Spotlight: How to Survive the End of the World - Aurora and Ricardo Levins-Morales

February 16, 2022 Nia Tero Season 2
Spotlight: How to Survive the End of the World - Aurora and Ricardo Levins-Morales
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Spotlight: How to Survive the End of the World - Aurora and Ricardo Levins-Morales
Feb 16, 2022 Season 2
Nia Tero

This week Seedcast is proud to shine a spotlight on another podcast we adore, How to Survive the End of the World, hosted by sisters adrienne maree brown and Autumn Brown, about learning from apocalypse with grace, rigor, and curiosity. In this episode, part of their sibling series, adrienne and Autumn interview Aurora and Ricardo Levins Morales, two legendary artists and activists in social justice movements who were raised amongst the mountains in Puerto Rico. They hold a rich ancestral history there that they envision goes back up to 7000 years. You’ll hear about the immense grief they experienced that comes with separation from their lands, and how they applied learnings from relationships with lands, animals and birds to their work within social justice movements.  

Thanks to the team at How to Survive the End of the World: Zak Rosen, adrienne maree brown, Autumn Brown, and Jess Pinkham.

Listen to more episodes of the How to Survive the End of the World Podcast.

Seedcast is a production of Nia Tero, a global nonprofit which supports Indigenous land guardianship around the world through policy, partnership, and storytelling initiatives.

Enjoy the Seedcast podcast on the Nia Tero website, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and your other favorite podcast platforms.

Keep up with Seedcast on Instagram and use the hashtag #Seedcast.

Show Notes Transcript

This week Seedcast is proud to shine a spotlight on another podcast we adore, How to Survive the End of the World, hosted by sisters adrienne maree brown and Autumn Brown, about learning from apocalypse with grace, rigor, and curiosity. In this episode, part of their sibling series, adrienne and Autumn interview Aurora and Ricardo Levins Morales, two legendary artists and activists in social justice movements who were raised amongst the mountains in Puerto Rico. They hold a rich ancestral history there that they envision goes back up to 7000 years. You’ll hear about the immense grief they experienced that comes with separation from their lands, and how they applied learnings from relationships with lands, animals and birds to their work within social justice movements.  

Thanks to the team at How to Survive the End of the World: Zak Rosen, adrienne maree brown, Autumn Brown, and Jess Pinkham.

Listen to more episodes of the How to Survive the End of the World Podcast.

Seedcast is a production of Nia Tero, a global nonprofit which supports Indigenous land guardianship around the world through policy, partnership, and storytelling initiatives.

Enjoy the Seedcast podcast on the Nia Tero website, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and your other favorite podcast platforms.

Keep up with Seedcast on Instagram and use the hashtag #Seedcast.

Seedcast Season 2  

Spotlight: How to Survive the End of the World - Aurora and Ricardo Levins-Morales 

February 16, 2022 


[00:00:00] Jessica Ramirez: This is Jessica Ramirez, your host of Seedcast. We really love sharing with you stories of Indigenous experiences from Indigenous peoples who live all over the world. And we like to share spotlights of other podcasts who are doing really similar things. 

[Theme music by Mia Kami] 

[00:00:37] Jessica: So in today’s spotlight, we’re sharing with you an episode from a podcast called How to Survive the End of the World. And the hosts are adrienne maree brown and Autumn Brown.  

They’re siblings, and in this episode you’ll hear them interview two other siblings: Ricardo Levins Morales and Aurora Levins Morales. Two legendary people in social justice movements who were raised amongst the mountains in Puerto Rico,  

[00:01:06] and they hold a rich ancestral history there, one that they envision goes back up to 7000 years.  

This interview is stunning! It’s heartbreaking. And it’s powerful. And it’s really inspiring. You’ll hear about their experiences regarding the immense grief that comes with the separation from your lands.  

[00:01:31] And there’s learnings here about relationship with lands, animals and birds, and how this is applied to their work within social justice movements. How healing is inevitably what we should be doing and feeling when we are really active in these spaces. 

To face the climate crisis, we need to listen to the environment [00:01:55] and work together in sync. And that's a learning from this episode that I really loved. And it’s something that we also love talking about on Seedcast 

Thanks to the team at How to Survive the End of the World: Zak Rosen, adrienne maree brown, Autumn Brown and Jess Pinkham. 

And quick note for our listeners –  

[00:02:15] there are mentions of sexual violence in this episode so it may not be suitable for all audiences at all times. 

We are really thrilled to have you listen to it though. 

It was originally released in October 2021. And we will catch you next time. Thanks for listening! 


How To Survive the End of the World 

Sibling Miniseries #7: Aurora & Ricardo 

October 21st, 2021 

[00:02:52] instrumental music plays, continues over speech 

Autumn Brown: I'm Autumn Brown, alien, Sensodyne user, mother of dragons, living on Dakota Anishinaabe land currently known as Minneapolis. 

adrienne maree brown: And I'm adrienne maree brown, hooked on CBD turmeric spirolina gummies, a writer, student of miracles and love, emergent strategist and pleasure activist, living in the land of the Lumbee peoples currently known as Durham. 

[00:03:22] Autumn: And this is “How To Survive the End of the World.” 

adrienne: Our podcast about learning from apocalypse with grace, rigor, and curiosity, even in. the midst of mercury retrograde. {music stops} Today {laughter} we are so excited, and I’m gonna, I’m laughing about this, so, I, we like to just let the listeners know what’s real. We have been about an hour, I think, at this effort of [00:03:50] attempting to record, or, recording, so what’s coming to you is of, it’s our commitment, it’s our rigor. That’s what you’re feeling right now, it’s like {Autumn laughs} we would not let go, we would not give up, we are here recording this podcast because we are in a conversation with two people we deeply admire, that we both really look up to,  

[00:04:10] and we want to make sure that this gets delivered to you. This is in our sibling series, which has been so elucidating for us, and it’s really opened a lot of tender space about what it means to be siblings inside of movement. And today the siblings we have are Aurora Levins Morales and Ricardo Morales.  

[00:04:31] And Aurora, I know Aurora best through the work of Medicine Stories. I think that it is one of the most brilliant texts, I recommend it all the time, I feel like it's a guide for how we be, how we be with each other. And Ricardo Levins Morales um, if you have been in movement for any period of time, you have most likely used images of Ricardo's imagining, um, the beautiful art that helps accompany us in this journey of transforming the world.  

[00:04:58] So, we're super excited to have these cultural movement workers here with us today. And we always like to start out with a brief check-in, how are you right now, today? 

Ricardo Levins Morales: I'm doing pretty well. Um, before we got on to the, this call, I was sitting outside on the talking bench, which is where people meet, and we've been using it a lot more during the pandemic, so we can be outside, and have conversations. And watching the birds, trying to figure out what those little fat birds that were hopping up the trunks were. 

adrienne: Mmm! 

