How to Imagine Pleasure in an Unimagined Future

As much as we wish it true, the stroke of midnight does not bring instantaneous change. January 1st, 2021 is still the same world as it was the day before. But what it does bring is an opportunity to break away from old visions, and start imagining new futures

We consider ourselves a bit of a Science Fiction business. What do we mean by this? There is an alchemy to becoming new, to allowing and giving yourself over to what you may become, and in works of science fiction like those of Octavia Butler, we learn that we can destroy and create, in order to become something else, something better. It means that we believe that our imaginations have the capacity to bring about new worlds, that anything that exists now that is worth loving, was once unimagined, unimaginable, or unheard of. As author and activist, adrienne maree brown says in her book Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good,

“our radical imagination is a tool for decolonization, for reclaiming our right to shape our lived reality.”

The world has transformed so many times in the most dramatic, unbelievable ways, and each time, there are new pathways to invent, to dream, to experience pleasure that we never knew possible.

As we transition into this new year, we believe that this, right now, is one of those times.

“Pleasure Activism '', is a term made widely known by adrienne marie brown, an educator, healer and organizer, that we as a company admire and follow. Pleasure activism, as a concept, holds the essential nature of desire and truth, it speaks of transformation.

It is January 2021 and there's an undeniable call, or really, demand for change. We have experienced an undoing, and we are collectively ready for generative, community-based rebuilding. For us here at TOCA, the foundation of this new movement and its potential lies in pleasure.

To navigate these times we as a company are focused on and attending to the essential questions of what is community, intimacy, how are we conducting our relationships, and where does this lead us? Do we love ourselves? Can we effectively care for others? Who is being left behind? The bedrock beneath all of these questions is P.L.E.A.S.U.R.E.

If we are to build new, fairer, and more just systems, if we are to consider others that are not directly in our immediate lives if we are to think beyond this life and extend our hearts into future generations, we must be able to love fully, connect intimately, move forward from a deep and true source of desire, and we must enjoy doing this so much that we cannot imagine not working from this place. We must live in the house of pleasure.

This is a leap. This is what science fiction, pleasure activism, and this new year are calling for. We must act from a deep sense of trust in ourselves and this world. Trust that even if we cannot see it now, we can imagine a life and a world community of care into fruition. Creating something that does not yet exist requires faith, the simple faith that it is possible, we cannot create a new inside of a broken system.

Let us dream into what is next, with the wildest and most authentic desire we can muster. Let us imagine freedom, and safety, and love. Let us search into the very heart of our lives, and find the driving pleasure to move forward, with joy, with hunger, and with faith.

And we wanted to share this beautiful beautiful poem in light of a new day that has arrived.

We are the Ones We've Been Waiting For

Hopi Elders

You have been telling people that this is the Eleventh Hour, now you must go back and tell the people that this is the Hour. And there are things to be considered…

Where are you living?

What are you doing?

What are your relationships?

Are you in right relation?

Where is your water?

Know your garden.

It is time to speak your truth.

Create your community.

Be good to each other.

And do not look outside yourself for your leader.

Then he clasped his hands together, smiled, and said, “This could be a good time! There is a river flowing now very fast. It is so great and swift that there are those who will be afraid. They will try to hold on to the shore. They will feel they are being torn apart and will suffer greatly. Know the river has its destination. The elders say we must let go of the shore, push off into the middle of the river, keep our eyes open, and our heads above the water.

And I say, see who is in there with you and celebrate. At this time in history, we are to take nothing personally, least of all ourselves. For the moment that we do, our spiritual growth and journey come to a halt.

The time of the lone wolf is over. Gather yourselves! Banish the word ’struggle’ from your attitude and your vocabulary. All that we do now must be done in a sacred manner and in celebration.

We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.

--Hopi Elders' Prophecy, June 8, 2000

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