Outside the Circle

Cindy Milstein

Looting Back Our Lives

Today I awoke early, well before my alarm was set to nag at me to get up. It was still dark out, but the kind of dark that promises light and yet lets the moon hang out a bit longer, its bright crescent like a winking eye. So I lingered in bed, winking back through the window, until the horizon flirted with pink hues of rosy potentiality, and clouds lazily floating by blushed pink too. 

It was still so early, with so much day stretching ahead of me, it seemed so much was possible. Not just scratching some mundane items off my to-do list, including my paid copyediting work, but digging in with passion to my current labors of love—two separate anarchist book projects—and making good, artistic headway, relative to how long these kinds of DIY efforts take. 

Yet in the blink of an eye, hours disappeared and darkness returned, and I could hear the far-off mournful cry of the train that’s become like a regular-as-clockwork evening alarm nagging me to go to bed. 

If you asked, I’d be hard-pressed to tell you what I did today, or what I accomplished that I voluntarily, creatively and politically, wanted to. The same could be said for many other such pandemic days. 

So much of all our lives and lands, communities and homes, cultures and rituals—you name it—has already been looted from us over the centuries by colonizers and capitalists, empires and states, that it would seem there are only scraps for them left to steal. They’ve even robbed many of our burial grounds and other sacred spaces, stealing away our ancestors. 

Simple as my nothing-of-a-day was, as many such days under this viral nightmare are for many of us (that is, when not punctuated by days of crises, further disasters, and/or deaths), it masks a profound theft: they’ve now stolen our social relations, our social fabric, ourselves, all the minutes of life that we daily make count simply because we feel the inherent worth of ourselves and others within the inherent worth of communal webs of life. 

As we pull up the covers of another lifeless day, let’s dream up ways to loot back our lives, by whatever #CollectiveCare, #MutualAid, and #SocialSolidarity is necessary. 

(photo: sticker seen in so-called Ypsi, MI)


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This entry was posted on January 26, 2022 by in Uncategorized.
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