[00:05:35] Ricardo: And I'm just quite tickled to be here and be able to hang out with two fabulous Brown sisters and one fabulous Levins Morales sister. So -- 

adrienne: Mmm, wonderful. 

Ricardo: -- good to be here. 

adrienne: It's really good to have you here. Uh, Aurora, how are you? 

Aurora Levins Morales: Well, I'm still high off my trip to the tropical fruit tree nursery a couple days ago, where I spent all my allowance and then some on a {adrienne laughs} wild variety of fruit trees, including the canistel, which people in the States probably don't know, which has the texture of a really dense rich cheesecake and the taste of sweet potato pie with vanilla.  

[00:06:21] And it's amazing. And I'm gonna have my own tree. And I'm paying attention to the birds. Every morning I'm woken up by woodpeckers arguing over whose dead tree it is. {laughter} 

adrienne: That's right. And where are you? Aurora? 

Aurora: I am in Indiera Alta, Maricao Borinquen, which is currently known as Puerto Rico, in the western mountains of Borinquen. 

[00:06:49] adrienne: Beautiful. Thank you so much for making it possible to call into us, cause I know, I'm like, you're literally in the wild. Um, and Autumn, how are you doing today, babe? 

Autumn: Mmm! I am, I am present. Um, I am, like, I am sleep deprived. I'm quite sleep deprived. Um, navigating some, um, just like difficult, um, family stuff.  

[00:07:30] And, um, extended family, extended family, um, family of the world. 

adrienne: It’s not me, y’all. 

Autumn: Not you, not you, not you. {laughter} Yeah, just not, not enough, um, sleep, but I am, just, like, grateful for every moment. 

adrienne: Yeah. 

Autumn: Yeah. Grateful for every moment. How are you, sister? 

adrienne: Mm! I feel, uh, today I felt good. I got a swim in, I got to spend time with a local beloved, uh, my, my friend Lola, and I'm at the precipice of, of  

[00:08:23] life and death right now a lot. Like there's a lot of movement in both directions happening in my life. Um, and um, two little Libra babies coming into the world, um, and that's marvelous. And then, and then there are beloveds on their way in the other direction as well. And so I'm just really just kind of, I feel like this, like if I could imagine, you know, imagine myself, I feel like my spirit is just sort of sitting at a particular gate, and just kind of watching, watching, and welcoming people in both directions.  

[00:08:59] Um, so I feel good. I feel good. Um, and I really feel grateful that we're here and having this conversation. 

Um, I, you know, have admired both of y'all separately and it's really cool to see, like, I always love this moment of getting to see siblings in the same space. {laughs} Um, at the same time, I'm like, this is just cool,  

[00:09:22] I can't believe this is life. So we're ready for the storytelling from y'all. We're ready to understand the movements that you have shaped and been a part of. And, um, you know, the place where we like to start this interview off is just where y'all from? Where are y'all from? Like, in whatever ways come up for the answering of that question.  

[00:09:43] where are y'all from? 

Aurora: We are from the top of a mountain where you can look out and see the north and south coasts of Puerto Rico. It's an abandoned, it was an abandoned coffee farm that my blacklisted communist parents bought in 1951, 90 acres for $4,000. {laughs} Because they couldn't get work. And an elder in the communist party said, ‘Buy land,  

[00:10:13] and that way you won't go hungry.’ And after 52 years in the States, I have moved back to that land. But this place up in the sky, in the middle of the Caribbean, with a view out over this beautiful landscape, is the place that we're from. And I just wanted to say, my mother's family is from Puerto Rico, and has envisioned this ancestry going back 7,000 years in this land.  

[00:10:43] And we'll get to my dad. Vale, Ricardito! 

Ricardo: Ok, pues. So, I am from the same place. Um, right where the line, the imaginary line that separates the municipality of Maricao borders on the municipality of Yauco. A line that has moved around a little bit, but always been close. And we've been on the Maricao side. Uh, and it's really, being, living up in the sky, right near what I call the largest body of water on earth, which is the sky, which is where we got all our drinking water, all our washing water,  

[00:11:27] we collected it on the roof, that is so deeply ingrained that, I mean, it was our parents who moved onto that land. It's not like our family has been on that land, particularly, for generations. But when I found myself age 11 and 12 wandering the streets of Chicago, {chokes up} living  

[00:11:54] in a place that didn’t, did not know my name, and having to accustom, accustom myself to new sounds and new, new information, to be safe in this new environment, I created a channel in my mind, whereby I would send parts of myself that needed protection back into the care of the guaraguaos, which are the little red tail hawks that patrol the skies over the coffee mountains. 

[00:12:39]  And that is how I was able to take the risks that it took to be where I was, because I knew I had put part of my self into safekeeping where nobody was going to mess with it. And within a few years, right, um, when I was 13, it was like, I been gone long enough. Now, I was a quiet kid. I was, I didn't talk much. I was an observer, not outgoing, and not somebody who would just create opportunities and make them happen.  

[00:13:13] But I was so adamant that I needed to get back there that somehow I managed to get my parents to send me back to Puerto Rico, to visit on my own. And that's where, you know, I stayed in San Juan with the editor of Caridad, the independent [WORD UNCLEAR] paper, and that's where my first cartoon was published. {laughs} I was hanging out in the office and then he drove me up to the mountains and dropped me off, back up on the farm.  

[00:13:40] There were some people sitting, staying there. I stayed with them. But anyway, that's where I'll always be from. 

[00:13:54] Aurora: I want to say something about that moment Ricardo is describing, because I spent 52 years in the States [WORD UNCLEAR] about every detail of this land. It's, it's so ingrained in me. I feel like I'm, my blood is full of red clay. And at the same time, I was 13, Ricardo was 11, we got picked up and plopped down in Hyde Park in Chicago.  

[00:14:21] And it was a really profound shock to the system. Where we were, it was very Black white, um, segregated, and Puerto Ricans were on the north side, and people didn't know what to make of us in terms of the sort of race-based groupings and alliances. But the being separated from the ecosystem that had created us was really the most profoundly painful thing.  

[00:14:51] I remember, um, going out into the backyard of the house that my parents had bought, and it was this baked hard dirt, and I couldn't believe it was real earth. And I asked her, how far down does it go? And she said, what do you mean, it goes all the way down. And it’s like, I thought it was some kind of weird window box, because it didn't look alive to me.  

