joy + bananas

These bananas have been ripening at me for weeks! 

ripe bananas on black background by Giorgio Trovato(Photo by Giorgio Trovato on Unsplash

They've attracted coconut oil, baking soda, almond flour, honey, and eggs all around them. You’d think with these pals around, they’d have figured out how to get all mixed together and into the oven. Nope. Still on the counter. Day 3 and still no bread

What do you do when you realize what you’ve been doing isn’t working? 

In this case, the answer is obvious: you get a bowl out and make banana bread. Turns out, just collecting ingredients isn’t enough. 

I heard the question: What do you do when you realize what you’ve been doing isn’t working? in an interview on NPR a few weeks ago between trans author Torrey Peters and It’s Been a Minute’s host, Sam Sanders

Art by Ariel Schrag

(Art by @arielschrag)

They were discussing Peters’ new novel, Detransition, Baby about a trans couple that breaks up, one detransitions and impregnates his boss/girlfriend, then asks his former trans girlfriend to help raise the child. I haven’t read it yet, but it sounds deliciously complex and illuminating—and provides a questioning lens to everything. 

What do you do when you realize what you’ve been doing isn’t working? 

The question is applicable to every area of my life. From parenting, to exercise, to inequitable government policies, to baking banana bread—and on and on and on. I've written it down on post-its and typed it out. I cannot let go of this question. 

As it rattled in my head, I put on some tunes, got my bowl out to bake these bananas into the bread they were destined to be.

I got into the moment, into the song, into the mixing and the answer to this question I'd been contemplating for weeks, appeared—as it so often does, when you let go of the thinking and let the listening take hold. 

I need more joy! I need more joy in every aspect of my life. That’s my answer.

It's not that I have to be happy about doing laundry, but I need to find the joy in the doing of it. I need joy while I get the kids to bed, in researching a new topic at work, when I’m advocating for policies I really care about. I need to find that joy.

Joy isn’t something that happens to you, it’s an active act, it’s an act of radical resistance says poet Toi Derricotte. It is. It is an act of resistance. Joy's not frivolous. It's not a waste of time. It is power itself. Joy is regenerative and it’s exactly what we need.

We ate that banana bread in 10 minutes flat, two loaves. It was ALL joy.

Until next week, find your joy—maybe it’s in taking one of our amazing classes, you know, I hope it is! Whatever it is, make it happen—Sandra

PS. This song is everything. Thank you @resistancerevivalchorus, the joy you have brought into my home is beyond.

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