rooting in love

this is a love note to the movement for palestinian life that has grown exponentially in these last four months.

i love that there is such an emergent nature to this body. people are showing up because their hearts come awake, showing up because their hearts are broken, showing up because they can see themselves in the socialized other, and because they don’t want to see themselves complicit with the mass murder of a place, a people, a culture.

i love the unlearning of the islamaphobic and anti-arab sentiments that have been woven into western worldviews.

i love the multifaith nature of this movement. i recently got to be in a prayer circle with people who practice muslim, jewish, christian, indigenous, witch, healer and so many other ways of dancing with the divine and the collective. i was struck by the universal humility, the common thread within us that knows we do not have all the answers, and we cannot do anything without a force greater than ourselves, a force that may be personified or understood as energy or as the sheer presence of many. i love learning how to honor the holy in so many languages and practices. may our love keep us humble in the face of our work.

i love the unity across divergence in this movement. people have a lot of different opinions on what the future could look like, and how to get there, but we all agree that Palestinians, especially those currently living on the land, should exist, should survive, should have human sovereignty and dignity and rights, including the right to be seen in innocence and in resistance – they should get to be part of any conversation about their futures in an equal way.

“When people think the same idea and move in the same direction, that’s a cult. When people think many different ideas and move in one direction, that’s a movement.” – Loretta Ross

i love that our movement doors are open, because so many people are still awakening. nothing disappears, it all transforms into the matter of the future. i think this includes the toxic and harmful ideologies that root in our hearts and make us act from fear and hatred. that has to transform somehow, through our continuous and persistent work. i see us working to keep our collective heart open as our future transforms from one where violent colonization is ever understood to yield justice or safety to a world in which we share an abundant earth and protect everyone’s right to justice, home and safety.

i love the vulnerability of changing our opinions as new information comes in. our movement is not stuck in loops of misinformation – we are out here fact checking for each other, examining and deconstructing what we hear, and uplifting the frontline truth tellers. we are like water continuing to flow as the landscape changes, knowing we are called to slake the thirst of children down the river, and it will be of no use to flow down paths of distraction and stereotype that lead no where.

i love our focus and staggered stamina. we are not satisfied with PR statements that try to cover midnight war crimes. we are paying such deep attention because we know this is a life or death moment, both for the palestinians and for the many other communities experiencing genocide, ethnic cleansing, apartheid and injustice, including here at home. we understand that growing a force that resists the continued nakba of palestine strengthens us for all our struggles.

i love our grief. it is often debilitating, to witness what we are witnessing. we have to stop, bend over and weep from the center. sometimes i have been nauseous, i have felt broken, i have felt unhinged as the witnessing impacts my whole system. but that is the spiritually and morally appropriate response to reality, and i am grateful that so many of our actions are building mountains from our grief, altars, prayers, songs, holding the dead and the living. true love doesn’t stop at death, true love is eternal. i feel us truly loving each other through this moment. feeling that grief and learning to flow it into action is our daily practice.

i love us in solidarity. i love the unsatisfiable purists who are aiming for some perfection of solidarity (even when i/we inevitably disappoint them). and i love the rest of us who do our best to keep growing and contributing what we can. i know we are all needed. and we help grow each other.

mostly i just want to say that the earth deserves our collective love, that the romance we need is not just between us as individuals, but flowing amongst us and holding us together, cleaving us to earth and life.

and i love that even in this time of despair and precarity, of Palestine and climate catastrophe and feeling the scarcity of our chance to continue on earth, so many of us are moving, dancing and singing and wailing and poet-ing and marching and locking down and interrupting speeches and intervening in legal processes and educating and crawling and praying and flowing towards life; we are life moving towards life, and as june jordan saw in us, “we are the ones we’ve been waiting for.”