Full Moon in Cancer

Okay. So. Some say the full moon was yesterday, Jan 1, and some say it’s today, Jan 2. Some say the full moon was at 2:34 am EST this morning. Or something. I don’t know. I’m just here to report on the energies, which can be felt in the days before and after it actually hits 100% full. So there you go. I love you, you weirdos. Thanks for being here with me.

::: ::: ::: :::

Full Moon in Cancer and here’s what they’re saying:

From SheWhoIs:

This is a triple-feminine energy, a year beginning with the sign of the full moon itself, exalted in the mothering, feminine arms of Cancer, in a month producing two full moons* and a lunar eclipse. We are being called to attention, fruited from within, to bear sacred witness to mysteries centuries in keeping. Veils are being lifted, and a new aeon ushered in. It is important to differentiate that these energies, having always been present, are in the state of revelation, and whispering for those who will hear to bear witness. 

Magic, mayhem, and mystery are keywords to both this influence, and the new year before us. Truths will be revealed, some beyond the realm of belief, though deeply embraced by our eternal and inward knowing of Spirit. Expect upsets, and topplings of structures that no longer serve us. However, many helpers and tools await with which to create the lives we envision, so long as our spirits and hearts align with our will and path. 

The moon’s energy beckons you to cocoon alone in silent space and meditate on what you truly desire. This requires deep knowing of your self and Nature, which this energy will lend you, if you are open and will allow. 

* Bitches and witches, there is no full moon in February this year and I feel like that is a personal gift to me from the gods and the planets. My whole month, nearly my whole sign (Aquarius), will be in the dark- fucking y-e-s!!

 

From TheGoddessCircle:

Truth. Drop the masks. Stop hiding behind old patterns. Stop pretending everything is fine. Open up in relationships. Emotional. Don’t settle for less than you deserve out of loneliness. Focus where you want growth. Have courage. Show your truth. 

[I dig the succinctness of this.]

 

just a moment for my inner nerd.

 

From ‘Following the phases ~ moon love ‘ on Facebook:

As we approach the New Year and the first of our full moons in January, I would like you to pause. Breathe in this moment and many moments which are now and remember that you are blessed…no matter your circumstances. 

Life is full of birth, death, and rebirth. Just look at the moon! The wheel turns in a continuous cycle, but each a birthing of a new moment. 

As I think now of my journey here, I have had many experiences and not all pretty. Not all voluptuous, not all light. But every experience helped me grow. *

I have lost people who I have loved and experienced true, raw, depths of pain…

…Not realizing that this burning was also expansion. 

…Every scar, every tear, every withdrawl.
Every smile, every laugh, every expansion….

Brought me to my now. 

Every beautiful creation, every beautiful soul, every mistake, every sleeper, every heartache…

Helped me experience the fullness of life. 

You are not the pain, the joy, the emotion.
You are the awareness.

This is a sacred moment and the power is within you.
Write your new story.
Be mindful how you speak to you…because you are listening.

Read the books you love, find your people, eat your foods with compassion and joy, listen to the music that resonates with your soul, exercise dance, laugh, cry, create…and love!

* We do not believe that everything in life should be ‘light’ around here. Only the full expanse of human experience and emotion makes us fully human. Light and dark. Lots of gray. Dark stuff is nothing to fear, unless we hold it back.

 

Finally, from The Witches Box:

The energetics of the Full Moon in Cancer:

  • water
  • emotions
  • cardinal
  • nurturing
  • nourishing
  • mother
  • intuition

Make your own magic.

::: ::: ::: :::

What can I tell you, my peeps? This is a good full moon. What do you do with it? Sit under it. Let its light fall on you. Let your heart tell its truths in this light- and fucking listen to what it says. Fall into the softness of the feminine, let it hold you. Wander inside yourself. Find your magic and let it lead you.

Big love,
Joanna :: xoxo

 

 

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2018 :: insights. integrations. experiments.

[I started this post at 10 am on 01-01-18. It’s taken me all day to finish. Which says something about how the day has gone. Thanks for being patient with a very late post.]