[00:15:10] And that there were trees planted at, like, you know, 10 foot intervals, and little holes in the pavement, just physically hurt me, that the roots couldn't talk to each other, that there wasn't, that, that was the most painful thing, because we were raised by an ecosystem. We were raised by the mountain, and also our father was an ecologist, and our mother was a painter and an amateur naturalist,  

[00:15:35] and so we were super aware of the interconnectedness of that ecosystem. And then to suddenly, the year we landed in Chicago, there was a massive die-off of alewives along the shore. There were dead fish along the edges of the lake. And it really kind of felt like the end of the world in a lot of ways. Yet,  

[00:15:58] that's where I learned alliances with people who had different lives than mine, it's where, you know, as young activists in Chicago, we were in all kinds of things that we wouldn't have had access to in Puerto Rico. And in the 1990s, I came back for a literary conference, and realized what a different writer I would have been had 

[00:16:23] I not been yanked out of Puerto Rico and plopped down in Chicago, where there was the Black Panthers, and there was the women's movement, and there was anti-war activism, and where my poetry came out into the air in the context of movement, in a collective space. And what kind of poet, I would've been a poet either way, but what kind of poet would I have been living in this poor community as the daughter of a university professor and not being in that ferment that was the late 60s and early 70s in the United States during my adolescence.  

[00:16:59] So I'm also from that displacement, that shock, and all of the gifts that shock brought to me, even though it took a long time to be grateful. 

Ricardo: Yeah. One of the, one of the things that that displacement taught me was disguise. You know, that, like, the lizards that would change color on the farm, depending on whether they were on green leaves or brown earth, and that there was so much disguise and perception, um, you know, Aurora’s talking about how nobody knew how to place us.  

[00:17:45] And I found myself, even in the, my speech patterns, I had different speech patterns among the white people who were willing to accept me by pretending I was white than among the Black folk, you know, just, I would talk differently, I would pick up these different ways of talking. Um, in high school, I was recruited into the Black Student Union, which actually had been banned,  

[00:18:11] so we had to meet in secret. But Nenori, one of the activists there, came marching up to me one day when I was outside the high school, selling the Black Panther newspaper on one arm, and the Young Lords newspaper on the other arm, and she squinted up into my face and said, ‘What are you?’ {laughs} And then she said, ‘Okay, come with me, I need you to help me put out the, the underground newspaper, right?’ But also that was an environment where that wasn't that strange, that I was not recruited into the Black Student Union as a make-believe Black person. Right? There's a way in which, {sighs} and this is something that I feel is one of the things that I, that's in real contrast to what happens now. You know, Aurora mentioned the Black Panthers. 

[00:19:00] We were both drawn into doing support work for the Panthers in our organization. And one of the ways in which they were organizing I interpret as saying that even though Fred Hampton and his crew were deeply rooted in Black identity, and in Black struggle, identity was something you would bring to the table of solidarity. Where you would sit down with other people with their own identities. It was not an enclosure, it was a door to open, right? Not a brand to defend against, you know, with copyright protection. So disguise, learning - and that’s again, both, like all of the things, it's both a wound and a blessing, because it meant I needed to learn how to listen and move in waters that were not my own, and hear how other people thought about things.  

[00:19:52] My deepest education, in some ways, was eavesdropping. You know, Aurora talks about listening to other people, well, I became fascinated with reading the things that people in different communities wrote to each other, right? So like, the internal newsletter to the women's liberation movement, or when the Black writer, women writers started doing their own thing, reading that, or the gay liberation stuff after Stonewall, or the magazines that would be put out by African liberation movements. Just, I just wanted to know what the world was like, because it clearly was an amalgam in some ways, while these different ways of thinking about it, 

Aurora: My experience was similar, but it was also different because of gender.  

[00:20:42] There were places Ricardo could enter and hangout that were not safe places for me to enter and hang out. And it's interesting that Ricardo was recruited, um, to do that work with Ninere [?], with the Black student organization, kind of as Black adjacent. Um, but that partly had to do with the Jew fro that you were wearing. And that we had the same skin color. My hair was more straight, kind of curly, but not, I couldn't do the fro thing. And we got categorized differently. And also he could hang out in certain street and public places that as a, as a girl were not okay places for me. So I got pushed toward white spaces, and the relief of starting to have women of color caucuses within the women's movement was overwhelming. The appearance, the flood of new publications of poetry coming up, the lead being Black women writers, really shifted a lot of things for me, but I do want to name that we had different access to different communities on the basis of gender.  

[00:21:58] And I was the youngest member of the Chicago women's liberation union. You know, I was there and people talk about it, having been all white - it was not all white, me and my mama were there! 

[00:22:11] Autumn: Wow. This is such a beautiful, like, I feel like we're following you down these streets, you know, um, and appreciate you naming both, like, what was possible because of the time and movement, that's different from, like, the time and movement we are in right now and like the kinds of alliances that were possible, and also the kinds of alliances that weren't possible, based on the time period that we're describing. Um, it's just so interesting to think about, like, how, in some ways in this contemporary moment, things are so opposite of what you're describing. {laughs} Right? Um, so that's just interesting. But we, but what do we wanted to do, and I think, I wonder, I'm gonna try to combine a couple of questions here, because we have this question that we've been asking siblings about your process of politicization, you know, and one of the things we've noticed in the interviews is that families that grew up, or kids, siblings that grew up in families where the parents had a really explicit political orientation, um, often had different experiences around their politicization than the, than the siblings who were like, we sort, we, we entered movement in a different way.  

[00:23:23] Um, so hearing that, like, your, you, your family had, like, it sounds like an explicit communist orientation, and then you have this dad who's a university professor, which I assume had something to do with the relocation? I'd be curious to know about that, but if you could just sort of take us there, like, okay, what is it about your dad? And also, like, how would you describe that journey around politicization? And to what extent you were sort of breaking away from the home orientation into something else due to that amalgam nature of the movement  

[00:24:00] at that time? 

Aurora: Well, yeah, I mean, it's time to get to our family, cause that's also where we're from. My father was a fifth generation radical in his Ukrainian Jewish family. He, his grandmother who raised him was a feminist and a labor organizer, went to hear, uh, Emma Goldman, and, um, just a bunch of other important speakers of the day, the early 20th century. Her grandmother was, she was the wife of a rabbi and walked out of synagogue because of the sexism. And she was a better scholar than her husband, and she wasn’t allowed to be a rabbi, and she walked out and took him along. And she wrote, my great-grandmother wrote that her grandma had planted a revolutionary spark in her. Um, my father's father was a leader of the Young Communist League. And, um, in his late teens was, um, they, they split with the socialists over the question of World War I, which the communists were against any kind of support for the war. 

