This piece originally appeared as a Twitter essay I published on November 4, 2017. I am re-posting it here with minimal edits to improve clarity and formatting.
fossilized fish and plants at the Peabody Museum, New Haven
One: find your beloveds. Find your beautiful soul-kin. Check in with them every day. Tell them they matter. Weather storms together, like schools of fish in rough seas.
Two: Manifest care however you can, to whatever extent is possible in your given circumstances. Choose care. Choose tenderness. Admit to yourself when you are enacting care in name only. Regroup. Restore. Breathe. Ask for help if you can, in your circumstances.
Three: Find the green things, if you can. As
@plantstudies teaches us — remember the plants are with us. They co-conspire our most audacious dreams (co-conspire an audacious otherwise, as Natasha Myers and Timothy Choy both offer us in their work on co-conspiracies)
Four: Remember that many orders of existence & being in this space-time are built on a deep relationality between us & the universe(s). Remember, deep in your cells, what it is to exist in tender co-constitution. What it is to exist in a political order beyond this hate-full present.
Five: Reach through space-time and feel for the other possibilities. If we are indeed in the glitchiest of timelines, remember we have collective will. Collective authorship. We are not beholden to the nightmares of those men of old who envisioned the world in extraction and pain.
Six: Again, as
@plantstudies teaches us: soften. This is not a call to dissolve your boundaries and membranes, but a collective urgency to soften like lime rock in eons of rain dripping through caves, molding anew. Even the hardest of circumstances dissolve through gravity and time.
Seven: Story your resistance. Story your refusal, as Audra Simpson teaches us. Become comfortable as the ‘not-known’ breathes, as Marisol de la Cadena teaches us: humble yourself to not-knowing (de la Cadena) in this still magical and agential many-worlds. They cannot extract it all.
Eight: Imagine your kin beyond the narrow and rigid precepts the state imposed on us, as
@KimTallBear teaches us. Become enamoured with the kinscapes (the brilliant term employed by Dr Brenda MacDougall in her writing on Métis kinship) that shape your life and longing.
Nine: Love audaciously. Seek fishy and mountainous forms of revenge where warranted. Refuse the scrips and scripts imposed by those intergalactic surveyors rending flesh from land. Leave offerings for the berry plants and the alder and spruce. Listen to the sparrows and squirrels.
Ten: Add your own survival & survivance to this script of refusal & tenderness and audacity & ‘presencing’ (after Vizenor). Write and shout your own existences into pastpresentfuture. Dismantle those ontologies of capital and whiteness that seek to render us mere monuments of excess
Eleven: Tend to sturgeon time & geologics. Remember the eons through which rock becomes sand. Expand your existence in lamellae of calcium & minerals deposited with insistence while stars explode + implode. Kiss the sea like supernova racing as particle + wave hurtling through millennia.
Twelve: Build something beyond this poem, grasping and searching as it is through electrons and energy-hungry servers imaged and imagined through the lens of Silicon Valley politics of (white patriarchal capitalist) possibility. Render a better structure for our audacious connection.
Thirteen: Also, read the scholars and thinkers who are breathing these possibilities into being. Read
@hystericalblkns. Read @blacklikewho. Read @policingblack. Read @KimTallBear. Read @EricaVioletLee. Read @plantstudies. Read @prof_carrington. Listen to @Metis_In_Space.