answering to the next 100 years

what is the point of all this? this is a question i come back to time and time again, both in relation to daily practices, such as writing, and in relation to my life as a whole.

is there purpose to writing words no one will read?

is there value in this life i’m leading?

the answer has to be yes. because it is the only answer that feels true.

i pulled the Seven of Pentacles this morning, which in the Modern Witch Tarot deck, is a femme standing, staring reflectively at a plant she’s just watered (a watering can rests in her right hand).

this card represents a liminal space, between planting seeds and harvesting their fruit. it is a pause for reflection and eager consideration, questioning what will come of all our hard work and preparation.

this space makes sense for where i am currently — i have adopted certain practices, mostly my morning writing ritual, over the past month or so. and i’m eager to see where they’ll get me, what they’ll evolve into, where they’ll lead me.

and yet, it is not time to harvest — it is time to nurture, to maintain, to trust.

trust is a daily practice, for sure. it is the choice to believe that even in moments when it all feels pointless and frustrating, it’s taking us somewhere.

it’s the reminder that even if we don’t know how far down the road the finish line is, we can trust that it’ll be there. and it’ll ultimately lead us to our next path..

as mentioned in The Creative Tarot, in a culture of instant gratification, waiting can be a hell of a time. and it can make us feel like we’re doing something wrong.

the art of waiting has been lost, and in its place we’ve adopted doubt, insecurity, uncertainty.

making decisions from this place of antsy uncertainty, changing things before they’ve had enough time to blossom and develop, leaves us in a state of perpetual grasping.
we become eager to prove ourselves, guided by the measurements and timelines of the external world. and in-turn, we never find the true satisfaction we’re seeking, through a project/endeavor that’s been given the space to truly evolve and run its course. (and then we don’t get the full fruit of the lesson)

my fear of failure, of wasting my time, of never being good enough, often pushes me to change things before they’ve had a chance to really prove themselves.

even today, i was reconsidering my blogging practice. and logging into WordPress and seeing zero views for almost every day this week is undoubtedly discouraging.

which forces me to get rooted in my purpose. like Cassandra Snow talks about in Queering the Tarot, this card prompts us to take a long view of life. to ask ourselves what seeds we’re planting, not just for the week or the year, but for our lifetime.
she ends with pointing to the responsibility we have to generations that come after us.

this consideration brought to mind Layla F. Saad’s mission to be a “good ancestor.” it also makes me think of an interview between Layla and Leesa Renée Hall, in which Leesa explains that she answers to the next 100 years.

how would our view of ourselves, our accomplishments, and our goals change if we all adopted this framework — answering to the next 100 years, focusing on being a good ancestor?

for one, i imagine, we’d all take ecological collapse much more seriously. and that a lot of us would engage in wholly different work.

to clarify: i’m not telling anyone they need to radically shift their lives in order to be a good person (although if that’s an option, maybe consider it..). but i am saying this long view is worthy of consideration. and in holding it, we can begin to tweak our lives to live more in alignment with the path of those who come after us.

a point that Cassandra Snow makes in Queering the Tarot is that us living our truths paves the way for kids afterwards to live their truths.

so if i want a world in which being queer and poly are choices people can make without fear of ridicule, discrimination, or punishment, i’m called to live my truth in whatever means is available to me.

this perspective calls us to be responsible for the impact our lives have over the long-term. and honestly, i’m here for it. i’m grateful for the reminder, especially after the past week of sitting with the end of the world at the forefront of my mind.

as we wait for the seeds we’ve planted to grow and transform, the calling to sit with what we want the seed of our life to grow into is a sacred one.. one that does not revolve around action (at least initially), but alignment.

as we consider who we want to become, we become more aware of the small moments and choices in our daily lives that either move us in alignment or tension with the world we wish to create.

it is a responsibility that is easy to overlook, ignore, forget about.. and all the while, it may be one of the most important ones..

well, i’m grateful for showing up, even in moments like this when it all feels rather pointless..

i mean, hey, maybe in a hundred years, a blog like this will be like a historical document.. who knows. i mean, who knows what the internet will be like, or if it’ll even exist..

anyways, love y’all. happy friday! ❤ ❤ ❤

the freedom that arises when we consider the big picture

i didn’t write yesterday, breaking my hopeful commitment to do a blog post everyday. i didn’t realize this until i was headed to bed, questioned doing a short one, but quickly decided it wasn’t worth forcing it, holding so tightly onto an idea.

so here i am now. it’s still morning in my neck of the woods, and it’s been a peaceful one at that.

i went to sleep feeling crummy — that physical state that makes you question if you’re in the precursors to getting sick or just feeling funky.. i slept almost 10 hours, so clearly my body needed rest.

a quote by Leesa Renée Hall continues to stick in my head: I answer to history.”

this quote was ringing in my head as i reflected on the culture of busyness and rushing here in the “United States.” this constant sense of urgency, of doing as much as we can in any given moment or day. of the glorification of this, of the status that comes with it.