[00:25:04] So that was the atmosphere of my father’s growing up, was in a household full of communists. My mom's family was not political, except for, she had an uncle, Juanse [?] who we much later found out was a gun runner for the nationalist party. {laughs} But she grew up in a family that was not politically active in any way, but she went to Hunter College and took a philosophy course and found her way to Marx and said, ‘This makes sense out of my life.’ So our parents met, they were eighteen going on nineteen when they met at a communist youth evening, and they instantly fell in love. And there, their second date was the Peekskill riot, in, uh, when Paul Robeson attempted to sing and, and, uh, right, white supremacists attacked the concert. And their third date was a lecture by, um, oh gosh, I'm having word retrieval problems.  

[00:26:09] Claudia Jones, Black Trinidadian communist feminist, um, who was giving a talk on feminism, which was known in those days as the woman question, and my parents, uh, my, my mother said, ‘How does this apply to us?’ And my dad said, ‘Let's be faithful for 88 years and then review the question.’ That was his proposal. They traded rubber bands, which they wore on their ring fingers, nobody noticed. They had some opposition from the family. When they married, it was right as the Korean war was breaking out. They didn't know what was gonna happen in terms of my father getting drafted. Um, my, they, they sat on a park bench in Ithaca and said, what should we do?  

[00:26:54] And decided that they would try out my mother's country, get to know Puerto Rico, because they expected that the war was gonna in some way or another separate them, that my father would be jailed for refusing to go to war. He was also, at that point, had been informed that he would not get any work as a communist. He was a biologist, and he was told no go. They moved to Puerto Rico in ‘51. Um, my dad was on a walk one day and a woman approached him who was a member of a secret cell of the nationalist party and said, the FBI is going everywhere that you apply for jobs, so you're not gonna get any work here. And that's when they just bought this farm as a way to tide over that political period, where they raised hens and vegetables and kids. And my dad peddled the vegetables and eggs from the back of a rundown truck. And they live this life up in the mountains as part of a small group of communists. The thing is we grew up in a house full of books and ideas and discussions, and people would drive four hours from the city to have meetings, and, and learn from my father. 

[00:28:05] They underestimated my mother's, underestimated my mother seriously, and didn't pay much attention to her. My, my mother was every bit as brilliant as my father, but my father was a famous scientist, and so he got a lot of the brilliance points from the outside world. Um, the thing is that they were joyful people. They were people with a passionate, a passionate attachment to a liberated future. And it wasn't abstract. I remember how excited my mother got when she heard about a program in Brazil where used traffic signs were being recycled to build homes for poor people. She'd grown up poor, she knew what that was.  

[00:29:00] People would talk about, there's not a dime's worth of difference between these two politicians. She’d say, ‘A dime is a lot. A dime can save a life.’ So she was both fiercely, um, hopeful about the future and about the possibilities, and, and really had the best, uh, bullshit detectors {laughs} that I have ever met in my life. Um, but she was also supremely practical. My father had a sense of history that stretched way back, and so he knew all kinds of Puerto Rican history. He had talked with so-and-so who remembered so-and-so, who, so he had stuff from, you know, the late 19th century. We were always getting taught political lessons that were stories out of different moments in history.  

[00:29:52] Well, you know, when these parties were arguing about such and such in the 1890s - you know, he taught us to think long-term. Um, you know, to, to have a big picture sense of change. And to know that you can't always tell in the moment if you're winning or losing. That, that's something that history determines. And so for me, that has always made it less upsetting when we face defeats. Cause I know that sometimes defeats do lead to victories, and end up sabotaging much bigger ones, and you know, that it's a much bigger and more complex picture than we think. And my father, as both a scientist and a political thinker, fully embraced and loved complexity. One of his little catch phrases is ‘The truth is the whole.’ You can't know the truth without the whole big complex picture. So I feel like we were raised with a mindset that then we got to take and apply to the different places we went.  

And you're right,  

[00:31:00] we didn't get politicized in an act of rebellion with our family. We were born politicized, and then we had to find our, each of our ways to make that our own. To not be, as Ricardo would put it, to not the children of activists, but activists in our own right. But I think about them every day. I hear their heads - I hear their voices in my head. I have their pictures on the wall there by, they were my closest comrades. And in a way, they still are. They’re points of reference in my life. So I am forever grateful. 

Ricardo: And that idea, that sort of long-term perspective that is kind of an insulation, in a way, against the scare, also really, um, resonated with the experience, I’ll just speak for myself, of growing up in the forest. And just really being able to, without belaboring the point, just seeing that everything happens in cycles and with lag times, and if a puddle fills with water faster than it empties, it, it overflows.  

[00:32:20] And if it drains faster, than it dries out, and you can't fast forward a bird's egg to get to the good part, right? And nothing had - so just these ideas of ebbs and flows and cycles is something that I brought with me, also. And even though we landed in Chicago in a time of revolution, really, right? A lot of uprising, a lot of conflict and immigration and adolescence all hitting at the same time, dang! But when all of that disappeared, um, and sort of the movement ebbed again, it wasn't an existential crisis. Oh my god, the world is not the way I expected. Oh, okay. The tide is out now. What do we do when the tide is out? So that we'll be ready when the tide comes back in? And so that people can get what they need during this period?  

So these kinds of, um, that's sort of the, the long-term, and I find myself, one of my roles in movements, right, and having been in this for 50 years is like, during one time, it's always talking about what isn't there. What is it that we're not seeing and not feeling, and, and need to compensate for, or look ahead to? In times when there's no movement, people can't imagine movements coming back. Then the movements arise and people aren't thinking ahead to when the tide goes out, because this is all they've experienced.  

[00:33:48] So a lot of my voice, what I'm, what's coming out of me is always changing, depending on what the conditions really are, right? And looking at, looking for the contradictions, where is the healing in the pain? Where are the dangers in the healing? That's where our mother’s bullshit meter comes in really handy. You know, not taking anything for granted, and even safety can conceal danger. And danger can conceal gifts. Um, our, when we landed there, there was a lot, it was kind of a crash landing, right? And we had a mother who was drinking heavily, a father taking care of her, um, mommy's advice, or request to Aurora and I was okay, you're out there in the world and you're out there in the streets of Chicago, and whatever you do, don't tell me. {laughs} She said,  

[00:34:43] I don't want to know about it, I don't want the stress, right? And both of us moved out of home as teenagers. And we were living in, in, both of us dropped out of high school. And one of the things that I realized, I know that I, in some way, for much of my life, I tended to over-romanticize that narrative, about how well I was able to cope and be a grownup at age 15 and figure all shit this out. And only recently I’ve been thinking about, well, what about those splitting headaches? What about those stomach aches? What about the deterioration and the chronic pain in my skeleton? But at the same time, one thing, and this is the experience in movement is very different for everybody, right? And there's a lot of trauma involved. But for me, the traumas of various sources that I had experienced in my life, I mean, trauma is about losing power, about having power taken away by whatever cause. And for me, my experience of engaging in those movements was to be among people who were helping to restore power to people whose power had been taken away.  

