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”        ”

Graham started this with an empty quotation: he did not even include a period. The rest of him was right out of a Marvel comic – muscles on muscles. “Hey!” someone shouted from a hospital bed, interrupting the researcher who insisted on summarizing the findings eloquently and thoroughly, armed with a gun and a knife and some matches. ”Two out of three. You’re doing fantastic.”

On the surface, both “Buying My Condo” and “Living Fully” are fairly straightforward, one point following another just like in sign language interpreting, where everything referring to the present is signed just in front of the body. Indicating sequences into the future, however, requires other maneuvers: how then, quickly, could Sylvester McMonkey McBean put together a very peculiar machine?

Must one inquire into the issues that delay or block resolution? Love must be learned, and learned again and again; there is no end to it. The tofu gains much flavor this way, despite those who mock it as an “open -and- shut case.”  I believe, asserted Fletcher, this is a result of suppressing and ignoring – if I am honest, of actively rejecting – my natural psychic ability to ‘see” beyond the physical world.

“We’ll talk later,” Jack said. “We need to get back to the car before the storm pours buckets on us.” There were students finishing at the school for the deaf who wanted vocational training. Many are capable, of course, of comprehending that conservation of energy does not contradict Newton’s laws, and in fact, is derivable from them, and so from a strictly mathematical point of view it adds nothing to Newtonian physics. The Deaf also know about communication.

When animals and humans still shared the same language, the Cree recount, Rabbit wanted to go to the moon. Rabbit asked the strongest birds to take him, but Eagle was busy and Hawk couldn’t fly so high. Crane said he would help. He told Rabbit to hold onto his legs. Then he went for the moon. The journey was long and Rabbit was heavy. Rabbit’s weight stretched out Crane’s legs and bloodied Rabbit’s paws. but Crane reached the moon, with Rabbit hanging onto him. Rabbit patted Crane in thanks, his hands still bleeding. So Crane got his long legs and blood-red head.

Back then, too, a Cherokee woman was courted by both Hummingbird and Crane. She wanted to marry Hummingbird, because of his great beauty. But Crane proposed a race around the world. The woman agreed, knowing Hummingbird’s speed. She didn’t remember that Crane could fly at night. And, unlike Hummingbird, Crane never tired. Crane flew in straight lines, where Hummingbird flew in every direction. Crane won the race with ease, but the woman still rejected him.

All the humans revered Crane, the great Orator. Where cranes gathered, their speech carried miles. The Aztecs call themselves the Crane People. One of the Anishinaabe clans was named the Cranes—Ajijak or Businassee— the Echo Makers. The Cranes were leaders, voices that called all people together. Crow and Cheyenne carved cranes’  leg bones into hollow flutes, echoing the echo maker.

Latin grus, too, echoed that groan. In Africa, the crowned crane ruled words and thought. The Greek Palamedes invented the letters of the alphabet by watching noisy cranes in flight. In Persian, kurti, in Arabiac, ghurnuq: birds that awaken before the rest of creation, to say their dawn prayers. The Chinese xian-he, the birds of heaven, carried messages on their backs between the sky worlds.

Cranes dance in southwestern petroglyphs. Old Crane Man taught the Tewa how to dance. Australian aborigines tell of a beautiful and aloof woman, the perfect dancer, turned by a sorcerer into a crane.

Apollo came and went in crane form, when visiting the world.The poet Ibycus, in the sixth century B.C., beaten senseless and left for dead, called out to a passing flock of cranes, who followed the assailant to a theatre and hovered over him until he confessed to the astonished crowd.

In Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Hera and Artemis turn Gerania into a crane, to punish the Pygmy queen for her vanity. The Irish hero Finn fell off a cliff and was caught in the air by his grandmother, when she changed into a crane. If cranes circled overhead above American slaves, someone would die. The First Warrior who fought to create ancient Japan took the form of a crane at death and flew away.

Tecumseh tried to unite the scattered nations under the banner of Crane Power, but the Hopi mark for the crane’s foot became the world’s peace symbol. The crane’s foot—pie de gruebecame that genealogist’s mark of branching descent, pedigree.

To make a wish come true, the Japanese must fold a thousand paper cranes. Twelve-year-old Sadako Sasaki, stricken with “atom bomb sickness,” made it to 644. Children worldwide send her thousands, every year.

Cranes help carry a soul to paradise. Pictures of cranes line the windows of mourning houses, and crane-shaped jewelry adorns the dead. Cranes are souls that once were humans and might be again, many lives from now. Or humans are souls that once were cranes and will be again, when the flock is rejoined.

