...but I still have a few ideas I want to share with you, whether you choose to enroll in TTIN or not. These ideas are my raised glass. To the most healthy and strong version of you possible. To you, as a fellow laborer in this work to create a more just world.
Florian left the King's chambers on a total high.
The King said yes to everything.
He'd sent Florian with letters to the keeper of the forest for beams; and to the mason for stones.
But just like the scurry of small animals in and out of every crack, word traveled to the enemies of the city about the plans to rebuild.
They immediately arose and positioned themselves in between the King's castle and the city that lay in ruins; waiting for Florian to ride through.
But Florian took a detour.
They waited for three days before taking another step. But, Florian knew that the city needed to be evaluated fully before the work could begin.
So as night fell, Florian hitched a horse - taking only a few trusted co-laborers and telling no one else of the plan - and set off for the big city.
Under the stars, the group inspected every corner, every piece of rubble, every destroyed gate. Together, they gathered intel and drew up their plans.
Too often, we make a lot of noise as we plan.
I get it. It's nice to have our name seen. To get credit.
What Florian and other organizers I deeply respect all have in common, is a commitment to plan in secret. To move in micro, interconnected cells that when the time has come - unfold out of every corner - like a flash mob in a mall. You didn't even know they were there or who is part of it until you hear someone behind you singing in a chorus of gorgeous harmonies.
I believe there is great wisdom in organizing this way.
Florian began the work and as the story goes - everyone and their Uncle, Grandma, Niece, brother, neighbor, daughter, son, and shoemaker showed up. The story says they worked from sunup to sundown.
After a few days of hauling stone and logs the entire day, I bet they felt like they couldn't go on.
But they did.
They rallied together. Ate together. Drank together. Built together. Challenged one another. Strengthened each other.
We have yet to create this in our white community.
I said to you on Friday that if your transformation doesn't have an external component it misses the opportunity to be liberative. We don't think of ourselves as a community. Nor do we believe that if we don't gather up the ones we've been avoiding - or have written off - that we will never, ever make this world more just. But more on that later...
As they built, Florian received word that the city's enemies were coming back to finish them all off.
So Florian gathered that same small crew walked the entire perimeter of the city. Assessing where the cracks were and placing guards at every weak spot until it could be strengthened.
What would happen if we viewed those in our community with less knowledge or skills or "consciousness" as a weak spot in need of strengthening?
The story goes on to say that while they worked, everyone carried a tool in one hand and a weapon in the other.
They were ready.
They expected the fight.
We don't prepare for our fight very well. Trust me, I get it. In my house, we say "gas up the flamethrower!" as our way to express that something is happening that feels so hopeless that the only suitable solution is to burn it all down.
Even as I write this, it's like I'm transported back to those moments.
They are painful, enraging moments where I feel powerless to make it stop. I feel inadequate at helping my community see how desperate all of this is and the tremendous life I've found on the other side of those beliefs we are conditioned to hold.
I don't know if Florian ever felt this way.
If I had to guess, I would say yes.
I think all people who strive have these moments.
But I know that even if they did, it didn't slow them down for long.
The community built the city walls in just 52 days.
It happened so quickly that the enemies never had a chance to gather up their attack before the city was completely protected again.
Can you imagine what would happen if we built in this way?
Organize in secret Labor in micro, interconnected cells Everyone has a role Live to liberate Guard the cracks Prepare for the fight
It gives me chill bumps to imagine it.
This is what TTIN is all about.
And I can see from who's following along on this that it will only be a start. Too much of our city is still not on board.
We are polarized and argue over stupid shit.
If we are to build the world we say we want to live in, I won't get my way all of the time and neither will any of you.
And I don't know about you, but my ideas are never as good when they are created by just little ol' me.
I am committed to this work and I plan for it in everything I do from resting to building. In fact, there are many days I have literal dreams about this work. TTIN was birthed from one such dream. I saw us, like Florian's city, working together and descending upon our city.
But there's one more thing that happened to Florian that I want to share today before I close.
Florian's enemies were just as crafty as those who are making the back room deals that I talked about last week.
They sent word to Florian four times, saying they wanted to meet up when really they planned to murder Florian. Each time, Florian refused. The fifth time, they tried to manipulate Florian into banding together with them to become a powerful allegiance and overthrow the King.
Power is intoxicating.
The promise of power is alluring for even the most dedicated liberators.
You might think you would never be susceptible, but this would be silly.
I say this because I'm asking that you keep watch over me, just as I'm committing to keep watch over you.
When you see me fall, I'm looking to you to tell me, as I will for you.
We are only as strong as the most vulnerable link in our chain.
I'm committed to strengthening you. Will you do that for me too?
Hit reply and let me know you are still with me.
I love you.
I love us.
In case you missed them, the previous emails in the series are here: