Friday, December 2, 2011

Uncharted terrain

Writing has always brought me back to myself.

Since the Occupy movement has taken off, I have been gradually losing touch of myself. It is an irony, because it is precisely this moment of potential mass upheaval, the expansion of possibilities, that I feel that I, and many others around me, have sprung into, that coincides precisely with me losing a sense of myself. Where every work of creation begins with a work of destruction. It rings too true and I can't handle it.

I am afraid of the power that I simultaneously have and dont have. I am suddenly shocked by how much power this democracy offers me, and people around me. We have the power to make the powers that be, throw down their weight on us. We have the power to smash on their ideas. I have no illusion about the somewhat weak position we still are, and the challenges we confront. But for regular people like me, and everyone else around me, the sudden power we have is both beautiful and somewhat fearsome. I don't know if I have the mental, emotional resilience, stamina, and most importantly, the compassion of heart, to handle these moments.

I have felt myself become patient with emotions because, emotions are rough and tumble unpredictable things that throw me off my rocker. Does it build the revolution? No. It distracts me from the tasks I need to do. I know it's the wrong way to feel. It's a baggage of capitalism, a baggage that I have fought to resist, a baggage that my entire upbringing and schooling has trained me to be. But in moments of stress, I run auto-pilot and distance from that which destabilizes is wise.

And strange.
And strange because it has never been how I have seen myself. Strange because I have always been that emo kid who cried too easily about dolphins and laughed too loudly about inappropriate shits. I don't know. I just feel lost.
Or burned out.

I feel so nervous about the upcoming actions. the last time we organized something big like this, it flopped on us and all the relationships around us burned. Burned to a crisp that tore my heart, lost people whom I thought I loved. So, what now when this fails?

And the voice of the bureaucrats whom I had shut out for a while, relishing the new found joy, freedoms and sense of power that my community and I have struggled for, suddenly came back. Suddenly I heard their voices again that reminded me of  what we slide back into when this movement, if this movement, dies.

I fear my loss of inihibition. I love my loss of inhibition. I love the visions of a new world and I fear losing it and what awaits us if we do.

Days like this I realize that dreaming, actually, as cheesy as it sounds, takes a hell lot of strength, and super super thick skin.

1 comment:

  1. Hey CNA, it's Invisible Man here. Just saw this post and once again, am struck by how similar this point in time is for me as how you describe what you're experiencing. I believe, and I'm willing to be proven wrong, that this sort of mental stress can sometimes be triggered by precisely that feeling - that power is no longer a fixed thing that we are shut out of; that we can actually have it. Our whole personalities are built on the notion that we do not and cannot have power. Once we realize this is false, that disrupts our outlook on everything. It's positive, but not always. It's stressful and carries responsibilities we weren't aware of. It unleashes hidden demons in ourselves, or in the people around us and then we are disappointed in them because we find out that this struggle against our oppressors can actually produce new oppressors from out of the comrades we've trusted so long. And we are afraid of the consequences of freedom. It's that fear, more than the fear of fighting, that keeps us down. I'm coming to the conclusion that it is mastery of our own personalities - in all their contradiction - that prepares us for the bigger changes on the horizon. How can we take power and run society effectively if we can't discipline ourselves at the micro-level? That's a challenge that can't be won overnight.

    I'm interested to get your reaction to this, since I don't know if it totally comes out of left field.