we gotta know things

we gotta know things: simple living as an act of resistance + refusal

“a culture of domination needs people to be in a constant state of yearning… Hedonistic materialism is propelled by the necessity to sustain our culture globally…It is important for this country to make its people so obsessed with their own liberal individualism that they do not have time to think of a world larger than the self.”

—bell hooks | Simple Living: An Antidote to Hedonistic Materialism1

Bag lady, you gon’ hurt your back
draggin’ all them bags like that
I guess nobody ever told you
all you must hold onto
is you, is you, is you

One day, all them bags
gon’ get in your way
One day, all them bags
gon’ get in your way
I said one day, all them bags
gon’ get in your way
One day, all them bags
gon’ get in your way

So, pack light

Erykah Badu | Bag Lady
(Cheeba Sac Remix)

“a culture of domination needs people to be in a constant state of yearning… Hedonistic materialism is propelled by the necessity to sustain our culture globally…It is important for this country to make its people so obsessed with their own liberal individualism that they do not have time to think of a world larger than the self.”

—bell hooks | Simple Living: An Antidote to Hedonistic Materialism1

Bag lady, you gon’ hurt your back
draggin’ all them bags like that
I guess nobody ever told you
all you must hold onto
is you, is you, is you

One day, all them bags
gon’ get in your way
One day, all them bags
gon’ get in your way
I said one day, all them bags
gon’ get in your way
One day, all them bags
gon’ get in your way

So, pack light

Erykah Badu | Bag Lady (Cheeba Sac Remix)2

The baggage we carry is real.

Whether material, emotional or spiritual, the weight many of us carry is heavy and palpable. On top of that, each day we are bombarded by an endless stream of facts and contradictory interpretations about the ecological, racial, gendered and economic crises we face. This over-saturation often causes confusion, anxiety and a great deal of uncertainty that we inevitably shut down. In this state, we desperately try to cling to something—anything—we feel control over. We hold on to what we know, consoling ourselves with what feels most familiar—the world as it is. The world as it has already been constructed to be. This is problematic because when we revert back to the “familiar,” we often end up replicating and re-inscribing a culture3 predicated on (and sustained by) the colonization, oppression, and dehumanization of people and planet. By participating in the world “as it is,” we actively perpetuate the unchecked assumptions of white supremacy and consumer-capitalist patriarchy (hooks, 1999). When we shut down, we trap ourselves in the traumas of a world that actively profits from our passivity. We become so stuck in a materialist paradigm that we are unable to see how all these seemingly disjointed catastrophes are actually connected by the hedonistic desire to satiate a never-ending thirst for the violent trinkets that sustain our way of life.

We need another way.

Simple living offers us a path towards a different future. When I write of simple living (or simplicity), I am expressing a philosophical way of life grounded in the practice and action of letting go. Simplifying” is much more than just a tool or means to reduce our material possessions. Living simply helps cultivate an intentional worldview where our personal and political act of resistance and refusal untether us from the traps and traumas of violence, exploitation, extraction and domination. In a world fueled by the slave logics4 of excess, simple living becomes an embodied stance against the hedonistic values of a system so quick to turn the living Earth into deadened raw materials—materials which, too often and too quickly, get discarded, abandoned, and left to be washed up on ‘some beach, some where’ as cheap plastic. What simple living offers is an invitation to release; to let go of everything that does not affirm life—affirm you, affirm me, affirm us. By choosing to intentionally live simply, we actively co-create different types of relationships; ones which give us tools to transcend the violence that underpins our society while, simultaneously, helping us grow the types of values and morals that move us towards justice, liberation, and freedom.

Ultimately, change is not possible if we ourselves aren’t willing to change. This is not to blame individuals for the systemic ills of colonization, white supremacy or consumer-capitalist patriarchy. Rather, it’s a call to say we have choice, we have agencyespecially in the micro-movements we make in everyday life. We can choose to think, live and act differently. By recognizing our attachments to the “things” in our lives, we can choose to resist and refuse what we do not support or condone. In doing so, we actively create distance and form a wedge between us and the system. This wedge gives us the time and space to fearlessly envision ways of existing that are not predicated on enslavement, domination, oppression, and control. With each mindful action, we breathe life into the visions that exist beyond what we currently experience as the “way things are.”

