FIVE HUNDRED AND SEVENTEEN

From Keno Eval’s essay, Daunte Wright: A Billion Clusters of Rebellion and Starlight (via Ann Friedman).

Perhaps we should learn a little about activists organizing to preserve starlight. The work of Cipriano Martin is described in The End Of Night: “He talks in a language that seems made for ‘declarations’ written ‘in defense.’” Martin helped organize an international conference with the declaration “In Defense of the Night and the Right to Starlight.”

“…a writer from my homeland, an islander from the middle of the ocean, synthesized the whole spirit of the declaration in a beautiful short poem:

My inheritance was a handful of earth
But of sky
All the universe.


One of the most meaningful things about the Starlight Reserve concept is how detailed its dimensions are…rather than simply assume all protected areas are protected for the same reasons, the different Starlight Reserves imagine several types of these areas: Starlight Natural Sites safeguard nocturnal habitats; Starlight Astronomy Sites protect our view of the stars; Starlight Heritage Sites preserve ‘archaeological and cultural sites or monuments created by man as an expression of its relationship with the firmament [or the heavens].’”3
As abolitionists, how detailed are our dimensions? Where are our different sites of abolition located? How can local autonomous zones cooperate with each other to create what we might call a constellation of abolition? That is, a network of abolitionist efforts that are activated only at night? Only under starlight.

FIVE HUNDRED AND FOURTEEN

Excerpt from Sanctuary by Donika Kelly.

The ocean, I mean, not a woman, filled
with plastic lace, and closer to the vanishing
point, something brown breaks  the surface—human,

maybe, a hand or foot or an island
of trash—but no, it’s just a garden of kelp.
A wild life.

This is a prayer like the sea
urchin is a prayer, like the sea
star is a prayer, like the otter and cucumber—

as if I know what prayer means. 

FIVE HUNDRED AND TWELVE

From Lewis Hyde’s A Primer for Forgetting.

GRANDMA HYDE VERSUS FOUCAULT. “The analysis of descent permits the dissociation of the self,” rather than its unification, writes Michel Foucault. The truth about who you are lies not at the root of the tree but rather out at the tips of the branches, the thousand tips.

….

To practice subversive genealogy means to forget the idealism of a singular forefather and remember these thousands. With that remembrance you must multiply the sense of who you are, multiply it until it disappears.

FIVE HUNDRED AND SIX

“Things to Do in the Belly of the Whale,” by Dan Albergotti (via Matthew Ogle’s incredible newsletter, Pome). Somehow exactly right for this particular moment.

Things to Do in the Belly of the Whale

Measure the walls. Count the ribs. Notch the long days.
Look up for blue sky through the spout. Make small fires
with the broken hulls of fishing boats. Practice smoke signals.
Call old friends, and listen for echoes of distant voices.
Organize your calendar. Dream of the beach. Look each way
for the dim glow of light. Work on your reports. Review
each of your life’s ten million choices. Endure moments
of self-loathing. Find the evidence of those before you.
Destroy it. Try to be very quiet, and listen for the sound
of gears and moving water. Listen for the sound of your heart.
Be thankful that you are here, swallowed with all hope,
where you can rest and wait. Be nostalgic. Think of all
the things you did and could have done. Remember
treading water in the center of the still night sea, your toes
pointing again and again down, down into the black depths.