It’s a bittersweet challenge these days to figure out, much less practice, what it means to “live like the world is dying.” After nearly three pandemic years, given how much has died, “living life” can feel more elusive than ever.
I’ve been thinking a lot—on obsessive #FuckCOVID19 walks again—about an observation that Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore made in a tweet-story recently: we squandered the “we take care of each other” opening at the pandemic’s start and now the widespread loss of “communal care” feels “all the more brutal.” Especially when the abandonment of collective care for all (emphasis on “all”) occurs too often now in our own circles, as if the pandemic were over. That “squandering” has been cutting me to the core.
So it was not merely an honor to be asked to join Margaret Kiljoy and @house.of.hands for an episode of Live Like the World Is Dying; it felt reinvigorating to hear their words on the joy of living anarchism for life.
Since we recorded that podcast, many days haven’t feel reinvigorating. And even when recording it over a month ago, I was speaking/dreaming of the world I yearn for and wish I lived in, not the one I inhabit, as if voicing my aspirations can conjure them into existence.
I’ve been reflecting on that a lot ever since, but keenly once the podcast came out. I was struck by the unusual number of folks who messaged me to say that listening to this episode gave them “care,” “kindness,” and “love”—and reasons to go on with “living life” for themselves and others.
Around that same time, some friends who I hadn’t heard from in a while randomly reached out to me for a catch-up phone call, text exchange, or walk—just when I desperately needed extra support. Their words gave me “care,” “kindness,” and “love”—and reasons to go on with “living life” for myself and others.
I write. And talk. So even if I’ve forgotten of late, I know that words count—as political practice, as lifeline and love letter, and as the stories that we swap to tangibly reshape this miserable world for the better.
Let’s reinvigorate #CommunalCare with words that remind us to engage in life-giving deeds.
#WeAreAllWeHave #NoOneLeftBehind #PathsTowardUtopia #TryAnarchismForLife
(photos: Live Like the World Is Dying logo, which is a drawing of a camo-green gas mask with yellow and white flowers growing out of it, promoting the episode I did on “Trying Anarchism for Life”; “you are loved” street heart, black words written on a pink heart, attached to a tree, as seen in Tio’tia:ke/Montreal, summer 2022)