It's my 42nd birthday (rather it was six-weeks ago, when I wrote this on July 18th), and I have very recently returned home from the Oregon Country Fair. As I assess my life at this turning point in my year, I am overall very, very grateful for the community of which I am a part, for love and laughter, for food and shelter, for right livelihood, for the spark of divinity we all share, and for the beauty of the earth surrounding me.
To all of my friends, family, community cohorts--- I thank you for enriching my life.
Let's look for further and deeper ways to create the new world founded in compassion, truth, & beauty. Let's make this week's headlines the impetus to do it now. Why not?
Big news of economic hard times this week-- Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are in a bad way. Huh, who'da figured? Some people seem surprised, others wryly cynical, but no matter your attitude, in the end we need to strategize a way through the collapse of this system.
But wait, what if this isn't really the big, BIG collapse.... you've heard it before--- people are always crying the end of the world, and all. What about Y2k? The nuclear doomsday clock? It's tiring to live with an impending apocalypse. Still, here is another moment that the old system teeters.... we know, absolutely, that empires fall; they are like a house of cards-- I propose that we withdraw more of our support from this empire's base, and be ready when the house comes down. We know that this system is not sustainable, as no other empire has lasted, neither will this one. So why wait? It does little good to visualize radical transformation of our society and then be unprepared for the moments that are ripe for further transformations to unfold.
So how do we ready ourselves for the transformation? How can we work together to make a new community that is far more self reliant than the community we woke up in today? We don't need external experts, but we do need to be smart about organizing our resources. What networks and support systems can we help to form now? What do we take for granted? How much non-perishable food do you have in your house? What's your access like to fresh produce? Does the food you eat get trucked in from around the globe, heavily dependent on the oil industry to reach your table? What very practical skills do you have that you can share with your community? Can you make medicines? Build shelters? Clothing? Can you entertain, make music, spin stories and create the new myths to weave together our new world? How's your water use going? How are you at gardening & identifying edible foods? Do you know how to preserve foods? If you know how, do you do it?
It's time to put solidarity into action-- being kind to each other is not only pleasant, but will actually increase our viability-- we are stronger together, than alone. We must stand strong together-- lest we be vulnerable to being swept up in xenophobic propaganda. It is crucial that we deeply listen to each other, so that we can actively support one another. To work in solidarity with each other pivots on our basic understanding of each other's issues and needs, and to find how they connect with our own.
How's your consumption lately? I know that I am mending more things than I had been for a while. Remember the WWII jingle: Use it up, wear it out; make it do, or do without-- that certainly has a place now.
On the fourth of July, Cicely Rogers joined me on the talk radio show. She emphasized the importance of doing the work of readying ourselves to take advantage of opportunities to transform. I want to suggest that the time is now, right now, to engage in solidarity. Check in with those around you-- what needs aren't being met? How can you organize people to meet them? Is there a need to care for kids while some work? Is there a need to have help in a garden that folks without land can share? Do people have enough to eat? If not, can you organize feedings? It's time to get down to basics.
Check into our history-- there are brilliant examples of community defense and mutual aid. Check the actual history of the Black Panthers, of the Wobblies and late 19th century anarchists, of the 17th century Diggers. What can we learn and take with us. What do we want to create fully new?
What am I going to do differently, starting today, to help actualize this world? What are you going to do?