It’s June. I’ve been feeling anxious lately. I’ve been writing some wacky poetry. And binge-watching terrible TV and not going on enough walks.
My friend Angela May drew this really cool digital portrait of me, based off a selfie.
There has been a lot of heart wrenching news in the world in these recent weeks, to put it extremely mildly. This includes the discovery of a mass grave of (at least) 215 Indigenous children at the Tk’emlúps residential school. The logging of thousand-year old trees on Vancouver Island and subsequent RCMP raids on its land defense camps. Yesterday, there was an attack on a Muslim family in London, Ontario, which ended in four deaths and an orphaned child.
What does it look like to hold space for one another right now? My social media feeds look and feel like griefgriefgrief traumatraumatrauma painpainpain these days. It’s too much to process at once. My body, mind, heart, and spirit doesn’t move at the speed of a refresh button.
I rarely feel I can “put myself out there” without recognizing what’s going on more broadly, and maybe that’s why social media feels so overwhelming sometimes. I don’t always know what to say, or if it’s helpful to add more to the discourse… is it? (????????)
Two weeks ago, before the recent lunar eclipse took place, astrologer Gala Mukamalova wrote:
Chang[e]… is no easy task, of course. It won’t be accomplished by time spent reading and discoursing with like minds; it won’t be rushed by exposure therapy or touristy immersion. To change our ideas of how to live with each other, to love each other, to see others as they are and not as we wish them to be is a faith practice. It requires intention and commitment, it requires showing up every day ready to be humbled, to say I don’t understand but I would like to understand. It requires giving it your best and admitting when you didn't, which is a practice in self-forgiveness and in accountability. It requires accepting that there are certain things, certain experiences and perspectives, that you will never fully know but that doesn’t make them any less valid or true. So, one begins with questions and moves toward the future and away from the past.
Under the full moon and lunar eclipse, do not ask: Who is to blame? Instead, ask: Who stands to suffer? Spend some time thinking about how to alleviate that suffering, so that communication is possible. If forever’s gonna start tonight, what road is right this time?
I really appreciate Gala’s wise words. Maybe these can help guide you, too, wherever you are and with whatever you are processing of the various griefs carried in our collective handbaskets right now.
On Gala’s questions of who stands to suffer? and what road is right this time?, If you're reading this here, you'll see I’ve decided to move away from substack on account of the platform’s harm, a refusal to listen to and support trans writers and enable TERFs to spread rhetoric. Gross. But happy pride month, right? I appreciate your patience in advance as I migrate to this new platform.
All to say, I would like to be able to maintain this project in a good way. Thanks to Yanyi, author of The Reading, for leading a workshop that was helpful to think through some questions about the work and commitment in writing a newsletter.
I hope you are finding ways to take care of yourself these days.
I’m reading… forage by Rita Wong (poetry) and A Cruelty To Our Species by Emily Jungmin Yoon (poetry)
I’m listening to… Embodied Astrology with Renee Sills (podcast)
You can read one of my poems “A JC Cento or why does silence become a shard?” in the latest issue of carte blanche and check out a poster I designed for the Graphic History Collective on intergenerational resistance in Vancouver’s Chinatown.