Wednesday, March 11th 12:53pm
Looking over my calendar for the next two weeks, each hour is filled in with plans.
Go to class. Meet for lunch. Meeting. Reading. Class. Date.
Each day feels a little like a blur; by the time I finally get into bed my eyes are heavy and I’m too tired for pillow talk. Gone are the slow mornings of waking up, stretching, and wondering how to fill my day. Instead I wake up, slurp my tea down quickly while I get dressed, read a few pages of Marx, and head towards campus on my bike.
A year ago today I set off on an adventure that took me from coast to coast, and from the flat fields of Ideal, South Dakota to the looming industrial city of Houston, Texas. When I was traveling, each day was bursting with possibility. I could do whatever I wanted. Write an article about the Keystone pipeline. Catch a ride across the state line. Learn a new song. Write a new song. Break into an abandoned building. I felt equally prepared to sleep all day, join a protest, or fall madly in love.
Days are like that, bursting with possibility.
And yet I feel like for the last three months I have been building up walls that keep me from seeing all those endless options. My upcoming midterm lurks in the back of my head, reminding me at every moment that I have work I should be doing. Or if it isn’t school, it’s that sinking feeling of despair that every moment I don’t spend fighting climate change, colonialism, patriarchy is a moment wasted. I long for the lightness of heart and openness of mind that guided me on my path of anti-capitalism, adventure, music, and romance last year.
This week I’m taking a break. I’m still reading, going to class when I feel like it, and I still have to go to work, but otherwise I’m not making any plans. I’m just hanging out with me and whoever else happens to show up, and seeing where I take me. And yet the walls still stand. In the back of my mind I still know what I’m supposed to be doing. And I’m still doing a lot of it, just less well than I would have if I had planned for it ahead of time.
Liberation is so evasive. It is there in every breathe, every day, and yet when I seek it, it hides, beckoning me further away from routine and comfort. Then sometimes it shows up where least expected, in the long meetings and visioning with comrades that are most planned. I yearn to find the balance between the hard work of building liberation in one place, and the play and adventure of finding it through exploration and discovery.
Meet for lunch.