Hello, fellow travelers. How are you on this first day of 2018? Is it a big celebration day for you? Or is it just another day, except now you have to write 2-0-1-8 instead of 2-0-1-7?

The first day of the year is kind of big deal for me. I was talking with my husband about it- he wondered why January 1st was more interesting to me than December 22nd – the day after Solstice and the beginning of the awakening of the season of light. I had to think about my answer.

Numbers are a beautiful language to me and so the change from 2017 to 2018 is significant in a way I feel inside myself- just a little shift in energy, a shift in the language, that makes me feel a tiny bit different. Some people don’t register this at all- but it shifts something inside me.

Truth be told, the point in the ‘new year’ where I feel alive and dedicated to something actually starts on the Spring Equinox- that’s when Life is starting to push its way up into visibility. So, what I’m doing now, in the dark of Winter, is more like planting seeds, knowing they will come up at some point. Even though the days are getting lighter by degrees, it’s still dark, still winter, and I think it’s good to stay low, quiet, and comfy. There will be time for rising and working and shining soon enough. But, yes, the change of the calendar does put me in a mood to take the small actions that will bear fruit later on.

 

 

Which is to say, I do set intentions for the new year. But I also know that changing my life requires actual fucking work and action, so I better be prepared to put my time, effort, and attitude behind what I want to accomplish.

Before we head into what I’m hoping to accomplish this year, I want to talk about some things I’ve learned about myself this year.

:: insights ::

In 2016 I learned that sometimes I have to let go of people because caring for them is hurting me. I have a huge heart, I love to love people- to let them know they are special, loved, and important to this world; I love to help people heal and feel strong and sure again. But there have been a few times when I’ve let that go too far and ended up hurting myself instead- giving too much. In 2016, I learned to let go of things and people and experiences that hurt that way.

In 2017, I learned that letting go is sometimes more complicated than that. Sometimes letting go means I am keeping someone else from hurting- that my attention and care might actually hurt another person. It’s weird to say such a thing, I know, but that makes it no less true. I learned to get better at cutting off one-sided relationships (but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt any less) and also to keep people safe from me by burning bridges or pushing them away. And that letting go is a multi-faceted decision sometimes.

[And also- I just suck at letting people go. I want to love people, so much. And if I can’t, letting them go is like the worst roller coaster ride ever. It takes time and it’s up and down and I just suck at it. I don’t know that I want to get better at it- I don’t want my heart to harden. But also…gah…it hurts to fight yourself for what you want but know you can’t have.]

This year I learned how and when to take risks. I don’t like taking risks, they scare me to death, but I will do it if there is some assurance of a good outcome. But this Fall I learned to risk even if I have no idea of the outcome. I learned to risk just because I desired something. And it’s thrilling, but it also pushed huge amounts of cortisol into my system and wrecked my adrenals. Still, it was worth it for what I learned and what I got out of it.

I learned that I can speak to a group of 200 people if I feel comfortable with the topic and have a decent outline for the content, but that if you get me into a 1:1 conversation that I care about a lot, I turn into a spaghetti ball of anxiety. And not a nice one that sits on a plate and just spreads, but rather a spaghetti ball that is dropping through air and quickly falling apart – at least that’s what it felt like on the inside. I’ve never experienced that before. But then, I’ve never taken that high of a risk before. Scary as fuck. Did it anyway. Learned a lot.

I was reminded, once again, that the heart is a house with many rooms. And you never know who or what will take up residence within our heart, or exactly how they will occupy the space. I also learned that I can lie to myself about what I feel for or want from people. And this is something I have to be very careful of from now on. Desire is sometimes full of surprises.

2017 also taught me that I can be tough as nails when needed, and also so overwhelmed that I fall apart. I’m not good at falling apart- I’m the strong one- but it happened this summer and I learned a lot from the experience. I know that I would like to prevent falling apart in the future, but even if I can’t, I can do it with a tiny bit more grace in the future. I hope.

