Treading Water…

These have been low times for me. I don’t think I can even begin to summarize it here. Needless to say, I’ve been happier in my life.

Of course, I’ve written about my cycles before, so I’m definitely on the down side. But I sure wish I was feeling something else.

Many of my recent (as in within the last 4 months!) posts on this site have been nostalgic and reflective pieces. That’s still how I’m feeling. Really thinking a lot about aging, about compromises in life, about what I wanted for myself as a child vs. what I’m building for myself as an adult. Difficult questions. Not a lot of answers.

If you read this, I think I need a boost. Just a quick compliment or, even better, a fond memory of me. Right now I’m kind of forgetting the good that I do in the world. So, yeah, I’m fishing for compliments and positive attention right now. Isn’t that what blogs are actually about anyways?

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Currently Reading:

-Dispersing Power by Raul Zibechi

Tyler Perry as Madea

Hey Boz Scaggs-

When I am feeling down I just listen to your first hit “Lido Shuffle” and it always makes me smile. Can’t believe your first album “Boz” was not a commercial success. That title was genius.

Hey, I’ve always wondered… is Boz short for something? My friend Jayboz says it’s short for Jayboz but I think he’s just a douchehat. Nevermind, I just looked on your wikipedia page and I guess Boz is short for William Royce. Makes sense to me. And Scaggs is just Scaggs, no getting around that!

Momma always used to say, “Life is like a boz of scaggletes. You never know what’s gonna hit.” She was a big fan!

Your friend,
Tyler Perry as Madea in Madea Goes to Jail

Hey Jeremy,

I was just thinking of you the other day, actually. Even though it’s been years since we’ve seen each other, you’re somebody who so consistently gives me hope. I’m not sure what this is about exactly. Part of it, I suspect, is that you and I have had pretty similar trajectories from the idealism of Steller on out into the big messy, complicated world, and yet we’ve both held on to core principles. As well, I have always appreciated your deeply reflective and refreshingly nondogmatic way of relating to politics and life more generally. You’re somebody that I keep learning from. I’m glad that you exist!

Sending lots of love,
Chris

Wow, Chris, that was really sweet, and I want you know that it made me feel better over the weekend.

Thank you.

Lots of reflection and internal work, plus some relationship work over the weekend, and I’m feeling better. Not great, but better.

Really, I don’t actually have the words for it, Chris. Thank you.

Oh, and one other thing, Chris. How is the PhD coming? Will there be a book coming out any time? Do you have your recent writings anywhere to read?

My dissertation/book project is coming along. I finished transcribing all of the interviews (600 pages) last June and wrote the introduction chapter over the summer. Last month, I finally finished chapter one, which is about the four “anti’s” (anti-authoritarianism, anti-capitalism, anti-oppression, and anti-imperialism). Now I’m in the middle of chapter two, which is about prefigurative politics. After that, I’ll be writing a chapter about strategy, a chapter about organizing, and then some sort of concluding chapter.

I’m hoping to have this all done by the end of 2009, but we’ll have to see how it goes. Since I’m writing it as a book manuscript, not just a PhD dissertation, I’m finding that it takes longer. My aim is for it to be accessible and useful to people with a general activist background who have maybe heard of capitalism before, but don’t have a lot of knowledge of such things. At the same time, I want it to offer new and helpful insights to longtime anti-authoritarian organizers. Trying to develop this blend takes a lot of work.

As for recent writings, I haven’t been doing a lot besides the book project. I did guest edit a section on vision in the Jan/Feb issue of Left Turn magazine, for which I wrote a short intro piece. And it looks like I’ll have two things coming out in the next issue of Upping the Anti – one is a roundtable with four radical study groups in different parts of the U.S. and the other is an interview with an amazing woman of color organizer in Montreal.

Take good care, comrade.

Yeah, Chris! That stuff sounds great!

Hope you are well in all respects. I often see people who are so remarkably gifted in the art of helping others finding themselves needing more (fulfillment, support, perspective) for themselves. It’s admirable that you are so self-aware and so proactive. The easy path is to continue on as you have been–doing your good work and worrying about those you work with/for. It is more difficult to pause and find a way to better understand yourself and therefore become healthier and happier. Good for you. You are a still a role model for those around you, even in this way. I always found myself in awe of your passion and patience and your ability to communicate with young and not-so-young folk. This is no small feat.

I hope you are enjoying/appreciating the journey.
All the best-Andrea