living towards liberation: visioning

i wake up when my body wants to. there’s a collective care circle tonight where we’ll think, learn, and grow together around how best to take care of ourselves and each other. we’re learning how to hold space for trauma, for healing, for mental health issues that disrupt our relationships and well-being.

i am eager to put myself into the gentle hands of my loved ones and to hold them in return, but right now i have time to make a thai tea and sit on the back deck of my house, watching the earth heal. i sit and sip and write scraps of poetry until my need for quiet and slowness is met.

across town, at a fully and easily accessible community building, my partner teaches his class of students. they’ve all chosen to learn biology today and my partner works in collaboration with them and with educators who are people of color. education is voluntary and culturally responsive. students create their own goals and partner with those who teach to assess their progress. my partner is full of joy.

i get a text from my friends — a polycule of trans folks my sister knows are moving into a house of their own today! with the time i’ve had to tend to my health and with free, accessible, responsive healthcare, i’m the healthiest i’ve ever been. i can lift things again. setting aside the writing i’m doing on what i’ve been learning about transformative justice with my community, i hop on the train and head over. we have a great day together, laughing about the unexpected effects of HRT — widely available without gatekeeping to all trans and/or non-binary folks.

we grab food at a cooperatively owned restaurant. my partner, with his flexible schedule, joins us, as others do as well. the food is delicious beyond words. we grab some of the free zines on the shelf near the door when we leave, several of them include tips on gardening and one of them is a superman comic. with our biggest pop culture icons in the public domain, the number of stories about them has exploded.

the art in the comic is extremely detailed, obviously time-consuming work. in it, superman is a Jewish man of color engaging in mutual aid in areas where natural disasters have struck. while the number of natural disasters we experience has reduced dramatically as Land Back meant we lived into Indigenous wisdom around caring for and living with the earth, we still experience some. mutual aid networks are stronger than ever though and folks pre- and post-natural disasters create the supports they need together.

i go home and devour the comic, resting in bed to have stamina to go to circle tonight. my time is mine to use as i want and my work on recording what we’re all learning together to share our experiences with others can wait until i’m able to do it. all of my work can wait until i’m able to do it, because i share all work responsibilities with others. together, we get the necessary labor done and make sure we’re all able to attend to our health and happiness.

circle is beautiful. we share deeply about how we’re doing and what tools we’re using to engage in self- and collective care. i learn so many new things. i am lovingly corrected when i misstep or fail to see how the vestiges of the white supremacy culture i was born into are still affecting my perspective and actions. tomorrow, i’ll talk it out in our circle for white accountability where other white folks can do the labor of moving me through these things rather than the people of color present in this circle. i’ll make the repair i need to with them individually and collectively, using tools and communication strategies we’ve developed together. our relationships grow more intimate and authentic. i feel more whole.

after, my partner and i crawl into bed excited for tomorrow. we share stories about our days and laugh together. worn out in the best way possible, we fall asleep in the middle of talking about how we’d rewrite xena warrior princess, smiling and holding hands. we have sweet dreams about community dinners, dogs, and the smell of lavender from the community garden that is our front yard.

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hi beloveds. the above is a visioning of one way collective liberation could be experienced. there are so many ways collective liberation could look and they are all deeply exciting to me. i’m finding that when i don’t spend enough time envisioning the end goals for all my organizing work, i lose hope. so i hope to keep this practice up here. maybe it’ll help all of us. i think a vision to strive for is imperative in the hard work we’re doing. ❤

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