From this new and different place, our relationship to “the system” becomes fundamentally altered. As we simplify, we widen the epistemic chasms between us and those who seek power, control and profits over our lives. In time, the space gained through refusal significantly increases our time, energy, and abilities to organize. It is liberating to feel that our choices can free us from bondage, and give us levels of autonomy we never knew possible. Yet, as we feel these incredible feelings, we must take great care not to mistake the forest for the trees. To believe simple living alone will save us is a trap. It is not enough for us to remove ourselves and/or retreat from society. Simple living by itself does not liberate us from the systemic ills of racism, sexism, or classism. As long as the ethic and premise of domination remain, climate change, white|male|human supremacy and ecological devastation will continue to plague us5 all. We need creativity and collective actions that move beyond the slow, stagnant approaches of top-down political reform. By creating a wedge between us and the dominant forces wanting ownership of our lives, simple living gives us distance, separation, an opportunity to fully-understand what we are in and the time and energy necessary to collectively work to face the catastrophes in our midst.

By creating this wedge, we are able to breathe life into the world we wish to see—a world of love, reciprocity and mutual aid. The personal questions, practices, and techniques that we choose to embrace as we pursue simplicity must connect our personal decisions to larger collective and restorative actions. While our choice to resist or refuse to participate in consumer-capitalist patriarchy is powerful, it is much more powerful to understand and be able to contextualize how our actions are tethered to the actions of everyone else. We are because others are, and the systemic ills that we face—be they climate change or racism—need societal remedies to address the pain and traumas of modern life. Our own domestic private actions can then become an initial step towards our collective struggle for freedom.

Embracing simplicity teaches us how to slow down and experience the essence of life in this moment. It’s not about the act of simplifying itselfhow many items we get rid of, or how many pants we now own, or how organized our closet is—instead, it’s about engaging a process that enables us to ask deeper questions about our material life. Questions like, do my actions align with the kind of world I want to live in? and are my actions regenerative to the planet, to humans and non-humans alike, or are they serving to destroy our only home? By allowing ourselves to be fully-present, mindful and deliberate in our actions, simplicity can put us on the path to live with the Earth, not against the Earth.

If you are ready to embrace this path, here are a few texts that inspired my process. May they be useful in your journey as well.

  • Malcolm X’s (1963) Message to the Grassroots
  • bell hooks’ (1999) Simple Living: An Antidote to Hedonistic Materialism.
  • Leo Babauta’s (2007) Simple Living Manifesto
  • Jim Merkel’s (2003) Radical Simplicity: Small Footprints on a Finite Earth.
  • Shunmyo Masuno’s (2009) The Art of Simple Living
  • Yolanda Acree’s (2015) 6 Minimalist Principles for Black Liberation
  • Christine Platt’s (2021) The Afrominimalist’s Guide to Living with Less
  • Thích Nht Hnh’s (2021) Zen and the Art of Saving the Planet.

By focusing on the essence—the roots—of what sustains us, opportunities arise to question and challenge the ways we live. From this place, we can intentionally and deliberately craft alternative ways of living that work against violence and oppression. Although simple living, in and of itself, is not ‘the answer,’ it is a way of life that encourages self-determination and autonomy. Therefore, choosing to live simply allows us to not be swept up in the currents of mainstream consumer-capitalism or the trappings of supremacy. In this way, simplicity is an act of resistance and refusal; but—in a deeper sense—to live simply is a deliberate and courageous act of love for our collective future, which is actively being created each-and-every waking day.


