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Episode Two: Time Traveling, Care Work, and Transformative Justice- "This shit is sacred."



Background is light green sparkle puff clouds. In the top right the text reads “Care Spells” in large white font. Upper-middle left is a round image of Fig with bright green hair, wearing brown zipup hoodie and black plants, their eyes are closed and the sun is on them. On the bottom text reads “Episode Two: Part I: Time Traveling and Care Work-Let’s Start with Transformative Justice and Part II: Transformative Justice- ‘This Shit is Sacred’” in white font.

Episode Summary:


*CW: explicit language, violence, sexual assault.

In these episodes we continue to discuss some of the history behind witches, care work, and later on the first part in a two part conversations with Fig, who has been practicing multiplicities of transformative justice in the context of intimate partner violence and sexual assault.


Special guest Fig can be reached personally on IG at @feelingisgood.fig or email feelingisgood.fig@gmail.com. Their music can be found on IG @bloodhunnymusic and bloodhunny on bandcamp. Follow the podcast on Instagram @CareSpells or through the website where all episode transcripts will be available at www.carespells.com. For any questions, feedback, call ins, or expansions you can also email carespells@gmail.com.


Resources and mentions in Part I & II:





Mies, Maria. "Colonization and Housewifization ." Patriarchy & Accumulation on a

World Scale . London: Zed Books, 1986. 74-110. Print.




→ All other series videos can be found HERE











Do you live in traditional Wiyot Territory? Consider paying an Honors Tax HERE. If you do not live in traditional Wiyot Territory and want more information about Honors Tax where you live please visit HERE.

Transcript:


Part I Transcript


Lex:

Content warning this episode contains explicit language, violence, and sexual assault. More Information and resources can be found in the episode summary.

Before we begin this month, on April 15th, was the 4-year anniversary of the murder of David Josiah Lawson a Black, 19-year-old Humboldt State University student. To date, none of the assaulting members have been held accountable and still move freely in this community. November 29th, 2021 is the trial date that David Josiah Lawsons mother Charmaine Lawson’s civil lawsuit alleging the city of Arcata violated her constitutional rights by inadequately investigating the 2017 stabbing of her son. One way of supporting Charmaine Lawson is to go to the Justice for Josiah Litigation Assistance: Go Fund Me and donate to help pay for deposition, transcript fees, investigator costs, expert witnesses, and attorney fees. You can find more information about this case in the episode summary along with more ways to support the family, Black communities, and the continual dismantling and unlearning of how antiblackness and racism show up within our communities and within ourselves.

*Background music begins

Hi and welcome back to Care Spells, a critically queer podcast where the where we delve into the magic of care work. I am your host lex storms. In this episode I’m going to continue to discuss some of the history behind witches, care work, and later on share an exciting conversation with another friend of mine who has been practicing transformative justice in the context of intimate partner violence and sexual assault. I have spontaneously decided to pull a tarot card for this episode, and I am pulling from the fifth spirit Tarot guide by Charlie Claire Berg's a tarot for a world beyond binaries. It's honestly one of my favorite Tarot decks I've ever had in my life. So definitely look that up. Doing a spread aaaanndd…. second episode…. we have Temperance!! Wow. Yep, that's a great card. Also, it's a very long reading. So, get ready, y'all. Just kidding. This is me improvising...So the temperance card is number 14 of the major arcana. It is a fire Sagittarius Jupiter sign. Its main qualities are internal harmony, expanding beyond boxes binaries, fluidity in our weaving, mixing of opposites, nonlinear healing. And if you want to know more about that card, you just do what you want to do with that information. And there are plenty of resources out there. I'll try and post some as well. Last time we talked a lot about magic, what it can mean, how it’s sometimes understood, and how sometimes even though magic can be abundantly healing, it can also be utilized by humans in ways that are systemically harmful, i.e. exotifying or appropriating cultural practices. There’s this really interesting essay written by Maria Mies, a feminist scholar, that basically outlines some of the history associated with European witches and colonization. Essentially during the 14th century of Europe elitists were like what if we just go plundering around, telling everyone they’re witches, kill them, and take their fortunes? And this happened! Enter the witch hunts...All kinds of folx were targeted by the Church-State but especially the herbalists, birth workers, and femme, queer folks that practiced magic connectiveness to the more than human world. But that’s terrifying to the cis-het-patriarchy, so these elites utilized this book called Malleus Maleficarum also translated to “The Hammer of Witches”...And can I just say that anyone who writes a book called Malleus Maleficarum is obviously bad news, the title sounds like an evil spell in and of itself….And IT WAS….The book was a supposed guideline to finding out who was a witch, but just to give an example of how absurd these “witch tests” were. Stones would be tied to peoples feet and thrown into a body of water. If they sank and drowned they were NOT a witch and their soul was saved, if they floated to the top or were able to escape they WERE a witch and were condemned to death. The witch hunts carried out the condemnation of Earth practices, it also influenced ways in which gender is experienced creating not only a gender binary but a hegemony or hierarchy within that, and it funded elites to organize European colonization. The European church state creation of the gender binary and hierarchy were attributing factors to how colonizers deemed peoples and cultures as or “civil” or “savage”, which I’m hoping listeners are aware that those terms are saturated in justifications for the genocides of Indigenous Peoples. I’m talking about this because we have an obligation to understand the past and how it is still lived today. As me and Christine talked about last episode there has been a huge shift with those folks who have started to use magic in their daily practice...And that can be a really amazing reclamation for individual and collective power . That said, specifically for white folks- we need to be aware of how our returned practices of magic are related directly to colonization and deep rooted belief systems of superiority. I was just on a few friends, Leah and Ciara’s podcast called Dames In Disarray, you can find them on Spotify and apple podcast and on IG @damesindisarray where we basically just make food and talk it was super fun! So on there was this question that was brought up about how I might identify or describe a witch and I want to make abundantly clear that witches have existed forever and they are all over the world. Peoples relationship, language, culture, history, are going to vary with what magic or witch means for them….I can only represent and define those from my own experience and identity while holding and uplifting other folx experiences and identities weaved with magic making. So, what’s care work got to do with this? I think of care work as a critical labor of love that is centering a collective understanding that we all have the right to food, shelter, healthcare, support, and joy. Let’s unpack that. I say critical because all humans do not have the same access live. Care work also manifests the right to defend and fight for ours and others ability to access life. Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum renowned educator, author, and activist has a metaphor for how systemic harm can be addressed. In this clip she uses the metaphor of a moving walkway but for those folx that that might not be accessible for you I encourage utilizing the imagination of whatever works for you that mirrors her point. Here’s a clip from a discussion she did in 2018.

*Dr. Beverly Danial Tatum video starts.

Tatum: One of the pieces of feedback I got was keep in your analogies and this one particular

analogy was one that many people found helpful and it's the analogy of thinking about the cycle of racism as kind of like the moving walkway at the airport right so if you imagine yourself at the airport stepping onto this moving walkway and if we think about the fact that there are policies and practices that have reinforced racial hierarchies that reinforce racism in our society we may not be personally responsible for those policies and practices but they're in place and even someone who says you know I don't have animosity toward other people I don't have prejudices that I'm aware of and I'm being intentional in saying that I'm aware of right because

we all have prejudices but even somebody who says you know I feel as though I am NOT reinforcing racism in the world I'm trying to be you know someone who embraces equity all of that if you are standing on a moving walkway those systems and practices that are in

place that are just sort of self-perpetuating if you're standing on that moving walkway some people are on that walkway and endorsing where the walkway is going right they're endorsing

that racism maybe they're belonging to white supremacist groups and they are actively

walking there those people who are walking ahead eager to get where that walkway is going but there are other people who are just standing still and those people who are just standing still may not want to go where that walkway is going but if you're just standing still you're going to end up there it might not take it'll take longer but you're still going to end up the same place and I think

of the people who are walking fast is actively racist but the people who are standing still as passively racist right because they are also being carried along participating in the process that

that walkway represents but if you say okay I'm not going to turn I'm not I don't want to go where that walkway is going I'm going to turn around unless you start moving actively walking you're just

traveling backwards you know and that's and so the person who's just turning around might see themselves as passively anti-racist but as I hope this illage of this image illustrates they are maybe not aware because they're travelling backwards but they're still moving in

that direction if you want to interrupt that process if you want to interrupt the cycle you have to be intentional and active you have to be actively walking fast in the opposite direction in order

to prevent ending up in that place.

