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“”Because we have rejected a certain kind of critical language, people just assumed we were dumb” the genius Alice Notley said when I visited her in Paris. Why is female vulnerability still only acceptable when it is neurotized and personal; when it feeds back on itself? Why do people still not get it when we handle vulnerability like philosophy”

It´s from Chris Kraus´s book “I love Dick” which I kind of almost picked up at the airport (inserted note: something about flying and airports and being fanatical versus pragmatic, something about how one should not fly, something about how I was falling apart)

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Funny how sometimes you need to travel OUT of yourself to gain the INSIGHT in yourself that you have been needing.
Yes.
I examine vulnerability, treat it like a philosophical theory which I can dissect and analyse, I work within the personal sphere, I reject a certain kind of critical language, I stick to this language which is mine.
That is why my blog is written the way it is.
On a good day I might even go as far as calling it an act of defiance.

Funny how Paris will take me weeks to digest and understand.
Funny how landing in my nest affects my body – since I am safe now my body can react as it has been wanting the whole time.
Just reacting.
It couldn´t react in Paris. I was flying high on dangerous grounds.

I want to talk about being stuck in a story.

First I need to tell you about Per. He is part of the story.
Per is a movie maker, he has been making a movie about our into-the-wild kind of life here in the forest. He has been following us for years. Filming us. He came down to Paris for the last days to film me partake in the protests, he thinks it is an out-of-the-wild kind of story. This us in front of the Notre Dame just before the big demonstrations.

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In the plastic bag hanging from my arm are baby wipes and water. At the activist trainings we had been warned against the police, taught how to protect ourselves from beatings, taught how to carry baby wipes and water in case they would throw teargas at us.
At this point in the story the demonstrations were still illegal, banned, because of the state of emergency meaning that these two happy campers in the above picture would potentially face ONE YEAR OF JAIL for going where they were planning to go.

This is a picture from the activists trainings going on every night. Doctors from all over Europa had come Paris to help the demonstrants, to be present, here they are teaching us how to protect our bodies. It was very moving to see this voluntary group of doctors from all over Europe, there was even a voluntary legal team teaching us how to respond if we were taken into custody.

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Why?
Why would I go? Why would I risk one year of jail?
Because I´m fed up with this oppressive system, the patriarchy, the injustice, the killings, my life in the forest is directly affected by the capitalist model of society; it is in the rain, it is in the water, they way all of the trees are taken down, manged, for profit, it is in the way the natives of this land (the samic people) are still being treated as someone we have colonized and conquered, this system is destructive and I fear for the lives not only of my future relatives or grandchildren- but my real actual present children: Sebastian, Victoria, Silas and Sigurd. Here we are eating the whole cake leaving crumbs for them and I can’t have it. Superstorms. Draughts. Unstable weather. Social uprisings. Wars. Goddamn!
“What did you do, mother, to try and prevent this from happening?”

I want to throw stones into the machine and if I can’t then I want to throw my body into the machine.

Here is what I honestly think (and this is where some of you might go “well, that´s just too much, she´s overreacting, hysteria, neuroticism, masochism and all of the other words we use in this culture to diminish the truth that comes out in the crazy/feminine)
This system has invaded everything! Nature, our bodies (through the poisson, through the exploitation) but even more so: our minds.
I see depression, stress, anxiety, suicide as acts of defiance. We are controlled. Monitored. But then sometimes our bodies and brain molecules protest….
What moved me the most about Paris was the way thousands and thousands of molecules and bodies were present in the streets. Risking all kinds of punishment.
Still there.

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Even this old body.
The lady was holding on to this banner as if her life depended on it. Old lady. Crying.

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These red lines through the streets, symbolising: don´t cross this last line. Don´t do it.

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And later we would form human chains all the way around the Eiffel Tower

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Later there would be music and this mass of bodies would jump on and down, up and down and there would be speeches.

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At this point everybody realized that a political decision had been made to allow the protests.
WHY? WHY had we been threatened and taunted, manipulated? Why had the police escalated the mood by arresting people, putting them into house arrest, denying busses of demonstrants entrance into France?
Confusion.
Desorientation.

