I was desperate for someone to keep me in their rear view if I should pop a tire. They were willing, but not tickled, that a single lady from California was now their responsibility on the longest stretch of road.
That night, over elk tacos (the last of their elk - they insisted, I forwent the mac and cheese), we learned we were much more alike politically than we feared talking about. We lamented the divisions that we were approaching in just a few hours as we crossed back over. We longed for different voices speaking up at different angles of our shared existence in the US.
This email is in honor of that conversation.
May 5, 2022 7:45 am There is a great sorrow. There is no protection. I am moved by the courageous systems and networks of resilience, flush with skillful support that has been around forever. Now we get to hear about it. The wisdom of women, of people, organizing protection in the face of oppression. I imagine that the funds to support the travel, medical care, recovery, and return travel for those who do not have access to doctors are about to be more flush than ever. I heard about one woman in Wyoming that handles all the travel - she'll have to hire some help now. I think of what is going to happen to the midwife and doula communities - how they will become more organized, train more women, and we will know our bodies again. Because we know how to protect each other. And for that, I am grateful. And of course, I'm appalled just like yo. Well, maybe you, but I think you, too. The first reactions to the leak and any big information are big: the marches, fundraising calls, and just utter overwhelm (the noisiest of all)… Truth is, we actually have no room to discern or digest it. It's hard to understand how our rights can be taken away in favor of a constitution that was written (by colonizers) and later amended by people who couldn't possible have foresight for all the people they serve. The result is a chronic passing of the buck. Especially from those who could otherwise protect us. It's a fibonacci code, this whole thing, replicating over and over again - from inside us all the way to the edges of the actions, or inactions, we engage. Last night I had a first dinner with someone who has daughters. He hadn't heard the news yet as he works offsite in the (literal) wilderness. His immediate response was “When (my eldest) turns 18, she and her friends will vote all this out of the park.” Something about it didn't sit right with me. Maybe I had heard it before - that my votes would outweigh the opposition. But it was something else. His response felt promising in the moment- polite and active, but when I woke this morning, I was in all honesty, devastated. What, in fact, was he going to do about it? How was he going to protect his daughter (and his sons, he's got two of those), from this threat, as they live in a state where it will most likely be outlawed first? Is it now time again, for those who are most threatened to handle business? Again? Really? Yes. Again. Another crucial piece of personal protection is being taken away by the government, and it's rippling out into interpersonal exchanges. The division I've known from this law continues, and if not already in the blood, is reaching beyond. The seeds of division are not just political and social. They are intrapersonal. They replicate within - the patterns of our behaviorreceding and projecting simultaneously. We stall in collaboration and relation. Already, most of us aren't protected - even by each other. And amidst the-all-of-it (cue any still or flashback from Everything Everywhere All At Once), as I gaze up, or down, at the lighted screen with scrolls of information, wide-eyed, dispersed, and somewhat exhausted, I invite a closer moment of protecting ourselves from the inside out. I am going to try - to just try to take a moment and imagine, invoke, and model a behavior of protection. As California and New York readies itself for the flood of those needing medical care, I seek a new relationship with this country. As discussions and angers ignite more finger pointing, we are being called not only to protect state-sanctioned rights, we are invited to protect each other. As we always have, and will continue to do. With love and vulnerability, Nica
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