"...all healing is the work of love, because all healing takes place in a context where we wish to promote growth. We wish to engage the organism in ways that people grow stronger. I find myself telling people that my wish for the rest of my life is that all the work I do would be about healing. I want people to heal. My concern is always to link those practices of healing with practices of political resistance."
"Love is a combination of six ingredients: care, commitment, knowledge, responsibility, respect and trust."
Love is a form of sweet labor: fierce, bloody, imperfect, and life giving a choice we make over and over again. Love as labor can be taught, modeled, and practiced. This labor engages all our emotions. Joy is the gift of love. Grief is the price of love. Anger protects that which is loved. And when we think we have reached our limit, wonder is the act that returns us to love.
"Revolutionary love" is the choice to labor for others, for our opponents, and for ourselves in order to transform the world around us.
It begins with wonder: You are a part of me I do not yet know. It is not a formal code or prescription but an orientation to life that is personal and political, sustained by joy.
Loving only ourselves is escapism; loving only our opponents is self-loathing; loving only others is ineffective. All three practices together make love revolutionary, and revolutionary love can only be practiced in community.
“…if we love ourselves and the people around us, we must also be committed to destroying the World in which we and they are actively harmed. This means that if love, of self or of others, is to play a role at all in any liberatory efforts, it must be a starting point and not an end. If self-love is where we start, it must be the driving force behind our continued struggle; otherwise, we become stagnant and immovable, fixated on always challenging how we see our bodies and never getting to the place where we no longer have to interrogate our bodies at all.”
Da’Shaun L. Harrison
“We need, in love, to practice only this: letting each other go, for holding on comes easily; we do not need to learn it.”
-Rainer Maria Rilke
"We are committed to the idea that study is what you do with other people. It’s talking and walking around with other people, working, dancing, suffering, some irreducible convergence of all three, held under the name of speculative practice. The notion of a rehearsal—being in a kind of workshop, playing in a band, in a jam session, or old men sitting on a porch, or people working together in a factory—there are these various modes of activity. The point of calling it “study” is to mark that the incessant and irreversible intellectuality of these activities is already present."
Fred Moten, The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning & Black Study
"Because love is an act of courage, not of fear, love is commitment to others. No matter where the oppressed are found, the act of love is commitment to their cause—the cause of liberation. And this commitment, because it is loving, is dialogical. As an act of bravery, love cannot be sentimental; as an act of freedom, it must not serve as a pretext for manipulation. It must generate other acts of freedom; otherwise, it is not love. Only by abolishing the situation of oppression is it possible to restore the love which that situation made impossible."
Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed
"When I say the word 'love,' I mean something more cripped-out and weird than the traditional desirability politics many of us are forced to try to survive and live within.
I mean that when we reach for each other and make the most access possible, it is a radical act of love. When access is centralized at the beginning dream of every action or event, that is radical love. I mean that access is far more to me than a checklist of accessibility needs-though checklists are needed and necessary. I mean that without deep love and care for each other, for our crip bodyminds, an event can have all the fragrance-free soap and interpreters and thirty-six-inch-wide doorways in the world. And it can still be empty...
I mean that the sick and disabled spaces I have been in, been changed by, helped make, stumbled within at their best have been spaces full of deep love. And that deep love has been some of the most intense healing I've felt. It is a love that the medical-industrial complex and ableist society don't understand. It's why doctors scratch their heads and remark that I seem to be doing so well, and then stare blankly when I say that I have a lot of loving disabled community and it's what helps me. It took ten years to begin to not hate my bodymind. It took ten more to even begin to be able to ask for what I needed, matter-of-factly, without shame.
Love in action is when we strategize to create cross-disability access spaces. When we refuse to abandon each other. When we, as disabled people, fight for the access needs of sibling crips. I've seen able-bodied organizers be confused by this. Why am I fighting so hard for fragrance-free space or a ramp, if it's not something I personally need?
...When disabled people get free, everyone gets free. More access makes everything more accessible for everybody.
And once you've tasted that freedom space, it makes inaccessible spaces just seem very lacking that kind of life-saving, life-affirming love. Real skinny. Real unsatisfying. And real full of, well, hate.
Why would you want to be a part of that?
...Love gets laughed at. What a weak, nonpolitical, femme thing. Love isn't a muscle or an action verb or a survival strategy. Bullshit, I say. Making space accessible as a form of love is a disabled femme of color weapon."
Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha
“Love takes off the masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within. I use the word "love" here not merely in the personal sense but as a state of being, or a state of grace - not in the infantile American sense of being made happy but in the tough and universal sense of quest and daring and growth.”
James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time