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(Author: Stacy Torres)
Hello beloved community,
My name is Stacy Torres and I am a co-founding collective member at The Well on Beacon. If you are receiving this newsletter you know about us and we appreciate your support.
My practice, Everyday Medicine, was created to support and develop changemakers, caregivers, artists, healers and activists in Seattle’s QTBPoC communities. I am a Cultural Strategist, Politicized Healer and a Transformative Justice Organizer. My work centers healing as liberatory and transformative practice that shapes new possibilities for our futures. I help people remember and reconnect with the legacies of healing and resilience held by our ancestors. I believe that we are the ones we’ve been waiting for.
In this first week of Trump’s presidency I look up and see what is happening in the world, my heart is cracked wide open. I see the fears of communities under the threat of direct attack from the current administration. I see the spectacle of political discourse on TV. I see all of my communities responding to the ignorant and violent disregard for our humanity. When I talk to friends, colleagues, and clients about their feelings I hear people reflect on feeling overwhelmed, in disbelief, and moving with a visceral fear, rage and contempt. We are confused and afraid and that is okay. We are terrified and fighting that is okay. We are grief stricken and hiding and that is okay. As we continue forward in this movement moment I want to be clear that the responsibility that we hold as “collective agents of history” is great. The power that we must recognize inside each one of us is astounding!! We have no choice now but to be the best most potent and courageous versions of ourselves that we can imagine.
If you are at home alone isolated and terrified please don’t wait. Don’t wait to see how it will get worse, or see how the impacts will show up in your life. Please don’t wait for the perfect solution to become clear, or until the right all inclusive completely intersectional organizing campaign invites you to contribute. The time to involve yourself is now, I believe that we all have work to do. It will take each one of us to usher out this “dying culture of hate”. It will not go easy. And it will continue to try to scare us into submission by telling us that we are alone. We are not alone. We are the majority.Our work starts with taking good care of our emotional, spiritual and physical selves. It starts with staying connected and honest about the changes happening around us. Not just ticker tape updates of mandates and executive orders, but also the collective reactions of those around you. Seriously, write down what you are tracking it will help you stay oriented in times of quick change. Normalize talking about how you are actually feeling. Our work now as it has always been about taking good care in the relationships that we have with our families, communities, friends, and chosen families. Consciously limit time you spend on the internet and intentionally inviting in ancestors inspirations and other resources that help you keep perspective.
Our work is also to look up and recognize who is being threatened directly. Reach out and connect. We cannot afford to wait to stand in solidarity with The water protectors of the standing rock Sioux, with Black Lives Matter, with our Muslim friends and trans & disabled family members. We need to show up today.
We must understand what it means for future generations to steward and defend the land, water, air, and spirit. We are responsible for what we offer future generations.
I urge each of you to find your gift, your platform, your healing modality and offer it. If you are an organizer show us a clear path forward. If you are a healer find a venue do your thang, if you are an artist connect people with the power of creation. If you cook nourish us. If you karaoke remind us of the joy in using our voices. If you are a caregiver or mama remind us of simple innocent joy. I am putting prayers up for all us to see and reflect how vital each of us is.
Don’t get it twisted, I am not saying burn yourself out. I want you to simply value and make your own contributions to the resistance. Organize at whatever level makes sense for you. If that means a national campaign, or phoning a friend when you can’t get out of bed, do it. Both require courage and are vital acts of resistance.
Our resistance must center care, creation, and connection. Please commit and join me.
(Author: Mariko Fujita)
New Year’s (o-shōgatsu) is one of my favorite holidays. It’s not the eve, but the day itself that holds significance for my family. Since we Japanese-Americans function on the Gregorian calendar, January 1st marks the day we make and then consume an elaborate feast. The magic of a communal meal underlies the whole event, where folks receive nourishment in the fullest sense of the word. The generations mix and family recipes are recreated, as we draw upon the ties that bind.
My Baa-chan had a maxim that a clean house on New Year’s Day meant a clean house the year-round. In my family’s book, this principle extends to all aspects of life, not merely to matters of house-keeping. In essence, you begin the new year as you intend to keep it. In reflecting on how my family spends New Year’s Day, I would like to honor the tradition we have of annually (re)organizing our lives around love, community, and nourishing traditions.
This month marked the first healing event we’ve held as a collective, and during the event, I hope we channeled the spirit of o-shōgatsu. We chose to hold our Community Healing Night on January 21st: the day after inauguration, the day of the Womxn’s March, the week before Lunar New Year. With such timing, we found ourselves in the position of being both backward- and forward-looking.The aim of our event was to provide an opportunity for people to mingle and connect and take time for self-care.
I feel hopeful that we will continue in this vein for the year to come: that we will continue to support and be supported by our communities; that we will lean into those traditions that fortify us and give us resilience.
I would like to give many thanks to our wonderful neighbor-businesses on Beacon Hill who made donations to our Healing Night’s food spread. Shout out to The Station Coffee House and Victrola Coffee Roasters for their donations of caf and decaf coffees and to Despi Delite Bakery for their delicious ube cake! And we are so grateful to Ellaina Lewis (a new acupuncturist in White Center!) and Isaac for volunteering as our greeters during the event.