Written By:

Letter to My Daughters, November 2016

Dear daughters,

Though we can’t know what will happen, it is likely there will be much turmoil in our future days. Policies and laws will be put into place that bolster the ways in which capitalism harms our planet, and therefore our survival as a species. These laws will be motivated by the desire of those who attribute what they have to capitalism, for assurance they will continue to have, as they feel they have a right to that assurance from being born. Those who find themselves not included in that assurance will increase the ferocity by which they refuse to be excluded. The planet will also increase the ferocity by which it kicks back. Seeing such demonstrations of ‘no’ from the planet and its suffering occupants, those who have will have greater difficulty settling into their assurances that all is well as long as they are well, but they will have money and guns, and will be able to continue their pretending that all is well, for a long time. Dis-ease will remain.

I want you to remember this as things fall apart: we need this to fall apart. While we would rather the unraveling of what has been constructed out of human insanity would be peaceful, it seems to be part of our craziness that we cannot reach for our best selves until we have no other choice. Voting for this particular person was much more about the fear that things are falling apart than it was anger at the establishment that can’t slow the unraveling. Therefore, allow what should fall apart, to fall apart. Invite it, and even participate in it.

To have clear discernment about what should fall apart, deepen your relationship with that which gave you life. Lose your sense of boundaries with the more-than-human world until you place your greatest hopes in returning your body to its life. Then you will recognize that any policy or law doing harm to the planet, or perpetuating the idea our rights trump any others, does harm to you. Take part in conversations about policies and laws, but resist the urge to give your energy to arguments that circle only around humans and exclude the context of that which circles around us. Use as your filter for what to offer in these discussions, this question: what thoughts can I offer that increase our beauty as creatures in this form, so that we make of ourselves a nourishing seed when we enter the earth again?

Say ‘no’ to any laws or policies not formed out of this question, and as much as you are able, do not follow them. Show up and speak your ‘no’ out loud, the one you know in your creaturely body. But understand that the easy ‘no’ of the petitions and demonstrations will not change much. The reason you carry a candle is to light the faces of the ones you stand with and against, so that you can see the radiance that lies beyond their words. Find the words befitting that radiance, the ones that transcend party and petition. Give voice to those things we all know are worthy of the majesty of the planet from which we came.

Say ‘no’, but do not stay there. ‘No’ is not the destination, but the place that supports your back as you turn to face and move towards ‘yes’. ‘Yes’ takes much more vision and courage than ‘no’, and few will choose it. Therefore choose it; the hard places offer the best gifts. Become storytellers of ‘yes’ – of how we truly are and will be when we remember this. If we have a future as a species, there must be a coherent story we can follow until we can participate in telling it ourselves. Start the story by demonstrating ‘yes’ with your whole life. Your joy in living out of ‘yes’, with the ear of your heart to the earth, will embolden others to join you. It is our best hope.

Will this save us? I don’t know, but so far at least it is my best understanding of where our real lives, and the efforts of living them beautifully, lie. Your life came from mine, and to the extent that I am able, I want to make your lives more possible now and always. Even after this form I’m in transforms, I hope to feed you from what the earth grows of me.

Love to you my beautiful daughters.

Your Mom