Our theme for this month is liberation. If I’m being honest, when I first figured this out, I couldn’t help but laugh a little and roll my eyes. Liberation? Now? As we’re all sitting in our respective homes, avoiding contact with others at all costs, and steeped in a worldwide pool of anxiety and uncertainty – we’re supposed to be considering liberation?
And then I took a deep breath (and another) and looked around (and looked around some more) and gave it some thought. So here are the ways in which I’ve felt liberated over the past few weeks:
- I’ve been wearing pajamas non-stop
- I can drink all the coffee I want and eat delicious home cooked meals
- I don’t have to stress about my commute or about being quiet at my desk
- I’m not spending a lot of money on things that don’t matter much
Really, if anything, this experience has shown me that the things I think I need – fancy coffee, constant busy-ness, and pants – maybe aren’t all that essential after all. And maybe, after further thought, once all this over and things return to something more normal (or at least more familiar), I don’t have to bring them all back.
Some things will have to come back. My commute, for one, and wearing pants. But maybe I can carve out more valuable time for my interests and hobbies. Maybe I can shift my impulse to buy a quick meal to relish in cooking for myself and those around me. Maybe things don’t have to go back fully to normal, and I can change the reality that I return to.
A part of liberation is revolution – removing oppression and changing the systems of power that keep things as the status quo. All of us get caught in that cycle of oppression, as both the oppressed and the oppressor, allowing ourselves to be caught in a prison imposed by society and our own expectations.
Now, freed from many of the expectations of the outside word, is the perfect time to think about the ways we engage with ourselves and others. What do we want to be a part of our new daily lives? How do we want to move forward? What do we want to keep with us and what can we leave behind?
We’ll get through this soon – and a whole new world will wait for us if we want it to and make it so. I hope you all stay well and remain only physically distant.
Kate Larson, Interim Clerk
On behalf of the Board of Trustees