Author Archive for Adrienne

the steps from queen to goddess

from marvin k. white:

Let me just go head and play fast and loose with a pop theology. A Beyoncéan Theology, if you will. There is no time for overthinking Beyoncé’s performance. It happened. She slayed and the power of a pop hermeneutics of suspicion, stay with me(and this whiskey)… shows Beyoncé offering her body on the last supper table. She took the seat at the head of the table. She made it a birthing chair. She said, do not only remember his dying, but the circumstances of his birth. Remember who he came through. There is no salvation without women. Do you remember being born? Do you remember the last time you were hungry? Do you remember the last time you thought your last supper was your last? Do you remember any last thing, getting on my last nerve, or this, the last time we decide the contributions of and the healing of and the remembering of women’s powers, happens on that table. She asks, if you want to know where women were in the meal, they probably prepared it. Actually, her performance reimagines the foretelling of Christ’s pending death and resurrection, reimagines his impending slaying of life and death. Her performance speaks of the incarnation, not as God becoming a man, but as God becoming a uterus, becoming a woman to give birth to the God self. Beyoncé puts the story, not in the mouths of men gorging themselves off of the fixings of women, hanging on every cross word coming out of Jesus’ mouth, and not on bread and wine, but puts the story, a new account of the gospels, a new Eucharist, in the mouths of women. A Beyoncéan institution of the fellowship table, makes the claim that Jesus was saying, “This is no longer about me. Its about my mama. This is about women knowing that under patriarchy, there is never the last supper. Do this in memory of the Mother God, the one who all life comes through. Beyond bread and wine, remember the birth and the afterbirth.”

#EvenAdeleWorshipsAtTheBeyoncéanTemple

#IDidAShotEveryTimeAdeleThankedBeyoncé

#AndThenTheBeyoncéanMiracleTwoWhiteWomenWishedThatBeyoncéWasTheirMother

#TheologicalSlay

she is winning at goddessing.

she is showing what healing and healed look like.

and i’m not mad at adele. she sang! she’s great. there’s no category for something like lemonade.

i spent the weekend feeling into god. this performance felt like a kiss on the belly. we grow beyond the current container, we heal and it is glorious.

no aspect of this system can comprehend what we’re creating.

let us become enough

(god is change)

you cannot god alone
you alone are not enough to grow the world

lonely men
are why the world is wounded

god is a multitude
of yes, of you
you were born worthy of belonging
born precious

so were all of our enemies

who has forgotten
their godselves?

when people are being hunted
your singular sacred body
is not sanctuary enough
not blockade enough

you think you are so big
come here, into the ocean
feel? how small you are?

when people are being hunted
it takes every small body
answering the call of the moon
to eclipse the searchlights
to block the doors
to unveil the pathway home

but home is not enough

if bullets can puncture them
if fists can fill them
if they cannot protect the families inside
then even walls don’t matter

your body must become tunnel
our bodies: an earthen web of liberation
arteries of life that cross
boundaries of bone
forward lit only by song
through the safety of darkness
from blood cells shaped
by prayer

but prayer is not enough
if you cast the line away
from your own heart
with private whispers
saying please please please

our prayer:

let us flood each other
with strength and courage
let us become the miracle
right now
fill this breath with our godselves
let us honor our ancestors as we become them
stand with ghost warriors
and weaponized dreams
be the future in the face of the past
change the vast world
with our ferocious and beautiful longing
for freedom

let us
become
enough

now we can

I remember one time I was talking about how capitalism was failing and classmate-friend-teacher-organizer Mia Herndon said “capitalism is working exactly as it is meant to. in competition and constant growth, those who don’t compete, or who compete less viciously, suffer, serve and struggle.”

now it feels to some people like America is failing, like the people who said “make America great again” are confused. but this is the trajectory of nation states, of borders and white supremacy. deepening our anti-capitalist and post-nationalist analyses will help make this moment an opportunity.

