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The Scent of Pine: on life in Empire

Every day it’s one more thing. Sometimes several things at a time.  










Another Black or Native person killed.

Another cop goes free.

And here we are, trying to live.

It can feel overwhelming.

Poor, oppressed, and marginalized people know that one must rest when one can, and take joy when one can, because tomorrow may bring more hardship and pain.

Meanwhile, we are too little connected.

We are too much connected.

We are connected in ways that all too often do not include the touch of voice or hands, or a clear way forward.

So what do we do? As always, we find ways to reach out and do what we can. We find ways to show up, to offer, to listen, to ask.

The other thing we can do is to remember to refill the well.

Drink in the scent of pine or amber sweat.

Drink in the taste of water on our lips.

Drink in laughter.

Drink in poetry.

Drink in music. Dancing. Squirrels and pigeons. Crows and love. Datura and bougainvillea and roses and mesas and mountains and oceans and street art and apples and children and books and sun and wind.

Don’t give up. Life isn’t only a state of emergency.

This work we’re all engaged in with one another? It’s a long haul. It always has been.

Take a moment. Breathe. Refill your well. Then find a way to pour.


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