A poem with handwritten anotations on the side. First page: a drop, not a promise
I try to be a pollinator. But the fruits lack nutrition. They grow, they fall, they decompose
in a busy but barren soil. I fear this text will be another whiny, climate anxious, passive,
and aggressively privileged confession of an art student. I am sorry. Sorry to the reader,
sorry lamb, sorry cow, sorry soil, sorry river, sorry forest, sorry sky, sorry generation
alpha, beta and so on.
“Never again”, I whispered in its ear.
I promised a lamb that I will never eat it again.
I promised a cow I will not steal its milk.
I promised the soil to protect it.
I promised the river not to spill its water.
I promised the forest not to spoil it.
I promised the sky to leave it alone.
I’ve broken many promises.
I didn’t resist the temptations
of consumption
of conformity
of compliance
of comfort
Sacred and sacrifice have the same root, so they say. What am I sacrificing? What am I
ready to give up? I am changing my habits–how I eat, how I travel, how I buy. Don’t give
up, don’t give up, don’t give up. In German you say: Ein Tropfen auf den heissen Stein–a
drop on a hot stone. I can see my drops evaporate on the Scorched Earth.
But then again; constant dropping wears away a stone.
The “habits of thought”, the habits of life I was taught to live feel like a spell. The spell of
comfort. Who do I have to kiss to break it? What’s the antidote?
“act as if”
“act as if”
“act as if”
b. Page Two: Why do I still participate in this life as we know it, in this “art as we know it” if I don’t
believe in it? I am attached to my “detached radical theories”. I am stuck in the comfort
zones of critiquing the comfort zones. It’s no rock, it’s no hard place, it’s just too fucking
cozy. I am feeling anticapitalistic reading Mark Fisher who wrote about people feeling
anticapitalistic watching Wall-E.
Siamo tutti anticapitalisti – are we?
shout it
as if
Where is my mind?
Where is my heart?
Where is my anger?
when I need it
I should shiver
I should shout
I should throw
Where did it go–
this anger?
Where did I bury it?
I dig in the ground and discover a compost. It is a mass of emotions and thoughts.
Muddled with my anger I unearth my sadness, compassion, despair, naïve hopes and
dreams, fears, and ideologies.
We may think that composts are just piles of waste we don’t want, an undefined mix of
stuff. But composts are picky and moody and complex. When we are composting together,
we are “contaminating” each other, we have to take care of each other, we have to be
careful and confident.
There are people standing in the mud, standing up for the soil, for the river, for the forest,
for the sky. We call them activists. They “[feel] the wind of a rubber bullet whistle past”
their head, ripping eyes and eardrums. Do I want to stand next to them, stand by them, be
a member of this beautiful and brave human chain? I am still waiting for the ripple effect
hitting me, pushing me out of my comfort zone and into the Zones we Need to Defend.
“Not everyone is able to be a frontline activist.” - I guess I am not.
Maybe it is in my nature.
I hate the cold, I hate the wet, my skin hates the sun, grass and trees make my eyes so
itchy I want to rip them out of my head, I need hectares of tissues to blow my nose, to
breathe again. So, what kind of activist can I be? Page Three: If I dig even deeper, I won’t find happiness but joy. It’s there in abundance. I am turning
the pile, releasing the joy in all its messiness. I want to take care of this soil, of the
common ground, put it in the “Empires cracks” and soak it with trust, care, empathy, and
responsibility. I want to feel responsible. I want to mingle and muddle, instead of divide,
expose myself to the joys and needs of others–humans and more-than-humans.
And please oh please oh please
let me forget capitalism’s Promise of Happiness,
that was broken so many times.
It’s harvest time. This text is ripe. Its words might carry little nutrition. Nevertheless, I put
them in the ground, they might sprout in the next season.

With inspirations, references, and citations from:
Ahmed, Sara. The Promise of Happiness. Duke University Press, 2020.
Bergman, Carla, and Nick Montgomery. Joyful Militancy: Building Thriving Resistance in Toxic
Times. AK Press, 2017.
Crary, Jonathan. Scorched Earth: Beyond the Digital Age to a Post-Capitalist World. Verso
Books, 2022.
Fisher, Mark. Capitalist Realism: Is There No Alternative? John Hunt Publishing, 2022.
Frémeaux, Isabelle, and Jay Jordan. We Are “Nature” Defending Itself : : Entangling Art, Activism
and Autonomous Zones. 1st ed. Vagabonds. London, UK: Pluto Press, 2021.
Starhawk at Harvard Divinity School, Permaculture and the Sacred: A Conversation with
Starhawk, 2013. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zV-MsQYrW0g (23.5.2023).