Inspired by the text PLEASURE ACTIVISM by adrienne maree brown (which I highly recommend -It’s been getting me out of bed lately) and also in an attempt to stave off pandemic anxiety and depression, I’ve been experimenting with trying to see some of the things I experience in my day as pleasurable, even exciting.
In the best moments of this practice, working out is a melting of muscles and an exploration of the limits and lengths of my body, the rhythm in a song that my hips inevitably swish to is a celebration elevated by the beating of my heart. Eating a piece of cheese is a smooth sensual experience and the pouring of red wine is a reveling in the color and the wet fluid sound of the liquid hitting a glass. Donating to a group or organization fighting for or tending to racial justice, or emailing/calling government officials, or posting resources, or reading about best practices in allyship are energizing and joyful acts of movement forward.
In the worst moments of this practice, I welcome the grief and heaviness that comes with being a person right now like she is a little girl who just had a nightmare. I take her under my arm, I kiss the top of her head, and I softly whisper that everything is going to be okay. I tell her she can cry and sit in my arms as long as she needs to. And she does. Sometimes for days at a time.
The largest thing I have learned from this practice is that if you let it, activism can give you energy instead of take it away.
How exciting and necessary and sexy, to be fighting for a better world.
This is a short post, but I'd like to end it by saying that Black lives matter. But further, that the Black people in my life, in my family and friend group and workplaces, and in the world, don't just matter. They are essential, magical, important, and precious presences in the world. We cannot lose another. Because not only does the murder of a Black person rob that person of their right to life, it robs us of them. People are not hashtags and statistics, they are pieces of our collective heart.
Please find moments in your day every day to take deliberate concrete actions against racism and oppression in our country (beginning with the movement to defund and then abolish the police), and to find joy and energy in taking those actions while still honoring the very real anger and fear of this time.
Take these actions as though they could ensure that we never again lose another precious soul to racism in America.