*Dr. Beverly Danial Tatum video starts.

Lex:

The full clip will be available in the summary. When we are complacent, we are engaged, and it takes critical returning to how we might reimagine ways of addressing and unlearning harm to cast the spells of care work. That’s why I wanted to start by talking about transformative justice as a form of care work. Honestly there is suuuuuuch a plethora of resources and amazing individuals and collectives that have put in so much incredible labor to educate, share, cultivate understandings and accessible ways of practicing transformative justice. There is such a rich and long history of responding to violence and harm in ways that do not perpetuate harm that have been led by Black and Indigenous queer Peoples of Color. I’m thinking about the works of INCITE and UBUNTU The books The Revolution Starts at Home and Beyond Survival are necessary back pocket books to have. I’ve also attached an interview with Mia Mingus on an introduction to transformative justice on episode 5 of the podcast We Rise. In it Mingus, who cites adrienne maree brown as well, talks about transformative justice practice as a political framework and approach for responding to violence, harm, and abuse. Here’s a video called What is Transformative Justice produced by Mariame Kaba, Dean Spade, and Hope Dector featuring adrienne maree brown, Mia Mingus, Stas Schmiedt, Ann Russo, Esteban Kelly, Martina Kartman, Priya Rai, and Shira Hassan.

“What Is Transformative Justice?” video starts.

adrienne maree brown: So, when I'm trying to explain transformative justice to people, I usually back away from, I don't go straight at, "Okay, this is transformative justice." I usually actually go back to punitive justice. I start out with, like, what we're used to and what we've been socialized into is punitive justice, and then I ask people, if I'm in a room full of people, even, you know, a room full of friends, I'd be, like, "How many of you grew up in an experience where you

"were punished when harm happened?" And I give examples. "You were expelled, you were put in detention, “you had suspension, you were put in time out, "but the main move was you were removed from community "in some way because you've done harm." And people are, like, "Oh, yeah," you know, either everyone either has that experience or they were a part of spaces where they saw that experience, and then I'm, like, "You know, we age, we grow that up so that then, “you go into prison or you get the death penalty, "or you get canceled from your community," right? That same, it's the same process. So, we live in, that's what we're swimming in. And then I talk about restorative justice as a steps in the right direction, right? It's, like, harm has happened. How do we restore ourselves back to that relationship that existed before the harm happened? So, I'm like, someone stole your purse. You get an apology. They do some community service. Hopefully we return to, like, where we were, but for me, I always say that doesn't go far enough because if the original conditions were unjust, then returning to those original conditions is not actually justice, right? You're just going to have someone who's, like, "Great, now I returned everything to you. "I still don't have anything, and I'm still hungry, "and I still need something."

So, I'm like, so we need to go further. So, to me, transformative justice, the first aspect of it is that it goes all the way down to the root system of the harm and says, "How do we change, heal,

"transform, pull this up? “What do we need to do at the root system" so that this harm is no longer possible?" Like, what we're trying to do is stop this harm from ever being possible again.

And then how do we understand that the state is so committed to punitive justice? So, the state is not going to be able to engage in transformative justice with us. So we don't go to the state to do this kind of deep work. And then how do we turn towards each other to hold this space, and in that turning to each other, we have to say, "I believe you can transform."

Mia Mingus: The bare bones way I describe transformative justice to just anybody that I meet randomly is that it's a way of responding to violence and harm without creating more violence and harm. That's bare bones. How do we, what would it look like to respond to harm in a way that doesn't create more trauma, more pain, more harm. And then after that, I would also say the way that I talk about it is that it is a way to respond to violence within our own communities, which feels really important, so it's not this kind of missionary thing, in a way that doesn't rely

on violence and state and oppressive systems, so things like police, prisons, the criminal legal system, the court system, ICE, the foster care system, and it also doesn't rely on normalized violence and systemic violence like reinforcing harmful gender norms or vigilantism, but that it also, most importantly, helps to create and cultivate the very things that we know help to prevent violence. So things like resilience, safety, healing, connection, all of those things.

Stas Schmiedt: The way that I usually describe transformative justice is addressing harm, but also understanding why that harm happened, and addressing the underlying dynamics

that created conditions for this harm to happen in the first place. And so it's not just addressing the harm between two or more people, but addressing the conditions of the community that allowed for that to be normal.

Ann Russo: Transformative justice asks us not only about accountability for the individual for the harm that's been caused, but to think more largely about how all of us may have contributed, or are contributing, or are part of these systems that create the harm that we're trying to address.

Esteban Kelly: It distributes the culpability a little bit. Which isn't to say, again, that it's even,

but everyone holds some amount. Everyone holds some amount. You know, who, what environment enabled the silencing to go on such that this pattern was able to continue

until a crisis? You know, what allowed things to escalate? What were the subtle hints around male supremacy and sexism and white supremacy or different forms of class power that gave people hidden messages that this was acceptable or that we're not going to intervene or that we're not, it's not of a scale yet that we're going to intervene and say something now to cut it out or to transform, waiting 'til things get to a point of crisis?

Stas Schmiedt: I think that any case that's presented to us, it's very, very likely that other people in that community are experiencing similar things, maybe not to that degree or maybe not with that language. And it's actually by addressing what's happening between those people that you can understand the underlying dynamics and create tools and practices to address those for other people as well. And I think our interpretation of transformative justice also includes, like, most community organizing. I feel like most things that folks are doing to shift the underlying dynamics of violence in our society are making more resilient and accountable communities

as well, are making it so that people are less likely to be harmful. And so we have a very open interpretation of what transformative justice is.

Esteban Kelly: And so, instead of zooming in on this harm, this transgression, which is what the criminal legal system looks at and then coming up with a punishment for it, it zooms out, and it's like, "What's all the context? "What's the environment in which this was allowed to happen, "and how does that inform what needs to be explored "as we work on healing and as we work to transform "not just the person who holds the disproportionate amount "of responsibility for causing harm or inflicting harm" or exacerbating patterns of harm?" But ideally, on the other side of our transformative justice process, we've explored enough things that the environment has shifted.

Mia Mingus: I mean, to me it means that we actively think about every response that we have as an opportunity to break generational cycles of harm and violence. That we actually think beyond just individual incidences and understand both the micro and the macro,

both the individual and the collective. How do we operate in a more long-term understanding of violence, a more generational understanding of violence? So that, you know, that we move past just the immediacy of a feeling of revenge, or that we need to get back at somebody, for example, or a feeling of hopelessness, to actually say, "This is an opportunity “that I can respond to this. "I can either respond to it with more violence “and harm, right, and escalate it,

"or I can take this opportunity to figure out "how do I deescalate this, and what would that look like?"

Ann Russo: For me, transformative justice is a, like, a way, a practice that I feel like is a, a life practice, like, how do I, because harm is happening everywhere, from, you know, really little to really egregious, and so, if we're really thinking about this, how can we really think about prevention? How can we really think about building relationships where we really encourage each other to take accountability for small things, not only the large? And I think that's preventative to larger, more egregious harms.

