Hi, I’m Hima Batavia - a writer, cultural producer, artist, and community organizer based in T’karonto and the great infinite. This newsletter is a space to write liberated futures into being. You can learn more about me, my social location, and this newsletter here
There is a chalky quietness in the air. I say chalky because it sits like a coarse residue on my fingertips when I reach for it. I tell others I feel this way, and they say, I didn’t know, but I feel it too. The Whatsapp and Slack groups have stilled from zippy exchanges on dancing babies, air fryer recipes, and revolutions unfolding. I make it to the end of my Instagram and Twitter feeds. The minimum response time to emails has lengthened to two weeks, if at all. Zoom parties are obsolete, digital archaeology. Inside and physically disconnected, these feeds, these bottomless feeds, are signs of life, but they too are languid. In before times, we might say this quietness is the ‘calm before the storm,’ but a storm in perpetuity ceases to be something we can touch, run our fingers through, name as such; becoming as routine as streetlights and fast cars.
It’s spring now, but our mouths have run dry for the words we have yet to know, to sound out and intonate describing being flung, so often. What will we call this period? The pandemic, the great reset (conspiracy), an awakening to meticulous harm, the middle of the end, an introvert’s arrival. If we are wise, we will name this time: a collective right of passage. And why wouldn’t we have one? A most timely coming of centurial age and maturation of consciousness to inch closer to the untenable distance of existence. I suggest we are no more sophisticated than Vada, who at 11 years young must reckon with the loss of her best friend, Thomas, killed in a vicious bee attack while being desperately in love with her much older, out-of-reach English teacher, Mr. Baxter. There are these ruptures, these frayed tears in the parts of our story that are so substantial, almost stubbornly settled, and suddenly we are swirling.
The Axis Mundi is the centre of the universe. It is the place where the density of the material and the divination of the spiritual alchemize existence into the world. Humans too. We often call our home the Axis Mundi, understanding ourselves at the centre of the universe, and what if we are closer now? Exasperated, and then incoherent in our response to the now — is this the language of origin? To be this sure, and then fragile, gullible, and eternal. The grasp is getting slippery, and that howl ripening in your body is also the unfathomability of it all, where a river is not a lake, and a lake is not an ocean, but it is all ancient and all vital. Can we let the body flail, crash into the walls of the only indoor world, and sound existence until all of this is a tragedy, a cycle, a prognosis.
What will come of this grief, and how will we metabolize it? There will be books and experimental theatre shows, docu-series, and stone artworks that long last, and they will comfort us and fail us, as unfathomability does. Or will we wait, hold on, until our bodies can meld together, 6 inches apart, drenching dance floors with tears of catharsis when gyrating from the place that wants origin and frivolity and never the two apart. Will we call in the now dead, the taken and absorbed, to join us and meet us at the axis, emptying these vital fluids in primordial motion to wither in the mourning of greed, and levitate in the presence of it all hanging now. Will there be a temple, and will we hold a stranger’s quivering hand who still lives between the last time they saw them in person and now.
If we are quiet because we are embracing, then let us be silent until there is liberty so loud that the crumbles of heedless republics are stifled and drowned. All will not be lost! There will be nothing to rebuild! Only reveal. For the trees and the people, the ants, hummingbirds, and hives will still be, and we already know love. If we are quiet because we are scrubbing the skin clean of gutless dominion then let us whisper until the spoiled blood spews and scabs. Skin will form anew, this time thinner, closer to the pulse of the heart, of the origin. And so, we return.
Clubhouse Conversations: The Secret Life of Multi-Potentialites
Next week, I will be in conversation with Designer + Embodiment Teacher, Titania Veda, and DJ + Embodiment Coach + Founder of Sunday Soul Service, Bianca Lee in embracing and creating practices around our broad range of curiosities and creative interests. I met Bianca and Titania completely separately, but interestingly, they both asked me if I’d be up for talking about this topic specifically. So, I took it as a sign to bring us together.
As always, join us in conversation and exploration. Stage open for your presence!
Give a dog a bone, leave a dog alone. Let a dog roam and he’ll find his way home. RIP DMX.