[00:35:54] So for me, it was like, oh, this is trauma therapy. Of course I didn't have that language. And even though I know that for some people, if, the experiences are all very different, based on so many vectors of oppression, but it has left in me this hunger and this conviction that if you are working in movements for social justice and it is depleting, you it's not being done right. That is not how it should be. Healing should be healing. Because we're talking about healing a world, and that should be healing ourselves. And there's something that needs to be healed if there's a discrepancy and a disconnect between those two. 

adrienne: Ah, my goodness, my goodness! Y’all are just such a gift.  

[00:36:35] The poetry, the history, the wisdom, the lessons. And, you know, we always ask this question of like, what's aligned about what you're doing in the world and what feels distinct? And I hear the alignment, right? I hear the alignment of, of being rooted in healing, rooted in joy, rooted in the possibility, rooted in imagination, um, rooted even in this interstitial space of displacement, and rooted in that legacy of radicalism.  

[00:37:05] Like, there's, I mean, it's powerful to hear all of that. So I would be really interested in hearing what, where you all think that you are distinct in terms of, of what you're doing. Cause you're both, you're artists, you're poets, and yet there are real distinctions in terms of how you show up and they might just be form. It might be some ideological distinctions. Um, but I would really, we would love to hear, you know, like where, where are those, even if they're small, those places of distinction? 

Aurora: We chatted briefly about that this morning. And we're thinking about, you know, we, we bring the same set of perceptions and kind of ways of thinking about the world and ways of thinking about trauma and healing, and applied them, not only to different areas of social movements, but also worked in different ways.  

[00:38:03] And I mean, one of the really significant shaping factors in that is my chronic illness and disability. So that I have not primarily, although I've impacted a lot of organizations, I have not primarily joined organizations or done traditional kinds of organizing. I can't sit in meetings. I can't go to conferences. I need a lot of rest. I need to limit my overstimulation, particularly the movement culture of that period. Some of that has eased, some of it hasn't, but you know, there was a tremendous leave your body behind and sacrifice and die for the revolution. {laughs} And I had epilepsy, and I had blood sugar issues, and I was a survivor of sexual trauma. And so my ways of working were different, and we gravitated toward different arenas. But as Ricardo, Ricardo was saying this morning that whenever we came back together, and there were points of, where we had more contact and less contact for a lot of reasons, but we, we could cross-fertilize very easily, because our frameworks were the same,  

[00:39:15] we were just applying them in different ways. I was very active in the women's movement. I was later active in the the sexual assault survivor movement. I was, um, we were both active in Latin American solidarity work, but we were in, you know, I was in California and he was in Minnesota. So the, who we were working with was different. I was, from an early point, very active in, in explicitly Jewish left circles. And that's something Ricardo wasn't doing so much.  

Um, we didn't talk about this earlier, but we spent the summer of 1968 in Cuba. I was 14 and Ricardo was 12. And it was a powerful, powerful experience. I've been back three times. Ricardo hasn't. I've had more of an ongoing relationship with people there. Um, the role of Cuba as a point of inspiration has been really important in our family. We have different relationships to it. You know, so I experience it primarily as a, as a difference in the, in how we work and where we work.  

[00:40:29] We pay attention to slightly different things. Or very different things, but we think in a similar enough way that there's always an exciting conversation to have. That, that's my first, first pass at that question. 

adrienne: Awesome. I love that. Ricardo, would you add to that? Are there other distinctions you see? Um, you’re on mute, love. 

Ricardo: Yeah. I, our, you know, it's, reflecting what Aurora said, our trajectory took us to different places. I mean, for one, I left Chicago, I was living for a while in a little factory town in New Hampshire. Aurora had already moved to California. And there was no internet in those days, and long distance phone calls were expensive. And neither of us had much in our pockets in terms of pocket change, right?  

[00:41:29] So that's one of the reasons that, you know, communication, there were letters in those days, but there were periods when we weren't directly in contact, but again, when we did cross paths or come back together, we were very easily able to exchange nutrients. And absorb the insights that we'd gathered in our own different realms.  

I was, became very active over many years, over decades, in the labor movement. Um, and in, in different movements, and in organizing. Um, once I remember Aurora, you saying something in describing our differences, this was years ago, about how you were, had sort of been taking a current more into, like, um, I guess you could call it elderhood, even if that's not what you were calling it at the time. Whereas I was sort of more into, had taken a route more into organizing. 

But it's really become clear to me that when, the ways in which you interact with the organizations that you interface in are organizing and are based on a really deep, um, grounding in what organizing means. Often more so than the people who you're  

[00:42:42] interacting with. So that you're bringing that accumulated with, both indirect and direct organizing experience. Another thing, I mean, there's a lot, of course, of difference that is gender based. I mean, I remember, and this is part of my eavesdropping and learning from other people's experience, I remember in our living room in Chicago once, overhearing our mother giving Aurora advice. 

adrienne: Mm. 

Ricardo: Aurora had just been coming home and had crossed a street and a male driver had stopped his car in order to let her pass. And Rosario [?] was giving her advice on the proper protocols, which is that you nod in their direction, to respectfully acknowledge, but don't smile -- 

adrienne: Ah. 

Ricardo: -- and don't make eye contact. And it was like, okay, here we are landing in a new place and learning that landscape, oh, Aurora's landscape is different from mine. 

adrienne: Uh-huh. 

[00:43:43] Ricardo: Another lesson in perspectives, right? I traveled a lot, hitchhiking across the country, I racked up 26,000 miles. And that was, for me, one of my schools in how to sit with somebody with politics that I find toxic and find, where are the points of commonality? 

adrienne: Wow. 

Ricardo: How many geological layers do I need to go down to find a common ground with somebody? That was not open as, I mean, Aurora has hitchhiking experience, but not to the same extent, and it was a whole different world, you know? 

adrienne: Mmhmm. 

Ricardo: And there were a lot of gender protocols there. You know, if a woman was wanting to get to Boston and there were dudes around who were hitchhiking that way, they joined forces for protection, right? Um, for protection of her. But I didn't know, till later, how many of my women, friends who hitchhiked were sexually assaulted -- 

adrienne: Uh-huh. 

Ricardo: -- on the road, right? But still, my language around organizing, at least in my head, has a lot to do with geography. How do we get from here to there? How do we follow the north star? What do we do when we're following the north star and there's swamps in the way? Right? 

adrienne: Right, right. 

Ricardo: Because that was my experience.  

[00:44:52] You get from one place to another. 

adrienne: Wow. 

