Over the past several weeks, I have heard people remark “time has no meaning” and “that meeting we had yesterday that feels like it was three weeks ago”. These sentiments are evidence that our world is experiencing a monumental shift, and we can feel it. Time seems to be simultaneously compressing and accelerating during this global pandemic. We are rocked daily by the political atmosphere, racial injustice and a global pandemic. It’s a lot. We are anxious, angry and in despair about all we cannot control.
And yet -- there is much to notice about this time of transformation. There is so much to sit in awe of, so many opportunities to see, and understand the possibilities for the emerging world. There is evidence all around us that we are building a world centered on community, mutuality, interconnection and justice for all. A world where everyone thrives.
- For example, a few weeks ago a single mom and her kids lost their mobile home to a fire in my town. A friend created a Go-Fund-Me, hoping to raise $2,000 to help this family recover. In a week, over $10,000 was raised, mainly from strangers.
- Week after week, notices placed in our online community bulletin board by people needing help with yard clean up or grocery shopping are answered not by one or two volunteers but dozens of volunteers, all ready to pitch in to help people they do not know.
- Across the state, communities are forming new racial justice committees to work on issues related to racism and white supremacy. In communities where a committee already existed, membership is swelling.
- A record breaking number of Americans are voting. Already, more than half of the total number of voters in 2016 have voted early in 2020. We are more engaged in governance than ever before and people are voting for a whole new generation of diverse candidates.
This year’s election is certainly one of the most important elections in our lifetimes. These weeks leading up to the election have felt volatile and extreme and it is likely that the weeks after the election will be even more dramatic. It’s as if we are a rock in a slingshot, slowly being pulled back in anticipation of a launch in to the future of our world. Between now and November 3rd, it is important that we get ready for that launch. Regardless of the outcome of the election, there will be changes. Now is the time to make a plan. Here are the things we are considering here at the Vermont Network.
- Gather your people. There may be unrest, protests, general strikes. Make a plan for communicating with your family, chosen or blood, in case communicating becomes difficult.
- Be ready to return to a more robust restrictions due to the virus. If you can, gather some food, a bit of cash, fill your car with gas. If you are able, help others do the same.
- Make a plan for voting. If voting in person, take along a chair, snacks, warm clothes and water in case you have a wait.
- Ask for help. Your friends and neighbors are ready to help you. Ask for what you need. Just ask.
- Sleep. It is important that you are well rested and ready for the post-election world.
- Spend some time in nature each day. Open yourself to a connection with nature.
- Be there for each other. Be conscious of your connections and nurture them.
- Be aware that some of us will be at greater risk. Indigenous people, Black people and People of Color are experiencing these times in much different ways than white people. Know that as long-held structures unwind, BIPOC people are at a much greater risk of harm.
- Be safe. Wear your mask, wash your hands, limit your in-person contacts.
- Focus on the horizon. Really, look up toward the horizon for a few minutes at least hourly. Take some deep breaths.
Together. Together and in community, a community that centers love. This is the path forward. So even as we get ready for the next week, we can also be getting ready for the future by becoming the future we want to live into.
Karen Tronsgard-Scott, Executive Director
Remedial Dimension Survival Plan, Part 1
By Deepa Philips
Light your candles.
practice your skills.
order your medicines.
pack your 'we out' bag.
put a little cash aside.
save some seeds.
learn your self defense.
increase your stamina.
memorize folks' numbers.
strategize your plans.
call upon your history.
prepare your long game.
learn and share.
return to your library.
live your praxis.
parent your babies.
pray your hardest.
make your art.
soak in music.
document your stories.
run yourself salt baths.
dance until sweaty.
let your tears flow.
be soft with yourself.
dig your hands in this earth.
wash yourself in seawater.
walk amidst grandmother trees.
root yourself there.
kiss your lover.
breathe from your belly.
sit on your cushion.
remember your laughter.
remind yourself who you are.
call your family.
gather your team.
get with your people.
lean on your ancestors.
do your work now.
do your work now.