Pool Party Part 2 (social media)

(Continued from Part 1)


Steph:                     If people could get comfortable with that kind of interaction, I think it would give us like transferable skills to solve all kinds of other communication problems, right. Situations where we really just need to figure out how to have a higher quality, more effective communication both ways, listening, as well as expressing…

Deb:                         Not texting.

Steph:                     I’m not against texting. I think texting is potent and powerful. I think the challenge is moving…

Reba?:                    I mean, it’s also one-dimensional.

Steph:                     It’s moving…

Deb:                         It’s one dimensional, and there’s a lot of misconceptions…

Steph:                     …I think that’s generational. I don’t think that younger people have the same kinds of issues with it that our generation…

Deb:                         They breathe affect into a text message. That’s the problem.

Steph:                     Well, it’s not necessarily wrong.

Deb:                         ‘Well, they were really angry at me.’

Steph:                     No; it’s not necessarily wrong.

Deb:                         No–I think a lot of times it is wrong.

Steph:                     But maybe intergenerationaly, not laterally, right? So, it’s like, to me, it’s an intergenerational thing, not a blanket, ‘there’s a communication problem,’ with that mode of communication.

Lisa 2:                     So, Deb, where are you finding these teenagers that are having this issue?

Deb:                         They showed me…

Steph:                     I think it does happen; I’m not saying it doesn’t ever happen…[crosstalk 00:06:18]

Deb:                         They showed me a text, and they went, you know, ‘Look, he’s so angry at me,’ blah, blah, blah…

Steph:                     But I think the prevalence is different.

Deb:                         …but I don’t read anger in the text message.

LIsa 2:                     Uh huh.

Deb:                         That’s, you know what I mean? [crosstalk 00:06:28]

Deb:                         It’s now our perception. It’s probably [crosstalk 00:06:31]

Deb:                         Haven’t you ever had a text message sent by someone you know when you’ve been…

Sam:                         My perspective…

Steph:                     Yes, sir.

Sam:                         I’m a part of this generation. We text a lot. I know that, from, like when we use certain words, like ‘LMAO,’ and you put something like ‘you’re dumb’ it’s uncomfortable. If you don’t put ‘LMAO’ it sounds like you’re criticizing them.

Steph:                     That’s right.

Sam:                         Or, if we put like LMAO, it sounds like, ‘Oh, you’re making a joke about it.’

Steph:                     That’s right.

Sam:                         I know that certain words can make our texts sound angry or sound fun.

LIsa 2:                     Right.

Steph:                     Yeah; that’s what I’m talking about.

Lisa 2:                     Yeah, that LOL really comes in handy.

Steph:                     It’s like non-verbal communication which we see…

Deb:                         Lol!

Steph:                     It’s about the feel…

Reba:                       So, are we saying, it’s okay to…we’re just accepting the fact that there’s no eye contact? Are we getting to the point now where we really actually don’t need to sit in front of somebody [crosstalk 00:07:24].

Deb:                         I see the downside…

Steph:                     No, no, no. But that’s like a [crosstalk 00:07:25]

Lisa 2:                     No; it’s an extra communication. It’s not the only communication.

Steph:                     Yeah. It’s in parallel; it’s not replacing.

Deb:                         I can’t say for Sam’s age, but for college age students use that as their main…’I had a long conversation with my boyfriend on the phone last night. It was really challenging.’

Deb:                         I said, ‘So, you were on the phone?’

Deb:                         ‘No, it was texting.’.

Lisa 2:                     Oh that’s really difficult.

Deb:                         And, I’ll give you a great example of what you just said. I had a client…why; am I funny?

Sam:                         It’s just the way you were saying it, it’s kind of funny.

Deb:                         Okay. Wait; tell me what I said?

Sam:                         ‘Is my boyfriend,’ when you said ‘on the phone with him,’ makes me think you’re calling him.

Deb:                         Right.

Deb:                         No; ‘long conversation,’ makes me think it’s on the phone.

Reba:                       Yeah, that’s true. So, all of this was text, you say?

Deb:                         Yes!

Reba:                       Wow.

Deb:                         And, my favorite is this kid who came in to see me. He said, ‘I want a referral.’ I said, ‘Oh; okay. What are you looking for?’

Deb:                         ‘Someone who does analysis.’

Deb:                         And I said, ‘Wow; have you…why?’

Deb:                         He said, ‘I don’t want to look at anybody when I’m talking to them.’

Deb:                         That is the worry.