Aurora: Mommy and I both [WORD UNCLEAR] sewing and gardening metaphors. Sewing, gardening and cooking metaphors mean a lot. 

adrienne: Mmhmm. 

Aurora: And I talk a lot about gardening and cooking in particular, when I talk about social justice and change, and, you know, you do the workout about how, about talking about the social soil, but I've used soil and garden metaphors since I was quite young, because that's what I, that's a terrain I could explore. Like, what, which things grow in my garden and which things don't? I always had window boxes of potted plants. And how do you really cook, how do you cook Puerto Rican food when you're living in Oakland, California? 

adrienne: Uh-huh. {laughs} 

Aurora: And how do you make a recipe that has that, where, where do you adapt a recipe and where do you hold firm to certain ingredients and procedures?  

[00:45:44] And so I learned [WORD UNCLEAR] cooking when I had to go to Chinatown to get cilantro. It was a, my experience taught me kind of in similar ways to the way that hitchhiking taught you, Ricardo, um, that it's very gendered. 

adrienne: Uh-huh. 

Aurora: I remember when you were sleeping out on the roofs of university buildings in the summertime, and it just gave you the heebie-jeebies thinking about closing my eyes in a public place like that, as a girl. 

adrienne: Mm. 

Aurora: That was really frightening. 

adrienne: Mmhmm. 

Aurora: I think also this sort of leads into question about kind of what to know about each of us. And we were realizing it's kind of how we know each other that's more interesting to us than {adrienne laughs} explaining each other to the world, but -- 

adrienne: Well, I'll just say, just so people know what you're referencing, too, our final question is asking them, what do people need to know about your sibling, or what is something that you know, and, uh, about your sibling? So yes, Aurora go ahead and transition us. {laughs} I love that. 

Aurora: Well, I was, I was saying to Ricardo, I feel like he's, I mean, both of us have wide ranging curiosity. Uh, Ricardo, I think, embodies my, our father's, um, characteristics of being silly and kind. But, um, that Ricardo has a kind of stability and rootedness where, that I don't,. 

And it's trauma related in part. 

adrienne: Mmhmm. 

[00:47:23] Aurora: And I know a lot about, because I, I was, I was sexually attracted to as a kid, having nothing to do with my family. 

adrienne: Oh, wow. 

Aurora: But I have the hypervigilance of a trauma survivor. 

adrienne: Right. 

Aurora: And I can suss out a room really quickly in particular ways. I'm mobile in the landscape, and I'm having to learn rooting at this stage in my life in a particular way. 

adrienne: Mmhmm. 

Aurora: And you know, I also have not worked collectively very much, because I'm chronically ill, because I have a lot of trauma stuff to deal with. I need more control about the environment, of the environment in which I create than working in a collective can offer me. 

adrienne: That’s right. 

Aurora: I need silence. I need to rest when I need to rest. I need less stimulation. And so I live on the top of a mountain, and I see people only what I want to see people. {laughs} 

adrienne: Right. 

Aurora: Whereas Ricardo has worked in a lot of collective settings and is good at that. And  

[00:48:38] is just rooted in, in a way that I always find stabilizing in our conversation. 

adrienne: Mmhmm. I really love that. 

Aurora: I don’t feel like instability is necessarily a bad thing. 

adrienne: Yeah. 

Aurora: It's been hard on me, but I think that there are some ways it's made me able to throw myself in a new direction. I mean, my, my move back to Puerto Rico, the decision kind of made me, but I was sitting in a river and suddenly realized, oh, it's time to come home. 

adrienne: Yeah. 

Aurora: [PHRASE UNCLEAR] And six months later I was here. 

adrienne: Mmhmm. Beautiful. 

Aurora: So those are some kinds of differences and richnesses that we bring to the way that we do our work. 

adrienne: Thank you for that Aurora, and I just want to say, I'm sorry for that, that, what happened to you. I'm sorry to hear that. Uh, I know you're a survivor, and I know that part, but, you know, the distinctions matter too. And I'm grateful for the storytelling, the way that you have woven, and what you've made of it.  

[00:49:46] Ricardo, I'd love to hear -- 

Aurora: Thank you. 

adrienne: -- what people should know about Aurora, uh, the differences, you know, like what you want to add to that. 

Ricardo: Mmhmm. 

adrienne: Mmhmm. 

Ricardo: {sighs} Yeah. I mean, I think, um, I would start with echoing from Aurora what we have in common -- 

adrienne: Mmhmm. 

Ricardo: -- in terms of inheriting some of the qualities that our parents bequeathed to us -- 

adrienne: Mmhmm. 

Ricardo: -- of both the generosity and, and the hypervigilance. 

adrienne: Mmhmm. 

Ricardo: Also, I think my mother experiences with growing up in an abusive family, um, and one of the things I inherited from her is that, this is metaphorical, but she's somebody who would not set foot on a wooden bridge without first testing the boards with one foot to make sure they weren't rotten, right? 

adrienne; Right. 

Ricardo: Um, and I just want to say one thing about my experience before going directly into your question, that that gave me layers of needing to understand my environment better. I mean, once when I was in high school, I was approached by a member of the Blackstone Rangers, who was trying to recruit me, and telling me,  

[00:50:54] you have to go to a meeting. You know, you have to come to a meeting tonight of the Rangers, is this where it's gonna be. And it was like, no, I didn't want to be recruited. And so, you know, I made some excuse that I'm going to be in a Panther defense meeting or something, which probably was bullshit, but, you know, they had enough prestige that maybe they could get me out of the meeting.  

And another older kid who had kind of assigned himself to be my protector later told me that that kid was actually a disciple. And if I had shown up at the meeting, which was a disciples meeting, he would be able to beat me up, and, you know, and gain status in the gang, because he'd say, ‘Hey, this kid's a Ranger, and he’s coming here to meet with the Rangers.’ It’s like -- 

adrienne: Wow! 

Ricardo: -- layers of trying to, there's layers to decipher. Right? Um, one of the things I have to say with Aurora is, and we touched on this this morning, also, is that Aurora’s experience of waves of trauma I think of, I imagine as clinging to the side of a boat with waves, which means, you don't know, you can't see the horizon, you can't see what's coming after.  

[00:51:57] And one of the things that I deeply know about Aurora is her incredible willpower. 

adrienne: Mmhmm. 

Ricardo: You know, this is a creature who will not give up. {laughs} 

adrienne: Mmhmm. 

Ricardo: And has set goals for herself, even though the landscape that would allow you to see a way to get there is obscured. 

adrienne: Right. 

Ricardo: But she could see where she wanted to be, and has just hung in there.  

[00:52:26] And, while carrying burdens that I can barely imagine. You know, in terms of the kinds of obstacles put in, in one's way. The, things that I can take for granted that I am able to do, because I'm not carrying those weights in terms of the kinds of injuries to my body that Aurora has experienced with hers. 

adrienne: Mmhmm. 

