I am heartsick. I've been separated from my loves.
Yesterday I left my fellows—my comrades, my family. I carry with me our “thick, tattered web of bonds,” tied lovingly around my wrist. My phone has become a sacred tool, the one I use for reaching out, for seeking reassurance that they are still Real. I cannot help but worry that it was “just a dream”—that “in this world they too should turn out to be played by actors” (Morgan Hite, “After the Adventure”). But I sense that’s not true. There is something deep about our bonds. Our roots are intertwined.
We have become part of a living being. Like a beehive—a living organism bigger than ourselves that takes on a life of its own. We are a network or system, like a grove of trees or a web of mycelium. We work together seamlessly—changing shape and adapting to individual needs—supporting each other, taking space, handing off leadership, tapping in, and tapping out.
Separated from them my light is a little dimmer. I’ve left a piece of my soul in that web. Our tethers are now stretched far across physical distance. They saw my light and they encouraged it vehemently. “You have sunshine in your laugh,” they said. “You are so special.” “You are such a gift.” But I do not always laugh with as much joy and brightness, and I am not always so bold. “You are a true community-builder.” “You have a trickster spirit.” They brought out my brightness and my gifts.
We need community to shine. We need each other to bring out our light. To encourage our baby flames, the parts of ourselves we cannot see or recognize. We see ourselves in the mirror of each other. It is together that we can each be most ourselves—brilliantly unique—held in a web of diversity. So many of these parts of myself I could not see until they pointed them out. “Thank you for being you,” they said, “WE ARE SO GLAD YOU’VE COME” (Debra Frasier, On the Day You Were Born).
I cannot shake the knowing that this doesn’t feel right to be apart. To fall in love in such a way with my comrades, to build a community, a culture from the ground up, a family—it’s not something I can just walk away from and forget. Humans weren’t meant to be separated from each other. I feel like an infant being separated from their mother. In a deep, visceral way, it doesn’t feel Right.
And yet I know, that this is the way it must be. This is our Work. To hold this tension. To carry forth what we learned into the world. To “enrich this place with the distilled essence of that place, drop by drop.”
As so I write. “Whenever the aloneness comes now, I write. Whenever I feel the insanity, I pick up a pen and put it down on paper for one of the others. I do not write to some person I am supposed to write. I just write the person I long to write. I write all day and all night, whenever the pain comes.”
When I do our Heart of Activism dance, I can feel them. I practice and embody carrying forward the work we started together—the work of each individual bound together and carried by all.
I am ROOTED and RESILIENT. I practice SOVEREIGNTY and SURRENDER. It was a homecoming in the truest sense—coming home to my people, my place, my self.
♪ Loosen, loosen, baby / You don’t have to carry / The weight of the world in your muscles and bones / Let go, let go, let go ♫