The Mad Agriculture Journal

Published on

June 01, 2020

Written by

Philip Taylor

Photo by

Jane Cavagnero

Dear Reader, 

It’s 3:13am, June 9th. A soft rain is falling. I lie in bed. My mind is coursing frenetic through things I love and things that are terrible and ripping me open. Nicole is laying beside me, tossing around, restless in her sleep. My state of being is cascading through the house. I need to get out of here. 

The rain is falling. I think of the wheat we’ve planted. How thirsty it is. A quarter inch of rain has fallen, at least. 1% of what I expect for the year. This calculus is a veneer of what’s keeping me up. I struggle to metabolize the collective trauma of the world. COVID-19, racial injustice, millions of people in pain, billions living at the expense of privilege and extraction. The trauma of hundreds of years. A wellspring of beautiful rage is seething through humanity. Systems built against them, upon them, over them, by them. Systems for white people. I try hard to see them, feel them, recognize them,  figure out my complicity and how I am perpetuating the same injustice that generations of my family have perpetuated. I feel ridiculous for having to work so hard to see injustice that is so obvious. 

Things are ripping open. Things have been ripped open, for a long time. The wound has always been there. I’ve not been able to see it like I can now. I am sorry. 

I wonder how to begin. Devotion to truth enables a revolution. I can feel myself wanting to help, create solutions, to save the day somehow. But, this isn’t it. I need to step back for a moment and listen. The deep work begins within. It feels too slow. 

Then I think of fire under water.  

No revolution in outer things is possible without a prior revolution in one’s inner way of being. As within, so without. I think of Grace Lee Boggs. Transform yourself to transform the world. 

I feel grief welling inside me. This grief is way overdue.

It’s 4:13am. A soft rain is falling. I’m at the office now.  I couldn’t sleep. Society is just starting to open up. COVID-19 is with us: invisible and visible. I think of all the things that I can’t see, but drive the world: the roots of wheat growing, systems of racism, COVID-19. 

I sit for two hours. Numb. I feel everything and nothing at once.

My mind goes back to wheat. Two days ago, it was 5 inches tall. And though I cannot see it grow, today, it’s 6 inches tall. Life is relentless. Death is relentless. Together they bend toward equity and carry the promise of renewal. I am at once growing and decomposing. I have much to learn. So much to practice.

Love and light, 
Philip Taylor

Originally published in
Mad Agriculture Journal Issue 3


Sorry! Donations can not be purchased at the same time as goods