Ricardo: And has come through with those qualities that we loved so much in our parents intact. Of humor, and sil, and silliness, and curiosity, and integrity, and absolutely hope. And hope not as a shallow practice of optimism -- 

adrienne: Mmhmm. 

Ricardo: -- but as a deep knowledge of possibility and resilience. 

adrienne: Mmm! 

Aurora: I said that kind of circles me back to a metaphor that Ricardo and I both use about steering by a star while our feet are in the mud. 

adrienne: Mmm! 

Aurora: You know, that there's, what you just said, Ricardo, about my continuing to point myself when I can't see the landscape, is that you and I both learned astronomy, in a sense, from our parents. We learned to steer by stars that can get obscured by the weather, but they don't go away. When the weather clears, there they are,  

[00:53:49] and you can readjust your course. 

adrienne: That's right. 

Aurora: And that that star sense that we were given, we both have, and we're both able to use to get us through the different things that life has handed us. And it's certainly what, you know, in the face of, um, really awful abuse, allowed me to ask the question, what had to happen to my abusers to make them be like this? Which set me on a path of really thinking about trauma, and how we undo trauma in order to undo oppression, and then, but it was that, that, that sense of always steering by a liberation star that is above whatever the turmoil of the moment is that has, I think, guided both of us along are separate but intertwining and crisscrossing paths. 

adrienne: Beautiful. Thank you. I, uh, I love the way y'all speak, you’re such poets. You know, like I'm laughing because we're heading towards the top culture segment of our thing, and I'm like, y'all! Y'all are top culture. {laughing} Like, you know, just listening -- 

Autumn: Literally the top. 

adrienne: -- to you speak, and listening to you -- 

Autumn: The very top. 

adrienne: -- weave these stories,  

[00:55:07] you know, I, we keep having the experience, especially with folks who are on the older side of organizer life, of being like, write a memoir together, you know, like, like it's so beautiful to hear these stories. And, um, as we pivot, you know, we can keep this last piece short, and just kind of land this plane together, um, is the top culture, you know, what is helping you survive? That is music, that is entertainment, that is art, that is books, you know, um, and Autumn can start us off to model what it looks like. Um, I've got a few and, then we'll wrap up, but I'm like, I can't wait to hear what {laughing} y’all are listening to and reading out. Autumn, what do you have? 

Autumn: Well, okay, really quickly. Um, I think I've brought this person up before, but I follow this person on Instagram who goes by La’vender Freddy. 

adrienne: Yes. 

Autumn: And they have been running this project on Instagram called the Sunscreen Conspiracy. 

adrienne: Oooh. 

Autumn: And, um, I'll just read a brief description of it. “Every day, La’vender Freddy will post findings inspired by and in response to American soul singer songwriter and producer Marvin Gaye's 11th studio album, What's Going On.  

[00:56:27] The case will close on December 31st, 2021.” So, and each, each finding literally is, it's like a clip of, um, a speech that someone giving at a conference, or a commercial, or, I, it's really hard to describe -- 

adrienne: Yeah. 

Autumn: -- but it's, it is this compilation of just instances, moments. Some of them going back 50, 60 years, some of them contemporary, that are in some way responding to the question what's going on? Like, what is going on in our class context? 

adrienne: Wow! 

Autumn: And it's fascinating. It is absolutely fascinating. I, and I think my understanding is that all of the piece that they are putting on to Instagram, they're also putting onto their website. So if you search -- 

adrienne: Ok. 

Autumn: -- La’vender Freddy Sunscreen Conspiracy, you'll be able to find all the material, you don't have to be on Instagram to get it. 

adrienne: Oh, my gosh -- 

Autumn: Highly recommend. It’s -- 

adrienne: -- there are pages and pages and pages of this! 

Autumn: -- fascinating. It’s fascinating. 

adrienne: Ok. That's so exciting. Thank you for giving me the next {singing} place that I will go and fall into a rabbithole. {laughs} How about the Levins Moraleses, what do y'all have? 

Aurora: I finally, after decades, wrote a letter of appreciation to Silvio Rodriguez, the Cuban new song movement singer songwriter.  

[00:57:52] His music has gotten me through more hard times than pretty much anyone else. 

[“Ojal” by Silvio Rodriguez plays, continues over speech] 

Aurora: As a revolutionary poet writing about being a revolutionary poet, and just his music, it’s, the lyrics are just so gorgeous. 

[song continues] 

Lyrics: Ojal que las hojas no te toquen el cuerpo cuando caigan, para que no las puedas convertir en cristal 

Aurora: But that’s one thing is, I go to the Latin American new song movements in general, because then I don’t feel like I’m alone, {song stops} I feel this continent-wide upsurge of poetry and music that’s both of rage and joy. Um, I love reading the science that is overturning long-held beliefs. So right now I am just ecstatically delving into and jumping around inside Paulette Steve's book, The Indigenous Paleolithic of the Western Hemisphere. 

adrienne: Mm! 

Aurora: There've been all this fuss in the news, how they found these [WORD UNCLEAR] and oh, people have been here longer - well, people have been here way, way, way, way, way, way longer -- 

adrienne: Yup. 

Aurora: -- than that. And her new book is being on the colonialism of archeology and the, the vested interest in pretending that people have only been in the Western hemisphere, so-called, uh, for 13,000 years or so, when in fact, because that,  

[00:59:26] that frames the Americas as -- 

adrienne: Right. 

Aurora: -- new world, and as nature versus culture, and there's evidence of people being here a hundred thousand years ago. There are cave sites in Brazil with paintings that are 60,000 years old. So I just love it when, when, uh, science messes with oppression, I could read that stuff all day. 

adrienne: Beautiful. 

Aurora: And sometimes I do. 

adrienne: Thank you. Ricardo, what about you? 

Ricardo: Aurora, I think it was you who sent me the book Against the Grain, about the sort of rise of cities and regions, just turning ancient history on its head, in delightful ways. 

adrienne: Mmm. 

Ricardo: Um, but a lot, it's just an interesting thing that's happened in my life, is that, for a really, really long time now, I have not been reading fiction. I used to read fiction all the time -- 

adrienne: Yeah. 

Ricardo: -- but it's like, reading about how animals navigate. Reading about seeds and spores, you know, which shares its root, its Greek root with diaspora, I thought that was wonderful, um, with, um, the language of birds, and these things, and I just want to close with a gift, which is kind of a synthesis, because many of these things lacks the depth of, of real, um, sort of context that Aurora was talking about in the books that she's reading, but they provide wonderful hints. 

