May 24, 2014 – Analysis, ‘The Spring of Pathos’

For those who may not be aware, we’re about 3 weeks from the estimated arrival of another little one. So, I’ve been actively stepping-back from the front-line of a few of the issues I frequent to focus on family. In addition to preparing our hearts and minds for this transition, I’m also striving to get us moved into our new space on the East Side as quickly as possible.

For me there is a great deal more to the new space than simply gutting and rebuilding, there is also a philosophical/spiritual process/evolution that my awareness is drawn to and, for many reasons, some emotional and some strategic, compelled to partake in.

So, in addition to the physical transitions we’re facilitating at the moment, I’ve been attempting to synthesize lessons learned in the past five years here in Detroit and the more seminal source material that facilitated our positioning here. While fun in a nostalgic sense, it has also been quite heady and heavy.

Just going at the surface, with little effort, we could make cookbooks, zines, art books, and I have collections of essays, newsletters and flyers from the lab and and our subsequent efforts that I could organize into something successful.

Being who we are, it could be easy to simply ‘entrepreneur’ ourselves into sheltered irrelevance and service to the forces that have stepped in for ‘the common good’. But, rather than just slap the name ‘Detroit’ on something to turn a profit, I’m attempting to integrate the lessons Detroit has taught in a respectful, meaningful and, most important to me, in a practical way.

Five years of documenting and participating in protest efforts, rallies, marches and others, has reemphasized the need for intentional and practical application of a few of the seminal theories referenced above.  I recognize that everyone has a particular approach to change and transformation and I support such efforts to keep those channels open and accessible.

At the same time I have witnessed these efforts to be the source of ego that gives rise conflicts of identity and agenda. While these efforts have been and will continue to be vital, I know that I need to expand my efforts to include action and building.

I’m attempting to find an internal relevance, that for whatever the reason, requires personal transformation. It is my intention that this approach will not simply ease the symptoms, which I’ve spent a great deal of effort on, but rather will reach toward the locus, the root, the spring of pathos.