Place Corps Blog #6: Week of 9/23

a magical happening

Last weekend, Luke came into the kitchen and asked, “Jordan, isn’t it crazy that I know you?” I immediately knew what he meant.

In The Mushroom at the End of the World, Anna Tsing offers the idea of “gatherings” turning to “happenings”, as seemingly random and emergent assemblages of people in a place manifest a shared impact on and in space and time, and within the bodies and lineages of those connected. Place Corps is as much a “happening” as any, imprinting into this land on Schnackenberg, Hawthorne and Hudson Valleys, and the hearts, minds, bodies, and lineages of everyone this program touches. And although what drew each of us into this wild experiment shares a connection, only life itself could have predicted us.

One of the learnings adrienne maree brown offers in Emergent Strategy is: “There is a conversation in the room that only these people at this moment can have. Find it.” Originally shared by adrienne’s colleague Taj James, these words mirror Anna Tsing’s concept of “happenings” as well as that of “contamination”. In fact, in every happening and conversation, those who have gathered have brought with them their complete life histories, as well as those of their ancestors. Everyone and everything is contaminated, and we are ever-contaminated in every moment that we exist. To me, this is powerful, and even power itself. It means that in all that we offer through our words, actions, and even our thoughts, we shape life.

Luke’s question / noticing from last weekend is an important one. For me, it illustrates the magic of life, and entices me to weave my own magic into life.

Questions to nurture my magic:

What is the name of the yellow flower I’ve woven into my hair?

Within the emotional imbalance I find myself, what am I grateful for?

How can I hold and hold space for these seven precious beings named Martha, Luke, Eleanor, Gopal, Alessia, Lila, and Sophia?

How do I offer radical and divine intention (love) to my fellow beings (especially those more-than-human)? To this land? To my ancestors? To my community(ies)? To myself? To Oshun?

What are my hopes as I enter my 26th year on this earth within this form called Jordan?

Jordan Williams