[01:00:56] And this gift is just what I've been synthesizing. Um, recently I was out in a little valley in western Minnesota, just sitting on a little camp chair I took down there. And this message came from me, from my surroundings, and it's kind of synthesis of what I've been learning, and the message is, all is well. And I was thinking about what I'd heard about bird language, songbirds, if a pair of songbirds, like a couple, are separated from each other, they have something that is called a companion call. 

adrienne: Mm! 

Ricardo: Every couple of minutes, one will chirp. And then the other will respond, chirp. And that means I'm over here and I'm okay. I'm over here, and I’m okay. And if I go chirp and I don't hear a chirp back, I'll do it again more insistently. 

adrienne: Yeah. 

Ricardo: And then a couple more times, and then I'll fly to the last place I heard a chirp. And it's only against this backdrop of all is well that we can know what isn't well. 

[01:01:54] adrienne: Oh, wow. I {singing} love that! {laughs} 

Ricardo: About, we each have about 90 billion neurons in our nervous system that are singing the song of how things are throughout our body. And everything's always changing, but the underlying message is all, is well behind your eyelid. All is well between your toes. All is well on the surface of your liver. All is well, all is well, all is well, and only with that, can we know what isn’t well. And to think about, to look outside and see the trees and the grass and all of these things from the cellular to the organic, to the species level, doing what they need to do, that's how we identify where the wounds of oppression are. 

adrienne: Yes. 

Ricardo: But it's overwhelmingly powerful. And every ecosystem of the body rebounds and heals itself, just when you just stop the frigging oppression. Whether it's a coral reef or soil, you just got to stop that. So that's, that's what I'm sitting on, right? And it's no one thing, but it's all the voices together. It's like, oh, I need to know that. That's a path toward liberation, is to know so much as well, that oppression, racism is a dusting on the top of the top soil of our history. 

[01:03:12] adrienne: {audibly choked up} I thought I was going to get out of this conversation without crying, but I was like, spoiled. I was like, it's not possible. Uh, y'all just, y'all dive so deeply. And, um, that particularly, you know, I've been, uh, I've, I've got a lot of my own, uh, ability shifting, and illness things that I'm dealing with right now. And I've been studying Ayurvedic approaches because you know, the Ayurvedic approach is that, it's all is well, and you're returning to health.  

And it's just like, let's remember health, let’s get back there. And I love, I love that the most ancient belief systems that we can learn from all have this in common, of just like, it's all good. Just stop fucking it up, {laughs} you know? And just stop, you know, stop the oppression, stop trying to contain something that is free, and it'll all be okay.  

[01:04:04] And, um, so the thing I want to offer into top culture does actually feel related. Um, I've got three little brief things. One is, I just finished reading the novel, the debut novel from Robert Jones Jr, The Prophets, which is about these, uh, gay Black men who were enslaved people, and the love story of them, and what they faced, and what they overcame. Um, and, and what freedom looked like and didn't look like. It's absolutely stunning. I can't not think of it. Like, I'm walking around all the time, thinking of it, of, uh, the love story and the images that Robert offers us with it. Um, he's known as son of Baldwin online and is I, you read it, you're just like, yup! Yup, that, that's super accurate.  

Um, I'm listening to the audiobook of Tarana Burke reading Unbound, which is her memoir of, of her own story and also the founding of the me too movement. And it's also one where I'm, I'm taking it a chapter at a time, letting myself grieve and cry and feel into my own history as a survivor, and feel into things I'm like {gasps} I haven't ever heard anyone talk about this. You know, about the 

[01:05:16] medical trauma we experience, um, as young people going in for our first pap smears and things like that. I'm like, oh my god, like that, no one talks about it, and we need to talk about it.  

Um, and then, uh, I, I'm, I'm getting, I'm becoming a meme curator on the Internet and I'm really like becoming the, you know, like I, I'm, like, I think it's another language, maybe, that I'm trying to learn, like how to, how to work with this language that is image and humor. Um, because it speaks to me. Like, there's something that happens when I see a really good meme or a good collection of beams, where I'm like, ooh, that's, there's some art, there's some articulation, there's something happening here. So I've been playing with it, and my latest obsession is memes that are like, you're in her DMS, I'm doing something, you know, like, I'm in her bed, {Autumn laughs} or like you're in her DMS, like, I just cooked her an amazing five course meal, we're not the same. Right? And it just, it goes through and says all these different things - it's so shady and, and delight, it’s like really delightful in a way that I find to be, like, what intimacy can look like sometimes, you know? And, um, but it's also part of me that's like,  

[01:06:28] I'm like, I just know that there's still people in the world who are like, what is a DM? It just is amusing to me that I'm like, {laughs} there's, this is a whole conversation, and there's other people who are like, I don't live online and it might all be a simulation. And like, how do we, how do we turn it off? Right? 

{Autumn laughs} So for me that, the pop culture of those kinds of themes, where I'm like, oh, like, what does it look like when you look into a meme all the way until you look through it, and you come back around to like, oh, what you're discussing is intimacy. And I feel like that meme thread or that meme, um, that hashtag, that trend, is actually one of these things where it's like, you're having some online projected experience with this person, and I'm having a real life experience of intimacy. And I'm like, I love the idea of the shadiness being about having authentic experiences of intimacy offline. {laughs} It just makes me feel good. I'm like, okay, the kids are going to be alright. So, we made it through this incredible deep conversation. Um, thank you for diving deeply into the waters with us and sharing so much of yourselves.  

[01:07:37] And we're just gonna do our credits and let you go. 

[instrumental music begins, continues over speech] 

Ricardo: And just please let me thank the two of you for giv, being the gift to the world that you are. And it's always a pleasure knowing that I share it with you. 

Autumn: Oh, man. We just literally can't believe that this is part of the thing that we get to do. 

adrienne: I’m, this is a geek-out session for sure. {laughs} I'm just sort of like, it's just a swoon, it's a swoonfest for me. So. 

Autumn: Thanks for listening to our show. We're on Twitter and Instagram @endoftheworldPC. 

We're also on Facebook @endoftheworldshow. 

adrienne: If you want to support what you’re hearing, you can make a sustaining donation to our show by visiting our page, 

Autumn: Another incredibly helpful thing you can do to help our show sustain itself is to write us a review on Apple Podcasts,  

[01:08:42] if you're an iPhone person, or just shoot us like an email in the Gmail that tells us what you think. 

adrienne: That’s right. Or tell a friend. We are produced and edited by the swoontastic Zak Rosen, and our podcast is transcribed by the incomparable and recently birthdayed Jess Pinkham. 

Autumn: Mmhmm, happy birthday, Jess. Music for today's show comes from Tunede Olaniran and Mother Cyborg. 

adrienne: Woop woop. Love y’all. 

[music continues]