also, saying “I told you so” in any way is tacky and diminishes the speaker, because saying is not enough if we don’t effectively organize to make our visions palpable and our strategies collective. so we knew “make America great again”, when uttered by white supremacists, was not harkening the racism of the 1980s, or even 1950s, but the era of chattel slavery that preceded and seeded our current prison system. we may have done our very best, but we did not organize effectively enough to have the power to stop this moment.

but now we can. this moment is our ledge, or choice point. we are as free as we choose to be. (baldwin)

now we can put a moratorium on shading and attacking other factions of movement on the internet (or in meetings, or with funders) and either choose to collaborate or ignore other efforts while still counting them as part of our own resistance momentum.

now we can look at each person, regardless of background or experience, as a potential comrade (butler) and figure out how we must transform ourselves to transform the dynamic (boggs) in the name of liberation. i have been practicing this in cabs – i’ve had three transformative conversations with drivers in the last three days – people just need one suggestion, one encouragement to question everything.

now we must look within ourselves and ask what actions we are willing to take, what interventions we are capable of, if we can will ourselves into honest conversations, if we believe in our visions enough to step towards them, if we are brave enough to assert the future we require and to shape it.

the other option is to survive for a while, pointing at the very sharp thing aimed at our hearts and getting closer by the minute.

adapt! dodge, weave, learn from the L, slip out of your ego, hold each other, scream the truth and keep moving towards life. everything is going fine in this realization of someone else’s imagination. but we dream another world, and we make it come true.

confederacy

weep, and become more intentional about building shared ideas of the present and future with your friends, neighbors and family. talk in more depth at the intersections of ideas – relinquish right and wrong, listen, argue and understand each other.

rage, and donate/join a local group that is organizing people to determine their collective longing and exercise their collective power. focus on those led by Black, Arab, immigrant and indigenous community members.

share the news with sad/angry faces, and download signal and whatsapp (and adapt to best options as the landscape shifts beneath our fingers).

ridicule the victors, and then remember that they and all their grandchildren will rely on this planet, and science, as much as anyone else. we have to make sure what we know to practice outlives their spiritual foolishness. #nodapl, listen to and invest in the people still in touch with our original relationship to this planet.

grieve the narrative of America that has kept you from hearing about the civil war until this moment, and then get your hands dirty bending the arc of the world towards justice.

#resist
#persist
#create
#adapt
#revolt
#liberate
#transform
#evolve

my body is a spell i’m casting

because this is an unfree world;
because it is sandra brand’s birthday;
because change is happening so quickly;
because i need armor;
because i have lived and loved these words for so long;
because i needed to feel a black queer woman make a mark on me;
because there is pain i can endure;
because the idea made me feel more of myself:

i got two tattoos, spells from ancestors in my lineage of liberation creativity, this evening.

on my right arm, camus says: the only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion.

on my left arm, octavia says: all that you touch you change, all that you change changes you, the only lasting truth is change, god is change.

my body is a spell i’m casting towards everything i long for, towards being so absolutely free, towards being a divine and willing force of change that builds the absolute freedom of all beings – freedom from hatred, inferiority, violence, regression, stagnation and facism. freedom to cocreate a society worthy of a miraculous world, freedom to love and change the world always towards joy and interdependence. freedom to live days full of good news and togetherness. freedom to learn to be sentient and be an essential fragment of something so vast and glorious i can never conprehend it. freedom to be special and humble. freedom to move beyond paradigms of winning, losing, reforming and surviving – to move towards life and more life.

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the letters are written in my own hand with the intention of being worthy of wearing them. with deep gratitude to vanessa reynolds for being a calm presence and sure hand in this work.

