Fighting for our Lives – Diary of a Baba
Posted on November 19, 2018
The last week or so has been an apocalyptic glimpse of what we don’t often experience so closely in the Bay Area but is becoming the “new normal.” Fire and toxic smoke is everywhere. No school for children, canceling meetings and events, crowded indoor spaces; toxic smoke is bad not only for weak lungs but for the faith of heart.
Our other new normal is winning locally and across the country! The short term losses in the Georgia and Florida governor’s race, have already inspired millions and transformed our way of movement politics. Union hotel workers who have been on strike for 45 days have either reached a contract or are in negotiations. There are more to be named, of course.
So what does this mean for us as we are fighting for our lives?
In our movement work, we often get stuck on the “what” or “what’s next” or just focus on on the “who” and “how”. Some want to go slow to go fast, some just go fast. To me, it is never an either or. I want it all and I want it for all of us. When the time comes, we need to fight like hell with the homies and sometimes we need patience (or “concentrated strength”) on when to strike. In the end, these are the strategic assessments we make on the day to day. I do this as a practice; and in this way, we will win.
Right now though I can’t help but to feel that the new normal should also be accessing each other’s strength and love more. I don’t know what is to come, all I know is that we have to be ready for ALL of it. From defensive and offensive campaigns, inside and outside strategies, local to national work to tantrums/meltdowns and climate catastrophe… This all makes me think about who my family is, chosen and beyond.
Going to the celebration of life for Alana Devich Cryil this weekend was a great reminder of all this. In the midst of toxic smoke (quite literally), we were celebrating the life of Alana and how her love transformed all around her. Alana and Malkia showed us (showed me) how to practice love, joy and liberation on the daily. It is our collective and immense love for each other and for liberation that will win. I can’t help but feel humbled by all this and SO grateful for their open hearts that fuel us all.
“It is our collective and immense love for each other and for liberation that will win.”
Because, seriously, when shit hits the fan, who do you want to be rolling with?? We’re all fighting for our lives in varying degrees but I know more who I want to be doing that with and, more importantly, I’m clear I don’t want to be alone.
This week, we made important pivots to cancel meetings and retreats. This may be the case for some of you. Before backfilling that time with other meetings (I’m guilty of that too), let’s take some time to appreciate folks, build up someone close to you or just catch up with someone you care about.
For example, this weekend, Mychi and I spent some quality time re-watching favorite episodes of Sesame Street (the yoga one and kindness kid one) with Collin and caught up with each other. The next couple days, I’m going to catch up with myself and do some much needed writing and reflection. Times are precious and let’s learn to practice love, joy and liberation everyday.
Side bar message: I’ve been called an “idealist” and sometimes very “Bay Area”. There’s some truth there. But let’s give credit where credit is due. There is radical imagination everywhere, especially where folks are pushed to the margins. And let’s not forget most badass ideas come from the south and global south (EOM).
SO back to the post… Lets fight for our lives with radical imagination. Let’s access each other more and practice love, joy and liberation every. single. day.