Something in the crane is trapped halfway, in the middle between now and when. A fourteenth-century Vietnamese poet sets the birds forever in the air:

Clouds drift as days pass; Cypress trees are green beside the altar, The heart, a chilly pond under moonlight. Night rain drops tears of flowers. Below the pagoda, grass traces a path. Among the pine trees, cranes remember The music and songs of years ago. In the immensity of sky and sea, How to relive the dream before the lamp of that night?

When animals and people all spoke the same language, crane calls said exactly what they meant. Now we live in unclear echoes. The turtledove, swallow, and crane keep the time of their coming, says Jeremiah. Only people fail to recall the order of the Lord.

They arrived at nightfall, just as lanterns were being lit in the grounds to illuminate the driveway. ”We can make this the ‘summer only’ lunch table,” she said, adapting to the circumstances. I am not allowed to have tattoos yet–which is unfair–so for now, I just draw things on my arms so I don’t forget them. Meanwhile, the fairy king took one last look at his daughter and returned to his kingdom beneath the water, knowing he’d better hang up and start reading.

Stitched together from quotes shared on Facebook for International Book Week.
Some are modified, most are not.
FYI: This event seems to have spawned from the Edinburgh International Book Festival:
Bully for them!

 

(Not) rushing into the urgency of now (while still arriving)

Turning the World Upside Down

Turning the World Upside Down

Every day I face the irony of needing to hurry up to slow down, or perhaps it is the other way around, of slowing down in order to speed up my alignment with lifeforce—call it chi or God or Gaia or maybe it is just with other humans in society, thinking of society as a verb—the actions of living together through culture, work and art. Read the rest of this entry »

Nearly a month has passed since learning about the short time horizon for probable human extinction. This is twice as long ago as it feels to me: the associated emotions seem to have condensed my perception of the passage of time. Each day, in addition to managing fear and grief, I have done a few things directly related to one or more of the four survival essentials:

  • water
  • food
  • shelter
  • community

The big downer has been coming to terms with moving beyond storing a cache of emergency rations to establishing a permanent, renewable system that could sustain me (and others) for the rest of my/our lifetimes and provide a foundation for future generations. There does appear to be a chance that some humans will survive and adapt to a post-apocalyptic planet. At any rate, it makes no sense to me not to strive to be among them.

 Food and Water First

I attended a talk on permaculture and began to absorb the necessity of reinventing self-sufficiency: literally building the means for my own survival. Have had to ride out some intense waves of regret, and a round or two of the If Onlies: for instance, how far along I would be ‘if only’ one of several previous relationships had worked out. There has also been confronting the fantasy of ‘being able to do it right’ – as in, owning property and having the financial resources to bring in the right people with the right knowledge to craft the required systems and teach me how to use them.

Instead of the dream, my subsistence survival will have to be a piecemeal affair, hobbled together through a mixture of friends’ and neighbors’ resources as well as my own resourcefulness; largely contingent upon ethics of generosity, sharing and reciprocity; and my own will to learn and apply the principles rigorously.

I am not exactly starting from scratch (even though it feels like it).

Community Next and Concurrently

The real temptation is to procrastinate, let awareness slip out of consciousness, turn my attention to continuing to do the things I’ve always done, just as my friends around me continue on, with or without the dire realization, to do what they, too, have always done. In the bookstore where Peter Bane was giving his talk on permaculture, I saw a new book by Barbara Kingsolver, Flight BehaviorIt brought to mind fond memories of listening to The Prodigal Summer as I drove across country after a break-up some years ago. Kingsolver’s writing touches me deeply, I have requested her new novel from the local library. I observe myself and wonder, how many of my own flights of denial, avoidance and/or acting out has she covered?

Meanwhile, in addition to Bane’s permaculture book, I have begun reading Walking Away from Empire and  just received  a copy of the Deep Green Resistance Manual.  I also think I want to read The Day Philosophy Died by Casey Maddox.

 

Resources on seeds and gardening:

 Permaculture in general:

 

 

 

How do I login to Dark Ally Redesign?

I have a lot to write today: a brief description of the MEDIEM/UMass Dashboard tool for online social deliberation, some notes on accommodation concerns, and a public report on the findings of the action learning research that I did in a workshop at RID Region II. The conversation threads with each associated interlocutor-group are simultaneous-they are happening in concurrent real time.