<3

living through the unveiling

things are not getting worse, they are getting uncovered. we must hold each other tight and continue to pull back the veil.

people have been detained at our borders, people are being deported, people are being sent away from the US. we are making plans with the people we love about what to do in case they get stuck outside these borders or sucked out of these borders.

there are white supremacists, overt white nationalists, in office at the federal level, people who don’t hide their feelings of supremacy.

there are climate change deniers, people who seem to think what we do has no impact on the earth, being appointed to have oversight of our US relationship to the earth.

people with no experience or even apparent concern about the majority of human beings are being appointed to oversee how we are educated, how we are housed, everything about how we live.

it certainly feels like this is worse than what we have been experiencing from our federal government. i say feels like because, as a radical, i am not certain that that’s true. In fact, i’m pretty sure that it’s not true.

at no point in my adult life have I seen the government make the necessary decisions about climate, take real leadership to turn and face the changes we have to make in order to survive. everything has been woefully incremental. we have been facing climate apocalypse for some time now.

police, and military, are, and have been, armed racial profilers filling modern day slave cages, upholding imperialist lines of power. black people have been in the streets saying we are not paranoid and we are not criminals – there’s something rotten in this nation. indigenous water protectors have been telling us there’s something rotten in this nation. our comrades in the global south, in Muslim nations, all over Latin America have been telling us there’s something rotten in this nation.

our history is bloody with governments who have faced our interventions, whose borders have moved, whose people have died if we didn’t like how they looked, how they prayed, if they didn’t want to support our economic interests over their own.

our borders are littered with the bones of those who were not only not welcomed, but hunted down by militia, left with no water in the desert. in most cases, those people have come from the same places that our interventions destabilized.

and I live in Detroit, where we have lived under emergency management for years. in the corruption of the city we have seen overwhelming displacement and overwhelming denial of services to people who are just trying to live, raise children, be a part of this place.

so why, now, does it feel like this?

why can’t we sleep, why are we in extreme patterns of drinking, smoking and numbing? why are so many of us in pain as our bodies try to keep up with the news? why are so many of us in a panic all day every day (and those that aren’t sound like they are in denial or rocking unearned hubris)?

perhaps the number one privilege of being an American is our narrative. we have a story that covers all of our wretched behavior, that makes us exceptional regardless of what we do. we’ve gotten lost in that story. we have believed that the beautiful princess wanted us for our virility, the apple was a nutritious offer from a frenemy, Oz was a magical city and that we are a benevolent, caring nation that really loves all of our differences, our democracy, our global nature. that we were almost there, to that place where we can know we are better than this.

as a nation we have quietly turned away from any numbers that seemed to make a counter argument about what we were up to – the suicide rates of trans people, the number of bodies along our southern border, the increasing rate of C-sections, sterilization and fibroids amongst women of color and poor women, the length of the existing wall, the number of people killed by our drones, the percentage of black people in prisons, the pace at which people of color are murdered by the state, the rising heat and ocean levels during this golden age of global warming. and so much more.

those of us who have shouted these numbers out, who have taken action in order to raise the attention of this country, have been called uncouth, negative, hyperbolic.

and we have been working in silos, each of us digging deep down into our own particular issues, our own particular numbers and making a case for why there’s a crisis.

so, what feels new is the unveiling; the heaviness is the increasing weight of the truth becoming undeniable as more people believe it.

right now, more and more of the truth of this country at this time is visible, left naked, made obvious. not only are each of us right about the particular crisis we have been holding, but others coming up out of their silos are right too – and the intersecting crises are massive.

now that it is plain to see that we are up against white supremacists whose plan for survival seems to be eliminating the majority of us, we no longer have the luxury of pretending we can change their minds with logic, or survive the pendulum swing of universal survival issues made partisan.

we have to be willing to engage in radical resistance and radical futuring.

because people are looking at us like, well, you were right, now what do we do?

we must increase our collective tolerance for truth. this means we must learn how to hold the full breadth of emotions we feel upon hearing the truth, and to keep listening, changing, taking action, learning. we must be willing to look at what actually needs to happen to address the truth.

