This little 274 page book by adrienne maree brown has helped me through some of the most challenging moments of my life recently. I started reading it before things started falling apart and I kept reading it as everything really began to crumble and explode both inside and around me. I know this is not original, and that probably many of you have already read this gem, but if any of you have not read it, go to your local Black bookstore (mine is Marcus Books here in Oakland) immediately and get a copy. This is a guide for life.
In this book, through vulnerable memoir, beautiful poetry and practical science, brown breaks down a strategy for being human in relation to other humans and the world. She details patterns in nature, like mushrooms, ants and ferns, and shows how we can learn from them in how we organize human society.
Every time I am having some kind of challenge (nearly daily right now), I look at the table contents and choose from the menu of possibilities to speak to whatever I am going through: fractals, adaptation, interdependence, resilience. I flip to that chapter and find wisdom, solace, and an understanding that what I am going through is part of a larger pattern. And I can choose how to engage.
Emergent Strategy is the most moving, wise and useful book I have ever read.
My favorite part is the poem “a complex movement” on page 24-25. Read it. Love it. Let the tears come.
And now, because of adrienne maree brown, I am on a hard core Octavia Butler kick. And I’m loving it.