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In Our Hands

After the #IFLApubLibraries as Publishers” conference, August 10-12 at the University of Michigan Library, I trust now and must share (here I’m writing to the public, to our one United Public) that together we can and will save the world through collaboration, education, motivation, and empathy.

Through love. (I mean it.)

It means valuing inclusion, creativity, communication, quality, and the spirit of art, innovation, and open access everywhere, all the time, beginning sustainably in higher education, for it is our responsibility at our nation’s leading institutions to nurture the cultural, social, and intellectual well-being of our communities (local to global) and step up to say this matters.

If all the power I have in this moment is the power of words, then I will raise my voice from here on out to advocate for these values in the world and support my fellow humans with a new mantra: learning is life. It’s time to live it.

If this sounds good (say, if you support the mission of the University of Michigan or The Malala Fund), join in this pivotal movement toward a national ask for funded art programs and “making labs” across the country, open access education, and a collective vision of global literacy and intentional communication in the Information Age.

The world needs good, smart, innovative people at the forefront of our society, both on and off the internet. That means safety in our communities, both on and off the internet.

That means the grit of love and feminism must persist.

Call this protest! Call it performance art! It is the crux of my personal and professional mission moving forward. How remarkable to be living at this revolutionary time.

I’ve never felt more inspired to remember I’m a Wolverine. Now is a preciously serendipitous moment to work with students, teachers, artists, librarians, and researchers in publishing at the University of Michigan and beyond. And it’s time to pay it forward.

We must share with intention, sans ego, from now on. (We can, yes. We must.)

This is in our hands. The whole of it.

Together we will make the future. And we will make it better.

Change the World

Epiphany after epiphany, last week I learned what the intangible is worth in the real world. It’s astounding, it’ll surprise you, and it ought not to be taken lightly.

As a poet, I find that spiritually refreshing, because for a moment I almost thought we were all ready to agree that it’s okay to do nothing. And that’s offensively un-human.

I’ll have a lot more to say on social media from now on because now I know real life recedes into Idiocracy when you don’t raise your voice intentionally on the internet and on the Earth.

I won’t let that happen. We’re not going to let that happen.

Even if all I have are words and love, it’s enough. That’s enough to educate. I trust that’s all it takes to change the world.

We’re here, looking around, as if we’re waiting for orders. It’s time to look in the mirror.

This is our responsibility. All life is learning. You can leave your fear at the door because you won’t need it where we’re going.

We can do this, humans!

How It Begins

This is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.

(What better place to begin an epic?)

I’m here, starting my sixth year out of college, age twenty-seven, one woman, interdependent, nearly invisible, exiled home, alive or dead, somewhere somewhen, at work in Ann Arbor, Michigan, in the year twenty-sixteen, the year of our lord, no.

I like writing for fun. I work full-time at the intersection of scholarly and library publishing and pedagogy at one the top public research institutions in the country. And this is the first I’ve written in some time. I’m on a lunch break as I write this. It’s two-thirty-two p.m.

This is the first time in my life I’ve felt I must take a stand and raise my voice because it is my obligation to this planet.

(It’s funny all the ways the personal and the professional converge eventually. How everything that rises . . . keeps rising.)

What I mean is there’s no affording hating yourself or dismissing others or cursing the universe. It’s time to love. And it’s so easy. All you do is be. Be, and give thanks.

(I’m talking to you, and I’m talking to myself.)

This is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. That’s how you know it’s right.

Communicating with intention, with meaning. As if it can be done. As if we can progress as one toward a collective reality aligned with our wildest dreams.

It’s as if an image that had been distorted for millennia pieced itself together in the span of seventy-two hours, and I feel transcendent, perched on top of time.

The puzzle picture’s lit with big synergy. We’re coming together now. We’re coming.