September 1st (!)
This is Issue 70.1 of Digestable, your thrice-weekly mouthful of things happening in the world.
Today’s news, fermented:
Hello again friends!
It’s so nice to be landing in your inbox again. I hope you all were able to take a little break from the news and whatever work was demanding your attention this last month.
That said—it’s been a pretty horrible few whiles here on planet earth. Here are the first three things on my radar today:
Hurricane Ida has slammed the Gulf Coast, leaving countless folks without power. Send some support to these organizations on the ground.
The US has officially pulled out of Afghanistan. There’s a ton of analysis flying around, most of which fails to prioritize the humanity of Afghan people. I don’t know that I have a lot to add at this moment, but if you’re reading this and have seen something I should share, do send it along.
Abortion has been made more or less illegal in the state of Texas. Elie Mystal wrote about it today, and noted “But conservatives are not satisfied with merely restricting abortion access—they seek to outlaw choice altogether.”
One thing that leapt out at me as I turned away from my screen, let my typing-related stress injury recover, and actually prioritized the world right in front of my face and under my feet, is that all of these realities are co-existing all the time, regardless of where we place our attention.
A nod to the thinking of Jenny Odell, this idea has been rocking around in my brain for a while. As a person with tremendous privilege, it’s easy for me, in the grand scheme, to rest and turn off my screen—and with it, all the worlds that are not my own. For so many humans, the real-time world cannot be this restful.
And for so many of us in the movement for justice, not stopping because injustice continues is the water that we swim in. This makes a lot of sense, I think—committed people don’t just chill when the thing we’ve committed to is far from achieved—but this culture is too often toxic. Burned out organizers are no good to the movement.
All of this is to say: I’m still figuring out how to rest as a person committed to justice work who also has the privilege to do so, and how to also hold rest as a right, not a privilege. Probably life’s work, huh?
So: Digestable will be back in your inboxes on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, but ~anything can happen~ from here on out (with a warning!). We actually gathered as a team to talk about some of that over this month of rest, and it was incredibly cool and sweet. Here we all are, to put faces to names!
(clockwise from top left: Gabriel, they/them; Lena, they/them; Latifah, she/her; Caro, she/her; Mollie Rose, she/her.)
If you’re interested in writing with us or in some other way being a part of this emergent little project, respond to this email with your ideas.
With love to you all, and till Friday.
Here’s an arctic ground squirrel coming out of hibernation.