I learned a really unexpected thing about myself in the last two months- that I don’t mind being sexually objectified as long as I’m sexually objectifying the other person, too. If someone is creepy, projecting their shit on me, or I don’t find them attractive, then I will create a boundary with the quickness. And- I would much rather be found sexually attractive and be interesting as a whole person (waaaaay preferable), but…I’m okay with mutual sexual objectification. I thought I was better than that, but I’m not.

I think it’s important to point out that I am a BIG believer in the idea that we never really ‘lose’ in Life. We either win or we learn. Yes, several times this year I wanted something big and didn’t get it. But what I do get is the opportunity to learn from my intentions and mistakes and try to get better (for if there is a next time) or be better then it’s still a ‘win’ to me. Which brings me to the next section: intentions.

 

i did some kitchen magic, too.

 

:: intentions and integrations ::

Based somewhat on the previous insights, but also on what I’ve learned from just watching my actions this year, I have intentions and things I want to grow and integrate into my life.

My intentions this year are thus:

consistent meditation and spiritual nourishment practice.

Spiritual nourishment is different for everyone. For me it means meditating for 15 minutes 5 days a week (no less than 4, for sure). Meditation keeps my head right, gives me stress resiliency, and makes me less of a bitch. I lost the habit over the summer and it’s really obvious that it’s time for me to get back to it. I have a longer spiritual nourishment practice that involves dancing + music + intuition + prayer and I also need to get back to that. Music really is my soul and my direction and without it I am not as whole as I could be.

 

less social media; more reading.

I barely read any books last year and that’s a damn shame. Granted, it was a kind of difficult and crappy year in many respects, but I don’t have that excuse any longer. Time to get my brain into a healthier place.

 

get to bed on time. 

I’m doing this one not only because I know it will calm down my cortisol, but also because there are a lot of guilt-inducing voices in my head that complain – at several levels – when I don’t get to bed on time. I can avoid the shitty voices if I just get to sleep. Also: fucking sleep! It’s a gift! I need it.

 

do more of the work I’m good at. 

I am really good at helping people, healing broken things and people, finding lost things and souls- I simply need to do more of it. Not sure what this will look like, but I’m ready to grow into it.

 

:: experiments ::

Intentions and resolutions aren’t for everyone, so I really like the idea from Amy McCracken on Facebook about experiments.

“What if instead of giant resolutions you conducted 12 mini experiments to find out if what you tell yourself is true when you think *if I just _______, my life would be different.

I asked a question on Facebook a couple of weeks ago because I wanted to know if I was the only person in the world who did this.

‘Legit question. I want to know if you do this to yourself. It’s for an experiment. Trust me. Do you have a list of things (or one thing) you tell yourself if you did that thing your life would be different? For instance, ‘If I did yoga every day, I swear my life would be different.’ If I ate fruits and vegetables, I am convinced my life would be different… Anything at all. What is it you tell yourself when you fill in these blanks: If I _____ every day, I think my life would be different.”

If I…
meditated
journaled
exercised
flossed
did yoga
studied
cleaned
played
got more sleep
practiced gratitude
made art
…I think my life would be different/better.

LET’S CALL OUR BLUFF. Let’s make our list of things we think will change our lives. And let’s put them to the test in month-long experiments. do one thing for a month. Everyday.

If it changes your life, holy shit, you’ve changed your life.

If it doesn’t, let that shit go. Once and for all. Never tell yourself that THAT one thing you are NOT doing would make you better. Done. Cross it off the list.

You don’t have to do an experiment every month. I actually hope that there are not 12 things on your list (there are on mine). You don’t have to do anything at all, ever, especially not because I’m proposing it. And you certainly don’t have to spill the beans about what you are committing to for 30 days.”

I love this. A way to let ourself off the hook from grand gestures and really find out what our life is about. What will really change us? What are we really committed to? Growth-junkie me digs this.

