When I feel compelled to offer something like a beacon through the dark despair of systemic violence I try to remember my role in community, through meraki farmacy. I could offer the relationships with plants to help us hold our Grief and Rage. I could remind you that folk medicines from meraki are subsidized in cost as a form of reparations. I’d let you know that I am headed to the post tomorrow and will get you the plant care you want from here. Motivated to give timely and appropriate care, not to make a sale. And then that sense of persistent disgust for the commodification of health care makes my nose pull up, the precursor to a growl. My ongoing disdain for the constant advertising and performing is pulled up right now, because it is intricately woven with the Other Things: the systematic and systemic, calculated, hundreds of years old war against Safety, Community, Sovereignty, Indigenous belonging, Partnerships with the Earth, unfucked with access to care and interdependence with people and plants and places.
This thing happens, when the gates within holding the beasts are opened. This thing is maybe called a trigger, colloquially or clinically. What I think this thing happening is, is rather normal. When I feel the Rage Against The Systems because patriarchy kills, because cops kill, because corporations kill, because imperialism, because capitalism, because , because some of the humans consciously choosing to be complacent or complicit and selfish and enemy to the People, because THE NOISE, because there is no accountability or repair or prevention system because that all comes from outside the systems, from communities, I feel the Rage Against Betrayals, the Grief of Harm, and sometimes I can remember that under and beyond and within all those big feelings is Love. And the Snarl ready to Bite is back because thoughts and prayers and instant access to all the violence all the time is not looking like it solves the problems. I snarl at my own love, you see, because if it were as simple as love solves all things, well.
I don’t want to feel Love, you see, because once I do all gates are opened.
So what can i possibly offer?
I could tell you that my face is tight and tense with disgust and sacred rage. I could tell you that writing out my feelings often helps me process, as does drinking plants infused in water for a few hours, plants that will support my own bodies’ processes of regulating stress of all kinds. I could massage with a plant infused oil in the places of tension, for me right now that is my Jaw. That is where My Rage lives, to best actuate my rage in my oldest weapon of a mouth full of swords, sometimes lanterns.
I can lean into the relation ships that hold and buoy so I can navigate with more skill, hold the plants with all I am as they hold all of us, so i can access my breath and tears and friend ships and hope, faith maybe too.
I could remind you that whatever emotions and body feelings you have, they are not the problem. They are not a symptom of something malfunctioning within you. I would encourage you to allow the rage and the grief and even some of the despair to have some space. If it feels overwhelming I’d remind you to practice things to help compartmentalize and self soothe, so we don’t get engulfed by it all. I would say “I started all this because of acute awareness of pain and suffering, because chronic stress and stress disordering underlies all dis-ease, and until I know better how to affect systemic change, all I know to do is grow with the plants and dispense their wisdom and care for us, so that while we Fight and Build, we can decrease the deleterious effects of pain onto our bodies, relationships, hope and experiences’.
I would say your sensitivity is a power house, a testament to our bodies as vessels for the divinity of feeling being connected and care full with Life, for the sanctity of Life.
I retrace my steps to remind myself of the things that are proven to help me hold the multitudes. Outside. Nature. Plants. Dogs. Breathing with attention and intention. Moving dancing hiking running stretching bathing massaging. Turn off the news. Stop the scroll. Grab the notebook. Write or record something and share it with people so they know I am here and there are so many More Than Us, even though I am not there, we are here, now, and that there are people all around who are feeling howling crying dreaming building the world we need deserve want long for.
I feel that longing for a pinot noir or a pack of IPA or any delicious cocktail that will numb the pain and disconnect me from the intense awareness of so much stimuli. I remember that I don’t do that anymore, because I don’t actually want to disconnect or not feel or not think or not know. And there that voice is again: I’ve been so ‘good’, I’ve worked so hard, this is decades of work of process of diving into the dark, of accountability, feeding the desires for something like self mastery more than the desire to feel less discomfort,
what’s one little day as the snow falls and the tears aren’t accessible, and I don’t live near friends, and there’s a collection of fine spirits to soften the edges.
It’s so tempting. And easily justified, as our corporate culture thrives and feeds the reasons and seasons to consume and distract and pretend to forget for awhile.
And it’s a betrayal, isn’t it? Not just to me, but to my pain and my desire. No one cares, that voice says, because it’s not as though I am affecting change or easing pain anyway, i can hardly call it a business or even a community service, not with the levels of engagement , response, requests, sales, opportunities. I haven’t once offered a linear path or task analysis for the cure to the cultural virus spread by thought.
I remember that most of my life I have accomplished something or enacted a desire from sheer stubbornness. Sometimes it's more like a deep knowing. I remember my dedication to the paths & practices of Decreasing the Suck and Increasing the Rad, and how sometimes harm reduction has replaced my defining identity with trauma.
So maybe that is what I can offer, the reminders I so often share.
That our choices are potent and powerful, that it’s all about the practice and the process. That maybe there is some truth, regardless of our awareness or consciousness, we are all alive right now right here in this seemingly never ending hot mess of destruction to usher in new paradigms, as individuals within groups and community. I want to confidently believe that we have all the solutions, right here right now.
We know that mutual aid is how we care for each other while co-existing with late stage capitalism. We know that learning the skills and languages of emotional awareness & literacy is also unlearning the methods of disconnection. We know that everytime we drink a tea instead of alcohol we are reducing risk and increasing the practices of response-ablitiy. We know that we are in flux, as is our shared world.
We know that there is no external authority sanctioned by state that will offer timely response to reducing harm. We know that within us and around us are the renewable resources of nourishment, with people and land and water and birds and animals. We know that we can hold more than one thing at a time. We know that there are friends, human and more than human, that are capable and willing to help carry the heavy. We know, too, that there are shifts in culture.
I would remind us that we are in an age of great reckoning with reality, and there are millions even billions of people in their places in our world who are doing it - the radical honesty, the deep introspection, the making a different choice. There are farmers, educators, writers, artists, activists, parents, children, providers of care and services, neighbors, People that are dedicated and diligent in aligning action and values. We know that all these individuals are members of groups, alliances, and other entities, combining their powers and creativity to do what they can, with what they have, where they are.
You are that person. You Here Now is a protest, a living monument, and that most certainly is the revolution. You caring and making choices to reflect your values for Life are most certainly the solution.
Thank you. I see you. I honor you. We continue to do The Things. Yesterday, today, tomorrow, until our last days. Today by Grace is not our last day. We Carry On. And however I can help hold, I am Here.
Howling with you,
Please feel free to drop any comments here to have a conversation or something that feels good for folks who find themselves this way.
You can *always* email me at email@example.com
And if you are looking for some Plant pals specific for grief, courage of heart, or anything else we can most certainly connect you. MF folk medicine is available at cost, and you can support that for others in a few ways. Whatever methods of community care, thank you.