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Edward Ficklin

Let's make today interdependence day!

publishedabout 2 months ago
2 min read

Nope, darling, not a typo. And I hope I'm not the only one gracing your inbox today with this long overdue makeover. Today is the day those of us in the U.S. are supposed to celebrate “freedom.” But that particular F-bomb has become quite toxic. I generally try to avoid the word. Darling, what do you think when you hear someone start talking about freedom? I bet it’s not pretty and, most likely, it involves more freedom for some at the expense of others.

And all that doesn’t even begin to address the seedy underbelly of American freedom. Only some of us arrived here freely. Others were brought in chains. And those that did arrive freely, took the freedom from those already here. Not a lot to celebrate there.

However, we can celebrate interdependence instead. Today and everyday. Darling, you might be asking just what is this fancy word I’m throwing around?

To put it simply: everything is connected; nothing exists independently of anything else; boundaries, borders, distinctions are all convenient illusions we use to get through the day, but are not really real. But, really, it’s anything but simple. The celebration of interdependence is a lifelong journey with no destination.

On that theme I present to you two readings to add to your already epic TBR. These are timeless, so no need to rush. Let's start with something graphic--as in a graphic history.

Queer: A graphic history
By Meg-John Barker and Jules Scheele

It will come as no surprise to you, darling, that I'm a firm believer in the power of comix to tell any story and impart any kind of information. So why not the dense and unforgiving intellectual mountain range that is Queer Theory? My hot take is that there's crucial, vital, necessary, and life-saving wisdom tragically buried in an unforgivable landslide of academic jargon (decorated with not a little ego on top). Our intrepid guides here, however, understand the value of clarity, simplicity, and the need to take a stand to achieve such.

This could be your on-ramp to other readings, or you could stop here and still have a broader perspective and deeper understanding of how you, your loved ones, and society all intermingle and inform each other in ways both big and small. Queerness is interdependence.

The Heart of Understanding
By Thich Nhat Hanh

Moving on to something shorter and (seemingly) simpler, we have the Heart of Understanding by Thich Nhat Hanh. Small but mighty! This cute little book opens with the brief and utterly baffling Heart Sutra. Please don’t stop there. The book then quietly picks apart that dense little nugget, bit by bit, by offering beautiful ideas and images to contemplate.

Thay (means “beloved”) doesn’t try to “explain.” Thank god, that kinda thing starts making the eyelids heavy and head start bobbing. Just relax, soak in it for a while and see what happens. Also, being a buddhist is not required. This is wisdom for everyone.

Next time we’ll lighten up a bit with some gold and dead bodies. You’ll love it, darling, promise.

Until next time, flame on! 🔥


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