even now)

you came, and we hope you never leave

we are the creatures who have learned
how to live beyond caring
what others think of our freedoms

we are the wild ones who will not relinquish
any of our sentience,
and we are making the world

from this place, this day, abundant paths
unfurl in many million directions. we say:
tend the ones that call you, all of it is ours

again, and again: welcome!
may your first taste change your life
for the making goes on and ever onwards

and tomorrow is our blessing


i thanked the octopus.

and i thank everyone in the streets today, and everyone behind the scenes learning how we do this together, again and again.