In many ways my intentions are these kinds of experiments. But I know I also want to try some new things in 2018. I want to:

  • take a boxing class. mostly I want to wrap my hands with that cool tape and hit things.
  • take a dancing class. burlesque. belly dancing. some kind of modern exercise dance thing. i don’t care, I just wanna move my body in new ways.
  • try rowing. this past summer I stayed in a house where rowers came by in the morning and evening and it looked both exciting and peaceful. i wanna find out for myself.

::: ::: ::: :::

One of the things I know about Life now is that we can make intentions and resolutions and goals- and even reach them- but Life always also has its own agenda for us. We will have lessons thrown at us that we didn’t expect in any given year- and how we deal with them can teach us a lot. I hope that your 2018 is filled with all the good things you hope for. And when it also hands you the difficult tasks, I hope you find courage and patience and self-forgiveness to deal with them.

All my love, fellow travelers,
Joanna :: xoxo

 

 

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all behavior is communication

I’m writing this post partially so I can refer back to it for future writings. Because I know I’ll need it. In any case, here we go…

Whenever I think about people and how to work with them, or how to give context to politics or headlines, or how to make a decision about how to deal with someone or something, I refer to what I know about how people work, psychologically. And one thing I deeply believe is that all behavior is communication– our actions are the outcome of our psychology and emotion. It’s possible to have many feelings and thoughts about a thing, even intentions, but what it comes down to is how we act on those things. Behavior is pretty damn indicative of what we’re really about.

I tend to fall in love with behaviors. Because behavior is the truth. We only use our bodies – our behavior and actions – to do what we most want to, what we most care about, or most believe we are capable of. So, behavior indicates so much more than words.

If we back up, though, here are things I take into consideration when I look at behavior. Because behavior comes from many places, and we need to consider those things if we want to know what is being communicated, what behavior means.

 

Gender

We know that male and female brains have some differences. They may not be as disparate as we have been lead to believe, but as someone who had a more testosterone-based brain for five years, there is a difference in brain chemistry based on sex hormones and this difference definitely influences behavior. When I was juiced on testosterone I had more focus, ambition, sexual thoughts, and lowered inhibitions than ever in my life. Hormone-based brain function is not an excuse for shitty behaviors, we are all capable of every human emotion and choice, but it can be explanatory and help us find meaning in behavior.

 

Age

Brains mature at different ages. Males tend to mature later than females, and so I take that into consideration when I look at behavior. Did a bunch of 18 year-old guys do something stupid? Their brains may not have been mature enough to make a better decision. Again, this doesn’t excuse poor behavior, but it can explain choices and help us to develop education and tools to avoid poor behavior in the future.

Also, after the age of 18, unless you have organic brain disorders, I believe you are responsible for every choice you make and the ensuing outcomes. You’re big enough to drive a car and vote, you’re big enough to be responsible for your shit. Even if you’ve had difficulties, you have the choice to get help and tackle the effect of those difficulties in your life (for instance, co-dependency, trauma, or abuse).

 

Upbringing

The ages 0-5 are the years in which ‘normal’ is set for the psyche. This means that what happens during those years is what will feel ‘normal’ or ‘right’ for us for a long time, perhaps our whole life. And if something difficult or horrible happens during these years, that can also feel ‘normal’ – and be problematic. For people who spent ages 0-5 with arguing parents or in abusive homes (or any other awful thing) this feels ‘normal’ to them, and they may seek to perpetuate it in adulthood, even if they know it’s not healthy, good, or right for them.

The impact of images and feelings upon the psyche is especially important in these years because they are the only internal guidance we have- words are almost non-existent for the first 2 years of life, even though we are having significant development experiences. I have watched friends and acquaintances work through abandonment issues, which occurred when they were 8 months old. Traumatic events in the early years have deep, lasting impact, and they have to be accounted for when we look at people’s behavior and what that behavior means.

 

Trauma

Trauma is when an experience is so emotionally overwhelming that we shut off. The emotional point at which trauma occurs is different for each person. For some, a car accident may be unpleasant, but it can be overcome relatively easily. For others, a car accident may mean lasting physical or psychological pain- which may take years to heal.