we must deepen our connections to each other. there is no way the majority of us will survive this time if we continue working in isolation or in competition. we must meet at the intersections and lovingly figure out how to be in right relationship. we need the largest, and most authentic, collaborative efforts for justice and liberation that have ever been witnessed on this planet.

we must take the risk of leading. we must be willing to assert the solutions we believe in, to experiment with alternative ways of being human on this planet at this time. we must be willing to try out post-normative paths, we must be willing to say unpopular things.

we must divest. i am still trying to figure out what this looks like in real time. i know part of it is boycotts and buycotts and I am excited to see the lists of places we can stop putting our money and where to redirect it already moving around the internet. i know part of it is really being willing to stop financially supporting all of these things we so viscerally disagree with (#alternativetaxes).

i also think we need to learn to divest our attention from the circus in DC. i do not mean to ignore it or to escape it, but it’s not going to work to continue to spend the majority of our hours saying what the fuck what the fuck what the fuck to what’s coming out of DC.

i am grateful for those who have focused on tracking our resistance and our victories, that is really helpful. we must figure out how to get the information we need from the dying, antiquated present-day systems, and use it to continue doing the most radical work possible. we must put the majority of our attention where it can grow the next world.

not only are we the ones we have been waiting for, but this is the exact moment we have been shaped for. and even though it came so quickly, it has actually taken forever. but here we are, in this moment, the present moment, naked and messy and visible right down to our roots.

the veil never hid us from others, it only ever hid us from ourselves. now that more of us can see who we truly are, we must begin/continue to move towards who we truly want and need to be in order to sustain human life on this planet.

liberation is no small task – it is appropriately daunting for miraculous beings. it is a gift, to be given such undeniable purpose, such immense odds. hold each other tight, and let’s do this work.

boundaries and borders

i have been thinking a lot about borders and boundaries. borders are unnatural lines imposed by humans on lands, in bodies of water that taste like tears, between each other, used to justify all manner of destruction. for borders, you will let grandmothers and babies die.

but boundaries? to survive the onslaught of horrible news i am weeping daily, i am feeling my despair and continuing to write and work and be radical and advance radical ideas with everyone i love, everyone i meet. and i know i must have boundaries around my time and attention as i learn to live in this reality and keep adapting and moving towards liberation.

how do you survive the future when it comes without air, frantic, wrong headed?

learn the difference between boundaries and borders.

like so:

boundary 1.
we need a universe between you and life

you harm us
you say our miracle
is less than yours

i know you do not believe it
you are obsessed with our magic
and you cannot contain us

border 1.
there is no separation
between in breath and out
in tide and out
sun coming up and then giving in to night

but you want to build a wall

border 2.
you exploded my life

but when i brought my babies to your door
you would not answer
because i call god by another name

this shows me
you cannot comprehend god

boundary 2.
i need to turn off the flood
but i do not know how
when i look away it doesn’t stop
when i face it
i can’t breathe for raging
i need lung flesh, a brand new liver and snake skin
i need, every day, dry land

boundary 3.
you want to take everything
and be safe
you only think of now
we cannot have you here
while we speak of tomorrow

border 3.
we think we are free
that is why we let you build walls around us

boundary 4.
we are supposed to be ready for this moment
prepared by our ancestors
but they learned to live in the living
and so will we

testing the abundant nature of love
we pull the edges of our hearts so thin
trying to cover the world
from you

border 4.
this is a lie
it isn’t in the soil
it isn’t in the river
it isn’t in our blood
this is unnatural

border 5.
i am made of words
but if paper is how you police us
i say burn it all

boundary 5.
we are made of spirit
we are made of light
when you pummel us, we heal everyone
when you tear us open,
we show everyone
the way to freedom

baby rebellions and alternative taxes

when my six year old nibbling Siobhán learned the election results, she kicked a fluffy chair.

yesterday she and Finn did their first direct action, shutting down a bridge to protest pipelines. she shared this incident of the fluffy chair and it sounds like she says fucking chair which, for me, was medicinal.

