Right Your New Year's Revalution (spelling intentional)
Zawadi had set up her New Year’s station in the living room and this is the instruction she had written next to the tiny little notebooks that Abi (my mother) gifted her: “Right Your New Years Revalution!” Incorrect, perhaps. But maybe there’s a deeper message there for those of us willing to step out of the right/wrong binary of ‘proper’ spelling and grammar.
What would a combination of revelation, re-evaluation and evolution look like? Is that precisely what we are experiencing at this particular turn of the wheel, from 2020 to 2021? Years that still feel like science fiction to write, yet here we are, living them. Most of us hoping for some ‘return to normalcy’. Some of us understanding deep in our bones that normalcy will never return, and perhaps our definition of ‘normal’ is what requires deeper analysis.
All of these revelations are yanking us into a new reality. Some of us don’t want to step through, we are kicking and screaming (literally) along the way, not wanting to accept the evolution of our lives, the evolution of our relationships and the evolution of our planet.
It is time to ‘right’ our relationships, this is now abundantly clear for any of us willing to see through sober eyes. But this is not easy, and it requires us sacrificing/giving up some of our individual luxuries for the collective well-being. It is uncomfortable to relinquish ‘freedoms’ we’ve become so accustomed to.
I’ve been trying to explain this to my mother: in response to her desire to partake in one of her favorite past-times, thrift-shopping. In my perspective this is simply not worth risking her life or the lives of others. For her, it’s about the distraction from the sometimes painful isolation and loneliness of her life. It’s about tapping into her resilient spirit (that has been a means of her survival) and trying to make do with the realities of the current situation, working within the social restrictions of our lives to still find joy. It’s understandable really, and nonetheless precarious at a time where we must reassess our level of risk-taking and the ‘why’ behind our motivation.
My wish for folks has been ‘may 2021 be gentle on us all’. As if a year can be gentle. The more appropriate wish would be ‘may we learn to be gentler with ourselves and each other in these coming years’. Understanding that one year is but a teeny tiny blip on the grand calendar of the universe (thank you Neil deGrasse Tyson). How do we keep that longer time horizon in mind, the meaninglessness of our singular lives, AND still remember that this little light is all we really have ‘control’ over? How do we learn to direct our life’s energy in a way that honors every interaction as sacred and as a reflection of a much larger, much more complex whole? These are the questions I am contemplating at the beginning of this year, and probably for the rest of my life.
[Photo taken by Zawadi at one of my favorite sit spots in the woods of Earthseed Land Collective, our home]