It feels like the world is ending and I think it really is. I keep detailing all the things I need for a compound with my preschooler. I need her to survive. Antibiotics, seeds, Toni Morrison’s books. The world as we knew it in modern capitalism had the seeds of its own death inside of it all along. Everything is falling apart. The Earth is reclaiming its autonomy from human domination. And it’s bittersweet. In some sense, I have been preparing for this my whole life. Abolition is center stage. President Trump is threatening to withdraw federal funding from “Anarchist Cities” who consider defunding the police. Abolition is cast as lawlessness and him as the bearer of law and order. If I had written this as some abolitionist scifi plot ten years ago, people would have said that it was a bit too on the nose, canned, too tidy. I have been curiously silent on my blog and elsewhere. Folks keep coming out of the woodwork to tell me I wasn’t crazy after all. That is little consolation now. So, while the system I have spent my life trying to abolish is crumbling, I am both thrilled at the creative possibilities for us humans and concerned about loss of life. We aren’t handling this very well. We are collectively agitated, a bit ready to pop off on some folks and the clarity of the moment is so startling, it is oddly dizzying. What do humans need to hear right now?
Slow down. Move with intention and love. Purge supremacy from our hearts and focus on the basics: food, shelter, connection, medicine, play. Music, art, bread. Water, Air, Fire, Earth. If you are moving so fast that you are tripping over stuff or bumping into walls, slow down. I keep grazing this one wall coming out of my bedroom. Navigate. Breathe. Keep taking steps forward. Surrender to the consequences and the process, the learning and transformation here.
Sometimes my life has unraveled. Yours most likely has too. One time, I broke up with a partner and had nowhere to go. I remember seriously wondering if he had other women’s bodies buried in that house. I had to pack my stuff and get out before he came back. I got a cheap hotel room and figured out how to pay for it day by day. I remember waiting at a car rental place for my credit card to clear the rental. I needed this car to move all my possessions and the hotel I could afford was way outside the city of Seattle. I knew if it cleared, it would be by the skin of my teeth with a dash of luck. This isn’t a story about how it worked out. I think my card got declined and I felt ashamed and I held back tears like it was no big deal. I went back to the drawing board. I got on a bus and figured something out. My record player got lost somewhere with a friend who I entrusted it to. Our paths diverged.
The point is, most of us have had our worlds fall apart. Now it’s happening on a collective scale. It is scary and new and a bit dizzying. But because my life has fallen apart before and I have had to remake it many times, I know how generative this can be. It isn’t just destruction. It isn’t just scary. It’s a chance to emerge more ourselves, more aligned. It is like sitting outside a cheap hotel, smoking a cigarette on a cold morning with a clarity to match the cool air and the deep breaths. Liberation is so startling.
We can change. We can build a new life, a new world. We already have everything we need, ourselves and each other.