Trauma informs behavior in so many ways I can’t possibly mention them all here. But what trauma mostly does is make people feel confused, frustrated, and doubt themselves (often because they know they want to do something, but can’t seem to do it). Of course, trauma can also lead to stress and anxiety and unhealthy coping behaviors. Traumatic behaviors can also feel like sub-conscious behaviors, a la “I don’t know why I do that, I just do.”

 

Highly Sensitive People

Perhaps due to trauma, but also sometimes just to physiologic factors, some people are more highly sensitive than others. Their physiologic and sensual systems get overwhelmed with small amounts of data. They can be highly attuned to the energy of places and people, and many HSPs notice lots of details as their system tries to process the environment and make sense of it. This can influence their behavior to turn inwards, ‘hate people,’ or feel anxious (and behave accordingly).

 

Personality

I do believe that humans have stages of development, growth hurdles they must overcome in order to be fully developed (and often, these tasks aren’t fun and produce complicated, difficult feelings). I’m not sure that Erikson has the whole picture, because every human is unique, but his theory is a good place to start.

Knowing that people may be dealing with a particular stage of growth can tell us something about their choices and ensuing behaviors. If someone is trying to know who they are as an adult, we can gain some insight into their behaviors (i.e. hanging out with different groups, trying on different clothing styles, etc). As well, if people skip a particular growth hurdle, they may need to go back and finish it, which can result in behaviors that look immature for a particular age.

I also believe there is something to the idea of personality typing such as Myers-Briggs or even astrological symbols. Maybe we shouldn’t take these too seriously, but I think they are good templates from which to learn about people and be able to make some foundational assessments as to whether we can connect or not.

 

Mental Health Issues

Of course any mental health issue is going to influence behavior. Whether we are talking about depression or schizophrenia, how our brain works is probably the most important factor in our behavior. And if our brain isn’t working along the continuum of ‘normal’ (which is also highly questionable label), behavior may range from confusing to outside the shared reality we currently inhabit. (Which is to say: I’m not entirely sure that people with schizophrenia aren’t just inhabiting a reality the rest of us can’t see, but a reality that also remains completely valid.) It’s always good to know if someone has a mental health issue they are dealing with when we try to figure out what their behavior is trying to communicate.

::: ::: ::: :::

Behavior falls into two categories, generally. Conscious and sub-conscious behavior. Conscious behavior is the things we do and know we are doing them, the actions we take on purpose. Sub-conscious behavior is the things we don’t notice we’re doing or the things we do ‘just because’ or ‘I don’t know why.’ Sometimes we don’t want to acknowledge our conscious behaviors (‘no, I didn’t do that’) because it goes against our sense of ourselves or our greater motives or we suspect we’ll be punished for our choice. Sometimes we’re just straight up lying about what our behavior means, to ourselves and others. But, of course, that is just another form of communication through behavior, isn’t it?

All of this is to say that these are the things I am wondering about when I look at people’s behavior. But, more importantly, I am also looking at behavior as communication of many of these factors- the communication goes both ways. Behavior is also as an indicator of what you really are, what you truly believe in, and what you most want. Everything you are doing, everything I am doing, is an attempt to communicate something, even if we don’t know what we’re doing, even if we don’t know that we’re doing it. The trick in this life is know as much as we can about ourselves, heal ourselves, and be as conscious as we can – in both our words and our actions.

 

 

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How does a sensualist celebrate Christmas?

She doesn’t! She celebrates Solstice. And we start the day with candlelight.

 

 

At our house we do a big celebration for Solstice because we’re not Christians. Taoist-Buddhist-Pagan eclectic mix is what we do here (although, I’ve been thinking about that, too- and probably need to reconsider what right I have to those traditions. But not today…)

One of the reasons we celebrate Solstice (both of them, and the Equinoxes) is our dedication to science, but also because they are the celebrations that our closest to the body. Before central heating, our bodies knew what season it was because of the changes in the light and the changes in temperature each season. Even now, I need more thyroid medication during the winter because my body is registering that it’s time to slow down, experience less light, and my metabolism responds accordingly. We’ve lost some of that physical connection with the seasons (okay, but we did gain Netflix, so it’s not all bad) but we can reconnect with it easily enough by connecting with the solstices and equinoxes. So, here we are.

