The Cost of Waiting

What are we even waiting for, and where is the line between resting, recuperating, giving up, and irresponsible avoidance?

Late capitalist time — and its war machine — surges forward relentlessly, not allowing us to remember what we already know, not giving us space to practice care over consumption. But “the act of remaking the world is intimate, daily.”* And it’s one that can only be done communally. So in this moment of civil collapse, as we vacillate between rest and resistance, we return to the questions that build and thunder inside us. 

Since 2015, we’ve asked 114 questions across our 16 calls. In 2015, we asked: Might the plasticity of our language be responsible for the gaps between us? In 2016, we asked: Is it too late to re-choreograph our consumption of news and alter our dependence on technology? In 2017, we asked: Why do we reject bodies in danger? In 2018, we asked: Is there a power that is ever responsible? In 2019, we asked: What does forgiveness look like from where you hurt? In 2020, we asked: What have you recorded during this time, and what are you trying to forget? In 2021, we asked: How do we claim the kind of joy that creates a rupture for passage through all the horror and despair? In 2022, we asked: What truths have you unearthed beneath the falsitudes, and how is what is real related to what’s possible? And in 2023, we asked: How do we do things not in spite of but alongside — in relation to — everything that is happening around us? Each question, an archive.

For this issue, we want to know what it means to take action amid the everyday crises that we are living through, and what that action can look like: gathering our resources, our people, our time. What are we even waiting for, and where is the line between resting, recuperating, giving up, and irresponsible avoidance? How do we ensure that the actions we take are responsible; how do we rely on one another to stay honest about what ensues? What rituals can we practice to make visible what is invisible, and how can collaboration serve as a portal that propels us toward a world we’re reimagining together? How do we create connections between each other and within ourselves that reflect our current relationship to a world we can touch? How do we lean on the little things that anchor us to each other’s lives? And how do we practice kin-making or knowing a place when there are so many violences that sever us from the earth and from each other?

The natural world reminds us that there are other models of time, other ways of being, other ways of working together that can help us find our way back to ourselves, to our communities, to our kin: to our sense of home and place. “How we move might move how the world is made,”** and the stories we tell eventually become the things we believe, the narratives that sustain us. So what are people finding to believe in? What is keeping us whole? Because to build together is to believe in a future, even one that may be as-yet unseeable.

*Leanne Betasamosake Simpson and Robyn Maynard’s Rehearsals for Living
**Mimi Sheller’s Mobility Justice: The Politics of Movement in an Age of Extremes

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