Around this time news came out from the official cop that all the world leaders had supposedly agreed on a major climate deal.
Nobody knew what to think. The feeling of manipulation. You know that feeling.
The demonstrations desolved.
Later Per and me went looking for a party. We went to this hipster kind of media/blogger basecamp where a guy was dancing in a suit of hearts.

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I ask around, I ask the activists “What do you think about the deal coming out of the official cop” everybody without exception said “It won´t change anything”. I asked a guy “How do you feel right now” and he said “I feel like this” and the moved his eyes to the sides, perplexed, confused “what the fuck…”
I check the internet. Everybody back home is exhilarated “Finally”. Something about our worldleaders. Something about a new era. Something about hope.
Per and me sit down by a table.
Charles Eissenstein comes walking. “Hi” I say “Hi” he says. We have a friend in common, her name is Marie.
“Wanna talk?” he asks me
“Yeah!”
I don´t know what to talk with Charles Eissenstein about. I want to let him know that I am informed and analytical and clever so I bombard him with questions but Charles Eissenstein is jetlagged and tired, he just looks at me, does the best he can.
“I´m stuck in a story” I say.
“Yeah, I know how it feels” he says.
“The story being that this is party but it´s not, the story being that we made a difference, the story being that this is a great victory, the story being that now things will change”
The story of co2 emissions is false” he says and I nod.

I have met so many indigenous people during this summit, I´ve heard of landgrabs and false solutions, I´ve participated in a die in (at the official cop, it was a great experience although I felt idiotic yelling “black lives matter” being as white as I am, but still, I lay with the oppressed, not the oppressor, with my body, with my body)
I don´t think it´s about the emissions either but the problem is bigger, it´s more frustrating
“Charlest, I feel stuck in a story!!” but Charles is hungry and overwhelmed just as I am, Charles is out of place just as I am, we can´t really help eachother but we can hug. We can hug.
We can hug.
So we do.

Home. Think pieces everywhere. The birth of a new civil rights movements. Politicians allready not honoring the deal. I hate the emails from the organisations trying to “inspire” me with a kind of growth/sucees ideology “now is the moment” and yadi yadi.
I also hate the lying cheating psychopath bastards we call politicans. I don´t hate the think pieces but I prefer the books.
The callings of the ducks. The heavy sky. Ice clear frost. Lake is singing. My son, his little body, I cling to it.

I won´t be stuck in this story.
This whole life, our decisions to do as we have done, it is all rooted in an absolute need to shake off the stories, like a wet dog, like a wolf. This I know. This I know how to do.
It will take time though. And it will hurt.
The body will hurt. Pulling of the patch, examining the wound.

Some say “Oh, but you activists, you will always be displeased and complain” to which I will say “No. That´s not true”

6 comments on “Being stuck in a story

  1. I consider myself to be in the camp of the nay-sayers, of the ones who oppose our current system and I am alleviated to see the kind of mass protest Paris has still put forth. Despite the odds or maybe even because of them.
    But I also sense a great disappointment, even bitterness in the things I read about Paris from the nay-saying side; we are being duped, lied to, made fools of. The official story is one of victory, glory… look at what our leaders achieved! And everyone somehow interested knows it is a show, a charade, a blatant lie, propaganda for the political homefront. But we did get a voice, many voices and these can be heard all over the digital networks.
    Nothing will change, but that was the expected, even known outcome from the beginning. Of course nothing will change. Not as long as they are at the helm. Not as long as the golden rule still applies. Those who have the gold, make the rules…
    In that way Paris was futile, a waste of time from the get go.

    What I believe the main achievement in Paris was, is the fact that all those opposing the system have gotten a face, a voice. A face for others to recognise, to talk to and to recognise still more. A voice to be heard by others, calling. All those fractured, splintered groups have the opportunity now to come together, the movement to grow and to really make a difference from the ground up.
    The authorities gagged the masses, allowed them not to gather, to gain momentum, using the ones they murdered as an excuse. But by not allowing this to become massive, a media frenzy, they might have actually done us a service, since now those attending were forced to go back onto themselves and each other.
    I sincerely do hope those attending in the flesh will seize this opportunity and unite. Form a front for others to recognise and flock to. Otherwise it will all have been in vain. Will those that died have done so serving the oppressor, as a tool.

