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no way to be alone

Sometime last year, I realized, as I walked through my fifth spiderweb of the day (sorry, spiders), that there is no way to be alone on this planet.

(Now, hear me out - I 100% know that so many of us humans are lonely & suffering in ways we’ve never been before, and some of us are having our regular life isolation compounded by the current state of the covid pandemic. We’re holding a lot and it’s painful to experience our individual slice of this collective hard time. We feel lonely.

And, what I want to say is, that still maybe there is no way to be alone on this planet, where everything exists in relation to, in relationship with.

Colonialism and other systems have really cut off many of our connections to and recognition of other life as real, as relation-able.

And what I found, living last year by the river in a new place where I didn’t know any humans and the neighbors didn’t believe in covid, is that the most important relationships that emerged were with place, with the non-human people around me.

(This is obviously nothing new, indigenous people have known this for forever, my lineage just forgot, and had this body knowledge cut off, many generations back.)

What this tiny bit of remembering has done for me is a lot of things, but especially it has shifted my understanding of what it means to be an individual.

We are always in relationship - mutual or not, extractive or enlivening, violent or fearful or joyful or a mix of all of these. Even the ways our bodies are constructed at the microscopic level reflect this. I might not notice the impact that my body is having on everyone around me - birds and trees and water - but they do.

I think this knowing has offered me a kind of body-reminder that we are - I am - not anywhere near the most important in the room, on the earth. That we kind of do owe it to each other, that we have a kind of responsibility, to learn how to be a conscious part of a collective again.

Because we always already are.

(Not a single leaf, but the whole plant. Not the center of an ecosystem, but a necessary part of one. Not alone, but in relationship with.)

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