I have not afforded myself space to write for quite a time. The reasons are multiple. In part, life is a vague and apt — if reductionist — descriptor. A short catch-all that has its meanings for me, and different, specific and relevant, meanings for many-most of us. Life is and has been in flux. In transition. In many ways liminal. An ongoing journey with its own un/foreseen experiences...
I have started to write a handful of times or so, seeking to peer through uncertainties, challenges. Seeking direction. Many thoughts were rendered, left incomplete. Not quite there. Requiring more reflection. Less time of my own which I am still working to adapt to and address. Bundled with having relocated, spatially just far enough away from existing community relationships to have their own impacts. Adjusting. Thinking through my own experiences, challenges, vulnerabilities.
I have focussed in, around, in this current, specific time of crisis (in Australia, similarly, different — and starkly so, elsewhere). Putting aside the big 'p', electoral political shenanigans, I am thinking both of self and community. Reports of another death, be it the eruption at Whakaari/White Island on December 9 and the fire crisis raging across Australia as this decade transitions anew — communities impacted, homes lost, fear and anxiety abounding...
The reflections of someone I have the pleasure of knowing, though we have not seen each other for a time (spacial relocation, longer term personal impacts of struggle and a perceived need for space), has combined with life and prompted some words for the ether.
These sit alongside, following on from, (always?) incomplete and unfinished musings on a growing embrace of what a respected colleague and friend referred to me as more than 3 years ago now (apparently taking such time this is an indicator, a trait): introverted. I intend to return to this in time, and explore further... there is a lot to dwell on (the irony?).
Whereas this period of life has its own challenges, I am looking at it as a period that affords many opportunities for self-change. For personal growth. Shaped in many ways by (structural) relations of capital, it has inadvertently provided some space for reflection. For (metaphysical) exploration.
Two aspects of this friends' reflection, titled Grief, Love & Rage: A Christmas on Fire are closer to the forefront of recent thoughts. These being 'solidarity teams' and 'love for each other, for the world, for life, which produces living alternatives to suffering, grief, and despair.'
Having relocated just far enough away to render seeing friends inconvenient, the (little) effort required tiresome, I have in some ways lost my solidarity teams. I did have these, or at least access to these, embodying elements of introversion always set-sat me a little on the periphery. Mixed in with the despair of awareness, that which comes from immersing oneself in working for change, change which does not seem to come (rather comes very slowly), and the self-seeming isolation it fosters. Having moved away, I have been working on seeking to develop some anew, to make such connections and develop them.
I have had some experience with this in the past, having relocated internationally a number of times. They take time. Sometimes they do not really come, or come not in the form we are seeking. I think there are elements here that are linked to 'sad militancy'. Of 'being overly rigid and ruthlessly critical of people in their efforts to organise better ways of living...' Setting or imposing our own standard on the lived experiences or struggles of others. This is a challenge in and of itself. As my time on this planet increases, my experiences of looking, engaging (at times), reflecting, expose me to more. I am trying to see the nuance that is not always rendered visible through my approaches.
I have watched, often from a distance, this friend and many others as they engage with and embrace a broader definition of love. Of love and revolution, and how it manifests in community. How we can build this. They have engaged with this for more than a decade (closer to 2 or more), and I watched as many sought to build community. Mostly from the sidelines. Taking my time to reflect, distracted by life and space mediated through my own struggles with relations of capital.
To come full circle, saying much but also saying little. I think it is this love, the connections and the community that I am seeking. Factored into my own increasing embrace (which is become more — at times painfully — obviously necessary) or what it is to be an introverted person living in a society that is not necessarily conducive. I have my own challenges (alongside, albeit in our own individual ways, many others). I am trying to find my balance with working to build such love, creating space for the 'multitude of potentials' and at the same time creating spaces for the self-care I need to practice (and learning what these are).