This video is for all those who are reckoning with the feeling that everything is changing, that crises are converging, that we have some big choices to make individually and collectively. Meghan and Joni are friends and collaborators who formed a friendship around their eco-anxieties. They came together to create a Zine that captured their complex feelings about this moment in time, and a few months ago, I talked to Meghan about that experience. From that interview, I put together this video, and I hope it resonates with you as much as it does with me. And if it leaves you wanting more, check out the zine photo essay with comments from Meghan throughout which is coming soon.
It feels like the end of the world. Every day, catastrophically bad news. People are suffering, facing ongoing systemic oppression. In these times, how do we care for ourselves, each other and the natural world?
When my friend Joni and I decided to make this scene series we were really feeling very overwhelmed and afraid, and it sort of grew out of an attempt to focus on what it is that we that we did have control over. The way that we take care of ourselves, the way that we take care of the other people in our lives, and the way that we take care of the world in our sort of immediate vicinity.
I've learned over the years, you really are not a help to anybody else if you're not able to take care of yourself.
Real self-care, and thinking about “How do we sustain ourselves in this work?”...as I've learned over the years, you really are not a help to anybody else if you're not able to take care of yourself.
I think that we can benefit so much by taking care of each other. We can sit in our houses and watch the news and just feel frozen in fear. But when you start to reach out to other people, and extending care to other people they can do the same back to you when you need it.
No matter how hard things get will always be able to be kind to each other. We always will have that option. I think when you distill it down. We have to remember how connected we all are.
I think that Indigenous people have a much better concept of this idea that the earth is our body. I think the rest of us are starting to realize, like the well-being and health of our own bodies are very much wrapped up in the well-being and the health of the earth.
imagine if we all took responsibility for each other and the well-being of each other.
Imagine if we were honest with each other about how we feel. Our fears and our anger. Like imagine if we all took responsibility for each other and the well-being of each other. I just think the world would look a lot different.
About the creators:
Meghan spends her time worrying and crying and laughing and organizing for climate justice and cuddling her puppy. She loves getting compliments and sometimes even asks for them. Joni loves embroidery and mixed media art-making. As a textbook 2 on the enneagram, it’s easier for everyone involved if you just let her help, serve and love you. The two bonded over their shared love of lipstick and swearing and crafting and talking about their feelings.
Meghan’s words really resonate with me, and the zines she created with Joni are a beautiful representation of the mix bag of feelings I have about the climate crisis. I also love the awareness Meghan and Joni bring to their position relative to other people who experience anxieties about the “end” of what “we” have now.
Here’s what Meghan shared with me:
“People are suffering, and governments are making choices against the well-being of most people. And yet we know that many groups of people have already experienced apocalyptic times. In Canada and in the United States, there are Indigenous Peoples who have experienced genocide, Black folks who have experienced slavery, and People of Colour in general who are facing on-going systemic oppression. So when we talk about what to "us" feels like "the end of the world," I want to be sensitive to this fact.”
Thanks for this reminder, Meghan. Today I’ll hear it as an invitation to create something new - something more caring and compassionate - out of what is coming to an end.