What Palestine is teaching me


Since early October up until about a month ago, I had been in a blocked, almost lost state in the pain and rage over what’s happening in Palestine. It took me a minute, but eventually i realized I needed to see it as a sign to switch paths, approaches, priorities in my art practice, and in my life. The way i had been doing things no longer felt like it was flowing, and instead of pushing the voices in the back of my mind aside, I decided to engage with them, eventually. This message came to me some time ago:

There is no other world that we should fight for, other than one where Palestine is free. Where the Global South is free, where the oppressed are free

My heart HAS BEEN breaking and bleeding and enraged… my mind is done trying to make any sense of it, any of this, other than see things for what they are – we live in a nation state that since its inception has only cared about expansion, extraction, profit, control. We’re reminded (white supremacist) settler imperialist capitalist states exist only to perpetuate themselves no matter the price enacted on life – several thousands of people, several thousands of lives, several thousands of dreams, of hopes, of generations. Every new horror worse than the last, every limit they are crossing, every boundary violated , antithetical to life in every conceivable way. And for Palestine, this has been going on for decades since 1948.

It’s irresponsible, complicit to not engage with this moment, and so many folks are doing so in beautiful ways across the world. How is refusing to turn away from these horrors changing us, changing you? What does allowing grief and rage and love to transform you look like for you?

The pain never goes away as i try to live my life, and i don’t expect it to. There is no way to live my life if i’m not doing something, anything, to help this cause. Through the pain and the rage as fuel, I’m choosing to write, create, make art, and connect with others who also want a freer world and want to show up in collective struggle. I want to do these things and simultaneously be open to continue shifting and challenging myself to grow. Even if some days are harder than others, even with all my doubts and all the fears. To allow this moment to show me what isn’t working, to be more present in struggle with my communities, to make space in my life for what supports collective healing and liberation, and release what doesn’t. To undo the shackles i was taught to ignore and normalize.

To do anything less is just not something i or anyone can afford. There’s no other way

Palestinians and every single person in solidarity and struggle across the world are teaching me that along these levels of violence, atrocities, and pain, there is also a deep power in knowledge, in truth, and working alongside one another. That we are all responsible obligated for doing our part in further uncovering the lies, the masks, the distortions, disrupting any sense of normalcy – especially for those of us in the US, in the belly of the beast. A beast that has caused damage and death for too long, for too many across the world. That we’re all responsible to take part, regardless of how small our actions might seem in the present moment, whether we want to be or not, whether we feel ready or not.