Around here we relax during the day, letting the darkest day sink into our bones- because there is a natural desire to slow down during this time of year. We eat a candle-lit dinner to acknowledge and enjoy the dark. At dinner we will eat foods that remind us of the sun- sweet potatoes, orange cheese, oranges, fizzy drinks (I have no idea why that reminds me of the sun, just go with me on this), we make a ‘sunshine’ cake, and other items that make us feel happy amongst the dark.

We perform the ritual of letting dark things go. The winter Solstice is the time to let go of what no longer serves us- to unwind, untie, unlearn, and release that which is no longer needed. We write things on paper and burn them in a clay pot- and use the ashes to feed a new plant that we will love into the new year and into Spring.

It is also a time to honor the dark- because darkness is part of human nature, too. And without our fear, anger, frustration, sadness, and grief we are incomplete (what would we be if we were happy all the time?). So we also bless the darkness for holding balance in our lives.

I spend time with all the holiday things that bring me sensual pleasure.

Sarah McLachlan’s Wintersong album – truly full of adult holiday feelings

Harry Connick Jr.’s  Songs I Heard – not Christmas-based but reworking childhood favorites

The Muppets singing “Little Saint Nick” – because you need Animal grinding it out, okay?

“Stop the Cavalry” by The Cory Band – which is a weird but enjoyable anti-war/nuke protest song. But it sounds like Christmas.

And my ‘put it on repeat’ favorite: “Christmas Wrapping” by the Waitresses.

[I will tell you, I got super sick of Christmas music the other day and had to put on some Van Halen, Rush, and Aerosmith. So, raise your glass for sensuality and 80s rock this Solstice.]

 

I will drink my favorite tea. (Once you have British tea, you can never go back. Buy it here.)  Lots of sugar, lots of cream.

 

 

I’ll read favorite books.

Sections from David Copperfield. Because in AP English (waytoomanyyearsago) we read it in December and I can never go without it now.

A children’s book my grandmother gave me when I was diagnosed with diabetes (36 years ago!) called “Joel Schick’s Christmas Present” which is a re-telling of the 12 Days of Christmas, except with strange creatures. Creatures that eat the decorations. And once you sing it in your head with the new words, you will have trouble remembering the old ones.

 

 

Something from Toot & Puddle, a quieting favorite when my kids were small.

 

 

I will put my children to bed, snuggling with my daughter as the twinkly lights hang quietly in her room. My son simply wants hugs these days. I will feel my body against their’s, remembering when they were small enough to fit into my arms.

 

I’ll curl up in my favorite sweater and jeans and watch Emmett Otter’s Jugband Christmas (which no one but me loves) and The Family Stone, with a bowl of popcorn. [Except I lied. Tonight is the opening of Season 4 of Peaky Blinders on Netflix. And I am going to watch and fall in love with Tommy Shelby and his intelligent, graceful violence once again. He is so fucking delicious.]

 

I feed myself what I most need on this day, with a special awareness of the dark, of its gifts, and of the promise of coming light. And Solstice will be the calmest day of my year.

 

 

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Burning It Down

It’s time for another political post, my friends.

Yes, we do that here because the sensual body is a part of the body politic. And so many beautiful people are fighting for the right to call their body, their life, their love- their own. (You can find previous political posts here: Making the Spirit Corporeal, Forged. Punk. Sexy., Love In Action. )

And today we are going to talk about Systems theory.

Systems theory is the idea that everything is a system- each thing within itself and also as it relates to other systems. As an example, a tree is a system unto itself- roots, branches, bark, leaves. It also contains other systems inside itself such as delivery systems for food and sap. And, the tree is part of the environmental system in which it lives, which also includes the systems for Earth, Air, and Weather.

