Making time for rest creates space for liberation
In four days I’ll be going on a 40 day sabbath and sabbatical, spanning December 1 to January 9. It’s been a long year. A fruitful year, to be sure, but long nonetheless, and I am grateful to have this time planned for rest and (re)creation free from the demands of algorithms and other outside forces. Breaks like this help me to re-center my life around my own desires and longings, and fortify my connection to the Divine.
A few weeks ago I finished Rest is Resistance: A Manifesto by Tricia Hersey. I highly recommend y’all pick it up if you haven’t already. I am very grateful to Hersey for bringing the message of rest as a form of resisting white supremacy and capitalism to the forefront of our collective consciousness. It is a message that we all must internalize if we hope to transform our world into one that supports life and liberation.
The title of the image at the top of this post isn’t a direct quote from Rest is Resistance, but an homage. Though I have some issues with the idea of “making” time, this phrasing flowed best in the limited space an image offers. One day I’ll share my ideas around time as an ocean and humans as temporal mermaids, but not today. Today I’ll just say that I don’t technically make time for rest, rest is built into my experience of time. I prioritize moving at my own pace—on cripqueerCP time, deep time, tree time.
I am a lifelong nonjoiner, a fervent proponent of being in the world yet not of it, and a dogged anti-capitalist. I have long practiced “a politics of refusal and resistance,” as Hersey describes it. I can’t say this way of being has brought me much success in the mainstream sense, but I am loved, and I am alive. What this way of being does bring is alignment with God and my ancestors. It is my touchstone in the practice of liberation.
Hersey reiterates that liberation is a journey and not a destination. We must engage daily in a practice of resisting the structures that seek to limit our humanity. Rest, dreaming, and collective healing practices are some of the ways we can remain expansive. There are more specific examples provided in the book. Again, I suggest you read it, and purchase it if you can.
Being a sick and disabled person, I have become indebted to intentional rest practice for ensuring my survival. I haven’t always heeded the call of my bodymindsoul to rest, and I have paid the price in the form of more sickness and increased disability. Rest as a chronically and mentally ill person often takes the form of recuperation, which is at times a difficult reality to accept. Yet I am still grateful for what being forced to rest has given me: spacetime to dream, imagine, and create pathways for liberation. Not only for myself, but for all the beings who share this world with me.
Those of us in the Northern Hemisphere are approaching winter, the season of hibernation. There is no better time to embrace rest as a resistance practice. This is a time our bodies slow down, our energy wanes with the sunlight, and we crave connection as we reflect on the year past. In the Southern Hemisphere, the fecundity of spring is about to give way to the misery of summer. Another opportunity to reflect on actions past, actions taken by a few that have led to the climate crisis faced by all. Resting as a form of resistance against white supremacist capitalism in such a time can be a balm, an offering to the suffering Earth.
Sending love and wishes for an abundant winter season. Looking forward to sharing space with y’all when I get back.
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