by Relating Ships
A few years after I got married I realized how selfish my decision was. How could I privilege one person over everyone when I hold the capacity to simply, love? Now, I want to be your wife because I think it has potential as a social and political construct.
I don’t want to be your ‘comrade’ I don’t want to be in your affinity group. I want to love you and I want to serve you, to whatever end that means, as long as we encourage each other to be better human beings, remember who and for what reasons we are engaged in struggle, to remind ourselves to become even more of who we are, and to continually deepen, not only our bond, but the bonds we hold with people whom we misunderstand and to other non-human living beings we also may not feel confident in communicating with, taking initiative and responsibility for.
I want to stand with you, any of you and ask you how your day is, how your life’s been, what you’re having troubles with and ask you questions you already have answers to, but need to be asked. I want to cook you tasty healthy vegan meals from farmer’s markets and compost bins and dumpsters. I want to know about what ails you and work with you to find some healing modalities that might be able to help with that. I want us to open up and yell and cry and laugh, to feel truly alive. And I want this for me too.
We talk about terms and concepts just to disconnect ourselves from our past in hopes that by cutting our roots or our chains, we might be free. And I agree to a certain point. But there is nothing wrong in serving others, in protecting others when we come from our hearts, have a clear head about it and stay aware of what feels right in our actions. In serving ourselves, it depends on how we use these concepts.
The last thing I want to have happen is to be raped into submission and told to stay in the home or in my place. But if it were consensual sex and I chose to work on projects I deem necessary from home and I have an understanding that other women in history were responsible for most of the craft we have today, like looms, cooking and medicine, and I want to honor that, if I have community, if it moves me, then I’ll do it. I find the institution of marriage important for relating to others as long as there is just as strong of a connection to something other than the relationship. Having the ingenuity of working at something, achieving mastery over it and then utilizing that, that is what I want. And it doesn’t have to be in the home. We can draw conclusions to working together with others by combining our mental strength of experience and come up with more efficient and effective solutions to working out our relationships with others. Whether that’s in our organizing or it’s fixing bikes, raising children, building useful and simple structures or learning what herbs to use in what circumstances, or when to say yes or no, to find our voices.
Sometimes I think about how we are so triggered by everything. And being in radical circles makes us aware of even more things which have potential to touch something buried and rattle it loose. And we’re already so weak and vulnerable as a result of our openness and empathy towards our ideals because we know we are powerful and we try to be strong for each other, because it isn’t just about us, it’s about now and the future, for everyone. And we get caught in so much bullshit whether that’s the masks of confidence or fear itself. Then we use our pain as a torch and we burn inside and lights start flickering in others we influence. But then the flames reach an inferno and we become consumed by it and stay there, burning. Bearing the burden of the cross, being the hermit, being light-bearers, instead of becoming ash and, again, with new reflection and understanding, rise like the phoenix and truly change, not just ourselves, but on the terms we are okay with. I don’t know the whole extent of what keeps us down. Yeah, the state. Yeah, God. Yeah, institutions. Yeah, Patriarchy, Racism, Classism. Us, we do it to ourselves and we do it to each other. We fear what we hope for. We hold onto things when we must simply let them go. It’s just as much us as it is anything else.
We should be calling each other out and we should be listening to others and receive what is being said. Not just our friends or people who wear black or fit in with some aesthetic or reasoning which we find affinity in. We need to not shut ourselves off from ourselves or each other simply because we have so much pain and hatred associated with the rest of the world, with certain ignorances, with certain aesthetics we find displeasing. Even if it’s ourselves we hate.
But if being a wife means I turn what I see off. If it’s obedience to being an individual. If it’s being quiet cause I shouldn’t offend. If it’s not my place to pose opinions on matters I may not have expertise in. If it’s obedience to the standard, even if it’s in radical circles where we know we should know better and that makes us even more rotten, for the consensus or the image, THEN FUCK THAT. I’ve done that. We do that. I’ve served the idea of what I thought was connection. I’m not interested in crushing the rebellion from the inside. I want to create openings so we can allow that rebellion to come out of us. In ways we didn’t think possible. In ways we create, because it’s expressive and nurturing and healing for those involved and those who might hear about it. Because it’s what we see and because we must, from the inside.
I want to protect and serve you because you are all my kin, the plants and the ocean and all kinds of animals. I want to love everything how I want to love it, cause that’s what moves me into action. Not cause I’m told what campaigns to work on, not cause my friend or my partner or someone I admire is doing it. I want us to fall in love with all the different types of work we do and marry it all. It feels terrible when we’re forced to do things that don’t move us. FUCK THAT. To work, to protect and serve means to follow you. Honor your boundaries. Honor other’s boundaries. Explore boundaries in safe and consensual ways. What are you already good at? Who are you, anyway? Do, be, explore that. Protect and serve that. Love and honor that. GIVE AS MUCH AS YOU TAKE. Let that be one of our motto. The wisdom of love, the gift of the radiance of the sun.
I need all these things from you, just as much as you need it from me or anyone or anything else. ‘Til death do us part, and as our seeds produce more seeds, we’re all in this together.
This piece appeared in the May 2013 edition of the Portland Radicle.