the next living room picnic is on Mon 06-Dec at 7:30pm-8:30pm EST
our topic: resistance in place
Dear fellow deep-thinking, change-seeking woman,
It’s not that I’m anti-normal, UNDERMININGnormal is a refuge from the heavy-handed rule of normal. Or what purports to be normal. Who says so? And why should I care? How does normal dictate value? If you act, believe, need, desire what is outside the norm, what’s the cost of being, well… you?
Undermining, for me, isn’t just about displacing or contradicting, it’s also about engaging with what has become the status quo, the usual state of things, the expectations and even the language delimiting what is and what can be —without disintegrating, bracing or ducking.
Undermining normal in my country would be to even talk about it. In my body, to stay in the conversation on my own terms — before I understand it, or know exactly what it is that I want, or how to make it happen, or have the language for it.
Staying in the room when you are outside the norm (are against it or oppressed by it or not sure where you are) is not easy to do.
This is where Jenny Odell’s notion of resistance in place comes in.
To resist in place is to make oneself into a shape that cannot so easily be appropriated by a capitalist value system. To do this means refusing the frame of reference: in this case a frame of reference in which value is determined by productivity, the strength of one’s career, and individual entrepreneurship. It means embracing and trying to inhabit somewhat fuzzier or blobbier ideas of: maintenance as productivity, of the importance of nonverbal communication, and the of the mere experience of life as the highest goal. It means recognizing and celebrating a form of the self that changes over time, exceeds algorithmic description, and whose identity doesn’t always stop at the boundary of the individual. —How To Do Nothing by Jenny Odell, Introduction p.xvi
I don’t know if questioning our capitalist value system resonates for you, but if you’re reading along, something about your own sense of being is not served by something in the status quo, and I think exploring this notion of resisting in place (as described above, or as you would take it on) can lead to a nice clearing for a picnic.
As we end out the calendar year, I invite you to consider resistance in place in your world, in your body —because one way or another, the tension between being an individual and the collective as portrayed by, possibly controlled by the government, your family, friends, workplace, business world, social life, the media and news is impacting you.
It’s a constantly shifting relationship, or it could be…
This is for women who who like some camaraderie around their personal pursuits, the questions, ideas, interests, challenges, aspirations, on the way to discovering and creating the paths that will lead you there.
What do you think? Is this sounding like your kind of conversation space?There is nothing to prepare.
Let me tell you a little more about it...and you can sign up at the bottom of the page 🙂
more info about living room picnics
A living room picnic is a small-group conversation that begins around a particular topic and then goes where it goes. Friendly digital get togethers where you can reflect, relax and have a candid conversation, even about challenging topics.
It’s a gathering for deep-thinking, change-seeking women because you can feel isolated in your day-to-day effort to access, cultivate and learn about the things that support and inspire you in creating the life, the work, the family, the world that you want to live in and that nourishes your being.
A living room picnic is both an unhurried conversation that can lead to transformative insights about a topic and —a practice of including the messy, the in-between, the unsorted complexity of being human, of being female in a world where the default is male. And this can have far-reaching effects.
living room picnic pricing
Living room picnics are meaningful in and of themselves and also open pathways to keep going, connect, collaborate, care. Priced at $7.00, picnics come with a month of membership in the UNDERMININGnormal community to continue the conversation, participate in other conversations, as well as attend any community-hosted activities that take place during the month.
These days, that means you can attend three more living room picnics during the month following. I say “these days” because it’s early days at UNDERMININGnormal, and that’s the current cadence for living room picnics. There will be more programs as we go and the schedule of offerings will evolve as the community grows and interests emerge and change.
if you’re new to living room picnics and UNDERMININGnormal, I recommend stopping by the origins page and if you’re curious about what kinds of topics we’ve picnicked on, you can see a listing of topics from inception end of March 2021 through to August 2021 here and read the rolling invitation to the next picnic here which I kicked off in September 2021 and continues to the more recent invitation.
Got questions? I'd love to hear them!Ready to picnic? Just sign up here.
And I'll look forward to it 🚣♀️