Acree, Y. V. (2015a). 6 Minimalist Principles for Black Liberation. Retrieved from

Badu, E. (2000). Bag Lady. On Mama’s Gun. Electric Lady Studios; NY.

hooks, b. (1999). Simple Living: An Antidote to Hedonistic Materialism. In W. Mosley (Ed.), Black genius: African American solutions to African American problems (pp. 127–144). New York, NY: W.W. Norton.

Merkel, J. (2003). Radical Simplicity: Small Footprints on a Finite Earth. New York, NY: New Society Publishers

Malcolm X. (1963). Message to the Grassroots. Speech, November 1963, Detroit. Appears in “Malcolm X Speaks: Selected Speeches and Statements.” Ed. with prefatory notes by G. Breitman. Secker & Warburg. 1965.

Masuno, S. (2009). The Art of Simple Living: 100 Daily Practices from a Japanese Zen Monk for a Lifetime of Calm and Joy. Penguin Books. Translated, 2019.

Moore, K. D., & Nelson, M. P. (Eds.). (2010). Moral Ground: Ethical Action for a Planet in Peril. Trinity University Press.

Nht Hnh, T., Sister T. & Chan K. (2021). Zen and the Art of Saving the Planet (First). HarperOne an imprint of Harper Collins Publishers.

Nelson, Juanita. (1988). A Matter of Freedom, and other writings. San Francisco, CA: Peace & Gladness Press.

Platt, C. A. (2021).The Afrominimalist’s Guide to Living with Less. Simon & Schuster Press.

Shiva, V. (2005). Earth Democracy: Justice, Sustainability, and Peace. Cambridge, MA: South End Press.

Tesfaye, S. (2014). Decolonizing the mind: A shift in thinking. Retrieved from

1hooks, 1999, p. 139

2“Bag Lady” is a song from Erykah Badu’s (2000) album Mama’s Gun, first recorded in 1998 and remixed in 2000.

3I use “culture” here as a shorthand to describe our collective system of reality which is based in a Eurowestern sense of being at the erasure of countless other ways of being (Harris, 1993; Tuhuwai Smith, 1999; Tuck & Yang, 2012)

4My way to describe the master|slave dichotomy which permeate most of our interactions in this industrial form of consumer-capitalism. It’s my way of describing the relationship between the “owner” and the “owned,” the “human” and the “dehumanized,” the “prison” and the “prisoner,” the “colonizer” and the “colonized.” These relationships under capitalism are, ultimately, about power. They are about who controls and who is controlled. I suggest that simple living redefines the structural and societal relationships towards a more cooperative and loving existence.

5“Us” here is beyond human. I’m referring to all of Earth’s biotas that make up the biosphere, be they fungal, plant, animal, or mineral.



Welcome to simple wxnders

simple: (my shorthand for simplicity) the essence. the root. the reason/s.

wonder: a state of curiosity, awe and amazement; humbled in the light of the astonishing and mysterious nature of life. A sacred breath of oneness with all creation.

wander: to move about freely, without fixation. Allowing the paths, routes and trails to open before us, like water, guiding our next move/s.

simple wxnders: to fearlessly journey into the vasts of the unknown and revel in their all-encompassing nature. Permanent, yet fluid; still, yet always moving.

Wassup everyone, I hope you are well! My name is simple ant and I want to welcome you all to simple wxnders!

First and foremost, I just wanted to let you know that I’m a real, living, breathing person on this Earth. I am passionate about seeking to understand (and make sense of) what has happened to human life. Where did we lose our way and how can we come back to and celebrate the simple wxnders of being alive!

I care deeply about the direction of humanity and the way in which we choose to live. At its essence, simple wxnders is a meditation on this way of life and what can happen when we choose to let go of (escape from) the briefs + actions that keep us tangled up in supremacy.

How do we liberate ourselves from that?

simple wxnders is born of this (quest)ion.

This body of work is my personal path and process towards libration and freedom. This is a place where I can share my thoughts, art, activities, writings on how I attempt to connect what I know to be true with how I choose to live. This website is a public place where I can dream in color, explore radical forms of decolonial Afrosimplicity and tinker with the tools, techniques, philosophies and practices that may help overgrow the trappings of white | male | human | supremacy. That may help us overgrow the notion of civilization, itself.