IMG_2530 (pic from Genjo Sam Conway)

her father shared the video of the nibblings on the megaphone, and a white-skinned man on facebook’s first response was to police what he misheard of her language. he said that she wouldn’t use it if she knew about trafficked kids, that it wasn’t in the spirit of jesus, gandhi and king.

here is her father’s response, and why he is my favorite buddhist priest in minnesota:

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my five month old friend Isobel is one of the most vocal people i know. she speaks in essays, she has opinions on everything under the sun, and even though we can’t understand her yet, she shares her thoughts and participates in each conversation. her parents spend hours sitting with her each day in these conversations, and watching her smile.

on inauguration day, she learned to put her foot in her mouth, which feels like the most accurate statement made about that day.

yesterday my eleven month old friend and neighbor Meilu came to visit. this child has the kind of bombastic infectious cuteness that fills a room. i’d bought myself some fuchsia roses to have a pop of color in the house, to help with the transition from the technicolor rainbow earth patterns of mexico to the low hanging gray of detroit winter. Meilu pointed at the roses and i immediately tore off a petal and gave it to her, and would have given her all the petals if she had asked, no qualms.

she ate the petal.

she can now push herself up to standing, and she immediately applauds herself and joyfully receives the applause of anyone who wishes to celebrate her. her energy is like: ‘y’all may be gloomy from the news and the future but there is joy and magic available right here, right now.’

IMG_2529 (pic from Invincible ill Weaver)

last night, i was upstairs visiting and watching her stand and clap and dance to music that sprung from toys. her father Nate said something profound. he said that her imagination will have to be so much bigger than ours because of the world we are leaving her. she will have to imagine beyond the systems we have been socialized into.

this made me feel so much compassion for us. how can we leap beyond the limitations engrained in us during the formative years of our childhood, as strategists, as a nation? how do we unlearn that cursing is worse than violence, or that humans are more valuable than the planet we live on, our only home?

it made me think immediately to how people respond to the idea of diverting taxes away from this administration.

i keep bringing it up with people who say they are appalled by the installation of the balderdash administration, who feel ashamed about talk (and existence) of a wall or a ban on muslims, who list out the lies and bad decisions, who bemoan having a president who sexually assaults women and kikis with the kkk and appears to not do his taxes or, at minimum, is guilty of fraudulent reporting.

when i say, we shouldn’t give any money to this administration – every appointment means that every dollar will be misspent moving society in the opposite direction of love, sanity, health, peace, justice and dignity, people american-splain to me how the tax system works. they either say “but education and highways” or “they’ll garnish your wages” or “you’ll go to jail”.

i still strongly feel that in an era of government spewed alternative facts, we should create a system of alternative taxes, moving our resources towards the society we want. i want banks that will protect our wages and masses that will protect each other.

if not now, when?

i was a war tax resister for 13 years, and then battled with irs to create a payment plan i could grudgingly live with (i had to automate it because it hurt too much to write the checks each month and know how it was being spent – and that was during obama’s presidency!). i learned the hard (almost-jail) way that this tactic could only work as a society shifting move if a tipping point number of us did it together.

i saw a video that said 80% of americans didn’t elect this administration. i imagined what even a 40% divest and redirect move would look like. it was stunning in my head – so much support flowing directly to good work.

i saw another video that said california might secede, which is exciting in many ways, and doesn’t account for the majority of the country’s future.

and i wished, again, that we were more willing to claim what we long for beyond tweets and posts, with our actions, our time and financial resources. i wished we could imagine truly divesting en masse from the violent interventions, the walls, the weapons fed to our allies, the resource hoarding, the climate catastrophe we are creating.

i wish the future was more visible to us. we could be investing in and building what we want and need, we have abundance available to us. but because we cannot comprehend it, we move our individual resources along whatever internal guidelines hold us, we let the incremental move towards apocalypse pick up bullet train speed, and we complain, but we keep almost all of our attention and action on the daily list of balderdash fuckshit.

when i go down this line of thinking, feeling, longing for so much more from myself and all of us right now, i look at these babies and my system breathes again.

they will go beyond us.

they are learning fierce compassion, and to express themselves and be heard, and to celebrate joy.

and, hopefully, they will imagine and act beyond what the adults in their lives can even comprehend.