2:37 pm
Two long text messages were just sent, by me, to one of my longtime interpreter supporters. Because she texted me a “BTW” message while I was typing the preceding list of things to do. In the duree. That’s what we’d call it if we were talking in terms of historical time, instead of at this microscale of time presently passing. (If she responds to my request to use the screenshot of that “BTW” message with an affirmative informed consent – ( as opposed to the more conservative negative informed consent) – let’s just call ‘em IC-A and IC-B. Informed CONSENT Type A (Affirmative) or Informed Consent Type B (Negatory on that good buddy.)

2:44 pm
Mediem/UMass Online Social Deliberation Project: There’s a quote I want to find, either from a blogentry or a Transmittal with Readiness Consulting Services, which described the duality at the core of the delay in the requisition and guaranteed provision of emergency management sign language interpreting for communicating with Deaf Americans. I mean, if there’s actually a crisis – you know, an emergency stemming from a natural or man-made disaster – and you don’t already have some sense about how to talk with a deaf person, then you’re both gonna wind up in each other’s way.

2:51 pm

Searching for that quote related to Serve DC… five blog entries popped up.

(I keep getting distracted.)

Just heard some of the neighborhood kids getting off the schoolbus. It’s been a chilly rainy day, since whenever it started . . . sometime last night.

2:54

Accommodation concerns for the MA IRAA Project, e.g., the action learning research study of constructing mutual understanding on the top three things a first responder needs to be thinking when interacting with a person needing help in a way that they are unfamiliar with (this is the collaboration piece with UMass’ Center for Knowledge Communication).

2:58

Region II Report (action learning from www.reflexivity.us). Hopefully this is going to get published on the CIT Weblog:

Soundtrack: Jean Luc-Ponty, The Gift of Time

Transitions are rough.

Hurricane Ridge figures deep in family history.

I left my aunt’s deathbed feeling strong. Earlier, my youngest cousin had announced she was expecting a long letter from me. Some time afterwards, mom’s encouragement came to mind: “Keep writing.” The farewell postcard I wrote while sitting with my aunt summarized the healing I had achieved (and thought worth sharing) during this visit. It had taken more than 36 hours to be released from the grip of a stress reaction to a dynamic between my father and my brother on the second day. I was glad to have gotten through it quietly. Relieved to feel calm, I was able to just be present while my aunt rested deeply during an early morning visit, both of us settled into a brief spell of relative comfort. The inspiration to write fit the peaceful situation. Having written, the long trip home was uneventful. When the usual waves of withdrawal hit I was unprepared for their ferocity; mortality driving the lessons home hard.

 

Humor is one family strategy for coping with missed communication.

Family is a journey.

I wrote my aunt about love. The tenacious stubborn kind. The kind that embraces you even if you haven’t visited for twenty-seven years. The kind that acknowledges the fact of having gone through experiences in common: good and bad, historical, present, and on-going. Not necessarily sharing or understanding the experiences in the same ways, but mutually effected by them and thus bound together by their effects. There’s my uncle, telling jokes that make us laugh so hard as a substitute for crying. My cousin’s children, hugging me even though we have never met. In-laws, outlaws and stalwart characters, every single one.

Families are for healing.

The visit had to get divided up, somehow. My aunt might have preferred for us to stay with her rather than dash up Hurricane Ridge, but when I indicated that I would probably go she said, “Well, you better all go together.” I witnessed a similar form of courage from mom when she died nearly three years ago. They were not sisters, but Georgia and Elaine are of the same generation, less than a year apart in age. As it happened, I shared some amount of quality time with nearly everyone, including a side of the family (by marriage) that I had never met before. The indoor/outdoor Fine Arts Center exhibits were a charming surprise, fitting right in to the swirl of family routines, whirlwind tour of family haunts, recitations of familiar and revised family stories, cheerleading for the kids, and somber offerings of solace to Georgia by all our various and sundry means, each according to personality.

A portion of a work exhibited as part of the current exhibition, “In the Shadow of Olympus,” by Jack Gunter.

Some emotions are excruciating to experience: strong ones can be shattering.  The rate and rhythm of changing feelings is also challenging to figure out, not to mention accounting for perceived changes against the stability of a baseline – provided the baseline is not also in flux! Riding the waves together is itself a small miracle. No matter cresting or dipping, treading water or swimming along with smooth strokes, even heading in different directions; families exist in a unified sea. Jack Gunter paints the history of Port Angeles tongue-in-cheek, adding bits of satire to leaven life’s horrors. Whether cows or pigs fly or not, the improbable remains possible, pending creativity and desire.

