I wrote a letter to a friend of mine today – here is an excerpt as my blog entry for the day….. i think it sums up where i am at nicely.
I am not plagued with the doubt about this move other people in my life seem to be. I know why they are arguing the point though – and it’s quite simply because I am moving away. Not only does my moving create physical separation, but in the world of urban activism, it also indicates an ideological separation.
And no doubt, this ideological halving is not just perception. I really have started to split off over the past year as my politics have progressed to a different place. I won’t say it is a more evolved place, or one with more answers – but is different from where the people I have been working with over the past several years are at.
I discussed this route with a friend recently – how i started out in my early teens in the mainstream environmental movement, trying to save trees and stop nukes, and realized by my late teens single-issue politics wouldn’t cut it, the problem was the system itself – from there I identified the problem as capitalism and became an anarchist, then a socialist, then an anarchist again and continued to fight and move forward until my politics were amplified once more to recognize that at the core, it is our whole civilization that is the problem and reform under industrial society is completely impossible even in utilizing revolutionary methods of reorganization.
From this point, there are many paths one can take – there is the path of bringing the civilization down, the path of mitigating the collapse for those who can not help themselves, the path of living simply and lovingly, the path of personal and social nihilism. and the list continues. Because there is not a single outcome that can be predicted about the collapse of civilization, choosing the path is a complex and highly personal task.
At some point I chose a route I have dedicated myself to at some personal risk, and with large psychological impacts because it seemed there was only one direction to go in – but now am coming to a different place with that knowledge and have decided to step off momentarily and try another road until I can get healed – because what I have seen is until I am well, my motivations for any path I choose are suspect.
All these years of political thought have grown up in me, through my experience and continue to challenge me every day as I struggle to find the right way to both participate in and appreciate this world we are spinning on – and as I struggle to find the equilibrium in myself to continue standing upright day after day – no matter what the past reveals or the future threatens. How can we face the knowledge we are killing ourselves and the planet without simply giving up? I think the answer to that is in small things and small moments even as we march under a much larger banner – and I think that is what I am now seeking to find – those moments I have ignored in the quest for cataclysmic change.
So moving out of the city, and this work with my naturopath, and my own drawing back from the hectic life of street activism – are all part of the same thing. I am propelling myself to the next stage in my life – and I have no clear idea of what that will look like. But I am excited about it, even as I am a little bit nervous. Giving up learned routines is as difficult as giving up bad habits – but just as I don’t want to die from cancer, I also don’t want to trap myself in the expectations of others only to discover in ten years that I walked in someone else’s footsteps instead of my own.
Because really, where the hell is the living in that?