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Change Elemental

“Eclipses signal times of change in the world and in our lives. They usher in new beginnings and bring about significant endings. They churn, disturb, and are somewhat chaotic in their impact—but for good reason. Eclipses bring up what would otherwise stay relegated to the shadows. When the light of the sun or moon is blocked, obscured or obstructed, like it is during eclipses, we get a different view of our surroundings. Revealing our personal and collective shadows, eclipses mark moments in the year that we should pay attention to, for what happens under them has a way of making a lasting impression.

Chani Nicholas

As we prepare to transition to the next year, another president, and another phase of this pandemic, we asked ourselves again, what care is needed now? What are we learning about the new ways of being and doing needed in our organizations, networks, and movements? What is the work of this moment, and whose is it? A Change Elemental poem emerged in various moments of inquiry and clarity amidst the chaos of the last month. We are curious what new questions or knowings emerge in the darkness of Monday’s eclipse.

A poem of care in two forms. 

By Change Elemental in concert with the many


Black women won this election. 
Touch joy. 
“What if all this appreciation for Black voters turned into love for Black people?” - Dr. Ibram X. Kendi

The 55%.
White women. 
Abuse. In masks and not.
Offensive calls for unity.

Without accountability.
Misplace blame.
“Defund police”
Not 70 million voters.

And, heavy with, covid.
All caps. 
Dragging 19 into 20 into 21.

Fear. Anxiety. Isolation. 
What care does your— does our— shadow need? 
Basic needs. Whose are met?
And what about permission to hope?

Shadow parts. 
And bridge tenders.
And boundaries. 
     “Boundaries are the distance at which I can love myself and love you    
      simultaneously.” - Prentis Hemphill 
      Distance will not be shortened easily.

Chaos and clarity. 
     What becomes clear to us in the darkness? 
     Cultivate leapitude.
     The time is now.
“Building capacity for portal hopping.” - Viveka Chen & Maura Bairley 
Future now. what is the future we imagine? 
Bring it. Now into Next. Next into Now.

Doulas for the portal. 
Ready, set,....

Made with Padlet

Photo by Mark Leach

2 thoughts on “What care does your—does our—shadow need?

  1. LOVE this. What I need, what we need, what the planet needs – what is needed and desires. This weaving gives me joy and hope – elements that feel limited in access and yet are can be so available with love and community. Thank you for reminding us and providing to us.

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