Lately I have been thinking about loyalty, especially the definition provided by Rudolph Steiner. “I am thinking of the other’s ageless image, after all, I saw it once. No deception, no mere seeming will rob me of it.” I am grateful to partake in the loyalties of family.

 

My suspicion is that none of the faculty members we met at Lebanese American University expected us to keep in touch. Some of us outsiders—who traveled from work or study in the US, Germany, Greece, Turkey, and Brazil—have certainly made the effort. It’s so hard though, isn’t it? We return to lives consumed with local preoccupations: everyone is just a bit too busy, how could we manage to do more than we already are?

Lamia Ziade's graphic novel of Lebanon's Civil War

Lamia Ziade's graphic novel of Lebanon's Civil War

One reason that I haven’t let the connections go is because I felt fear and had to figure out how to manage it.  My own little weirdnesses of coping put me on alert for observing what qualifies as normal courage, what decisions might be reckless, and which of my worries completely ridiculous? On the bus to Byblos the one Saturday we traveled for tourism, only one person responded when I mentioned having been afraid. “We all were,” she said, gesturing to a couple of other conference participants. She put it in the past tense, reflecting how relaxed we had become after three days of conferencing.  The alarmist US State Department advisory to Americans traveling to Lebanon is Don’t Go. That had rattled me a fair bit, and then there were my friends who kept saying I needed to tell people I was Canadian and “don’t show anyone your US passport!”

That sunny tourist Saturday, as we returned from a successful day of sightseeing, shopping, and eating – “something happened” on the northern border with Syria. It did not affect us. We all flew away, back home or on vacation . . . a few days later (May 21) a disturbing message popped up on Facebook: “Syrian Embassy calls on its nationals not to go to Lebanon because of security.” I had barely gotten over jet lag. Two days later: “A very “hot” night on twitter (and on the streets outside). Tires, gunshots, grenades, B7s, w Farrouj Mishwi with Kabees & Toom Extra la Hass Ghaddar special.” A blog entry announced:

“It would be nice to wake up in the morning and
not be worried that
today, we could be dragged into a war.
Yes, it would be nice.”

I checked in with The Ringleader (a nickname). She was holed up with her family, packed and ready to head to the mountains if necessary. A few days later, she was caught in town for some hours listening to nearby gunfire. In a Facebook chat I said:

“I started reading a book about the civil war last night, do you know it? Bye Bye Babylon http://randajarrar.com/2012/02/09/lamia-ziades-bye-bye-babylon/
I thought of you….
didn’t make it very far yet, the drawings are powerful”

“Yes,” she replied.
“I sell it at work to all the foreigners simply because it speaks the truth
never really finished it
t’was too heartbreaking”

Yet there she is, challenging and teasing her friends on Facebook, carrying on a more-or-less ‘normal’ life. gotoschool_GRINSAnother friend likewise posted a mix of her usual Facebook fare interspersed with information and commentary on the situation as it developed.  So, there you have it. In the face of fear, act normal. Stay calm. Model respect and poke fun at violators of peace. I suppose I did alright. I was anxious the 24 hours or so before leaving the US to fly there, and had a very rough emotional spell a day or two after returning unharmed: relief, I imagine. While there, I overtipped one of the hotel’s drivers because I was getting paranoid about him scowling at me – his grin was amazing! I also woke in the middle of the night once and unpublished all my previous Dialogue Under Occupation blogposts about Palestine and Israel (republishing them a few days later). I accepted rings spontaneously gifted from the person who wore them and was agreeable to living a bit over the top in order to enlarge the spirit of generosity and hope.

Now, if we could just keep growing it…

Sometimes, there really just isn’t anybody to call.

Only life to live.

Most of my consciousness is directed toward my friend, a teacher, a guide who never led me wrong. Feeling grateful, mostly, for her life and all the gifts she gave, is giving, will continue to give.

Weird synchronies.  Today was the last lecture in a course I interpreted this semester on American Romanticism.  (Oh, are they talking about me?)  Earlier this semester I got excited by Walt Whitman.  I don’t think I ever read Leaves of Grass.  Now it’s Moby Dick.  I did try to read it, once.  On my own – not for a class.  I don’t remember anything that I read because it was assigned.  (Careful, tangent alert!)