Mia Mingus: Handling the small things and addressing them well can actually help to prevent the big things. And so I get really excited around, like, the nerdy things of, like, going back to the basics and starting with, like, how do we build basic communication skills? How do we build the skill set to be able to give a good apology? What does it look like to be able to,

you know, have generative conflict with the people in our everyday lives? How do we talk about accountability and help and support each other to heal with the people in our everyday lives? That, those things make me excited. How do we teach our children about consent and accountability? How do we show up for the youth and the children in our lives? And I know it doesn't, it seems less connected to transformative justice, cause when we talk about TJ, everyone goes to, like, automatically, the most horrific forms of violence and the big forms of violence, but, you know, I think that so much of our work is doing, you know, building the foundation that we need for transformative justice. And if we all just rush always to the crisis, we miss the more sustainable, everyday things that to me actually are, when they ripple out, have a bigger, are a bigger force that can change things.

Martina Kartman: Transformative justice is just the things we do to support each other to survive in this world, from the small things to the big things, like what we do for the people in our communities to help us survive violence. And I think of it as, so, transformative justice, [clears throat] as both about how we prevent violence, how we intervene in violence, and then how we support each other in the aftermath of violence through healing or accountability or both.

And it's all of those things.

Priya Rai: I really think about the generations of people who have been doing, who have always been doing this, whether they, even though they didn't call it transformative justice. And I just wanna lift up all the work of immigrants, queer people of color, disabled folks, sex workers, the people who have never been able to rely on folks outside of their communities.

Shira Hassan: What I want people to hear when they hear TJ is that this is, this is a set of practices that happens outside of the state. So this is not something that you can take into schools. I want people to take the values into schools, or I want people to take the values

into broader institutional work. And those values are around ending prisons and around transforming our understanding of accountability and disconnecting the idea of punishment and justice. But I want people to know that TJ has to happen outside the state. It is not something that we can just turn into another systemic response.

“What Is Transformative Justice?” video ends.

Background music ends.

Lex:

Guh, so good. If you have the time I would encourage folx to watch/listen/read all of the videos released in that series, I’ll make sure to post the one just played along with where you can find the rest. Without further ado, here’s a conversation I had with Fig. Fig is a non-binary human person living on occupied Wiyot land in Arcata, CA. They are a friend, a community organizer, a student of transformative justice practitioners, a visual artist, a writer, a singer/screamer of songs, and a feeler of feelings. Most recently, they’ve been writing a series of 100 word pieces on polyamory and exchanging them with new friends. Writing can be found at feelingisgoodfig.wordpress.com They aspire to meditate more, have been working with the Akashic records for the past few months, and they’re interested in the ways that our everyday actions manifest magic. Survival kit includes: a bathtub, being held, rain, the night sky, mood lighting, their dog, soup. This is our recording….

*Conversation recording starts.

lex

It's already like vulnerable and like embarrassing to do anything creative. Which is great. It's one of the beauties about it, but also....

fig

*Laughs* Like to do anything!

lex

Yeah.

fig

Period.

lex

Ummmm yeah, Hi Fig! *laughs

fig

It's embarrassing and horrible to leave your house in the morning. *Both laugh.

lex

Wait, restart....Hi, fig!

fig

Hello Lex!

lex

Hello. It's happening. Um, I have some questions for you.

fig

I love that you have questions for me.

lex

Great. I'm glad we're on the same page.

fig

Can we just like say how we know each other?

lex

Yeah...we go way back.

fig

We go to so far back.

lex

Well.... the college we started in college together, but we didn't actually know each other. I knew fig from just their name being mentioned in circles and everyone being like, "Wow, that's a really great name." And I was like, wow, I want to know this person. I didn't meet them till like probably two years after knowing their name. And some things about them, like an amazing songwriter, and singer. To this day. I'm like, probably a pretty big groupie. I don't know, how do you feel about that situation?

fig

I feel like you're a great groupie. And definitely in the number one fan club. For Blood Hunny.Yeah.

lex

Yeah!!

Unknown Speaker

And I like this, say I like to say how I, I followed Lex into two separate jobs, which I feel like is random. You worked at the, at our university's Women's Resource Center. And then I worked in that same job after you. And then and then we worked in the same position at a separate intimate partner violence organization. So I'm just like, always just a little bit behind you. In the career, not in like a not in like, A WAY, but you know, following in your footsteps and yeah, and now we're just friends. We're not coworkers. We're, just friends. *Both laugh.

lex

Now we're just friends.

fig

Love it.

lex

Love it.

fig

Love that. So like we have this basically, we know each other originally through a shared like, you know passion of supporting survivors. And it just kind of went from there. I think that's a great summary. Hey, I have a question now. Um, when exactly did you first start learning or practicing transformative justice?

Yeah. So I like in, I guess in 2018, I think I had been like, you know, dabbling in some in some self-taught and, well, great readings and stuff about transformative justice. You know, the, the classics like, you know, Mia Mingus and Merriam Kaba listening to podcasts, things like that, you know, I was super interested in it, especially working in a domestic violence nonprofit, where I was like, wow- the court system and also like, our organization really does not very much to like, ultimately address the cycle of violence, within like, intimate partner violence and domestic violence, as much wonderful work is like, you know, advocates to do at shelters and stuff like that. You know, it becomes pretty clear ultimately that like, when you're in that job, that it's just fucking endless. And so I think I just you know, almost, I think a felt a bit of a sense of hopelessness around that. And burnout was just like, okay, like, what the fuck could I be putting my energy into, that is actually going to, like, eventually make this make this violence stop happening, rather than just like putting out all these fires as they happen and never interacting with or addressing the people who are causing the harm. So yeah, in like 2018 I there was a, like call out in my community where someone who was actively engaged in both the art as well as like, you know, activism scenes was outed as having taken advantage of somebody and assaulting somebody. And so I had, like, just, I don't know, I was just like, yeah, this is it, I'm, like, " I'm ready to try and make something happen." I wasn't -spoiler. But, yeah, so like, I guess, you know, since like, 2017 ish, kind of studying, reading, listening, thinking about it, talking about it as a concept, and then really kind of earnestly started to try and do transformative justice practices in 2018. However, I'm realizing even as I'm saying this, just something that I was thinking about in preparation for this episode, which is that like, I something that I'm really interested in doing is like, changing the way that we even like training, like what we think about is transformative justice and what we call transformative justice. One of the last bits of your of the first section of this episode has Mia Mingus talking about how, like the little things that are transformative justice, right, and how we want to respond to these big acts of harm. And yet, often times, the things that can have the bigger like ripple effects, and the bigger, deeper, longer term outcomes in our communities are like, this small things like learning how to communicate learning how to apologize, learning how to set boundaries, and things like that. And so I'm trying in my own life, and, and starting to want to take it out into my community after thinking about it for a long time. just changing the way that we're framing transformative justice. And so in that sense, I want to say, like, maybe since 2016, or really like, this question so much. I'm like, when did I first realized that I didn't want to be like my parents. Like, whenever that was, that's when I started practicing formative justice so for, like...I was born in 1991. So maybe like 1999?

lex

Like, when your conscience was growing?

fig

And I yeah, because really, and you know, we could get into that more. But yeah, like, I really just think that transformative justice is about fucking breaking cycles of violence, like when it really comes down to it. And so like, any work that you're doing that is in service of that is transformative justice. And so I'm like, Yeah, I've been doing that shit. So I was a kid. Because I've, you know, recognized in some way or another, like, abuse dynamics in people around me since I was pretty young. And I think a lot of us do because we recognize pain when we see it. So, yeah. But, like in the way that we that we like to say that, you know, community accountability, like a more like kind of formal way....

lex

Yeah, I think that's an excellent answer. And that's funny I’d, I remembered, like, when I was listening to specifically that part of Mia Mingus I had a very similar reaction to thinking about like, wow, that's been like happening for a while too. And especially Yeah, we're constantly gaslighting each other. We're living in an extremely emotionally abusive gaslighting culture right now. Um, and it has been that way for a while and so looking at transformative justice as like, just like when the extremes are happening. Those are the times that we think about transformative justice as versus like, oh, transformative justice is like recognizing that maybe the way that you're like communicating to a coworker or a friend, and you're having a moment that is projecting, recognizing that and unlearning that is part of the power of transformative justice.