I have a lot of questions.
I have many doubts and fears to work through.

But I’ve also felt the healing and transformative power of moving with nature—to meander without any real intension, just a feeling, a calling, an intution.

There is healing, there is transformation in making decisions to move differently; to move in ways that folks sometimes quite don’t understand. When we strip away the layers of the world as it is, we free ourselves to discover the infinite possibilities of the worlds that can be. Ultimately, simple wxnders is about just that—getting back to the essence + beauty of life. It’s about allowing my life to be guided by intention, purpose and love. simple wxnders is about dreaming in color. It’s a mediation and practice guided by ancestral wisdoms of living, loving and creating outside the grip of modernity.

My thinking, movements and personal life ethic in this journey are deeply rooted in decolonial | Black | radical | simplicity. What is good for me should be good for the Earth; and what is good for the Earth should be good for me.

I believe in the transformative power of nature.

simple wxnders is a decolonial approach rooted in Afrosimplicity that attempts to think and move beyond the traps of civilization

simple wxnders is just that—a call to wonder and to wander.

It’s just me.

A simple ant making a choice to think and move with what is life affirming and bringing you into my thoughts, reflections, and actions.

simple wxnders is not new. It’s not old. It’s not unique, and it’s not different. It’s an acknowledgement that each day we wake, we have an opportunity to walk with the ancient, and infinite, connections between us all. Like a seed needs the sun, my liberation is connected with you. We cannot be free if our freedom depends of the enslavement of others, be they humans, plants, animals or minerals. In this way, simple wxnders is a call to step back and question while continuing to move forward through the wilderness of existence. I believe it is our sense of wxnder can animate our purpose and drive, and it is this special intersection that, ultimately, gives us the strength and wisdom to know how to approach freedom and liberation.

It is a simple wxnder to experience the joys of being truly alive. To be able to live and dance in this juxtaposed state between the mind and feet. The thought and action. The Air and the Earth. The Water and the Fire.

Dedicated to Black communities, communities of color, and the plant, animal, and mineral communities whose souls literally nurture our own existence.

To our Earth: Ilẹ Ayé : Ajaw: Pachamama
Thank you for teaching me how to live. Most importantly, thank you for teaching me what kind of life is worth living.

To Mamá Af(rica): Ubuntu
I am because you are

To Mamá Maya: In Lak’ech
Tú eres mi otro yo (You are my other me)

Lastly, to all my teachers.
Thank you for inspiring me and giving me the perspective, insight and language to exist differently.


fugitive ecologies

This work is about fugitivity and freedom.

In the spirit of Araminta

a stolen child of Africa

who found freedom in being a fugitive 

“If I could have convinced more slaves that they were slaves, I could have freed thousands more.”

—attributed to Araminta Ross, also known as Harriet Tubman 

I came to understand fugitivity by first thinking about abolition. Abolition is the destruction and dismantling of the structures, worldviews, belief system, ways of being and ways of acting that oppress and enslave. In doing so, abolition moves to liberate (or set free) those from within these abusive structures. To abolish is to break down, break apart, and create the new in the aftermath of the old. In a similar way, and with a similar aim, a fugitive focuses on escaping. Instead of overtly destroying a structure, worldview, belief system, way of being or way of acting, a fugitive moves with the shadows and focuses on existing beyond the chains that enslave us. Fugitivity is abolition through the abandonment of a system that cannot find us and therefore cannot enslave us to do its bidding. Fugitives exist on this Earth but on a different frequency, rhythm and vibration. At the end of the day, we need both fugitivity and abolition in the work towards liberation and freedom. They work hand in hand to ultimately overgrow a way of life predicated on oppression, domination and hate. Fugitivity and abolition are different colored feathers on the same bird. The end goal is the same; the tactic is different.