Declaration our Interdependence

Time for my annual Declaration of Interdependence.

That whole independence thing is an illusion.

These days of a pandemic, with no end in sight;

These days of reckoning of our nation’s past;

These days of mask wearing – or not;

These days of marching;

These days of the much necessary toppling of renditions of fellow humans that should never have never held that space from the get go;

For some during this time, relearning to use your very own hands to fix something, make something, and create something;

Declare our Interdependence.

We gotta understand there isn’t one person on earth who is independent.

We all count on people to pave roads,

make sure the traffic lights are working,

grow our food,

transport our food,

take care of our elders,

make our frickin’ toilet paper,

stock those shelves,

drive that bus,

newspapers and electronic content to keep you informed of current events,

all should really help us understand there really isn’t one independent person on this earth.

We gotta put those guns down in our gated communities, make a sign, and get marching.

We gotta explore our fears and our unwillingness walk in another’s shoes.

We gotta vote cuz what is happening right now is clearly not working.

I think of this Sara Rahbar’s work (below) . I admire her courage. Working and reworking the symbol of our nation, hoping against all odds, that we live up to our documents and ideals.

Declare our Interdependence.

Thank a critical worker.

Wear that mask and deal with the summer sweat. It is the least any thinking human being can do.

Consider Reparations. It is the least this nation can do.Screen Shot 2020-07-04 at 10.26.45 AM

Pictured: Sara Rahbar Flag #2 You Broke me in, de-thorned

2 Comments on “Declaration our Interdependence”

  1. Thank you Catherine for these powerful and uplifting words! I’m glad to see there’s a lot of peaceful socially engaged actions planned for today in my city and city’s throughout the country. These tumultuous times have been poignant moments for reckoning and reflection, and in many ways we are truly embodying the very spirit of what an ‘Independence Day’ should really represent. This zeitgeist that Black Lives Matter et al have been building is giving so many people the agency and freedom to express themselves and stand up for others who have been marginalized. Although there’s much more work to be done, I’m optimistic by what I’m seeing across communities. You mention many of the revolutionary actions that people can employ in order to be interdependent and free from the physical, emotional, and cognitive constrictions of social control. Establishing food sovereignty is one very important one. There’s a lot of that happening in BIPOC communities in NYC, which is a beautiful thing to see. Seed saving is becoming synonymous with BIPOC identities and history. It has taught me a lot about being a steward to the land that we are on, and using my privilege to support marginalized people’s voices and well-being. On that note, I’m hearing a lot of new voices coming into the dialogue, many are the voices of students who will inherit this world. I am more optimistic by what I’m hearing them say (and that they have the platforms to say it) that they’ll be shaping and fostering a more equitable and justice driven world. Time will tell, but the rise in empathy and action against injustice and oppression is a sign that this is the dawning of a new era of interdependence and pluralism. Wishing you and yours all the best!

  2. Dear Adam, many thanks for your attention, affirmation, and spot on observation of our current events. May the deep work necessary continue. I think the simple and profound act of growing a tomato plant builds respect while bringing joy. I think of “Eating is an agricultural act.” Wendel Berry. Somewhere along the way… “Eating is a political act.”
    Thanks again for your ever thoughtful response.
    Declaring our Interdependence right along with you!

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