fig

Yeah, and like, which total? And it makes sense, right? It is kind of, like the irony of a lot of times, you know, in our communities, people are like, yeah, very quick to rush to that work of like, like, I think there's a there's a way in which our attitudes towards transformative does this sort of indicate that we lack an understanding of how violence works? In that there's like, the most egregious forms of harm, the most traumatizing, you know, like, individual incidents are supported by all these, you know, you know, every day normalized things. And so, I think that's a reflection of that. And then also, yeah, it's just like, it's just,...I don't know. I've just been, like, almost laughing recently. I'm just like, I can't believe that we think we can address such insane, like, such horrific acts of violence as a community when like, we literally can't talk to each other about like, the most basic shit. Like, how do we like our like, we're going to come together to address this like assault. And it's like, we literally don't have or never come together around like, more, you know, foundational, arguably easier to address things. And so that's kind of a direction I'm going with it too is like, bro, like, we just aren't ready. And I...that might be like, I don't even know like, that might be an unpopular opinion. I say this to coming from coming from having attempted several transformative, justice, community accountability processes, that, you know, I don't really don’t like to use the terms like, failed or succeeded, but like, they weren't good, they didn't go well. And from my perspective, and reflections on it, I was just like, I don't think we were ready. Like, as a group, as a community, the people that were trying to do it, it's just like, we hadn't done that foundational work of trust building with each other, you know, of anything. And so, and that's not to say, like, don't address something if you want to address it, but that's just to say, like, if it's really your commitment, like, if you're going to say it's your commitment, use the time before the incidents come to public attention to like, skill build.

lex

Yeah, I'm curious, because when I think of those moments of like, you know, holding folks accountable or going through a process of transformation, to find justice in and for a situation, there is a sense of urgency, you know, to be able to fix it immediately. And sometimes that, you know, comes from the, this like, cultural aspect of essentially like supremacy or it's like, go, go, go, we need to, like, fix this immediately. And then like, we don't have to think about it anymore. And, um, and like, that's, that's really difficult, though, too when we're talking about, you know, like, I've been in situations where I have been assaulted, or I need the person that has caused me harm to be accountable immediately. And it's really, really, really hard not to have a an immediate, like, process or like an immediate call out or like a person, not be aware of the harm immediately. It's hard. It's hard to like sit with that and it feels like yeah, it almost feels like This like, source of like abandonment, you know, from community.

fig

Yeah. And also, just to say too, like, when I say that I'm moving away from like, encouraging people to do processes when there's been no preparation, like...support survivors still! And I think that's, I think supporting survivors is, of all the things that can happen in, like, transformative justice processes that I've witnessed, supporting survivors is like, to a degree, the easy part. Because like, it's like, okay, we come together, like, and ends. And it can be just something as simple as, right, like, someone committing to, like a weekly check in with this person, you know, or, you know, and there's a lot of times tangible needs that that somebody might have, you know, in the case of the this first process that I referenced from 2018, we did, like, a fundraiser for the survivor, or, like we sold, we sold art to raise like money for them. There's like, very tangible things that we can do to like, rally around survivors. And I think that that should always be happening no matter what. I think, my, my, and my hesitancy, with the, is with the accountability side of it, in terms of people doing it, when they're unprepared is what I've seen happen. And what I have honestly done myself is committed to a survivor to like, trying to do a process with trying to support a harm doer in being accountable. And then,

lex

like, not being able to do it, not having the skills, not having the capacity, trying to do it alone. Which I have, and I'm never going to try and do that alone again, right? And so just, my concern is, you know- and I'm not a fucking authority-right, it's like, these are just my thoughts, like, my concern with it is that like, we're going to, like, I think it's very important to not make promises to survivors that we can't keep and like, not make commitments. Because like, you're talking about, like, a sense of abandonment, and like, I think it's like, show up after the harm, like, rally around this survivor, if all that means is just like offering emotional support, taking them food. Like I think that that is still a lot more than, than what usually happens. And I think that even if that doesn't entail walking, like with the harm do, we're providing them support. I think that's still better than, than nothing, you know, because I think we just, I just want people to be honest about their capacities, because again, I've just seen a lot of commitments being made and then dropped. And, and the survivors expressing like, yeah, like, what the hell happened? Like, why was there no follow through on this? And I almost think that's worse than just a up-front being like, hey, we hear that what you're asking for is like, an accountability process. There's no one in our community that's doing accountability processes, like, if that's the reality of the situation. Like, that's the reality, you know, what I mean? And I just, yeah, I think, again, like, if what we're saying is we're committed to making that making that a reality where the processes can happen. We have to invest time into the skill building with, you know, those foundational skills which is I What I've been kind of like I've stepped away a little bit from these, like, conversations around like these processes in my community and trying to regroup and figure out like... okay, how do I facilitate this kind of skill building with people in my community? Like I one thing I really want to do is Mia Mingus has a like how to give a good apology blog post....

I'll repost that.

fig

Yeah, I had the immense privilege of attending her how to give a good apology workshop, like three hour labs in person at the beginning of 2020. Before they close down. Yeah, it was fucking awesome. And so like, that's something that I would like to do for my community is kind of recreate that lab to some extent, and find other ways. I just found a book called Unfuck Your Boundaries. And I'm looking into it, because I'm trying to see if it seems to have good reviews, from what I can tell so far, but things like that and be like, Hey, y'all, like, let's, let's look at setting boundaries, you know, because, because, like, that's the thing too, right? It's like, Okay, are we really going to, like, send someone, like, ask someone who has no experience in this to like, try and support a potentially very manipulative and kind of dangerous person. Right? Like, okay, go work with this like abuser, even though like you don't have the skills to set boundaries in your own life. Like, we're like, you're going to be able to do it with this, like, potentially super manipulative person, right? Like, to me, it just doesn't. It doesn't really, like track that or seem like a responsible thing to do.

lex

Yeah it also can ripple the harm...

fig

Yeah, I think, like, it can be so fucking serious, you know, like, we have like, serial abusers in our community. And like, I think that while you don't have to be, like, I don't want to sound like I think you need to be like a trained professional to do this kind of work. I think that there are definitely some, some foundational skills that are needed to navigate, you know, so even like things like a basic understanding of like power and control dynamics, how manipulation works, and things like that are really important, if you're going to be working with someone who's caused harm, because they can and will replicate those dynamics. And if, especially if you yourself are like a survivor trying to do that, that can be super triggering to like, be experiencing that as well. So, yeah, not to just like, hate on, you know, obviously, whatever. Like, I just think there's a lot more foundational work that needs to be done, especially where we live in this. We live in a rural or rural community. There's not like the fucking Bay Area Transformative Justice Collective, doing workshops, all the time that we can, like, you know...we're kind of like building things from the ground up here a little bit. So yeah.

lex

Yeah, what's stood out for me to when you are talking about just going into, like transformative justice practices, or like accountability practices alone and not as a collective...I feel like that was a really important point. Because we do need to have, like, mentors, we need to constantly be like, not just like holding other people accountable, but also like holding ourselves accountable within that process.

fig

Yeah, right. Yeah. I think Yeah. And I've, I've done that multiple. I've done that twice. Now where I was like, I can work with this person who's caused harm by myself. And, like, no, bitch, you can't, and at least I can't and, one of the reasons and the things I say, too, because guess what, like holding someone who's caused harm, like supporting someone, also, yeah, supporting someone who has caused harm is uncomfortable. And you don't really want to do it. It's not fun. The person who's been who's being asked to be in this process, probably doesn't really want to be there. So now you just have two people who don't really want to be there. Like, nothing makes fucking scheduling something harder than two people don't want to do it. Like even if it's on a subconscious level, right? Like, that's straight up something I feel like I've seen so many times and experienced myself, things just fade away. Because it's kind of like, so even like a third and fourth person to be like, hey, when are we meeting? You know, like, even just in a practical sense, like so. Yeah, yeah. And yeah, Someone is someone else to be like, hey, when they said that, like, you know, did you feel like they were totally, you know, like, does that sound like victim blaming to you? Yeah, that's it sound like, you know, like there's someone's that kind of bounce separately, being just being able to discuss, like the conversation that was had with the person who caused harm to like get to an understanding of like, where they're at and what needs to happen to move forward. So I also wanted to, like, say something else I wrote down was that like, whenever we talk about transformed justice, a community accountability, we're like always thinking about other people. It's like always something that someone else did, you know. And so I also just really want to encourage us like to like when we think about transformative justice, to automatically just be like, considered, yeah, considering ourselves as like, in need of that practice, and not just being like, Oh, yeah, that's just when other that's just when other people do something really messed up...like no, it's like we were kind of saying earlier, it's like when you take responsibility for projecting on your coworker, like you said, you know.

lex

Yeah.

fig

Yes.

