a google doc of incomplete sentences or thoughts on joy as activism [MaryGrace Phillips]

a google doc of incomplete sentences or thoughts on joy as activism [MaryGrace Phillips]

MaryGrace Phillips



there is no true service without joy
flits through my mind as i’m scrubbing my grandmother’s bathtub with the non-bleach.


when Blake got back from the SEED conference, she said someone said:
“If you want to fight for freedom, you have to taste it for yourself.”


this premise makes my tasting of freedom just as important as the fight for TASTING
imperative to TASTING.
my tasting embodies
TASTING  which feeds me to make FOOD
and so i learn to COOK, so i can make
TASTING happen again. more.

this makes the food
                                                      (how does it taste, where did it come from)
and the cook                                                                   (who made it)
and the tast-er                                                                (who is it for)

essential, co-witnessed.
and what would tasting all by itself,
apart from mouth, apart from food?

in the TASTING is my joy.
in the COOKing, service.


it invites creative act(ivism)s generated from our own freedom
with logic that states freedom as an ingredient to cooking freedom.

if there is something that i do not actually have (embody), how can i actually give (create) it?

one cannot make coffee without                          

if my blood isn’t healthy, it can’t aid someone who needs blood.
if i haven’t made food, i can’t give you any.


the integration of CONTENT and FORM.
CONTENT that demands integration into FORM.
FORM that cannot exist without CONTENT.

can we give anything apart from ourselves?
does one’s TASTING of love directly correlate to their ability to give it?
if they can’t give it, maybe they don’t have it.


can i assume abundance and generosity?

it’s not that i shouldn’t have joy. it’s that everyone should.
my lack doesn’t restore the balance
create justice. it makes deeper the cavity of lack.

(this seems to remove false imperatives around self-martyrdom.)
if the food that we make comes from our experience of TASTING,

i don’t know that the world gains anything from a continual fulfillment of one’s discontent.
i don’t know that this is working out the responsibility of privilege
which is an activism.

if joy* is a privilege, then it is also a responsibility.
it is a privilege to make art*.
it is a joy to make art.

therefore they are a part of my responsibilities for manifesting*
joy freedom privileges and art.

*and "joy" is shorthand for the freedom that makes it
*and by "art" i mean the practices, work, the cooking cauldrons of our experience
*manifesting--the cooking that comes from TASTING

not that all joy is art or all freedom is activism, etc.


my life has been full of movement and bodies, and it makes me think (obviously)
actions are not separate from being(s).
this would mean being is (just as important as) acts

this gives me a two-fold reaction:
1) it makes how we are who we are really important –validating unique, integral value--
2) it makes how we are who we are really important—a weighty responsibility of consciousness and intention.

the deeper how.
how we move is who we are.


i perpetually enter the studio with tidal questions that surround the meaning of making--
why it matters. if it matters.
every rehearsal builds courage around the thought:
surely this thing that i do, the things that i do, carries value (food) into the world and its needs.
because it’s not just a thing that i do (cooking); it is my acting in alignment with my own freedom
in which i find joy (tasting).

because if i (exist, create) act without aligning with my own freedom
in which i find joy,
how does that contribute to the embodiment of
JOY and
FREEDOM in the world?
how is it food desirous of TASTING?

--the world of Need, Time and Loss,
Disparity and Reparations.

it’s not enough, then, to do the work, one has to be the work.
otherwise are we pretending the work?

what if (the FORM and CONTENT of) how we meet the world
...is a manifestation of our joy in the world?
...is the practice of manifesting joy?


“For the way we engage with each other over a sustained period can deeply influence our ability to collectively create new forms of being.”  __Nato Thompson


what if i am able to be the most generous where i have the most joy?

what if the martyrdom is actually egotistical


the self-help books say that joy doesn’t always mean happiness.
but it most certainly means joy.

it’s as if we are parents to our food
and partners with our freedom.

coalescing our mutual adventures to TASTE.

symbiosis moving outward.

coalescing our mutual adventures to

| all content is property of the artist |







MaryGrace Phillips is a reader and dancemaker. 





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