as things fall apart, do we have the capacity to sustain humility?
cause we really don’t know the way out of this.
we don’t know whether we’re in a slowly heating pot of water, the frying pan, the fire, the last gasp of a humanoid dinosaur age, the beginning of our liberation, the flashbacks of every apocalyptic movie ever filmed, the birth year of the four horses of the apocalypse, Octavia’s mind, the end of human civilization, a new kind of collective madness, a beautiful awakening, the early stages of the great turning.
certainty may give us comfort, but right now it’s a false solution, an illusion that we put energy into which will not get us where we need to be.
right now, asserting any certainty could actually make us less attentive, and thus less able to connect the emerging patterns of change into right action.
we have used the internet to weave us into the full spectrum of each other’s lives and deaths. now we can see death on facebook. some days it’s all we see, fast deaths of violence or slow deaths of current and future vulnerable populations – the former get us apoplectic, the latter are heavier with our complicity (though we still love to gasp and point all of our fingers at the monsters doing this to us, to us, the vast majority of the country, of the world).
to offer up life, love, pleasure, connection, joy, care and abundance thinking in the face of that dramatic and sensual death/crisis/ruin porn can feel like throwing flowers into a volcano’s hot mouth.
i am not certain we can turn the tide. i am not certain that focusing on vision, pleasure, even emergence, is the right move. it feels right for me, it makes me want to go on and feel excited about my and our existence – some days that is such a balm that it satisfies my deep fear and restlessness.
i would rather spend my miraculous life moving towards life, putting my attention on yes, investing in any and all experiments that make our species more compatible with this planet i love so much.
i offer this here, today, because i see some of y’all flagging in the onslaught of impossible news that has become our reality. not just these last few months, but over the last thirty years of increasing access to each other. we know the cost, now, of any ease we are privileged to access. we know more about who is responsible for our suffering. many of us know this has to change. some of us have visions of what that change can look like, feel like – how to change.
but we don’t know all of the how, not at scale.
humility can let our shoulders drop, can make us more adaptive and flexible, open us to the ideas of our comrades, make us rigorous in radical processes and more accepting of the truth that the outcome is not only a mystery, but so so so much bigger than our work. our work matters at scale, so let’s do our best – with each other, in our communities, with our loved ones and our tax dollars and our hours, do our best.
and also relax in our smallness, our insignificance.
we can only be a force together, we can only be together with trust, we can only trust if we are authentic with each other – and we can only be authentic if we can admit we don’t know our way out of this. let this be a verbal toast to more questions, more collaborative ideation, more doubt, more experimentation, more releasing that which isn’t working, more listening to unlikely voices of leadership, more caring and connecting with each other in ways that will prepare us for whatever is coming.
y’all are the best people to not know with. i’m so grateful for that.