*End Conversation Recording

Lex:

To catch the rest of the conversation find it on the second episode part two. Fig can be reached personally on IG at @feelingisgood.fig or email feelingisgood.fig@gmail.com . Their music can be found on IG @bloodhunnymusic and bloodhunny on Bandcamp. Follow the podcast on Instagram @CareSpells or through the website where all episode transcripts will be available at www.carespells.com. For any questions, feedback, call ins, or expansions you can also email carespells@gmail.com.


Part II Transcript


Lex:

Content warning this episode contains explicit language, violence, and sexual assault. More Information and resources can be found in the episode summary.


*Background music begins

Hi and welcome back to Care Spells, a critically queer podcast where the where we delve into the magic of care work. I am your host lex storms. This episode is the second part of my conversation with Fig, please refer to Episode two part I to be all caught up. And without further ado....


lex

Um, I mean, okay, as this podcast is care spells, I am curious to know what your relationship to magic is, but specifically when you're talking about transformative justice, in what ways like have you witnessed or experienced or integrated magic into those practices? Whether that means...we were just talking about it as an internal process, that it starts within you, TJ is within you. What's the relationship of magic for you in that, but then also, what does that look like? collectively? Or communally?


fig

Yeah. Love it. So I think I mean....Okay, for me, the way that transformative justice relates to magic is kind of just as simple as, like, the shit is sacred. The, like, the work and labor that we're putting in is sacred. And, and by that, I guess, I just mean, like, something to, you know, be treated with, like respect and taken very seriously. You know, obviously, we still have fun or whatever, but like, but something to be Yeah, just, like, regarded with reverence, I think because it's, I actually have a perfect example of like relationship with magic and tj. So I, last summer, I was on a road trip with my partner. And while we were on the road trip, I was doing this, I was I was writing in response to some to some writing prompts. That around transformative justice that Margo Feldman, who is like a transformative justice teacher practitioner, typing her name here, she she's a transformative justice teacher practitioner. Also. I don't know what pronouns Margo uses. So apologies about that. Um, but so Margo was doing these prompts and I was answering them. And I just while we're on the road trip, so I'm going to read you what I wrote in response to one of those prompts. I have an author in my heart, it sits inside a giant room, it is made of glass, it casts rainbows in my body, when the sun shines through. This is where transformation happens when you are so close, that I can touch you, I cannot hold your hand or offer you support in transformation. Unless you've come to my altar and we stand before it together. I have no desire to make you feel guilt or shame, only a desire to hold what needs to be held. There's space for your pain, your fear and your shame on my altar. Let us place it there together, let us see what we can transform. So like, literally in the sense of like, it's like it's alchemy. Like, we're literally taking, like the pain and the shit that we have fucking build up inside of our bodies. And we're like, putting it through this process of like, alchemy and transformation. Right? So the reason that I say that too is because you know, in the beginning I say it's, it's, I have an ultra in my heart It sits inside a giant room. It's made of glass. Okay, so like when I was like dreaming after I wrote that I was like yeah, like I need a glass altar like I definitely just need that and then we're fucking hiking in like we're in Idaho or thing in the middle of the forest bro. And there was like, a perfectly intact piece of glass like, not broken just like a square of glass like, you know, polished on the edges like I could pick it up just in the middle of the forest like in Idaho. And we had just been talking about like I was sharing with them that that piece that I had just written and like then we just are walking and I'm like oh, so I like was like we have to take this with us like we have to make room with the car. So we like took this piece of glass back and for like a year after that it was my altar like I had that as my altar. So that was the way in which transformative justice there was some magic there for sure. I was like oh thank you for Thank you spirit for placing this glass altar in the middle of the woods so that I could find it when I needed a glass altar. So that in terms of like the personal Yeah, I really just like I don't necessarily have any like practices around transformative justice that I would you know that that's just an outsider or would like appear to be me. Agricole in nature necessarily. I lie, I lie because I totally have been, like accessing the Akashic records in my practices of like, working through my own shit recently. And like consulting with my, like, literally consulting with my spirit guides, so like bros like, how do I handle this? Like, I'm super triggered right now. Like, please help me see a different perspective so that I can move through it. And so in that way, like my spiritual practices directly informing for sure, the work that I'm doing in terms of transforming like patterns of harm in my own life. So yeah.


lex

Are there any like specific spells you can think of the you have done in relation to TJ?


fig

Like I want to say yes, so badly because the podcast is called care spells.


lex

Honestly, I have not described spells as something like "You have to like write it out. This is like really intentional." It is it is not at all again, rigid in its definition.


fig

Love it. Yeah um...


lex

I guess it kind of like, blends into my question about your songs. And you as a songwriter....I've always experienced your songs as like, spells, you know. Like, I feel them.


That's my absolute...that was my favorite question on the list. And I told like, I told like three people I was like, I was like, the question is, "I feel like your songs are spells. Do you do that on purpose?" Cuz you're like, "Bitch your songs are spells." The question is not are they spells? The question is are you doing it on purpose? Yeah. Do I do that on purpose? Um yeah....do I? You know...No, I don't.


Okay, well. That being said, like, what, what's your process for writing a song? I guess?


fig

Totally. Yeah. Well, okay. So my process for writing a song is trying really hard. And also not trying it all. At various intervals. Yeah, but really, like, that is kind of it because I Okay, so I'm going to use the song I have. As an example. There's a song called invisible love. They're raising the roof. Maybe, can....Well, whatever. It doesn't matter.


lex

I'm going to definitely plug in some of the song.


fig

Can you plug a clip? Okay. Oh, yeah!


lex

By the way, their band is blood hunny. Follow them on Instagram....Where else can people find you fig?


