for some time I have thought, without awareness, that revolutionary moments are cathartic – that it helps to release the anger and the pain and the unspent hope into some flash of a moment, some container.
now i am coming into awareness, and starting to invert that thought. what if catharsis is actually just one part, one absolutely necessary part, of revolution? the cleansing and purging that leaves the collective body free of toxins, ready to regain new power, new muscle memory for flexibility…ready to birth a new world?
i keep having all of these ideas, and wondering, how do i – as a writer, and as someone with somewhere between 5-8 part time movement gigs at any given point, someone with a full life, also trying to be sustainable and healthy and learn to have more balance – how do i participate in this revolutionary moment even more than I participated in the moment before this? do I have more to give?
i see it happening, i feel it. i can’t seem to stop writing about it or reading about it, every spare second i have i seek it out like a passionate crush.
i literally feel like:
hi revolution, um…hi.
i can’t stop looking at your pictures
and in that emotion, i feel myself being cleansed of hopelessness.
not yet hopeful, but creating a space in which hope and vision and new work can happen. cleansed by the existence of ongoing revolutions in the middle east, advanced revolutions in latin america and the caribbean, and budding revolution in the u.s.
there’s a time, after a broken heart, when you feel the first heat of interest and excitement in a new person begin to flame up inside, and you know that something is truly gone, some space is truly opened.
to be an american awakened to the economic realities of this moment is to walk with a broken heart. dreams are such a mystery, but i like to think they are the ultimate dialogue between the heart and the brain – love and lust and need and longing playing out in loops of possibility and vision and nightmare when we have no choice but to see it, subconscious, in the dark.
the american dream and the american nightmare are a breath apart from each other. the american heartbreak is constant, the fine line between the two – it is the unifying experience of the 99%.
and i am a purist, i think the 1% are just as heartbroken, trying to fill up their lonely chasms with trinkets and towers, using vicodin and viagra to fill the space of peace and passion.
so we all need this catharsis –
divest from the banks, divest from the schedules of life.
take the streets, the parks.
general strike until the majority of americans remember that this is our commons, our country.
cleanse, purge, wash, release, liberate your spirits, our souls, shake our souls loose so they can grow again. (for grace tells us these are the times to grow our souls, and I want to do that work.)
the catharsis clears the way for new practices. new practices that start small.
after the break-up, the new practices are often new eating habits, meditation, working out, deepening friendships.
after the first rush of revolution the new practices may include new ways of making decisions, new levels of shared responsibility, new definitions of leadership.
i still maintain that we cannot rush ourselves. everything is unfolding perfectly. the movement is building and not building as it supposed to.
I think, in this moment full of action, where the economy and what it means to be human are the content of dinner table conversations, when we are taking a collective assessment of our global condition, it is important to remember that the horizon is constant, always the same distance away as we move towards it.
what we are articulating now is like coming to the top of a mountain range, together. suddenly it seems we can see so far. but it is just us seeing the landscape anew – it has been here, and will be here.
it is not the whole world which must change – the break-up process is cathartic because after releasing the other, suddenly we are left with just ourselves, the true point of transformation. it is us, one by one and altogether, who must make ourselves into our dreams.
so I posit that every single thing you want to see in the world is already within you: just, liberated, collective, cooperative, deeply listening, small scale, decentralized, centered around love. you have to come into awareness around it, and then you have to take up the new practices which resonate most deeply with your internal sense of the righteous.
but for now, let’s stay in this cathartic moment. it’s been a dark age, this capitalist era. we are almost ready for something new, once the rage passes.
in labor, the moment before the birth is the most guttural, universal scream. I hear it all around me now, all the time.