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The Survival Songbook

Diriye Osman

Beloved reader,

I've been thinking a lot lately about what constitutes a life of service in a time where performing supercilious martyrdom can be a way to subjugate others.

I'm ambivalent about our current devotion to the tenets of digital capitalism, and while I'm not resistant to the allure of consumerism, I'm wary of what it does to the body and the spirit. I'm wary of what it does to our collective imaginations as a globally interdependent species. I'm wary, I'm wary, I'm wary.

There is a paradoxically bowel-to-core deep power in performativity; the physical and psychical lexicon we deploy in order to navigate the day. Performativity is a natural part of being a cognizant social being. Performativity is survival and soulwork and spiritual health. But performativity divorced from reality is a dance devoid of substance.

So how do we continue to move? How do we continue to contribute to our own emotional wealth, as well as the emotional wealth of our respective communities?

This is the song I'm trying to master, and each day presents new chords, new registers that must be considered; complex key changes requiring notes that cannot be flubbed.

This is the truest thing I know. A life lived in service is a life anchored in bone-dense contentment. A life lived in service is not an act of self-deprivation, or guileless martyrdom, but one of undiluted replenishment.

May you find purpose in every chapter of your existence, beloved reader.

May you always taste unfiltered peace/ peace/ peace.

With love,



Song of the moment: 'At Your Best (You Are Love)' by ALEX ISLEY.


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