fig

Yeah. Yeah, Instagram @bloodhunnymusic which is B.L.O.O.D H.U.N.N.Y music. And then we also have a band camp, which is just bloodhunny.bandcamp.com. And we're working on our, like, five song EP right now that should be out by this summer. 2021. So yeah, so this song like, okay, Invisible Love, I think is a good example. Because...Okay, so the song invisible love is about the experience of having partners that I've referenced a couple specific situations, but like, I would have partners that for whatever reason, like, didn't want to publicly be with me, like, and it was either big way. Like, there's big ways in which like, literally, like I dated this dude in middle school, that was like my friend's ex. So it was like a total secret. You know, we dated for like, three days or something. Not worth it. Um, so it was like that. That was like a total fucking secret. No one can know. And then just like other variations, were like, Did this like woke dude at our university who was like, whatever, I just think, whatever it was about me that he didn't want his, like woke friends to know that we were dating even though I'm like, do they totally know, it just wouldn't act like we were dating in public. So we like, whatever I have all these experiences of people just like being weird. And not acknowledging, and not wanting to openly acknowledge, like, our relationship or, or their affection for me or whatever. So this had been like a lifelong thing, since like middle school that I've been experiencing. And so I knew for like, I would say about a year that I was going to write the song invisible love, and I was just like, I'm going to write a song about that, like, I'm going to write, I need to write a song about the fact that like, I just feel like erased by partners and like, all these different things, right. And so I would try and write it like, and then it would just have to hate all of this, like, and I would just scrap everything, you know, for like, six months leading up to actually writing it, I get this feeling inside of me, like a song, like this song is like, going to be here soon. Like, it's like, I'm pregnant with it, it's, it's true, like, I literally will be like, I'm going to write a song about this sometime within the next probably six months, like, I can feel it coming. And it's like, it's just like, around me, but it's not quite here. And then usually, a word or a phrase will come to me for some reason. And then it's like, fucking boom, like, the whole song within like, 15 minutes is like written. And so that's why I say like, trying really hard and then not trying at all. Because it's, it's a lot of putting effort into it, but I can't make it happen, right? Like, it just, it's going to happen when it wants to happen. So I try really hard, but it never happens when I'm trying. But I think if I, but I have to do the trying. Still, even though that's not going to be what makes it happen, if that makes sense. And then I think I just always really emphasize spending time alone, and giving myself time to not have other people's words in my brain. So I make sure that like, once in a while when I wash the dishes, I'm not listening to a podcast or music, like, I just try and prioritize always having some time in my day, where it's like quiet, or there's just no other people's ideas, because I think that's what fucking really can suppress. For me, creativity is just other people's ideas in my head, and there's no space for my own things to like, sprout. So that's a huge, that's a huge thing for me...making sure there’s space.


lex

That, interesting, just the idea of that we're all just constantly being inundated with other people's thoughts and feelings,


fig

Literally! Which is like great, which is great. Obviously, like, I'm yeah, this podcast, whoever you are, right. But like, I think, again, like that's, that's a part like, it's this balance, right? It's like, working a lot and then not at all. So it's like, yes, like, Who is your inspiration, listen to that music. Like, listen to those podcasts, watch those shows, whatever, like, that makes you feel good. But like make sure that you also have time for your own thoughts to manifest. Because that's yeah, and being and being like alone, too, you know. So that's my process for songwriting.


lex

Yeah. Love it. Thank you for sharing.


fig

Not very that very practically helpful.


lex

I mean, I feel helped.


fig

Great. I wanted to address like, just to touch back on the like, asking if my songs are spells on purpose. It's like no, but also at this like, but also Yes, because when I have when I'm writing my songs, most of the time I'm writing about, like, people being shitty to me. Or, like, my processing of that in different ways. Or more recently, you know, more recently just kind of other experiences with like, family and stuff, but what I'm doing is I okay, because, you know, when you hear a song, that's literally lyrically, musically, everything it's just fucking exactly how you're feeling or exactly like, you're like, I know that feeling. Like, almost like I could have written this because this is fucking me like this is and it just like resonance is just like "ahhhhhhh". And I assume that that's kind of what you mean when you say you feel like my songs are spells? Is it because they give you that feeling? Yeah. So I mean, that is entirely when I, I've been writing songs since high schools, so like, whatever 2007. And I just still remember thinking very specifically, like, if one person hears one song that I ever write and says, Yeah, like, that's how I feel like my work here is done. That's literally like, that was my intention when I started songwriting, because I just yeah, I totally think that's like, there's fucking magic in that as, like, the ability because it's because I think it's validating, you know, even if the feeling that you're resonating with it's like, total shit feeling and you hate to have it. Like, it makes it easier, you know? So, so that's like what I always want to do for people. And I want people to not feel alone and crazy, because of the way that like shitty abusive people are treating them, because that's how I felt. So I'm like, I can write about this. And I can sing about it, and I can scream about it. And people will be like, yes, I'm not fucking crazy. And I'm like, Yes, you're fucking not and then we high five. And someone told me recently that they went to a blood honey show. Well, they started the story. They were like, a blood honey song made me cut off a relationship with a dude with a with a toxic dude. And I was like, Whoa, whoa, whoa, wow. First of all, mission verse of all missions accomplished. Second of all, tell them more. And it wasn't necessarily like they heard the words of the song, and they were like, I got to do it. But they just said that they were the person was just like, mansplaining to them while at well at a blood honey show. And they just said like, something about the setting. The context is everything. They were just like, no, like, they just decided in that moment at that show that they were like, done dealing with that person. And for some, and they like a trip. They're like, I attribute part of that to blood, honey. So in that way, I will. I will say whether or not it's intentional that my songs are definitely spells that are making people break up with their boyfriends. Yeah, and honestly the person wasn't actually a romantic....


lex

Well, I mean, either way, toxic person- make making moves for them not to be in your life.. Not that people are toxic...yet has toxic things happening- that they are responsible for unlearning. Anyways....So mote it be, you are gone.


fig

Enough! I've had enough! Amazing. Thank you.


lex

Yeah, totally. No, thank you. So you also facilitate art therapy sessions for folks who are survivors of sexual assault and intimate partner violence. Can you tell us more about that?


fig

Yeah. Totally. And yeah, that's not something I did like, copious amount of, but I definitely Yeah. led a handful of group their group support group sessions that had arts based exercises. And my focus was always, not necessarily doing any direct deconstructing of the situation of harm, whatever it was, but like, I liked to choose art activities that were just kind of encouraging the participants to like, focus on themselves think about themselves, encourage them to like name, their name things, they love named things they don't like, names, the relationships they have, because I think intimate partner violence and like an assault can just leave us so isolated. And gaslighting makes us so unsure of ourselves and our reality that I think it's even just really powerful to just be like, what do I like to do? And, and it's like surprising how much people can struggle with that. Like, I know I myself struggled with that a lot after being in an abusive relationship. Like I reached a point where I was like, having this crisis where I was like, I have no interest. But it was just like I was so profoundly like ungrounded and like, undermined by this person all the time that I had, like no sense of myself. And so for me just like encouraging people to reestablish a sense of their self through art. And so one, like one activity, for example was we got like a big sheets of butcher paper and had people stand against it. And we traced like, an outline of their body. And then they chose with like tempera paint, like a color for all of the things, the things and people in their life that they like, love. And so then we, they, they painted in their body, with Yeah, with those colors. And so it was really interesting, because it's like, you know, someone I remember, they like loved coffee, they loved having a cup of coffee in the mornings, like they painted the color in their hands. So like, yeah, the feeling of like, warm coffee in my hands, you know? And so it was interesting, too. It's like, where do people paint the colors and why and things like that. So, honestly, pretty simple stuff. But just not simple actually, just foundational is what I mean, like, just foundational to sort of like rebuilding our self-concepts. So yeah, that's what that looks like.


lex

Okay, I was just...yeah, I was just curious, like, what I feel like, I know that you are...I've witnessed, like, how many different forms of creativity and magical works that you have intentionally or unintentionally done and you're just seeping in all of it, and then just like, seep all over the place, wherever you are....And so I guess I just wanted to know yet another project that you have put energy into.


fig

Awe I appreciate that.


lex

Honestly, yeah. Has been really helpful. Just like even though like, I wasn't in those therapy sessions, I heard about them. And I was like, I need to do that. Like, oh, yeah, like, yeah....That sounds amazing.


fig

Yeah, no, it's great. And like, just like collages...If anyone's listening, that what I'm saying, you know resonates yeah, just, I encourage you to just do stuff like that, like make a make a fuckin magazine collage about things you like, there's one where you can like. Oh, we have people do is like kind of like a zine style, just one sheet of paper folded in half. So there's outside and the inside and the outside. It was like, how do how do you think you present to the outside world? How do people perceive you do that on the outside? And then inside when you open it? It's like, what's your like, true self beyond what people perceive? So it's like, pretty, pretty basic prompts. Yeah, give it a go.


lex

You recently you recently started the polyamory are polyamorous poetry? Do you want to talk a little bit more about that? And then also, I was curious about how, as a fellow, non-monogamous, polyamorous person, I'm curious, like, how can you imagine transformative justice, and magic and non-monogamy and polyamory all like kind of like melding and having conversations with one another? What does that look like? Feel like for you? Also, you can....go in however you want.


