The Errand Friend Date & Practicing Possibility

a love letter to the sweet vulnerability that comes with the everyday, and a reminder that many of us are re-learning what it means to practice again and again.


Sweet cherries to the orchard of my heart, 

Happy Super Flower Blood Moon and Eclipse 🌝

I spent some time noodling around trying to think of an opening line that would eloquently and wittily sum up the three month respite I’ve taken from public-facing interactions. But all I have to offer you is this: is there anything more sweet than the errand run friend hang? 

The errand hang - where you hit your homie up to accompany you while you tend to the tasks that come with adulting - the grocery run, getting a pair of pants tailored, helping you pick a new bedframe, etc. The errand hang dismisses the usual setting of a bar or a lunch. It waves off the expected script of “give me the summarized updates on your life and then I’ll give you the sum on mine.” 

Instead, the errand hang dances in the sweet vulnerability that comes from the everyday. Errand hangs sing: “ok I’m a human and you’re a human and we’re going to take an intimate walk through this seemingly ordinary part of my life, but if you look closely, this moment will reveal something delightfully specific and illuminating to what makes me - me, and I want to share that with you because quite frankly - I just like your company, and even in the silence (sometimes especially in the silence) it makes me feel somewhere between warm and content to have you here beside me.” 

Last week’s errand hang entailed asking my friend Nayyirah to accompany me to a favorite fruit stand because cherries are back in season in New York. And as we ate cherries and tossed the pits into the empty cup of Nayyirah’s then-gone matcha, and watched Brooklyn Bridge Park swell with the energy of thousands of coming and going strangers/possible friends/possible lovers/ possible people I danced beside in another life, I thought to myself “I’m ready to be happy again.” 

For the past few months, I’ve been wanting to paint all my walls with my sadness. I pass a billboard on the street and think “Now THAT would be the perfect canvas for all the grey I’m holding.” Maybe those of you that create and make art will understand this - but this particular bout of sadness is stemming from the cycle of creative abandonment. It tends to go: “phew I’m feeling anxious/scared/like an imposter → So I’m not gonna make my art → Which effectively makes me more anxious/scared/feeling like an imposter →  So I’m still not gonna make my art.” 


It’s a cycle of running away from creation because in the moment, it feels like the easiest thing to do, when in reality, it ends up making this much much harder. It makes things harder because creative energy is infinitely flowing through me, and when I force that flow to go into a direction I’ve decided out of fear, anxiety, or imposter syndrome, everything starts to feel out of whack. 

How to get out of that cycle? Like all of adult babies, I’m still figuring that part out. Cause y’all, internal work is DIFFICULT. This shit continually has me doubting all that I am and all that I’m pulling into the present. 

And as things like eating cherries with my homie teaches me, and the moments in the past few months where I’ve done nothing but sit in the light of my living room window - the small is all. I believe an answer to my cycle of creative abandonment lies in the tiny practices - the small moments where I choose to do things for me: to feel my feelings, be kind, write an ode to kumquats for no one but myself. To me, choosing myself means picking the actions that lend towards increasing my capacity to love myself and others more meaningfully, fully, and deeply. 

Which involves asking ever-shifting, ever-transforming questions like: Why do I write? What brings me joy to create? What does joy look like for me in this moment? Just as small is all, change is all. I think about how social media often forces us to create this one digestible persona for anonymous audiences to snack on. I think about how social media contributes to the idea that we are stagnant beings. I think about how much this stagnancy makes me forget my own ability to be something more luminescent, liminal, queer, watery, slip-to-touch.

In this capitalism-loving, production-obsessed, ego-driven, social-media persona cultivation farm we’re living in, there’s a very specific magic to choosing to walk by faith and not by sight. Which essentially means, trusting that if you jump - the net will appear. To choose to believe in the infinite potential of your creative energy. To bet on yourself. To trust that the well of your creativity never runs dry - that in actuality, its waters run deeper than we can even imagine. But we can dare to imagine - through small, sustained practices. We can trust that our imagination runs deep. We can learn to reject the perfectionism that capitalist white supremacist standards of being drill into our heads and instead call in gentle exploration of our creative depths. 

For all the space cadets out there - I’m currently portaling through this space of gentle exploration beside you. 

I’m currently learning to trust myself again. 

Something about this summer feels unabashedly brave and full. And I’m calling it in: “Summer, you will be soooo sweet and kind to me. Strawberries soaking in honey sweet. Kindergarten valentine sweet. Remembers their best friends phone number 10 years later sweet.”  

Spring is the season of awakening and rebirth, of calling in emergence. As Spring melts into the warmth of Summer - I’m also wishing you a season of ease. Of practices that ground you in your infinite magic. Of cherries and errand hangs with people that you love. Of a somewhere sweet and gentle. 

<3 <3 <3 

Annika


5 things that made me feel joy 🌸

  1. This Conversation between Grace Lee Boggs and Angela Davis at University of California, Berkeley in 2012 that makes me believe in our collective possibility.

  2. June Jordan’s poem "A Menace to My Enemies". The line that’s been rotating through my mind as of late: I must become the action of my fate.

  3. This Seasonal Produce Guide - cause I hope y’all get to spend as many summer days amidst fruit trees as possible.

  4. In taking a deep break from IG and Twitter, I’ve been taking up the joy of learning things from the beginner kindergarten level. Rollerskating is my latest adventure. This film on Skating Detroit Style , with videographer Kenny Snodgrass, brings me so much joy (and goalssss).

  5. These breathtaking phots by Ming Smith on Black Femininity


4 designs I’m 😍 over 

  1. Hassan Rahim’s new book with Actual Source.

  1. The latest Future Is Color drop. 

  1. This chart by @your_authentic_voice on redefining what “success” as an artist means.

  1. This mushroom. Like yall. I can’t even DEAL with this.


3 sounds that make my brain hum sweet songs 🎶

  1. Niki Franco’s podcast “Getting to the Root of It with Venus Roots.” If you’re into hearing knowledge by radical truth-telling artists, theorists, and organizers, this ones for you. Shameless plug - I’m in the latest episode! Niki and I talk about supremacy and its interweavings with social media.

  1. Summer is approaching and the way the streets are callinggggg. This NTS session with Channel Tres always pulls me straight into the most serene summer scene.

  2. This rare snippet of the voice of a 300 year old mummy.


2 spaces to support 🧡

Abolition Eats is an abolitionist food distribution collective. They’re currently raising $3,000 to support grocery distribution, reimbursmeent for chefs that have been preparing meals, and emergency funds. You can support through Cashapp at $Aboltioneatsnyc or Venmo @Abolitioneats

Activation Residency is a Black trans led creative space that offers oceans of knowledge, support, and respite. Invest in this needed space. 


1 slice of nonsense


Sending you much love 🕊.Drink a glass of water after reading this email

Thank you so much for being here and for supporting this work. 15% of all monthly support is being donated to an organization I love and that y’all should love up on too. This month’s investment is going to Kia Feeds the People Program, a budding non profit that aims to fight food apartheid by getting quality, organic produce and pantry items to the underserved, the Black and the QTPOC communities in Brooklyn, NY. 

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