lqb2weekly #172 (6 may 2022)
so. i had other plans for this newsletter but i gotta talk about roe v. wade so my exciting announcement is gonna have to wait.
welcome to my roe v. wade rant. if you don’t want to engage with this, i will not be offended. skip down to the photo with my toes painted to dodge the rant.
roe v. wade being overturned is major backstep in this country. it is bad bad not good.
before starting to think about doing anything else, i am interested in watching my own emotions and reactions in this moment. what am i feeling? what am i feeling but trying not to? what are those feelings trying to tell me?
next, i am paying lots of attention to our collective emotional responses. what are the patterns of outrage, calm, anger, sadness, hopelessness, fear, etc? what are the patterns in emotion of people who just starting paying attention to this when the media started talking about it? what are the patterns of emotion in people who have been paying attention to this for years/decades?
emotions are teachers. what are my emotions and our patterns of collective emotionality trying to communicate to us?
we have known this was coming for years (some folks saw this coming over a decade ago). the media flurry and the collective emotional dust up it has caused is fascinating.
there are people who have been following this progression for years. it seems to me like we should be following their lead right now. it seems to be we should *not* be following the lead of people who found out about this through the news and are newly incensed.
it is important how we (individually and collectively) decide which actions feel most important to take right now. who and how does it serve to be reactive? who and how does it serve to not be reactive? what does overreaction look like? what does right action look like? can we tell the difference?
the left (or at least the publicly visible left) has a very common pattern of having BIG feels about something and then taking impulsive action, using up a BUNCH of energy (aka mobilizing before organizing) in the process, and then, after the emotional catharsis, continuing on as if things are now fixed. meanwhile, the other side waits for the energy to die down and then continues plodding along with their plans. i’m not saying don’t attend a rally. but if you attend a rally and then don’t commit to any ongoing work, i think it’s probably better in the long-run to skip the former and do the latter. if you can do both, that’s the best. many of us don’t have energy to do both. ::points at self::
as a cis-male, i believe it is my work to get clear about how roe v. wade impacts me personally. it is not enough to show up in allyship in support of people who could get an abortion. if i don’t yet know how this legal proceeding impacts me directly, it’s my work to figure out how it does. then i get to show up in this work for myself as well as for my siblings who want (or sometimes even need) me to. this is parallel to how i want white people in my life to work to end racism not just because it hurts me but because they understand how white supremacy limits their own humanity and possibility.
the state (federal or really any level) has never worked for many people, especially womxn and gnc people. and especially especially black womxn and gnc people. this supreme court news is both new and not new at all.
this focus on abortion may be a canary in the coal mine.
literally everything is an opportunity for visionary organizing. including this. if you don’t know who to follow, here are a few folks/orgs adrienne maree brown is redirecting attention to. who is more local to you? can you find them and support them?
in summary: being driven by emotion IS. NOT. STRATEGIC. that doesn’t mean we should never do it. and it doesn’t mean emotions are bad or that we should suppress or ignore them for the sake of strategy. emotional release and processing matters. feeling our feelings is strategic. and emotional reactivity is not going to protect us (at least not for long). letting our emotions teach us and lead us into grounded, centered, informed strategy and tactics, imho, is what’s needed here.
if you are one of the people who does that strategy and tactics part, we want to hear from you. if you are NOT one of those people, please make space for them; please be with your feelings (solo and collective practices apply here: call a friend, journal, meditate, organize an anger/grief session, throw some ice cubes at a brick wall, go for a run solo or with friends/fam, etc etc), let those feelings teach you, and then find the folks who are the strategists and listen to them. there are always people working on the solution: find them.
a particular segment of organizers on the right dug deep 40-50 years ago, strategized, and implemented plans of action (many of which were probably emergent and opportunistic) for decades to arrive here at overturning roe v. wade. decades.
are we willing to strategize at that depth?
phew. end rant. feel free to pushback on any of these stances or tell me i’m being insensitive as someone without a uterus or that i probably shouldn’t be this loud right now. i def can take it. i’m a “strong beliefs, loosely held” kinda guy. always open to see things anew.
