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A Note About Earth Day


Delisted 2023 supports the grassroots efforts of people on Earth Day 2024 to clean up the plastics and other detritus that litter the beaches, the streets, the forests, deserts, and/or any place on earth where wind, or water, or carelessness in general brings matter to rest.

 

I am

digging a hole

in the garden

with my bare hands.


--Sandra Simonds, Triptchs




 

54 years after the first Earth Day, we navigate this day annually amidst the detritus of free tote bags and nonprofit narratives of victory or impending doom and calls for cash. We are told we can assuage our guilt with these products and donations and that we can spend our way to a “greener future.” We do not receive a day off, as Earth Day remains dissociated from labor despite the fact that our bodies when we labor are still very much bodies entwined with the more than human world.


Earth Day does not make corporations uncomfortable because, as it is practiced now, it is utterly contained within the comfort of the anthropocentric extractive capitalist structure. Corporations can rely on Earth Day to shore up the capitalist mythology that we can buy our way out of loss and need not shift our sense of our own importance to do so.


That Earth Day is a “safe day” for capitalism and the charitable-industrial complex does not mean that your efforts on this day are harmful or wrong. Nor is it surprising or nefarious that nonprofits use the day to fundraise given how much effort is required to keep organizations afloat and effective.

 

Delisted 2023, however, is uncontained, uncertain, anti-anthropocentric, and anti-capitalist and does not sit comfortably within Earth Day. Instead seeks an ongoing, difficult, and uncomfortable transition from the extractive to the relational and from the human as center and pinnacle to human and nonhuman as intertwined.

 

This transition is not easy or even clear and requires sustained practice of untangling our own capitalist realism and retraining ourselves to experience nonhuman beings themselves as strange, remarkable, and utterly sovereign over their own perceptions, cognitions, experiences.

 

One approach Delisted 2023 plays with is a regular practice of creative somatic imagining to bring us into contact with ourselves as biological beings intertwined with the nonhuman biological beings at the heart of the project.

 

I’m not sure there is anything more important than this work.

 

Policy changes and legal challenges may be equally important. But they are not more important.

 

A mind in the throes of change is disturbed. It questions things that once seemed basic. No longer feels like itself. Contracts insomnia.

 

--Mandy-Suzanne Wong, Listen We All Bleed


My year-plus of feeling deep into relationship with strange nonhuman others of Delisted 2023 has changed my experience of being alive. I feel less burdened by unmetabolized grief, more able to ride its waves. I am more open to connection with others, such as the silver and douglas firs, the local bracket fungi, and the varied thrush who visited my yard earlier in the spring. I feel differently when I am with them and feel them differently when I am not.


Be open to destabilizing your sense of your place in the world. You are limited in your perceptions and knowledge as we all are. Find the edges and experience the strangeness on the other side of your own borders.



yellow bird face and black curved beak on black circle







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