fig

Oh my god. I'm so I love these questions. Yes. I'm so Yeah, totally. So okay, in reference to the, to the poetry, which I've just been calling like pieces of writing, but it could be poetry. There's this wonderful scholar named Dr. Kim Paul bear. And she's an indigenous Dakota woman. And her blog is the critical polyamorists. And so I was listening to the all my relations podcast, and they were interviewing Dr. Kim tall, they're also another great podcast. And she mentioned like that she does. Kim mentioned that she does like critical polyamory. 100. And I was like, I don't know what that is. And I was just curious, I looked and then I found an interview where she taught was talking about how it was kind of like a writing circle, where it was a group of women That each week it was someone's turn to write 100 words on a topic. And they were specifically writing about polyamory. And so like, one week, it was might be your turn to write 100 words, the next week, whoever's turn it was, would write another 100 words, and they would kind of like feed off each other, right? So you would look at the persons before you and be inspired by it or respond to it, whatever, you know, it seems pretty freeform. So I was like, just for some reason, really inspired by that. And so I kind of put out a thing on Instagram where I was like, Well, actually, Okay, first, I like, pumped out like five of them in like a Google Doc, and was like, wow, you can write 100 words really quickly. And it's also really fun to kind of like, have that limit, where it's very specific. And you have to maybe just find ways to reword things to make it exactly 100 words. So it was just really fun. And then I just put on Instagram, I was like, Hey, does anyone want to like exchange these back and forth. And I sent it, I sent one specifically to my friend, Greg, be at Greg v poetry on Instagram. And I was like, Hey, are you interested in doing this with me? And he was like, Yeah, totally. Cuz he's a writer, right? And so yeah, they and I have been sending them back and forth. And it's just like, super cute and fun. And I have another friend, that we're sending these 100 word pieces back and forth. And yeah, it's just been like, so adorable, and like enriching and really interesting to see the ways just so directly, like the ways that we can inspire each other. So yeah, that's what I've been doing. So yeah, definitely, I'm going to be putting them up, I think on my on my blog, and I'm getting like other people's consent to maybe post the exchanges. So you can see like the whole back and forth, because I think it's just really, it's funny, they get more conversational as time goes on, like the first two back and forth are kind of like, Oh, I write about this. And then you write about this. And then like, we start kind of addressing each other more directly. That it's just really sweet. It's such and both of these people that I'm doing it with are like new friends. And I'm like, what a friggin cool way to like, get to know somebody. Um, so yeah, that's what that is. The poetry Um, and then, yeah, I guess. Yeah. Do you have any other questions about that before I blast onward?...


lex

And no, I love that. And I'm feeling squishy inside.


fig

Do you want me to read one?


lex

Yes. Do I ever?!


Okay. Do I ever!!


fig

What's like the my favorite one? I think this is the one that you like. "Do you like to walk in the forest? Can I come over and play your piano? Do you want to eat apples and peanut butter? Can I play your guitar? Would you teach me to sing your songs? Can I watch you count your meds? Is it okay that I don't have my shit together as much as you first thought? Do you want to sit around in my backyard while I clumsily try to make things grow from dirt? clumsy, try and make something good grow out of shit. What I mean is, do you want to be friends?" So that's Yeah, that's one. They’re short, to the point, and sweet. I want to read one more that I wrote today. "My first memory of you. You were standing on a street corner in Old Town Eureka reciting your poetry. Nobody in particular was stopped and listening at that moment. It was like you just had something to fucking say and you were going to fucking say it. What if we didn't wait until we had a venue and an audience to say what we needed to say didn't need to set our truths to melodies to feel like they're worthy of being heard. Let's allow each other to expand infinitely outward from our words never confined each other to them." Yeah, that's like kind of my active creative thing right now. And I'm loving it.


lex

I'm loving it too.


fig

We're all loving it. If you're listening to this, if anyone's listening to this and you like want to do this with me, I’m down. Probably...And then the other things you were just inviting me to talk about TJ and magic and yeah.


lex

Yeah, I was just really curious with like your experience. Yeah, the ways that you like practice magic, which we've just connected to transformative justice and like, what that looks like is, you know, we were just talking about how transformative justice starts with us individually, and our ways of communicating with one another. That in and of itself is a spell when you are intentionally working towards being better people with ourselves in our communities and some more than human world that said, when we are practicing non monogamy or polyamory, what is what is that relation and that identity, that experience of connecting with people that you care about that you love that you're fucking whatever it may be connected to the ways that I guess, magic of transformative justice? Yeah,


fig

I mean, it's totally like, I could just like repeat what I said before because, you know, I, there are people in this world, I feel like you are one of them. And I am not that have a, where were you? What are you going to say? Where come Persian were like, Come Persian, which is like essentially this like, kind of like joyful empathy towards your partner, when they're like experiencing joy with other partners and Persian, like, compassion comes naturally to some people. It does not come naturally to me, like, I get like a raging jealousy, like, I have severe, like issues comparing myself to my partner's partners. So just oh my god, like, it is, it can be so fucking activating for me. And yet, like this is, this is what I believe in, like, this is the way that I want to have relationships. And it's, and it's not something I'm going to compromise on with myself, because I'm scared. And like, God, Val, it is easy for me to be totally honest. And is seriously like, so much internal work goes into not projecting my insecurities and my jealousy that are not my partner's to deal with that night to deal with just to process like, it is not their responsibility to make me to help me not feel jealous, you know, I mean, obviously, they can support affirmations, you know, whatever. But like, we cannot, we cannot be asking our partners to, like, fix our insecurities for us. The point yeah, the point being like, yeah, that fucking internal work, to be a good partner is transformative justice, that work to not project and that's like, again, why I think it's so important to emphasize that, like, you're kind of the way you're summarizing it to be like, as far as Justice starts with us, is because, like, how many people in our like, activist communities are like, are like perpetrators of interpersonal violence, and like, don't know how to respect boundaries and don't know how to ask for consent. And it's like, yo, like, you can't be out here. Like saying that you're for these like, Great causes when you literally like don't know how to be not abusive, like in an interpersonal relationship like that. Those things are connected, people. And that's like, and I really like that as a focus on like, oh, like, transformation in our society. Like, yeah, like it starts with us, which is not to say, of course, that like, that's somehow it's personal responsibility to like, up end oppression. You know what I mean? Like, by no means, of course, but a lot of times movements can fall apart because of because of abusers within them that are like, dividing the community. I mean, and then of course, of course, there's also literally like, state infiltration. So like I'm saying like, both and like, both in it's like, it's our personal work, we have to do it, we have to transform our relationships. Also, like we both have the state infiltrating movements.


lex

Well, I mean, clearly. Yeah, I remember taking this class about surveillance in the state. And it was with Dr. Renee Byrd. Shout out! Also, if anyone is able to...people should check out EarthseedLabs. It is Dr. Renee Byrd's incredible project. And that's all I'm going to say about that for now but Um, but anyways, they have this course a few years ago that I took, and it was a lot of the coursework was talking about, yes, there's the state, the systemic state that it can exist outside of ourselves. But also, like, let's fucking define the state because the state is actually living internally like within us as well, because we're socialized in so many ways to surveil one another. And so, yeah, they just really interrogate, interrogated The, the not interrogated. Um, that's another word for interrogate, uhh question? Where how and in what ways the state is showing up as, because often times we're just like, yeah, like, "Fuck the state." but it's just like, Yeah, fuck the state, and also, that's living within us. So like, what kind of act, what kind of work and labor are you going to do on the daily-minute to minute to unlearn the violence that like systemically the state is perpetuating constantly within and outside of us? That said, Are there any projects that you're working on right now? Or in the future? What are you excited about?


