Oh unthinkable thoughts. Now that I have thought you, it becomes clear to me that all of you are rooted in a singular longing: I want us to want to live.
I want us to want to live in this world, in this time, together.
I want us to love this planet and this species, at this time.
I want us to see ourselves as larger than just individuals randomly pinging around in a world that will never care for us.
I want us to see ourselves as a murmuration of creatures who are, as far as we know right now, unique in all the universe. Each cell, each individual body, itself a unique part of this unique complexity.
I want us not to waste the time we have together.
I want us to look at each other with the eyes of interdependence, such that when someone causes harm, we find the gentle parent inside of us who can use a voice of accountability, while also bringing curiosity—“Why did you cause harm? Do you know? Do you know other options? Apologize.” That we can set boundaries that don’t require the disappearance of other survivors. That we can act towards accountability with the touch of love. That when someone falls behind, we can use a parent’s voice of discipline, while also picking them up and carrying them for a while if needed.
I want us to adapt from systems of oppression and punishment to systems of uplifting and transforming.
I want us to notice that this is a moment when we need to orient and move towards life, not surrender to the incompetence and hopelessness of our national leadership.
I want us to be discerning.
I want our movement to feel like a vibrant, accountable space where causing harm does not mean you are excluded immediately and eternally from healing, justice, community, or belonging.
I want us to grow lots and lots of skill at holding the processes by which we mend the wounds in our communities and ourselves.
I want satisfying consequences that actually end cycles of harm, generate safety, and deepen movement.
I want us to have an abundance of skill in facilitation and mediation when what needs to be addressed is at the level of misunderstanding, contradiction, mistake, or conflict. I want us collectively to be able to use precise language and to be comfortable asking each other questions for the sake of providing each other the absolute best, most healing and most satisfying support possible.
Within Black movement, I want us to hold Black humanity to the highest degree of protection. Yes, even when we have caused harm. I want us to see each other’s trauma-induced behavior as ancestral and impermanent, even as we hold each other accountable.