Coming Back Home…

I haven’t written here–or anywhere beyond my job–for years now. Maybe 5? In 2014, I wrote a big piece of writing that encapsulated my most urgent thinking. I tried to use it to springboard myself back into organizing. It was a start, and I was going for about a year and a half with a small group. I had a follow-up book forming, an exploration of the ‘dispositions of everyday revolutionaries’ (sort of a modern retort to The Revolutionary Catechism by Nechayev that Bakunin had been associated with). Then some big life changes: 4 new family members arriving from Guatemala (a total household of 8!), getting pushed out of Seattle because of housing prices, a new job and home in Bellingham, then a new baby (born prematurely, 7 weeks in neonatal intensive care), then a big family financial betrayal, then a mortgage, a mini-van and a dog…and all in the context of the regular shockwaves that have come with Trump–especially for a family like mine.

I would try to write, and I would find that I had nothing to say. I could only complain about myself, or rant about whatever personal/family struggle was highest priority. How could I write about revolution, or strategy, or winning when I felt so confused about the rise and the daily chaos of the Trump era, the alt-right, all of that? How could I write about organizing if I wasn’t doing any (and I basically ghosted my own groups in Seattle after my family arrived and we moved)? How could I write about the more personal stuff when I have felt like such a failure all the way down to my personal relationships?

And so for 3-4 years, I’ve stagnated and stewed. I stopped using social media. I built A LOT of Lego (apparently TRUE aficionados NEVER pluralize the word Lego). I played a lot of video games. I streamed lots of shows. I got way too into all the plots and subplots of the Mueller investigation. I did an embarrassing amount of internet window-shopping. I did a lot of work at my job, and even got a University side gig, but I’ve felt more and more disconnected from it all. I went to a bit of therapy, and played a lot with my kids–though not as much as I would have if I were less depressed. In all, I’ve spent 3-4 years drifting away from myself and towards a void.

I don’t like that void, and I’m worried that it will kill me.

So, with the benefit of summer break, a friend from Portland, and my family sitting me down to lovingly confront me, I remembered what has long helped me best when I get to that place: coming back here.

I’m back here, at least for a bit. I’m going to try writing again.

Currently Reading:

-Dispersing Power by Raul Zibechi