Joy as Resistance

A hot day following a string of hot, even all time record-setting days. Bright sun and increasingly muggy conditions abound. The natural world is already quiet at 11 am.

It is Independence Day, a holiday for some and a retail work day for many. It is a difficult day for us as a nation; this year, perhaps more so than in many decades. Throughout history people have faced challenging times, periods of tyranny and genocide. The day marks such a period for Native people here in the US. This year, many people, regardless of their ethnicity, are speaking of growing tyranny and their fears for the future.

Yet, in the face of much hatred and disruption, almost anarchy, displayed by those who were elected to lead, we can remember that there is much value in maintaining our lives, making art, and feeling joy. These are ancient weapons against destruction and hatred, and have allowed many peoples to survive, and even thrive, in the face of evil. We can also remember that our ancestors, no matter where we hail from, experienced oppression and violence, and stand by us as we live our lives now.

Without joy, community, and a sense of history maintaining resistance can create feelings of futility. On this complex day we can take refuge in the knowledge that we are more alike than different, that attempts to separate us are based in illusion, and that we are free to feel joy. When we remember that facing uncertainty and tyranny is as old as our species, we can recognize our shared values and aspirations, and liking hands, we can build momentum for change.

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4 thoughts on “Joy as Resistance

  1. “facing uncertainty and tyranny is as old as our species” – I was reminded of this as I read a book about the Middle Ages (Silvia Federicci, Caliban and The Witch). So many of the conditions then including land confiscation, criminalization of the poor and homeless, incessant taxation, disconnecting people from their cultural ways, etc. is continuing today. And, yes, we need each other, we need community, to stay strong in our resistance to the evils of the world.

    • Yes, there are so man invitations to fragment and lose community. There always have been. And yes, we can stay strong in our insistence on being king and generous, and resisting tyranny. The more of us there are, the more of the load gets shared….

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