A few things I understand now that I did not understand ten days ago.
1. Why my calling and vocation has been to political science of all ridiculous things. I get that now. I happen to know a thing or two about authoritarianism that other people need to know, and hopefully I’m in a position to be of some service there. Ok, cool.
2. How ridiculously important it is to get outside and away from our blue screens for a moment or two. This is something we like to Say Words About and not really do, but let me tell you: you don’t have to go on an instagram-worthy hike in the Sierras. I just spent half an hour picking up dog poop in the yard and I’m a new woman, ready to fight another day. Dog poop is serious medicine.
3. This Age of Aquarius energy we’re in, or the end of the Kali Yuga, or the death throes of the patriarchy, or whatever you want to call it, is gonna last a while, probably peaking around 2020. (Call me a woo-woo hippie if you want but here’s another point: having a connection to a system of meaning bigger than ourselves is also useful. There’s a reason addicts in the crisis of early recovery are instructed to find Jebus before anything else. It’s not that Jebus has a magic wand and fixes everything. It’s that the act of surrendering to a higher wisdom lets you fuckin’ relax your death grip on vigilance a tiny bit and see some other possibilities in the moment.)
4. Nobody’s getting through this alone. We’re a nation of control freak isolation junkies who are too traumatized by our crappy childhoods or our birth trauma or our persecuted past lives or our epigenetic shit sandwich to meaningfully connect with other people who Don’t Get Us or whatever. We can’t afford to let that stop us any more. The time has come to suck it up buttercup and sing the Internationale and learn to farm starchy apocalypse tubers together. This is in NO way to suggest that anyone’s experience is invalid, but to point out that our “healing” modalities are desperately inadequate and that we actually need one another to reintegrate ourselves. Everyone has something to contribute even if it’s triggering. The only way out is through. You can’t think yourself into a new way of acting, you have to act your way into a new way of thinking, as they say.
5. Reactivity and panic play right into their agenda. We have to take a longer view of things and keep a steady vision of what’s on the other side of this and what true social justice looks like. We have been on this road for a long time and what is unfolding now is how it always had to end. As Rebecca Solnit puts it, danger and possibility are sisters. <3