Interdependence has been and will be a survival strategy of sick and disabled communities before, during, and beyond pandemic time. Still, amidst shutdowns and re-openings, protest and instability, many propose addressing this pandemic through a goal of “returning to normal.” This able-bodied delusion is reflected in bureaucratic language and actions, which have also deemed some bodies “essential” and others “at risk.” This hypermedicalized language has been accompanied by increasing disparities. Phases and the In-Betweens pushes against this, instead conjuring cosmic and embodied knowledges.
Lunar cycles dictate the vastness of time’s occurrence, which is not forced but rather offers an organic guide for humankind in creating timelines imbued with meaning and rituals. When humanity feels out of control, when the bodymind takes away agency, and those in power abuse consent and steal away others’ agency, we remind ourselves that the moon is constant and calm, moving us through time and space. The moon is a guide and its phases mirror the chronicling of our bodyminds, through the waxes and wanes of pain and cycles of remedying to which danilo, Noah, Yo-Yo, and Ezra all capitulate in their work and being, and harkens as well to the Jewish upbringing of the Brothers Sick in following the lunar calendar with moon blessings and rituals, and to Yo-Yo’s Chinese lunar calendar traditions.
We must account for our collective well-being to one another, especially as we confront the fact that illness is here to stay. We face a future where we will only be here as long as we keep each other here with us. Politicians do not wield their power to tangibly support people living with housing, food, and financial insecurity. The reality reads as if they are disposable people in their homes and beds, in their pods, in shelters, in nursing homes, in prisons, in immigration concentration camps—including displaced Native communities on their current lands. Lack of preparedness is a choice that creates compounded neglect towards Black and Brown, sick and disabled communities systemically, historically and today.