happiness is a practice.

every day, may i recommit myself to happiness, the happiness of myself and the happiness of those around me, near and far, known and unknown.

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learnings from darkness

walking in the shadows, purposefully out of focus, it was uncustomary for me to be illuminated. in dark places was where i found solace and safety, it was where i could not be found. it was where i could not be outcasted either, manhandled into the corner, into the margins. instead i was casting myself out, gently sliding into the crevices where i could not be seen, heard or bothered.

i don’t understand the term “leader” from my lived experience, to put myself so far into the light would blind me, it seems. but to be revolutionary is to be leader in some way or twist, perhaps not like how the so-called-revolutionaries-but-really-murderous-colonizers are characterized or even the watered-down-so-they’re-easier-to-swallow MLKs, Mandelas and Gandhis that our hystory books have taught us about. to be a revolutionary leader is to notice the reality of where we are- time, place and people. it is to listen to and recognize the hystorical moment as such and to act and adapt according to the need of it, the need to move it forward under the propellant of revolutionary intention, strategy and most importantly, the propellant of the many many beating hearts harmonizing liberation all at once.

to be in the light sometimes but not casting shadows, to speak loudly but never over, to inspire the people but to know that they already know, they just need to be reminded, is leadership that i’ve borne witness to but the light, the light is something my eyes are still adjustin’ to.

my strengths as a leader, the strengths that i’ve been cultivating since the days of hiding in the colors of midnight lie in listening deeply to those who i speak to and who speak back, to the time that tells me where we are at, to our people’s hystory when i will myself to know.

my strengths as a leader, the strengths that i’ve been cultivating since the days of hiding in the colors of midnight lie in thinking deeply about what i see and what i’ve been told, about learning new ways and old, about the fantastic and creative places our movement of liberation will soon go.

my strengths as a leader, the strengths that i’ve been cultivating since the days of hiding in the colors of midnight lie in going deeply into the experience of how we sense the world, into the context of why capitalism is designed to hurt us and into the strategy of how we can hurt it back so we can heal.

my strengths as a leader, the strengths that i’ve been cultivating since the days of hiding in the colors of midnight lie in supporting, in loving, in guiding the moment, the person, the people, the comrades, myself.

my strengths as a leader lie in the many many beating hearts harmonizing liberation all at once.

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written for a revolutionary study group in Oakland, CA.

prompt for this meeting’s readings- STORM; Tyranny of Structurelessness and Capitalism Destroys Us, Movement Heals Us: what does leadership look like to you, ideally, in political organizing and struggle? do you see yourself being / becoming a leader, politically?  what kind of leader?  what are your strengths or weaknesses according to your own ideas of what good leadership is? if you don’t believe leadership is positive, what other roles or arrangements, do you prefer, politically?

and again…

and again, israel attacks gaza.

and again, it strikes to kill

those who have endured

decades of children knowing

the ear-deafening sound of death,

of grandparents fighting to survive not only 1948 but

each war, attack, daily persecution

since.

 

and again,

and again,

 

and again, israel attacks gaza.

and again, it strikes to kill

palestinian resistance

for calm and quiet evenings,

for laughter uninterrupted,

for celebrations unfamiliar with death,

for the necessities that are now luxuries.

 

and again,

and again,

 

and again, israel attacks gaza.

and again it strikes to kill

the determination that carries the people

the heart that beats “liberation”

the fists that spring revolution.

 

but again,

but again,

 

but again, palestine rises

in struggle,

in power

and with

the people.

blackgirldangerous, article “When The Lesser Of Two Evils Isn’t Enough”, comment thread which essentially discussed this question: in a two-party system where both options seem terribly evil, the choice between either obama (lesser evil) or romney (more evil), who should we lean towards even when acknowledging that we have a failing democracy?¹

i wonder how lesser evil is defined because yeah, mitt romney has a personality and opinions of a jackass but obama has actually been doing hella fucked up things, like materially fucked up, like creating killing fields and detaining folks because their breath smelled like “terrorist”, like displacing more folks than bush, some stupid fucked up life-murdering shit. to top it off, he’s pretty, charming, democrat and black. sounds pretty dangerous to me for what he can get away with (see: what obama has wrought)

but really this isn’t about him or mitt romney or whatever other shit-face that becomes president. whoever it is, will inevitably fuck shit up because in reality, none of them has control over the way the system wants to crank out its program of stripping workers of material power, of access to livelihood. and you know, we, the brown, black, immigrant, poor and queer, will get it worse, like we always do.

this system has got to go. and before that happens, this game of who is better or worse, seems like a game we will perpetually lose.

and yeah, when things get really bad, people can become more afraid. but on a brighter note, when things get really bad, people rise up, harder and stronger than ever before.*

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¹ i wrote this response 2 months ago on the blog blackgirldangerous, contemplated posting it on here, felt the time had passed by the time i got around to it but once again, it feels relevant because it’s in our celebration of obama’s “victory” that we have once again been distracted by the illusion that this system would concede its powers to the uncertainty of election. capitalism is smart, it knows better than to leave its success or its demise in the hands of some individual we happen to elect.

*comment slightly edited for aesthetic reasons.

facebook thread: is the term “destruction” when calling upon the necessity to “destroy capitalism” antithetical to buddhism?

i can see why the word “destruction” can connotate something negative because particularly in the west, the duality of “bad” and “good” exists so heavily. to me, though, destruction, as well as, creation is just change. when change happens in our lives, personally, interpersonally, collectively, systemically, we have the ability to see and feel both loss and gain, both destruction and creation. and i think to see and feel both is to notice the reality of what is, that life encompasses both and all. i think when capitalism is destroyed, when our hystory moves from this economic system to another, as it has done in the past, we will in its place have to create another way of relating to each other. i see capitalism as a hystorical necessity but not as a necessity of happiness- it is not built that way. and its my hope that our way of relating will be something more whole, empowered and supportive than capitalism has served for us because really, in all this “good” we see in capitalism, we need to ask ourselves, what are we really seeing? who is it really good for? who is really benefitting? and what has benefitting actually been defined as? do we want to benefit on the backs of poor, brown and marginalized? if so, i will be one of those that capitalism exploits and thrives off of and so will my communities. and i’m not ok with that. i’m not ok that behind the glittered veil of commodities, of more of everything, of the delusion of more, we have an assembly line of suffering- of our bodies and of our land. i fully support and will continuously engage in destroying capitalism, as will i fully support and will continuously engage in the creation of something else, a something else that centers itself on our connection rather than our alienation. to me destruction can be a beautiful thing.

in our quest to merge our spiritual with our political, we must let reality, as it continues to change, permeate how we see ourselves in the world. it is important to remain dialectical, to collide the past with our present in order to form the questions that will inspire creation, that will inspire us to look at what is without dogma, attachment or romanticism.

questions in preparation for the first radical poc fuckin’ sangha (meditation in community) at the makerspace-LOL:

  • what does individual liberation look like without collective liberation? how does privilege play into that?
  • what about nonviolence vs. armed resistance? what about the violence enacted on us everyday by capitalism, by colonialism?
  • and how about stealing? what is theft really when land, resources and community have been and are perpetually stolen from us?