The teacher emphasized the relationship between Ahab and Starbuck – a lot of action happened between “The Quarterdeck” and “Symphony,” and there’s two key chapters in between: “The Musket” and “Cabin.”  Then we got to “The Chase.”  There’s also an intense analysis of Ishmael, the trope of embodiment, and the author’s philosophy. (Today the Occupy Wall Street movement is unleashing a wave of protest intended to ignite the 99%. I only know one person in the 1% who likes me.  I might have met some others but they didn’t like me too much.)

Mei Mei wants attention too.

I am listening to Andrea Fella on death and impermanence.

Feline state of post-bellyrubbing bliss.

Feline state of post-bellyrubbing bliss.

“It’s not a depressing thing, actually.”

Most of my lessons the past year have involved living with uncertainty. How can a person root when reality requires constant adaptation?

Fella describes the lesson of physics that tells us everything is always changing, everything is made of atoms – and they aren’t even atoms – they are particles in constant flux. “It’s hard to be in touch with this kind of change,” she says. Generally, Fella continues, people tend to stay at the surface – dealing with change only when it rocks assumed solidities – the World Trade Center is attacked, earthquakes and hurricanes happen . . . however, if we notice the subtleties occurring all around us: “Things are ending all the time.”

Snuggling.

Snuggling.

Quoting* The 8th Duino Elegy from Rainer Maria Rilke (who inspired me, most deeply, many years ago), Fella wants to spin grief on its head:

Who formed us thus:
that always, despite
our aspirations, we wave
as though departing?
Like one lingering to look,
from a high final hill,
out over the valley he
intends to leave forever,
we spend our lives saying
goodbye.


Too often (dwelling in insecurity), my sentiment has been one of “always saying goodbye” – which is ironically so much the opposite of the attitude I prefer:  ”I don’t care if I am possible . . . We must learn to trust thin air” (Ursula LeGuin, ”Newton Did Not Sleep Here“).

One of Fella’s antidotes is to adopt the stance of Don Juan (at 18:22):

Laps are for crossing over.

Laps are for crossing over...

… The thing to do when you’re impatient is to turn to your left and ask advice from your death. An immense amount of pettiness is dropped if your death makes a gesture to you, or if you catch a glimpse of it, or if you just have the feeling that your companion is there watching you. Death is … a wise adviser that we have. Whenever you feel, as you always do, that everything is going wrong and you’re about to be annihilated, turn to your death and ask if that is so. Your death will tell you that you’re wrong; that nothing really matters outside its touch. (You) have to ask death’s advice and drop the cursed pettiness that belongs to men that live their lives as if death will never tap them.

“A Strange Consuming Happiness”

...sometimes with a pause for kneading.

...sometimes with a pause to knead.

Fella says joy comes from contemplating death, from living as if each act in the world — no matter what it is — might be one’s last. This attitude increases care and ethical action. I suppose one might call it mindfulness, or perhaps grace.

Working with “Broken Bits of Information”

Broken bits of perception are “the base level of our experience,” Fella explains, describing how our mind uses vision to perceive and make sense of light. Referring to a particular experiment she adds, “if you’re moving your eyes at the right speed.” Always, then (I extrapolate), there is coordination (or lack thereof), whether it is the eye-mind or some other sensory perception with consciousness, or two people having a conversation. Coordination is the essence of communication. “When we cling to what we construct in our minds through this perceptual process,” Fella warns, “we suffer.”  Off I go again – “understanding,” “meaning,” the abstract subtle and relational ‘things’ we believe we have communicated or comprehended – these too pass into impermanence.

Farewell, 2011.

[The animal] is not exempt from an unclear
memory-which subdues us as well:
the notion that what we seek was once
closer and truer by far than now…
and infinitely tender.

No clinging to reflections in the mirror; all things change – are always, forever, changing. Fella completes her talk with a quote from “A Walk in the Woods” by Phra Khantipalo:

Everything and everybody — that includes you and me — deteriorates, ages, decays, breaks up, and passes away. And we, living in the forest of desires, are entirely composed of the impermanent. Yet our desire impels us not to see this, though impermanence stares us in the face from every single thing around. And it confronts us when we look within — mind and body, arising and passing away.

So don’t turn on the TV, go to the pictures, read a book, seize some food, or a hundred other distractions just to avoid seeing this. This is the one thing really worth seeing, for one who fully sees it in himself is Free.

