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So a little while back, a new era dawned with the end of the Mayan calendar and a little while later the Roman calendar ticked over and we found ourselves in 2013. Soon the lunar new year will begin as well. And though a blizzard storms towards my region as I write this, in the heart of the snow season, spring is not too far away.

“During the morning of 21 December, in observance of the change in Baktún, or the beginning of the new Mayan era, thousands of indigenous support-bases affiliated with the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) concentrated themselves at the entrances of 5 cities in Chiapas (San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Ocosingo, Altamirano, Palenque, and Las Margaritas) before carrying out silent marches through each one. This was understood as a symbolic act, given that some of these cities were taken by the EZLN during its insurrection of 1994. On this occasion, covered with ski-masks but lacking firearms, carrying the national flag and the Zapatista one together, the Zapatistas directed themselves to the principal plazas of these cities, where they erected kiosks which were raised by all. After this, they left as rapidly and orderly as they entered. Preliminary reports spoke of 6 to 10,000 Zapatistas in each location.” Source: http://sipazen.wordpress.com

So now is a good a time as any to reflect on beginnings and endings. I may always remember 2012 as the year I gave up on myself as a member of some organizations and tried to see what kind of animal I might become on my own. I’ve been haunted by feelings of being lost and feelings of being free.

I’m trying to resist the temptation to justify my relative inactivity. The struggle is not going to organize itself— there are things that must be done— and/but I owe myself, I deserve care and understanding. Both of these things are true. So-called “activist burnout” is hard for me to talk about but I think it’s important to talk about— for me and on the chance that what I say might be useful to others.

All of this was/is part of the reason for this blog.

When I read Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha’s brownstargirl.org post in October, I felt humbled and blown away.

I was just now staring at this blog entry above, trying to find the pull quote that I wanted to show you but I can’t do it. The whole thing is context so read the whole thing if you missed it back in October or like me, need a refresher. All I can say is, when I read it I immediately felt like an idiot. I said to myself, of course you were burned out and destroyed by what you were doing to yourself. Of course unlearning all of that is going to take some time.

As I just now finally got around to reading through the links on the following brownstargirl.org post,

I have more of the same feelings.

Then more recently, Kersplebedeb posted about blogging

Eight Years of Sketchy Thoughts

his blog. Kersplebedeb said,

“It has been eight years since i started this blog, basically as a way of trying to figure out how to develop and explore some political ideas and perhaps also deal with a period of political and personal isolation i was going through. It “worked”, and provided a space not only to try and figure some things out, to record things i would otherwise have forgotten, and to try and elaborate a set of political reference points.”

This is very encouraging to read. When I was contemplating walking away from some political organizations, to have some faith in myself I needed to imagine where I might land and what I might do. I tried to think of what “one-person projects” existed in the world of political prisoner support and related endeavors. And then I thought of Kersplebedeb as an example. Apparently, eight years ago, K started trying to do what I’m starting to try to do now and “it worked.” So that’s good to hear.

There are so many things I want to read and re-read and one book I should probably re-read soon is this one . . .

Aftershock Confronting Trauma in a Violent World: A Guide for Activists and Their Allies pattrice jones ISBN: 9781590561034 Book (Paperback) 100% Recycled Lantern Books, Flashpoint Series List Price: $15.00 5 x 8 inches 264 pages February 2007 “Aftershock is about the real war against terror—the struggle for a world in which nobody lives in fear of atrocities perpetrated by human beings. Every day, people who push against violence and injustice or pull for peace and freedom must face their own fears. Many activists also must struggle with “aftershock,” the physical and emotional reverberations of frightening, horrifying, or otherwise traumatizing experiences endured in the course of their activism.”

I thought putting all of this together in a blog post would bring forth some more profound thoughts of my own but that doesn’t seem to be the case and that’s okay. What I can say for now is, thanks folks.

“One sunny mornin’ we’ll rise I know/ And I’ll meet you further on up the road”
– (from a song that Johnny Cash sang on American Recordings, not sure if it’s his or not)

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