fig

Yeah. Well, yes, like I said, I'm working on my, my band's five song EP, that should be coming out in May 2021. Again, that band is blood hunny. And the album is the EP is going to be called post teen. And, yeah, so look out for that. One, I'm actually working on again, the 100 words piece of writing. And then that's what I'm really actively working on, you know, and then kind of like I was saying, what I'm, what I'm currently like, dreaming about, and doing and trying to do my homework on before I move forward is like I said, those kind of facilitating the sort of like skill building spaces, specifically starting with like, how to give a good apology with Mia Mingus. There's been so much like conflict and rupture in the community spaces that I'm in with, to varying degrees of like, harm that's happening in various ways. And I'm just like, I don't even know where to fucking start. And so the only thing I can think of is, like, cool, like, we need to figure out how to talk to each other like, because, you know, and like, we need to figure out we need to learn what boundaries are people. They're just I sometimes I'm still shocked, like, just hearing the way that people you know, don't respect consent and boundaries that are that I've been seeing our protests for years and I'm just like, I don't get how you don't get it. That's, that's wild to me. So yes, that is what is sort of in the works in my in my dream, my dreams base. And yeah, yeah, that's what I'm working on.


lex

I didn't realize that your title was post teen because one of my close out questions was if you're able to tell your 13 year old self something about magic, what would it be?


fig

Yeah....hm, 13 What was I doing?


lex

I would love to have met you at 13.


fig

bruh I don't even know...Okay, what grade was I when I was 13? Probably like way. I was in middle I would have been in middle school probably right?


lex

Oh, yeah. Very beginning of middle school. Like 13 in the midst of like being like, "Oh shit like everyone's looking at me. I just heard the song Laffy Taffy for the first time and I love it. I have no idea what's going on."


fig

Perfect summary, also just like looked up at the skylight above me in the moon, it's just like their like, "It's okay," honestly, I would have been like Okay, first of all, I am able to tell my 13 year old girl something about magic because like, there, for sure still here. So what I will tell my 13 year old self about magic? Well, first of all, like, I just want to say dude, like that you are a hyperlocal thing and you have so much energy and like, capacity for creative expression. And the people are like, first of all, one of the things is like, you are doing a lot of attention seeking. And that's, that's fine. Like, you need attention. Like, totally, like you're feeling like lost and alone and you need that. And, but like that energy that you have, that you're putting into that is like so potent and like, just draw like start playing guitar now you're going to start playing guitar in like two years, like start now. But like just people are just, people just can't really handle your energy all the time. And that's okay. They don't have to like we can use this in like, good ways and, and in potent ways and magical ways. I don't know that so directly about magic, but that's just what I want to tell my 13 year old self because they're just like they're like just about to start listening to My Chemical Romance and things are about to take a turn. things are going to take a serious turn, in their life. I'm live


lex

I had to mute myself (on computer) for your entire explanation. I'm cracking up so hard resonating so hard. I'm like "Are you talking to me? Right Now?"


Amazing. Amazing. I love that. We love that we share this experience. Yeah.


Um, well, Fig, do you have any...


Okay, so one thing, I want people to know this about like, is that like, Lex and I both have or I don't know if you still have but had have this deck of Tarot this tarot deck called herbal Tarot. And, and I was like, Lex, I have this tarot deck because it was my mom's in college. And I found it in my garage. And my mom was like, Oh, yeah, that was mine. But yeah, you can have it and I like told that to Lex and Lex was like, I have the same deck. And it was my mom's in college. Am I making that up? Or Is that real?


No, that is 100% correct and real.


fig

Oh good. I was just looking at a face on the zoom call and I was like, oh God, am I like hallucinating that? Yeah. Okay, so that did happen!!


lex

Yes. That is absolutely wild. And it's really funny that you just brought up tarot, which I mean, actually isn’t out of pocket for either of us, but I did a spontaneous tarot reading for this podcast episode at the beginning.


fig

Wow, I didn't even, fuck, and I listened to your intro that you sent me this morning and then I was like, oh my god. Yes. temperance. Perfect. I'm going to tie it in so much and then I just totally forgot.


lex

Um did you forget cuz... I'll just wrapped around for readers real fast. "Temperance, fire Sagittarius Jupiter internal harmony, expanding beyond boxes and binaries. fluidity, inner weaving, mixing of opposites, nonlinear healing." Pretty sure we covered all of that Fig.


fig

You're right. That's what I was like, freaking out when I listened to it and you pulled it because I was thinking about all these questions and I was like, like, yeah, TJ all about that. Like fucking binaries, generally but also specifically binaries around harm. And this idea that like, some people cause harm and stuff, like we all fucking cause harm from varying degrees, and it's not about if you're going to cause harm. What do we do? If people cause harm? It's like, you're going to cause harm. What are you going to do about it? Like, what are you going to do to prepare to be ready to apologize? Be ready to reach out for support when you need to know like, What do I fucking do? Like I just I've just harmed someone. Yes, anyways. Love it. Temperance. Love you.


lex

Hey, Fig, where can folks find you or contact you? I know we mentioned Blood Hunny. Want to run through that one more time. And then also any personal info that you want to make sure that folks leave with?


fig

Oh, yeah. So yeah, so my so find me around my music. @bloodhunnymusic on Instagram and bloodhunny.bandcamp.com and then yeah, my personal Instagram which I'm fine with folks connecting with me there if you want is @feelingisgood.fig has my name is an acronym for feeling as good. Feeling is good. Not vague. And thank you there and then also I do have a I do have a few. Well okay, one thing about the Instagram is like a periodically will not go on it for like days or weeks at a time because I have problems using it in a good way. So you can totally message me there. Just might not see it right away. But I will eventually probably and yeah, and then there is a feelingisgood.fig@gmail.com also don't check that super regularly. But if email is your preferred mode, you can totally send me an email there. Um, yeah, but I think it's a gamble or good mounts. Honestly, just hit that send button and hope for the best. Like there's no reliable way to contact me. We'll see well you ever get in touch with me? Know I will say that probably if, like you emailed like, I don't know how often Lex is checking the care spells Gmail but uh probably if you hit up Lex or you know the care spells contact and you need me for some reason. They can probably get us in contact as well.


lex

I will take that on.


fig

Can you please be my publicist?


lex

I'll do it.


fig

I'm gunna get so many inquiries after this episode, just general inquiries about nothing in particular.


"Hi, I have an inquiry I have an inquiry....about do you....like music? Can we talk? May we? May we read books together? Together...movie? Pie and eating together to...


lex

Well! It has been a pleasure...


fig

ALSO! I'm going to just like let you ever close it out. Also you posted the thing to my blog where the writing is which is feelingisgood fig.wordpress.com so yeah.


lex

All this is in the episode summary as well...


fig

Love it. Alright, Lex. Well!


lex

Without further ado, here is Invisible Love by Blood Hunny, aka feeling is good fig.


LYRICS TO "INVISIBLE LOVE"


I used to dream

of a lover who would be proud to love me

we made love at your parents' house

and when I showed up at school the next day

and I walked up to our group of friends

you turned your body away

before I could have a chance to lift my hand to wave

and now this is proving to be

a rather depressing pattern for me

I seem to take lovers who are ashamed


Invisible love, and I'm grasping onto anything

Invisible love, that could prove this exists to me

Invisible love, and I'm crying myself to sleep

Invisible love, how could I get so deep...


Into something you insist...

does not exist...


Invisible love, and you say that it's just bad timing

Invisible love, so i'm living in hiding

Invisible love, and you won't be seen with me

Invisible love, how could I grasp on so tightly...


to something that you would swear

just is not there

oh, what did I do

to so thoroughly embarrass you


Invisible love, we're only ever alone in your bedroom

Invisible love, and I'm running on fumes

Invisible love, and if I had the strength to

Invisible love, I would get the hell away from you...


but I guess I'll just wait around to see

if you'll ever acknowledge me

maybe you don't deserve my attention

but don't I deserve some affection?

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