Outside the Circle

Cindy Milstein

Our Sacred Spaces in Their Unsafe World

There are no safe spaces. But there are sacred spaces.

At this moment in history, like other particularly brutal epochs, there is no separating that sacredness from the unsafeness.

That’s what this sacrilegious world order has forged over more than five hundred years of conquest, plunder, displacement, genocide, and ecological destruction. Its theft of land and lives, lifeways and ecosystems, has desecrated every corner of the globe.

Yet time and again, those who would defend land and freedom create brave spaces. Meaning despite the risks, often impossibly heavy ones, they find strength in the sacred, aiding them in fighting the good fight and holding them when they must mourn and honor their dead.

Perhaps that braveness, even when we’re afraid, is part of what compels our sacred duty all that much more.

We know what’s at stake, for one: the further loss of sacred places and sacred life. Yet equally, while we defend sacred spaces such as a forest, we know what it feels like to inhabit dignified lives worth living, in common with all living beings, because there is a magic to the sacred. The sacred animates life against their death machines.

Moreover, we understand that in our brave spaces, it is up to us, and only us, to love, care for, and protect each other, to make our spaces ever safer for us all. We know that any sense of safety comes though our love and solidarity, and when we’re lucky, glimpses of the spirit of far better social relations—in right relation with earth.

Brave spaces are most crucial, though, when bad things happen, including our worst nightmares, and our efforts at those “safer spaces” are momentarily shattered. We feel a sacred obligation to grieve the sacredness of what’s been stolen from us, including by making more brave and sacred spaces, like do-it-ourselves vigils, altars, and other tender spaces of remembrance on the dangerous landscape of this violent social system.

May all that is sacred embrace us now, because the big Defend the Atlanta Forest community is hurting.

May Tortuguita’s memory be a blessing—and spark the blessedly ecological world they fought for.

#RitualAsResistance #SacredSpaces #BraveSpaces #MourningOurDead #MendingTheWorld


(photo: resanctified entry—after a cop incursion—into the Weelaunee forest, featuring red-and-black anarchist hearts painted on a pink-painted concrete slab and a #StopCopCity yard sign, as seen in October 2022)


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This entry was posted on January 19, 2023 by in Uncategorized.
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