some highlights of opportunities and things coming up:
i help organize the greater boston men’s network and we’re having our first gathering since covid. it’s june 11, 10a-3p.
some other things (mostly sweet. some not).
i painted my toes for the first time (after learning that my dad has been getting manipedis every 3ish weeks as part of his self-care practice for years, i started getting them 1-2x/month! #showinuplate)
that tarot deck project i’m a part of still needs another $5k to hit our fundraising goal! plz check it out
this article highlights the ridiculousness of our collective culture on apologizing for response times. i thought it was great: i’m not sorry for my delay
i can’t remember where i got directed to learn about edmonia lewis but i want to know so much more about her
here’s episode 3 of enough is enough, the podcast mini-series me and my friend caroline released in january. in episode 3, me and my friend, allen frimpong talk about many things, but i especially loved talking about what it takes to feel like enough in your own home. <3 thanks, allen!
we’re hitting 1 million covid deaths this week. no collective grief. very little public acknowledgement. almost no mitigation in sight. this is absolutely nuts. i can hardly fathom the trauma we’re going to embody with this... one. mill. ion. 🤯
on to the things!
(!!) pick of the pack
some things i’ve written since the last newsletter:
Apr 28, 2022 | wellness and balance course for roddenberry fellowship
Apr 27, 2022 | unleashing alternative futures: pool party
there is nothing new under the sun.
The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not the turbulence — it is to act with yesterday’s logic. — Peter Drucker
Complex systems have a process of emergence…Emergence is the way complex systems and patterns arise out of a multiplicity of relatively simple interactions. — Nick Obolensky
A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a simple system that worked. The inverse proposition also appears to be true: A complex system designed from scratch never works and cannot be made to work. You have to start over, beginning with a working simple system. — John Gall
budget: a mathematical confirmation of your suspicions. — buddy finance app
In school, you are graded on every test—even if it’s your weakest subject. In life, you can choose the tests you take—even if they always play to your strengths. Maintain a baseline so your weak areas don’t hold you back, but design your life so you are graded on your strengths. — James Clear
There are times when dreams sustain us more than facts. — Helen Fagin
Just because it didn’t work doesn’t mean it was the wrong choice. The world is full of probabilities, not certainties. Find a game where the probabilities favor you and keep taking shots. — James Clear
The best arguments in the world won’t change a single person’s mind. The only thing that can do that is a good story. — Richard Powers
For me, forgiveness and compassion are always linked: how do we hold people accountable for wrongdoing and yet at the same time remain in touch with their humanity enough to believe in their capacity to be transformed? — bell hooks
those who give their thought — wendell berry
some things i’ve read since the last newsletter:
some audio and/or podcasts i’ve listened to since the last newsletter:
some videos i watched since the last newsletter:
some things i’ve been (aurally) enjoying since the last newsletter:
my friends — michelle
drunk on myself — anees
helluva drug — indigenize the world
on children — sweet honey in the rock
i am currently working on writing an essay for a tarot deck to be released this year: liberation tarot. you can check out some lovely previews and bios of the artists here and you can help support the fundraising here. here’s the fundraising ask from the website in case you don’t have energy to click through:
We are now looking to raise an additional $10,000 for the design and writing of the Liberation Tarot handbook! The handbook will include magnificent written contributions from emet ezell, Lawrence Barriner II, Elicia Epstein, and adrienne maree brown.
Can you help us reach $10,000 by May, 2022?
if you’ve got funds to help this project get over the finish line, here is where to send them. 🙃 i’m v excited. obvi.
Collective Futures Fund will award a yearly of $80k in grant funding to collaborative and public-facing projects by visual artists, curators, and collectives across Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex and Middlesex counties
emet ezell: why do? how come? ask the children
building belonging: The audacity of desire
astroradicals: THE MOOD: Poetic Everything
better humans daily: The practical value of knowing which knots to use and when.
right now i’m learning…
how to go on vacation as a self-employed, interdependent consultant! turns out it’s different than going on vacay while having a full time job.