E Tū vigil, day 78. Rick’s hunger strike day 19

Tomorrow I am an eating person again. That is so exciting. I feel great appreciation for the fact of food. For the privilege of eating food.

And I don’t want to be sentimental or seen as sentimental – (I can’t use the word ‘but’ here – so, yet/and/ as well as), my heart and mind go to those who can’t eat what they need to eat. Some such at home here in unevenly wealthy Aotearoa. And everywhere else.

My hunger strike is ending and my energy reserves are getting lower. I’m living within my means, energy- wise, because there’s no choice. The thought occurs ‘if we might embrace that principle’ in our society.

I appreciate the care I’ve been given by the E Tū team, Kieran, Molly, Sue, Caz, Rachel, Kate, Hiro, Mick. The Fridays for Our Future group have held this vigil for a long time. So many days of dedication. Often unacknowledged. A deep bow to you all. And thank you.

My friends and whānau and the very many who’ve come to be with me, and those who couldn’t but have held me with love and care. I am grateful.

We live in fundamental liberty, pretty much, I think. Liberty to eat (though plenty go hungry), to drink clean water, to speak truth, to love another, to counter government. Basic liberties that aren’t assured in many parts of our world. And willingly surrendering our liberty is a strong statement, then. To go to prison or to risk going. To stop eating because we are literally stealing life from other species, from every generation ahead.

I am thinking of this as gifting liberty.

Gifting liberty

With love all around it

I rarely discuss this. The topic of sacrifice. The associations with guilt, masochism, posturing. Maybe I’ll try poetically.

These times do call us, I think, to reach deep, to show up, to be seen

To have our voice heard as powerfully as we can

We are in serious trouble

There is no happy ending

So, gifting liberty through sacrifice

(out of love, grief, and rage perhaps)

Is one (noble) response

Mine and yours, inspired by each other’s

Our best blessing

With sincerity

May we uphold our sacred obligations to the Earth and to each other.

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