Dark is the womb…

…that births all new being.

To quote Ursula LeGuinn, “How you play is what you win.”

…which might help us to understand why the age of protest and progress is coming to a close.

Our problems have outgrown our solutions in the same way that our solutions are incorporated into the existing problems. Fighting even the good fight only serves as that which cancels the effectiveness of any fight through more fighting. A reminder of how visions that come from within the decay of the current cultural structure, have become ineffective for what is most needed, which is less, not more action: less production, less consumption.

“The present convergence of crises––in money, energy, education, health, water, soil, climate, politics, the environment, and more––is a birth crisis, expelling us from the old world into a new.”

― Charles Eisenstein, Sacred Economics: Money, Gift, and Society in the Age of Transition

The collective future, so lacking in any indications of cohesiveness, has become impossible to envision, or even effectively to revision, but might rather be inviting us to slow down and reflect on what is trying to happen, what isn’t working, and more clearly than ever reveals to us that the goal of progress, as it has shaped and deformed the world around and in us, is failing us, long term. All solutions coming out of our collective crumbling structures, rather than serving to repair, replace or shore up, only serve to reveal the deeply rooted embeddedness of the weaknesses within these structures.

Sunrise at Mount Angel Abbey

Perhaps what we are most in need of now, is a type of sanctuary which might serve to slow down the damage, both personally and collectively. In many ways, Covid-19 has provided us with an opportunity for sanctuary. Is nature herself speaking to and through us?

May this new decade be remembered as the decade of the strange path, of the third way, of the broken binary, of the traversal disruption, the kairotic moment, the posthuman movement for emancipation, the gift of disorientation that opened up new places of power, and of slow limbs. May this decade bring more than just solutions, more than just a future – may it bring words we don’t know yet, and temporalities we have not yet inhabited. May we be slower than speed could calculate, and swifter than the pull of the gravity of words can incarcerate. And may we be visited so thoroughly, and met in wild places so overwhelmingly, that we are left undone. Ready for composting. Ready for the impossible.

Dr. Bayo Akomolafe

A refuge that facilitates the withstanding of the nearly unbearable tension of this historical moment, a place we can be that remains more true to these difficult times, is the place of the lost.

“In order to find your way, you must become lost.”

Dr. Bayo Akomolafe

In other words, the very urge to find a way, is itself a message trying to tell us, that in spite of our best efforts and intentions, precisely where we are; lost.

What then, can the silent protest of sanctuary offer us now? Listen in as Gordon White and Dr. Bayo Akomolafe discuss our cultural moment here:

4 thoughts on “Dark is the womb…

  1. “Our problems have outgrown our solutions in the same way that our solutions are incorporated into the existing problems.” Wow! I could not have said that better if I tried. It is sadly true. Rebellion has become a commercial commodity, a slogan slapped on a tee shirt and sold at a kiosk in the mall, or on Amazon. I still believe that we can find solutions though. One step at a time. Thanks for the post. Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

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