November 2008 – Letter

The questions brought up here have been with me for some time, & forgive me if they were already explored elsewhere, as i’ve been out of the loop for a minute.

i ran into an exceptional writer’s creation (Baldwin’s No Name on the Street) where i came across a reference to Dante’s “I would not have believed death had undone so many.” i couldn’t help but feel a particular resonance regarding my situation & the larger environment realized by the Green Scare. This Death isn’t in a totally physical sense & whose subtleties may reside at the Heart of what lies before us.

[This may be redundant but i’ve just got to get it out of me or i’m go’n to burst]

To those familiar with debates, it’s known that when one side establishes the terms to be used, it’s only a matter of time before they’ve won the match – the other views have conceded to that particular frame of reference/mind-set which leads to a particular outcome. i found it curious (to say the least) that so many adhered to the given definition of freedom shoved in front of them. What is your definition of freedom at this moment? How are you to share it with others without it being explored by & for yourself? Whose definitions do you with to utilize in perceiving your reality? When that is given up, what occurs? Within this constellation, what are the benefits of exploration? & the repercussion of leaving it obscured?

[Sorry, this following bit of constructive criticism may be hard for some to digest]

Another aspect of this undoing feels like it’s been manifesting itself for some time by the way the (anarchist/radical) community has been/is received by the larger communities with which it comes into contact & interacts (please forgive the generalizations). The folks who have lived within those communities for generations have seen time & again how “energetic youth” (be it from schools, churches, radical groups, etc.) come in to make a change – perhaps gaining some window dressings here & there; but soon most end up leaving & making way for another up & coming generation of exuberance. The majority of those who leave go on to some form of schooling in order to “use the system for good.” So many, falling back on to careers after they’ve earned their credentials as activists.

Here, society at large, smiling a sigh of relief & giving a knowing nod, no longer sees them as lost children; having got it out of their system: they’ve grown up & accepted the responsibility to be truly effective in the world (please re-read that; how many rationalize their choices/actions by adhering to those loaded terms and concepts, consciously or not). ‘Form defines content’ is a hard lesson to learn, and regardless of the intent that initiates a career, a change of priorities is inevitable: concessions are made. Through this a distance is maintained (activist vs. ‘those in need’) – fortified by a colonialist based behavior that has nurtured a divide & conquer loop-hole which only we can close. The safety net which rides along in the back pocket of the privileged becomes a web that bears it’s own poison.

And where do the costs arise?

No matter what choices we make, we’re always allowed back into the fold. The deeper the deviation, the trespass: the higher the toll for return. Actually at that point, the cost is irrelevant (made stark by some of the G.S. cases) because all that matters is the return to comfort: that familiar (given level of) freedom. And who couldn’t relate to the choices made? We’ve been shown repeatedly the outcome: “it’s only natural.”

From my perspective the type of Death we’re Dancing with here is the fear of letting go – letting go of what we’ve been taught (programmed) defines us – that which we are to hold most sacred.

What are the definitions which define your reality?
What choices do they open before you?
And which are closed?
What unfolds because of those choices?

Basically: How do you wish to Live your Life?
Under whose discretion?
What is it you hold Sacred?