My friends, don’t give up on beauty in times of darkness.
Yes, rage into the night. Yes, protest the injustice in the world. Yes, perform civil disobedience, if that is something within your ability to do. Yes, donate to organizations that will work to correct the injustices that are aggrieving us all.
But don’t give up on beauty.
Create with your hands. Whether that be the fiber arts, or gardening, or cooking and nourishing your body and those of your family members’… create.
Feel the fiber slip through your hands. The yarn tensioned across your fingers. Root yourself deeply in mindful practice. Feel in your body the rhythm of stitches and loops being formed, one at a time.
Hold that anger and grievance in your mind as you work. But don’t give up on beauty.
Make beautiful things. Feel the earth between your hands as you walk in your garden paths. Smell that first whiff of fresh bread as it comes out of the hearth. Ground yourself.
The fight ahead is long and unending. The arc of justice is long and sometimes feels more like a zig zag, a roller coaster. And boy, are we heading for a low point.
So make beauty, as an act of resistance. Show me your beautiful knits. Brag about your beautiful home-grown flowers. Share about the wonderful foods other artists have created for you that you are enjoying. Don’t give up hope.
Because there will be beauty and little pockets of peace and joy in the world where we can make it. And by doing so we resist.
It is only from those pockets of rest and beauty that we can act justly and bring empathy to the world and make things better.
Sometimes, these fiber practices can be a way of escape, yes. But don’t let it just be escapism. Let it be the rooted practice of mindfulness from which you can act decisively. Don’t let escapism and avoiding your pain become your habit. Instead, be present, and find comfort in making beauty.
Build a habit of radical empathy and peace-seeking, and incorporate your craft into that practice and habit.
Grieve privately. Grieve publicly. Grieve alone, in your home, holding your babies close. Grieve in community, with others who are also in pain. Take that individual and collective pain and do something. Lobby your representatives. Donate to orgs within your means. Directly help those who are most harmed by injustice and violence. Mutual aid is everything.
Find strength in these things and keep creating beauty.
We can’t afford not to.
Normally, posts on this blog are supported by Ko-fi donations from you, the readers. However, in light of the tragedy in Uvalde, TX, I am asking that instead of donating to my Ko-fi fund please donate directly to victims instead. A verified list of fundraisers is available on GoFundMe. Please also check out the links within this post to see the various actions that you can take.