On what to do now

I had earlier been thinking about the post that I wanted to write here, but sadly I did the thing that all academics and writer-types do and decided that I was too sleepy/comfy to get up and put pen to paper and get that idea out of my head and anyway, I would surely remember it when I sat down to write it. Hubris is a disease.

I do have a concept for this internet space, now that I am a post-academic. I very much intend to stay involved with research, speaking, and other academic pursuits, though I have eschewed the traditional route of post-doctorate researcher – assistant – associate – full professor since that is far too much work for far too little pay and there are many, many people who are much more passionate about attaining academic standing and teaching future generations of humans. So I would like this space to feature what speaking I will be doing and any neat projects I may be involved with, but more specifically I would like to document my thoughts on … well, sustainability.

Surprise, surprise, the blog title is on the nose. I’ve been curiously circling around the zero-waste /& crafting /& minimalist /& vegan /& mending /& “sustainability” communities and their discourse for several years now, mostly in their convergence and sharing of ideals with eco-feminist and solarpunk aims to combat both the climate crises and rampant structural injustices fuelling the Anthropocene. There are myriad books out there that tell one how to live most sustainably, how to opt out, how to live lightly on the earth, and on in that vein. There are even more small communities of crafters, anarchists, gardeners, anti-capitalist activists, plant enthusiasts, flexitarians, freegans, and otherwise-minded people who are eking out a way to survive sideways in the cracks.

Survival isn’t just about bodily survival, it’s about survival of the human spirit. Margaret Laurence said that, or something along those lines, when asked about the concept of “survival” back in the day (survival was a big thing in Canadian literature for a while last century). What good is it if you’re making money hand over fist but your soul is shrivelling slowly day by day because you feel cut off from the rest of humanity? Gain the world, lose your soul, etc. Conversely, what is a soul worth when you can’t afford to put food on the table, or keep the lights on? Souls, much like exposure, don’t pay the bills.

I think I will end it here, on that note. I do not have an answer, and maybe my musings seem glib, but I have promised myself that I will try not to overthink the posts on this blog, because that way lies writers’ block. Also, it is my private opinion that humans these days – myself included – are far too unfamiliar with the unfamiliar, and we have internalised the fascistic desire for an answer to every question, a box to put every person in, a label for every problem. We need to stay perpetually open to the unanswerable questions, or something along those lines, and I’m pretty sure I’m paraphrasing Judith Butler there from a brilliant essay on feminism and post-feminism. Perhaps I shall look it up and link it later. Or perhaps not.

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