With 45 as our president, it’s no surprise that Brad KFCchicken was voted in. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t suck. Perhaps your social media feed has looked like mine for the last week: flooded with the stories and witnessing of women, trans, and non-binary folks’ stories of survival. It was a collective slap in the face for all of us — male survivors, too — and has left some folks wondering, “What do we do now?”
The short version of the answer is: what we’ve always done. What we’ll continue to do. But if you’re new to the territory or need a reminder, here’s a short list.
1. We keep surviving, and, more importantly, we keep thriving, because nothing enrages them more than when we thrive despite them, when we are shamelessly and joyfully exactly what we are
2. We take breaks from the fight to recuperate, and get shamelessly absorbed in things like art, music, tv and movies, dancing, screaming, or whatever coping mechanisms help us release energy and soak up our attention for a time, and we immediately forgive ourselves for needing those breaks, because our psyches did not evolve to withstand this kind of knowing in the first place
3. We commit to small but sincere acts of joy and service for our community, whatever those may look like — cooking a meal for an isolated friend, kid-sitting for a tired parent, watching stand-up and making crafts, sending unexpected love notes or postcards in the mail, decorating for someone’s birthday — let’s use our imaginations to rediscover the joy and necessity of human connection, which both fills our resevoirs and strengthens the fight
4. We build community in determining what we have to offer and trading it as freely as we are able, because the state will never want us or save us — your skills with resumes or tarot reading or art or cooking or cleaning or code or sewing or reading or language or budgeting? They *matter* to someone who doesn’t have them
5. We honor with memory and word and act and altar those who came before us, who survived genocide, who survived subjugation, our ancestors of blood or liberation and the sacrifices they made so that we can be exactly where we are today
6. We eat when it feels good and exercise when it feels good and hug when it feels good and cry when it feels good and fuck when it feels good and break shit (thrift store dishes!) when it feels good and we commit to remembering that pleasure refuels our ability to shoulder this weight
7. We go outside and remember that beneath the soil, seeds are still stirring; we listen to the birds singing for mates and territory; we look for butterflies sipping the essence from a flower; we feel the wind and the rain and the sea. We remember that all of that is us, and we are it, too, and the world keeps moving through seasons and growth no matter what we do. We are conduits of the divine
8. We keep casting spells and making magic and talking to the ethers, not only for ourselves but against white supremacy and against the cisheteropatriarchy, because our wise-witch ancestors did not practice the old ways in hiding for centuries so that we could wait for someone else to fight our war
9. We send blessings as easily as we send hexes, and we channel our rage into creation as easily as we channel it into destruction — we keep meddling, and interrupting, and providing discomfort, and we keep celebrating, and supporting, and visioning
10. We breathe deep into our bellies until they expand as far as they can go.
We unclench our beings. We let our throats and jaws and foreheads go soft.
We remember who the fuck we are.
Have an idea to add? Throw it in the comments section!
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