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June 19, 2020 ~ a moment, a lifetime, for walking the tightrope

Updated: Jul 21



Image credit: DailyTheology.org


Deep love and gratitude to all the teachers and all the land for stewarding me to this writing. May you and all your relations be well.


Musings of a white lady to self ~ ever~forming, ever en route to humility, accountability, and all the rest.


How to proceed, to meaningfully be and do in solidarity, when canceling both the performance and the white silence in this so muchly stirred social moment, and beyond?


Paradoxical? Yes, indeed. Welcome to Earthly existence in duality: a tightrope contextathon. Tightropes, that with practice can expand to spectra, wheels, webs, and spirals. That can be enlivening practices of edgewalking in the ecotones, towards social transformation and collective liberation.


As a spirit housed in white-privileged skin on Turtle Island on June 19, 2020, my thoughts and feelings have been heard and loved plenty.


Following the leadership of People of Color, an answer to my personal anguish about what to do in the face of centuries long layering of brutal oppression cake in the baking, is to slow, slooow, sloooooow doooooown, to facilitate deep analysis. Not necessarily more about the origins and pandemic growth of the structured, legislated, and mentally modelled systems of racialized capitalism and capitalism-driven genocidal racism.


More about how racism, whiteness, and white supremacy landed, live, and manifest from within me. More about how effective is my unlearning of this conditioning, about tracking, supporting my own emotional resilience, rooting humility, relating, sharing, and baking the cookies for others, including you, yes, you!


More about the specific contexts I move in, where I can leverage my unlearning, privileges, and situational power for material, sustained systems change and power shifts, towards mutual collective thriving. More about how to best choreograph those moves.


Another tightrope --- I need, want, and am happy to keep working for authentic, mutual, and equitable relationships with People of Color, for my own well-being and that of the collective. And at the same time, I have no right or entitlement to any element of such whatsoever. Because also that’s true for all relationships in an Indigenous cosmology. Is it really all? White lady will fact check, though expects that there may not be definitive answers.


One more tightrope for the wholeness charm --- I belong to the land, as our bodies and spirits are one. And as a member of the human species at our same cross section of space and time, I disturb all ecology profoundly. My responsibility to the land and all beings is at the very least commensurate with that disturbance, but actually far exceeds it.


All practices. All on the daily.


I make mistakes. Fall off the rope. Pause. Grieve. Resume. Practicing shifting focus away from trying to avoid falling ~ it’s happened before and it will happen again, so how am I preparing now to fail better? ~ and refocus on deeply seeing, learning, internalizing the tightropes themselves, and the walking, and the expanding. Hence, the practice, writ large.


Onlining these musings is an accountability strategy for myself, to keep on keeping on practicing. On the daily. And I’m searching to co-create more such strategies.


It is possible that this note is a placeholder for a longer, more comprehensive one, that centers and amplifies more explicitly the voices, experiences, emotions, well-being, perspectives, ways of being, knowing, & doing, and long arc strategies designed, tested, and sacrificed for by People of Color. The pool of such resources that they have already artfully created is diverse and abundant, infinitely inspiring, profoundly liberating.

It is possible that this note is all there will be from me in this space in the short term. The longer one will be my dissertation, and beyond. Interstitial revolution co~design towards re~Indigenizing eco~community economics.


And it is most definite that this song moves me. May it move you too in just the right ways that nourish your beautiful soul as you may need ~ Is Love Enough? by Michael Franti & Spearhead


If you would like to connect on the vision, please be in touch. To criticize, likewise.


Thank you for your precious time and kind attention.


Credits: @malefragility


Gratitude also to Matt Burke, L4E postdoctoral fellow,

~ Mike Blouin, Marie Cadiz Vea, and Bindu Panikkar

faculty at UVM Rubenstein School, for their words and

comments that enriched this writing and my thinking.

Nina L. Smolyar

PhD student in Leadership for the Ecozoic, Gund Institute, University of Vermont Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources.

~~~


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