as of tuesday, march 24, 2020, i have been social distancing indoors for nine days.
i was laid off from my job three or four days ago due to COVID-19. i don’t remember.
this poster, which lists gene sharp’s 198 methods of nonviolent action, has been hanging on my wall since 2016. the posters circulated after the trump election.
the list is becoming increasingly relevant again as i consider the potential for isolation as a political act.
staying indoors during a pandemic is not a reaction, or a lack of action, but an active presence of nonaction, of nonviolence.
to stay indoors is to prevent, to restrain, to conserve, to save.
some people equate conserving to hoarding. we tend to hoard soft things—paper towels, toilet paper.
in the following recordings, i recite the list of 198 methods of nonviolent action while covering my mouth with soft objects from my bedroom.
i recite methods 1-70 while covering my mouth with a pillow.
i recite methods 71-132 with my quilt over my mouth.
i recite methods 133-198 with a cluster of eucalyptus over my mouth. the eucalyptus usually hangs above my mirror. (i noticed that “stay-at-home” is sharp’s method number 65, under “withdrawal from the social system.” number 68 is “sanctuary.”)
this is the view from my bedroom window today. i love when this tree begins to blossom.
the blooms don’t stay long. they’re delicate and soon they will coat the ground.
you will see in this video that the crows prefer the other tree in the background. it’s taller.
i am thinking about being soft and nonviolent and being home, and softness as home, and home as being soft, and being soft as nonviolence.
home as a verb: to home. i home, you home, she/he/they home, we home.
i have homed for nine days.
i am thinking about being an unpaid artist-in-residence in my own home.
to be home and to be soft also requires layers of privilege that shroud an important question. can you afford to be nonviolent?