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.

musings from the sea

(i wanted to bring you all with me, to be quiet and look at the water. here is the best i can do.)

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jan 17:

today i woke up, read the news (via social media), and then tried to write.

i felt listless because i saw some of what the world is up to.

and my novel is a heavy lift on grief, so its challenging to stay in the writing place.

and tonight i’ll be processing the parable of the talents by octavia butler with folks. and that’s a heavy, hard story that gives us insight into the incoming administration.

and then i chatted with my publicist for the emergent strategy book, who very kindly wanted to make sure i don’t have big expectations for sales of the book – it’s a strange kind of book. i appreciated the honesty and felt unfazed.

but when i went to write fiction i still felt out of it, overwhelmed by the task of it, writing about the near future when there is such a bleak picture being painted, being lived in right now.

i looked up and the sun was out after a spate of clouds so i threw on my swimsuit and walked across the street to the ocean. this whole month i am writing by the sea and it’s deeply healing.

i figured i would just sit on the beach for a bit and then head back.

but the water called me, so i figured i would just dip in it.

but the water felt so good that i stayed in it for an hour, splashing and swimming and bouncing and dancing, contemplating what all is in the water, how i never want to take this for granted.

i had a little a-ha about joy in the water that i wanted to share: i experience the most abundant and consistent joy when i am not expecting anything else.

expectations bring disappointment, fear, confusion, doubt, and contortion as i try to become whatever i think is expected of me in return for my expectations getting met.

the best things in my life have all been unexpected. success, love, babies, friendships, travel – these came not from expectation, but from being available for the good, available for the lessons.

when i facilitate i often let the goals rest while we see what’s possible in real time, in that room with those people. often, what’s possible is more, or different, than anyone could have expected, closer to what is really needed.

i didn’t expect octavia’s brood to be such a smash hit. i just knew the ideas of it, and the stories, brought me joy. it felt needed.

when i do hold expectations, it gets in the way of the flow – i become closed off to what is actually happening, what is actually possible in the moment. there is more available in the present than in the expectation.

so i am not expecting anything for the emergent strategy book – it just felt necessary to name it and explore it and so i did, and i hope it is useful.

i wonder if this can apply to our current political circumstances. we can predict a bunch of horror, and react with fear and depression. but already what i am noticing and appreciating is how the people i most respect are growing into the unexpected. kind of the opposite of wait and see. see. see!

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jan 20:

is the ocean made of tears from days like this, and the days we fear are coming? a dry planet made livable by caring enough to experience sorrow? look at the pelicans dive into the waves so completely and come bobbing up, swallowing. this water is teeming with life making more life. and now i am playful again in her waves, she comes in, and when she goes out she pulls something away from me.

if i stop struggling against the ocean i float. i wonder if my ancestors discovered this when they were thrown overboard, or leapt. it seems good at first, oh i am bouyant, i can rest here. but it is a lie – you will burn, you be swallowed from below, you will dry up into a rind of yourself. and yes, you will die in every possible scenario, but if you do not fight and keep moving towards life then that death will come so soon, it’s just there, right there, waiting all the time. you don’t have to feed it your name. you have to live. you have to carry the small flame of life that has your name in it. life is a choice.

some days
i am in the ocean of sorrow
all salt flood and bruised storm
bones of my ancestors
made sand and shadow
.
and the next wave comes and lifts me up
til, floating into cloud
becoming masses
i feel relief. i am unable
to comprehend the vastness!
.
monsooned by this
i consider:
freedom is leaping
into the unknown,
the heartbreak lets us out,
and we are of the infinite .
– for #disruptj20, lifting us all