    We have run out of time. The time has come to unite and make a stand now. If we do not……..

    Liked by 2 people

    1. YES Ron, you are so right! We have to stay connected. The progress in Paris was not what the “leaders” did (altho’ what they did I have not read… yet but I believe that it is vastly for show and very little it anything at all for real) the progress was people banding together. United We Stand! The movement is not getting leaders to make laws and rules and initiatives. The movement is to get people – many many people – to examine how they are and figure out a way to make fundamental changes in themselves. I think we are doing that. We’ve spent thousands of years becoming what we are and those brain channels and grooves are not going to go away overnight. But they will go away and new and better habits (that’s what the brain grooves are for – habits) will become new and better habits. The waves keep crashing on the shore and the jagged rocks are worn away to soft smooth pebbles.

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  2. Andy Jukes says:

    Andrea, you are not being hysterical at all. Here in the UK, in the week following COP, our Government is cutting subsidies to solar power and giving the go ahead to fracking companies to dig in our National Parks. It is outrageous. But, somehow, sadly, I am not at all surprised. Politics has become a world in which nothing is true and lies are the norm. At the conclusion of COP I dared to hope. Dared to think that, maybe our leaders were sincere. Hope lasted one day. Then, it was clear that, as usual, they were just saying whatever they needed to make the protestors go away. After that, things would continue as normal. Governments would remain big pals with the fossil fuel companies and we will all be screwed over in the process.
    You are right to say that we are stuck in the wrong story. The Progress, Success, Aspire story. We are stuck because they have made it so attractive with their adverts and sugar and comfy slippers and fast food remote control buy now pay later super sale Black Friday Cyber Monday free sample calorie free have it all have it now no consequences no responsibility no future bullshit. We have lapped it up and become addicted. What we have to do now is make the alternative more attractive. That is our challenge – to tell a better story. To make the mystery of the forest dark more alluring than the bright lights of the supermarket. To me, that’s obvious but many people have forgotten that the forest exists. WE have to remind them.

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  3. Andrea you continue to amaze me with your lucid emotional writing. I love it. I believe Lucid and Emotional can exist in the same sentence and is not an oxymoron. Anyway thank you so much. Now I have to go read the Initiative those “leaders” came up with so I can talk cogently about what a farce it is.

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  4. BeeHappee says:

    Two things came to me as I was reading this.
    One, a little inspiration about Unstuck – Begin Again from Parker Palmer (Liked the movie also):

    http://www.onbeing.org/blog/parker-palmer-begin-again-on-getting-unstuck/8210

    Then, there is a story about Nasruddin Hodja carrying the oranges:

    Nasruddin was riding a donkey, and at the same time was supporting a sack of oranges over his shoulder. His friends saw him and asked, “Why are you going to the trouble of carrying that sack over your shoulder. Why don’t you just attach it to the donkey?”

    Nasruddin replied, “I am not an abusive man. My donkey already has to carry me-do you think it would be fair to add the weight of these oranges?”
    …..
    Whatever you guys practice, oranges on the shoulders or on the donkey, Love to all (I just need that heart suit).
    Eat the oranges and share them with the donkey? 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  5. 24-6.org says:

    Andrea:
    Creating the red lines at the feet of The Statue of Liberty in New York’s harbor was mostly symbolic and in support of Paris after COP21 but it felt like a connection with Paris across oceans and history. The equality for humankind that pulls us back to center whenever we stray from that humanism. Of course all of nature is bound up in that relation as you infer. It’s like that poster “I can’t believe I still have to protest this s**t. But I imagine we are not entirely stuck in that story. Just this moment in time. Your life expresses this well and your presence there – drawing red lines – seems like that beginning of many changes we hope to see for the living world, it’s people and our children.
    Steve

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