Asylum Summer, 2022

A few years ago this was a blackened tract, aftermath of a controlled burn. Yearning for less stuff and more space. We require space to receive the full complement of our resources. Figuratively and literally. The (relational, environmental, emotional) invasives, the Doings of Too Much, are entropy to the degree that fire is the mildest possible tool.

Today is the birthday of a friend and mentor who tirelessly over decades taught me to listen to myself and value myself. I send up, in gratitude, this list of some of the items recently expelled when I’ve given my brain a quiet moment to herself, items that if not hopeful are hope-adjacent, not just reactions to This Burning World (repair! repair!) but instead responses (create! create!):

  • Relatively inchoate fields of study giving me sparks right now include brains, fungus, intergenerational trauma, guts, flow states, the evolutionary purpose of art, and the paradox of creativity and conformity.
  • Human connection is the One True Drug and social media has increased our daily dosage exponentially and we don’t really have a good sense yet of whether it’s palliative, curative, or toxic or more realistically to what degree it is all of these things.
  • We don’t even know what happens to us after we die, y’all. I cannot believe we have been entrusted with all of this Earth. We see such a miniscule portion of what’s going on, and in so few dimensions. 

My dear friend is about to — any minute now — become a first-time grandparent. We’re over here waiting for a baby to be born and we’re all everywhere collectively birthing the new world. We know the crises. They are combusting everywhere we look (and scroll). What we can’t yet see is what will grow after the burn.