9/21/2020

Systems

We can’t rely on our systems to save us. They perform as designed. If you have a system that can elect a president that the minority of people voted for, it is working as designed. If you have a system that continuously disenfranchise members of a specific community — be they BIPOC, LGBTQ, and others — it is working as designed.

We’re six weeks away from the election. If we are relying on our systems — be they electoral, judicial, or otherwise — to save us, we are sunk.

The only thing that can ultimately save us is us waking up to our ability to ask what we want, and then to build new systems. Systems that work as designed…to serve us all.

9/18/2020

What was I going to write about?

I had this topic. It felt alive and juicy 1. I remember thinking, yeah, that’s a good one. I have some things to say about that.

I was straightening up in the kitchen, and thought, oh, when I’m done here, I’m going to go write that blog post. The one about….’

That was it. Poof. Like smoke. No, not like smoke, because smoke dissipates (and if you’re on the West coast, you know that smoke does not necessarily dissipate). Poof…like steam? I dunno. Gone, anyway.

I’m not sure if this is just me trying to remember what I was going to write about, or simply me trying to convince myself that I had something good. Maybe it’s both. Or neither. All we can say is that it’s compelling2.

That’s it. That’s what I’ve got for you today3. May you and yours be healthy and well.


  1. I’m truly sorry for using this adjective. It is true, but not right at the same time.

  2. LOL.

  3. I actually have a relatively good excuse for this. I’m exhausted. I slept like crap last night.

9/15/2020

Two

Revisiting something I wrote last year, I’m reflecting on what I started two years ago.

I’ve written less in the second year than in the first. But this time I’m commemorating on the actual anniversary! (And even with a second post).

I’m not going to count how many posts there are. It’s not important. What is important, to me at least, is the ongoing nature of this thing. It’s still here. So am I. What might year three bring?

Happy two years, Liberat.es.

Cheers.

9/15/2020

No bright siding here

The world feels like it’s coming to an end. It really does. And perhaps it is. They say1 that the world is always ending and beginning again. We’ve had many an apocalypse. Many in a lifetime. Perhaps this is just one. Who knows. Regardless, it sure as hell feels like it’s coming to an end. At least to me[^2].

I could list all of the things compounding to make it feel as if there is an ending approaching, but that feels like it would just be redundant. I’ll just name the most recent thing: smoke. It blankets our city, and has for nearly a week. I haven’t been able to enjoy a walk in a while. And I’m one of the lucky ones. My house still stands. My friends and family are healthy and safe. I have income.

Here’s the thing: yes, it feels like the world is ending. And that’s okay. I’m good with feeling that. I’m going to feel it as best I can while it’s here. I’m not going to push it away or search for the silver lining or the silver bullet (to, you know, feel better). I’m going to just let it be here as long as it needs be.

Imagine if we could just feel it all. What might that give us?


  1. Lucky for me, I’m the one writing this, so I get to make any declaration that I’d like.

9/8/2020

A bit on dreaming

I want to write about our capacity to dream, but I’m unsure how to go about it. I’m unsure that my view on it is broad enough. Something’s been moving in me for a little while, and I’m trying to find my way toward it. It’s a message about seeing the world through a larger lens, but I find myself being limited in my own view of things. I find myself afraid that I have too many blinds spots to be able to see clearly what needs seeing here.

Part of this is this view I have that we — and there’s much that can be said about we’1 — have been losing our capacities to dream. Collectively, we have become more and more narrow in what we believe to be possible, preventing us from actually being able to enter into a conversation about ways to address the greatest challenges we face: racism, global warming, and the inequities of our economic system. These issues are not going anywhere. Without new and meaningful approaches to shifting them, we will be crushed in their path.

Nearly 58 years ago, JFK announced that we would send men to the moon. It took less than seven years to make it happen. It took an enormous amount of collective dreaming to make that happen. We stand at the precipice of multiple disasters, each unfolding before our eyes, and we can’t get movement. It’s not just division that makes this true. It’s also our capacity to dream. In order to get beyond our divisions, we’re going to have to dream our way there.

It’s interesting — that last paragraph is not a direction I’d intended to go. I’m curious to explore it some more. In the meantime, I continue to sit with the inquiry, and will continue to do the writing that’s been calling to me — finding a way into an invitation. I’m beginning to see that the invitee, at least for the moment, is me.


  1. I’m clear that my perspective is largely dictated by me being a hetero- cis- white-man. I’m under no illusion that I speak for everyone, or every community. What I’m pointing to is largely about the overall white culture that we live among. It’s super clear to me that there are communities out there that do amazing dreaming…especially Communities of Color.

9/2/2020

What we make up…

…is how we will experience the world. We all have a position. We all have a bias. We are, afterall, subjective beings. I’ve been listening to Tyson Yunkaporta (author of Sand Talk) quite a bit lately. He’s an Aboriginal writer and academic1 who brings an indigenous view to the world, in a unique (and dare I say fun) way.

I’m not going to do the work in this moment to go and pull the quotes from his book or the podcasts I’ve been listening to2. Instead, I’m going to summarize on a point he makes. That point is something like:

We are not objective beings. We are subjective beings. If we think that we can remove ourselves and our subjectivity from our observations (as scientists seem to claim they can), we are being idiots. We all have a position, and it influences what we see, think, and believe. The sooner we can understand that, the better we all will be.

Not sure how good a summary that is3, but it’s a big part of what I’m taking from my brief study’ with this guy. What does it mean to understand this? It means that we can let go of having to be right, and accepting that we are pretty much always wrong.

That’s oddly freeing, if you ask me.


  1. I’m not sure if he’d claim this title. He’s a senior lecturer at a university in Melbourne, but I’m not sure if this would be a title he’d like to be associated with.

  2. As I mentioned, I’ve been listening to his work, meaning that I’d have to go in search of them and transcribe them. I just don’t have it in me at the moment to do that. Heck, I barely have it in me to write this right now.

  3. Indeed, there is little to no chance that it is not subjected to, well, my subjectivity. I am, afterall, as we all are, making up what I see.