i thought about this as i leisurely made my morning smoothie, moving slowly, feeling the muscles in my arm pulse as i opened and closed the fridge, felt the sensation of the zipper sliding across my bag of frozen fruit.

i thought about how moving slowly, intentionally, and trying to nurture a sense of presence, totally alters the way we interact with the world. and makes it much easier for me to feel a sense of interconnectedness.

i think about how much it serves American culture to keep people doing, moving, stressed, with never enough time or resources or energy. always focused on consuming. it’s a great way to keep people disconnected — from themselves, each other, the world around them. from the damage we cause as a collective. from the harm we continue to not answer for.

the months leading up to me turning 30, i had a strong sense of insecurity and lacking. i had no societal norms to show for this turning point in my life — no nice car, committed relationship, career, etc.

all i had was myself, which in the context of society, has no measurable value beyond my labor. and so, in a conventional sense, i felt valueless.

it’s been 8 months since then, and my view of myself in relation to my value in society continues to shift and grow.

i no longer feel that aching lacking that plagued me for months. (of course it still pops up every now and then)

and now that i’ve given myself the space and time to spend a lot of time in solitude, in silence, in stillness, i recognize with much more clarity how silly it is to measure my worth by societal standards.

and Leesa’s quote helps a lot with that, because it contextualizes me not just in the here and now but in the big picture, the long story of humanity and the world. the decisions that i make are not just about answering to the demands society makes of me today but answering to what history asks of me for the future.

i recently had an interaction with an old neighbor who in a short period of time said a flurry of very offensive things that both caught me off guard and jarred me. when i tried to offer a line of questioning to challenge his way of thinking, he told me, “i don’t like change.”

how silly, i thought, to fight against the only guarantee we have in life, the inevitability of change…

when i think about answering to an imagined future of where humans might go, how we might adapt, i realize how small and inconsequential a “career” is, especially in something that doesn’t provide lasting value or quality to others’ lives. it makes my actions not measurable to present conditions but to what could be, what i would like to build towards.

and being progressive feels less reactionary to the current political climate and more so an inevitable and necessary nature through which to relate to life.

there are still, of course, ways in which i am forced to stay connected to the status quo. in my case, i still need money, a semi-consistent income, and an idea of how to sustain myself through my life.

but i have less barriers around how my life “should” look. which gives me the freedom, the creativity to imagine a way to make it through beyond the tiny, restrictive box i’ve been given. and it turns something dread-inducing into a realm of possibility.

and i can also see that things are shifting and changing. this present iteration of culture and society is currently in visible flux, and the resistance continues to bubble up from under the surface into the physical realm. what once worked is breaking down before our eyes.

as far as what comes next, i’d say our best bet is to stay open and adaptive and nurture that space that connects us all…

❤ ❤ ❤

the in-between space

i told myself i’d try my best to write everyday, even if i didn’t feel like it, even if it was just 5 sentences (and i do not feel like it). so here we go, no expectations…

wisdom is patience… a thought inspired by A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin

this makes me think of quote by Leesa Renée Hall: I answer to history.”

i’ve spent the past year or so wading through lots of white guilt, which has often been the motivator in how i’ve interacted with social justice movements.

i’ve been haphazardly jumping from one cause to another, trying to support everyone and everything in order to prove i’m a good person and make up for all the years i wasn’t doing more (a realization also inspired by Leesa Renée Hall in conversation with Layla F. Saad on the Good Ancestor podcast)

Leesa mentions this jumping from one cause to the next, from one fire to another and the inevitable exhaustion. and Layla speaks on her own experience with burnout in activism.

they both talk about how no one can support every cause, because we are finite people with finite time and energy.

which is something i rationally understand but needed permission to recognize, which are my limitations.

to bring it back to Leesa and keep an eye on the big picture, another important line of questioning is: what is sustainable? what are the causes i want to commit to in the long-term? how do my specific skills and traits translate into service?

another valuable nugget in their conversation was about the in-between space/the emptiness/the void that comes after asking the question and before we get the answer.

for the past year, i’ve been carrying the question: how can i be of service?

and slowly but surely, i think i’m making progress, moving closer to a place of clarity around my place in all of this.

and i’m also recognizing that it’s not effective for me to be moving from a place of self-hate or self-detestation. i’ve been so disgusted with my whiteness, i’ve been doing everything i can to counteract its reality, to try to negate the damage my existence has done.

and so i’ve been a ping-pong activist, moving from one cause to another, engaging deeply for a week or two before moving on to the next crisis.

when in actuality, i imagine what’s most beneficial to cause or movement is long-term commitment.

so, i’m in the process of reframing my approach to social justice movements. i’m trying to move away from knee jerk reactions to sitting with the question of: how do i make this a lifelong journey in which i can be of service?

because i deeply desire to be part of the change i want to see in the world. but i haven’t stayed focus on any one thing long enough to even begin to see how i fit into all of it.

and it kind of feels like growing up… which brings me back to: wisdom is patience. it’s the sitting with, waiting, learning, observing, preparing.

well, i guess that was more than 5 sentences… lol

❤ ❤ ❤