Reflections on Slowness

Multispecies Care & Collaboration

On a burning planet, I’m only eased (slightly) by putting into practice what guides me, learning from friends, human and non-human, and their ways of being with this. I learn their methods of survival: edible and medicinal plants still growing under blazing sunlight; wounded at their roots as they digest herbicide and teargas residue; former port lands, bodies of water still housing ecosystems after decades of consuming production waste and runoff; endlessly generous rivers; strangers chanting in solidarity alongside me; new friends sharing food with me; kissing; continuing to make art.

On a burning planet, we must embrace our multispecies kin (fungal colonies, lactobacillus, soil microbes, etc.) as the root, herb and salt of regeneration. On a burning planet, communal care must begin in the peripheries, to beings we may not consider alive, providing material mutual aid to keep each other nourished and safe.

Learn how to forage, ferment, and grow food. Share what you’ve collected, harvested, and learned. Find pleasure in care, find a deep sense of returning. These practices, unsurprisingly co-opted for their aesthetics, are ancestral practices that have been lost through violent state projects of assimilation and labor control.

An embrace of communal care in all of its forms involves embracing riot as a form of remediation; under capitalism the destruction of property will always supersede importance over the destruction of life.

I can only understand this as what a dying empire feels like, albeit on a scale so small it’s only conceivable through the horror of each state- sanctioned death. The pavement is warming here again and still there are the waves we have yet to contend with: bodies stacked up in the dirt, their last assisted breaths taken alone with fatigued medical staff. I don’t know how to sit with all of this decay. We are moving forward without ackowledging what has been lost and I'm afraid that this mode of being, this dissapearing, will continue on. It echoes, there's not going to be anything left.