______________
* Andrea Fella reads the last two stanzas of Rilke’s 8th Duino Elegy (at 13:24) from a different translation than the one I found online. The comparisons are interesting – I prefer certain phrases from each version. My curiosity about synchrony is piqued by the fact that the poem, overall, compares the animal and human gaze upon death and things (“objects”). Mei Mei remains among the living as I type, an acupuncture treatment granting yet another temporary reprieve.

Testing tolerance and endurance in Amherst, MA

Testing tolerance and endurance in Amherst, MA

Half a dozen tents were visible as I gazed out the third-floor window of Bartlett while waiting for discussion to begin in a course on postcolonial literature. My view of the tents was shrouded by pale yellow and brown autumn leaves that refuse to fall, despite the devastating snowstorm that recently wreaked havoc to the trees and, collaterally, the power grid. Or is it the other way around?

Occupy.

Occupation.

. . . “have sexual intercourse with” . . .

Gazing out the window this morning, I marveled at the surreality of the moment: students busily focused on an in-class writing assignment while elsewhere police chase protesters from city squares to college campuses and off of them, too. I wonder what mixture of fear and hope inspires the activists, considering ways I can provide support. My curiosity includes the mindset of bystanders and critics: those who cannot be bothered or see no point, and those who have a problem with the demonstrations of collective action, the insistence on public participation in the guts of democracy.

I remembered that there was something reassuring about people resuming normal routines as soon as possible after snowtober, even though it was also unsettling that most people’s response to disaster seems to be to continue going on in the way one always has.

Life and Debt with No Telephone to Heaven

“That was the worst of being a servant. The waiting around for cuffy-pretend-backra or backra-fe-true while your life passed, the people in the house assuming your time was worthless.”

Michelle Cliff 1987:  19

It is a random synchronicity that I am interpreting an undergraduate course in postcolonial literature while Occupy Wall Street unfolds in biographical and historical time. Nonetheless, I am struck (again) that the descendents of former colonizers are discovering major faults in the system. Now, many white middle-class lives are passing in thrall to a financial engine that eats culture, discarding and replacing human cogs at whim.

OWS: The Defining Symbol of this Generation?

“[Occupy] is bigger than the 2012 elections…this is something that’s going to grow and grow and grow. This is America, this is America bubbling up to the surface… This is something… that is earthquake…you know – seismic.”

Lupe Fiasco on The Stream

A friend working on some Twitter research has created a visualization of  Tweets containing the word “occupy.” Watching the barrage of names, emotions, attitudes, accusations, reports, insults could seep in like a bad dream, the social miasma of our times unfolding in real time. It is too easy to get lost in the public sphere as an impenetrable discussion zone of colliding billiard balls. A privileged few political themes crash and spin off each other in crazy, chaotic directions. I find articulate voices making sense of what’s happening among hip hop artists who are using their art to engage issues of social justice. At AJstream, Derrick Ashong asks Lupe Fiasco and Basim Usmani why the clear point of the Occupy movement – ECONOMIC JUSTICE – is not translating to mainstream media.

“This new generation that’s at Occupy Wall Street . . . coming out of high school now, they’ve got the Arab Spring, they’ve got, seen the election of Obama, people power, I think that my generation could learn a lot from the one that’s coming up, that I see out at the Occupies, I think that those people actually believe earnestly that they can change things.”

Basim Usmani, The Kominas

Navigating through the inertia of the force of old ideas requires calm thinking and the ability to reflect on multiple and diverse perspectives. I take heart from the intelligence displayed both by this hopeful generation coming up now and the results of last week’s elections, which the New York Times opined as

“…an overdue return of common sense to government policy in many states. Many voters are tired of legislation driven more by ideology than practicality, of measures that impoverish the middle class or deprive people of basic rights in order to prove some discredited economic theory or cultural belief . . . . It is not clear that [November 9th's] votes add up to a national trend that will have an effect on 2012 or even the deadlock in Congress. But they do offer a ray of hope to any candidate who runs on pragmatic solutions, not magical realism, to create jobs and reduce the pressures of inequality on the middle class and the poor.”

Kick and Push (a.k.a. Muslim Skateboarding – Building Skateastan! Check out The Stream)

The challenge of this age is whether we – homo sapiens – can harness conversation about the many challenges, obstacles, and perspectives on these matters and turn our talk to collaborative, productive problem-solving. Rather than hard military aggression and police deployment, perhaps it is not too soon to be soft and yielding in order to cultivate collaboration.

hummingbird encounter

lost in time

pastpresentfuture merge

in chaos

fencing outlines a space

positions a safe center

defines the middle of time

hummingbirds flutter

Bloomfield, NM

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