Humans are no different. We operate in many systems, not the least of which is our own body. The cardiovascular system, the respiratory system, the endocrine system. These systems work on their own but also touch other systems. One of the reasons I work in a holistic way is because the human emotional system has a huge impact on the human physiological system. And so does the spiritual system. They are each unique systems, but they also interact with many other systems inside the body. (I also use several different physiologic systems including Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda. In contrast to Western systems, these have been around for 2,000+ years, so I think they are valid ways of viewing the human bio-psychological system.)

And then we have the systems in which humans interact. Currently, the political system has got me amped up because the new tax code aims to erode and destroy the things I most care about: love, health, and truth.

The systems involved in current Western society, especially American society, don’t help a lot of people. The current systems keep women, people of color, LGBTQQ folks, low-SES people, and a whole lot of others without resources, support, acceptance, or validation. That’s not healthy, loving, or accepting of the truth.

The systems involved in current Western society make men feel like they have to ‘be strong’ (or whatever) and leave them without ways to adequately emotionally express themselves or bond emotionally with other men. The systems draws a sharp, clear line between ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’ and asks that we only rarely cross that line, which is not how human hearts, brains, or bodies work. I will say that this system is slowly changing for the better, as I know many men fully capable of healthy emotional expression and maturity, but there are miles to go still in changing this system to one of full acceptance of the human emotional spectrum for all humans (whether that is masculine, feminine, or any other expression).

The systems involved in current Western society encourage addiction of all forms, although most especially addiction to work. And individualism to the point of depression. And destruction of the environment (only today I noticed that the starlings, which usually leave in October, were still here, gathering on the wires to practice their flight plans; they are two months late in leaving). And destruction of the spirit.

The systems involved in current Western society are fucked.

 

Photo by Christopher Burns on Unsplash

 

The systems involved in current Western society help only very few to achieve their potential.

The systems involved in current Western society help only very few to have adequate resources.

The systems involved in current Western society destroy more than they create.

And this is why we talk about burning it down.

The systems that are in place serve the best interest of almost no one. What are the best interests of people? I boil it down to this: safety, health, and prosperity. Everyone deserves these things. Everyone. Without question.

We deserve to feel safe in our bodies, our love, our homes, our cities. All of us.

We deserve to have health and feel healthy in our bodies, our love, our homes, our cities. All of us.

We deserve to have prosperity in our bodies, our love, our homes, our cities. All of us.
[Prosperity may include riches, but it never includes greed. There is no reason anyone needs $mil in a society that provides for safety, health, and prosperity. Make all you want, but care for your fellow man.]

I recognize that if we burn these systems, if we tear them down, it will mean less of many things for myself and my family. And I am so fiiiiiine with this. I am not sure that others in my race and social strata are, even as they want to desperately change the system. But I know it’s worth the sacrifice, because the current systems serve the good of no one.

What new systems shall we build? you might ask. I do not know, exactly. I have no concrete vision that I can show you, that the world will look like x, y, or z. For almost a year now that has been a great struggle for me- I wanted to know exactly what we were building. But it is less difficult now- because I simply want systems that create safety, health, and prosperity for everyone.  And so I choose those as much as I possibly can. (Some thoughts in this article about moving beyond capitalism.)

Systems are not fixed. Not the tree. Not the Earth. Not the body. Not politics. Not money. Not taxes. Some systems can be changed with time. But some systems also need to be destroyed.

In many ways, I am very glad and proud to be alive now. To be the age I am so that I can apply pressure, resources, and my privilege to changing these systems, to destroying some, and to building up what I most hope for. It is a time of great creativity on a lot of fronts (thank god for artists and musicians and all other truth tellers). But it may also be time to burn things that are too old to change and turn the ashes under and not even begin again, but build somewhere else instead. 

I leave you with the words of Jacob Marley, on this, the 174th anniversary of the publishing of the first installation of A Christmas Carol:

“Business! Mankind was my business. The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence, were all my business. The dealings of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!”

[Which is to say: the new tax code, if passed, can go fuck itself.]

 

 

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