I feel/fear it all dying down. I laughed at the kids laughing at the TV. I went into the studio and sang, in language that arrived in the moment of singing. I felt the joy of making again, bell-clear and familiar. The practice of recuperation rushes into the raw void but maybe there was a conversion first; maybe the ways we carry on signal going forth, not regression. Perhaps we are different people, already, and we can feel better because we are bringing our lives into alignment with a new wakefulness. It is just a part of my life now to share a picture of a projection on the EPA building as a prompt, as a blade put to use, digging.
In Hope in the Dark, Rebecca Solnit writes about the butterfly effect. Tiny wings flap on one side of the world and weather patterns transform. The smallest disturbance in our calculus throws our ability to predict the future into disarray So projecting PEOPLE NOT PROFITS on the EPA building, then sharing the image, then writing in response, could be thought of as the beating of tiny wings. That, she argues, is how activism works, how change comes, how the world transforms. It happens hand-to-hand, person-to-person, and then policy eventually catches up to the transformation that has already taken place.
This speaks directly to my doubts about the good of doing any of this, it's a counterweight against the THIS WILL NOT MATTER that reverberates underneath the compiling of daily actions, the writing of these offerings. There are plenty of voices who will echo that sentiment, who will ventriloquize this deepest misgiving. All it takes is a butterfly, though; the past few weeks were dark because we were all in a cocoon. I am not a person of faith in the conventional sense, but I believe in this.
Thank You Campaign...
...was a website I built to document my total freakout at the 2016 US presidential election. I've collected the "offerings" section here: short essays, each with an associated image I'd found or a picture I'd taken, documenting a small set of awakenings and a small rising up.