Sunday, 19 January 2014

sometimes it's draining

and by it, i mean politics. and all the things that surround politics, such as the community and safe spaces we carve out in the world with those whose politics we may not totally share, but whose hearts beat to similar drums as our own. 

mondragon is closing at the end of this month. i've been going there since high school, before i was even close to being comfortable with myself (do we ever get totally comfortable with ourselves?) and before i was really committed to any sort of activist lifestyle or causes. fast forward a number of years. i'm more comfortable with myself (ironically, much of that has involved embracing how socially awkward i am and learning coping methods for when my body or mind plays against me), and my career centres on doing activism through performance and art. and mondragon is still the place where i go, to sit, meet with friends, write for hours, and just be. it's been a place where i could always get food, regardless of my dietary issues/restrictions at the time, had my first cup of tea that i actually enjoyed (chai, of course), and also the place where i realized a few years ago just how much being in the company of queers kept my brain and its craziness a little less crazy. 

and now it's closing.

it sucks, and there are reasons for it (i'm sure most of which those of us not in the co-op have no comprehension of), and there are systems and patterns so entrenched that have led to its demise, and the irony that this radical co-op will fall because there's not enough money to live above poverty is bitter. i don't think anyone can blame the co-op members for this decision. it's impressive that the place has lasted for the 18 years that it has. it will be missed sorely, especially by those of us who don't really have other truly safe public spaces to hang out in.

so what to do now? mourn it, heal whatever needs healing, gather more energy if we need it, and then carve out more spaces, physical and otherwise, to share with those whose hearts beat with ours. keep carving until there are so many hearts there we sound like a war. and pure love.

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