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  • Writer's picturealikotree


I’m currently in Nashville Tennessee, so far I’m loving this town. I fit right in with my hat and n

ew bolo tie that Nali got be for my birthday. Two guys passed me on the street and said, “now that’s a real cowboy!” - It's like my space-themed cowboy persona has been fully embraced. (And let's not forget my space socks, courtesy of Pat Woodson birthday present!)

Yesterday I got a tattoo, (photo below) it says Emotional Immortal. It’s a phrase by my incredible coach and mentor Hector Pang. As the hypersensitive, childhood trauma recovering, double cancer I am, It’s a daily reminder that nothing emotional can ever actually physically kill me. I am emotionally immortal. This new ink accompanies the

array of meaningful inscriptions on my left wrist, including #alloneandwell2kforecer, (a reminder that I’m alone, and also all one and well forever and that I’ll die in this 21st century) and “Everything is here for us to overcome” a reminder of just that, that everything that shows up in our field and our life is for us to overcome.

The artist who tattooed me was a republican guy with a baseball cap bearing the phrase “we the people” and a cupholder with a photo of trump flipping people off saying “impeach this”. We got to talking and it turns out we had so many of the same views. We both distrust the government. We both believe the government is trying to take away guns from people so that we don’t rebel against them. We both believe that the government uses race wars, and mass shootings to distract the masses from what’s really going on, that the governments best tactic has been dividing people by race. He wasn’t racist. He believes this whole country is made up of immigrants. And we had some difference too - I mentioned some insights about land back and reparations that I could tell didn’t land with him 100%. That being said, I have a deep feeling that if my tattoo had been bigger, and we had more time, I could have definitely influenced, maybe not totally changed, but influenced his perspective greatly.

I find it so fitting that I’m here to co-facilitate a workshop on solidarity at an art and spirit festival called Deep Tropics. The festival is similar to festivals like Imagine, Lightning in a Bottle, and Beloved with a Bumbershoot twist that takes place in the heart of Nashville Tennessee in a historical park. I get to teach The Solidarity Lab here alongside the remarkable Lux Gypsum at a festival that Troi Boi is headlining.

The workshop we teach tonight is allll about building solidarity across identity.

And who would I be if I wasn’t doing that actively? I’ve had many conversations with republicans while I’m down here and I find myself having more compassion and understanding for the human experience every time I travel somewhere outside of the PNW. It has been truly gratifying to engage with individuals like my Uber driver, who drove a large Ram Truck, who I discussed our country's global standing. When he expressed a strong sense of nationalism, I acknowledged his perspective, while also introducing the concept that our nation is also still developing. Developing in spirit and community. His spirit was genuinely unmistakably intrigued and I could sense a transformation in his perspective about other countries compared to ours. People definitely like to bring up the slavery topic here… and I’m looking forward to exploring more about that in the next few days. It’s uncomfortable at times - and learning and growth be that way - for 'everything is here for us to overcome.'

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