Steph:                     Yeah, but I think that, I think you’re exaggerating…

Deb:                         I’m telling you a clinical state…

Steph:                     Of course. But, there’s so much variety, right? People who are on the spectrum have issues with eye contact. It doesn’t mean they can’t communicate. Like, some of the best communicators I know wouldn’t blend in to our interaction in a way that we didn’t go, ‘Oh, there’s something different,’ right? But that doesn’t make them a less effective communicator. It might make us a less effective communicator if we let that get in the way. Otherwise, you’d just go, ‘Oh, there’s something different happening here; let me go with it.’

Steph:                     I think the texting is kind of like that, because if you do it enough, you get to being able to have a different kind of conversation…

Sam:                         Yes.

Steph:                     …which I think has a lot of meaning and a lot of potential in it which wouldn’t happen…

Sam:                         Right.

Steph:                     …in a context where you are face to face.

Deb:                         I’m going to bring in a different thing now. So, a younger generation, and even adults, their phones are always attached to them. And I really believe we’re creating a society of ADD.

Steph:                     So, other people would say we’re just creating, it’s like the precursor to being cyborgs or something like that, you know?

Deb:                         I just…

Lisa 2:                     Well, that is happening. We know that.

Lisa 2:                     I’m looking forward to my bionic knees, quite frankly. They’re going to be awesome!

Deb:                         Sam: if you text someone you really care about and they don’t text back right away, what happens?

Sam:                         I noticed in males, it’s just like, they don’t really care that much. But in females, for example, my girlfriend, if I don’t text back right away, she thinks that I’m cheating on her or something [crosstalk 00:10:07]

Lisa 2:                     Women and men are different.

Deb:                         Exactly. And that’s the immediate…and that’s the other problem…[crosstalk 00:10:10]

Lisa 2:                     I’ve learned that, too, that men don’t need a response, but women need some kind of a response. Yeah; you’re right.

Steph:                     It’s orientation, though, I think, too. Like, a different tempo, right? So, if I’m allowing my life, my communication stream to be what I’m getting through my phone, right? If I’m allowing that to be the thing that I’m orienting to, then it’s just almost like a cultural difference, right? It’s a different timing and a different kind of content. It’s a different discourse then happens when you’re face to face and you have all the visual stuff. It’s not better or worse [crosstalk 00:10:48].

Deb:                         Can I see this? [gesturing to Stephs phone]

Steph:                     Yea please do [handing the phone to Deb]

Deb:                         How did you feel? I’m just demonstrating a point, thank you!

Steph:                     Yeah, but, okay…

Deb:                         This is so great!

Steph:                     …this is so good, I can’t wait to air this. She just tried to throw it in the pool, but she didn’t actually. She just pretended.

Lisa 2:                     So, Deb, when the kaleidoscope was first invented in Victorian times, people were walking around with a kaleidoscope, and they were afraid of the same thing.

Steph:                     When what was first invented?

Lisa 2:                     The kaleidoscope.

Steph:                     The first time.

Lisa 2:                     Yes.

Lisa 1:                     What were they afraid of?

Steph:                     That people were going to like walk into buildings…

Lisa 2:                     That’s it! That’s it! ‘This is terrible. It’s destroying everything!'[crosstalk 00:11:20]

Steph:                     Every new communication technology [crosstalk 00:11:22]

Lisa 2:                     Every single new thing that comes out, people go, ‘Oh, this is going to be awful [crosstalk 00:11:26]

Steph:                     It’s the end of civilization as we know it…

Lisa 2:                     …’until we work out the bugs and we eventually integrate it.’ I love texting because it’s an exchange of information, and I don’t have to waste time, sorry, but having a conversation! You know what I mean? I can just, ‘Boom! Information. Give me information.’ And I’m moving right along. Do you know what I mean?

Reba:                       But do you pick and choose what you’re doing then in terms of a conversation.

Lisa 2:                     Of course. Because it’s not a conversation for me so much. It’s an exchange of information.

Lisa 1:                     Like, we don’t want to have conversations with everyone. I don’t want to have conversations.

Lisa 2:                     Don’t have time; don’t want to.

Lisa 1:                     My conversation window is less than a handful of people.

Lisa 2:                     Right.

Lisa 1:                     Three of them is my kids and my mom and my ex-husband.

Lisa 2:                     And Deb.

Reba:                       I’m right there with you. I don’t want to have conversations with everybody, either, and I like the immediacy of text messages.

Lisa 2:                     I do; I love that.

Lisa 1:                     I like the exchange of information.

Reba:                       And, I also know that there are times when I want to sit down and have a face to face eye contact conversation with someone.

Lisa 2:                     Absolutely. Absolutely. It’s a whole different thing.

Reba:                       and my point from earlier was that, I mean, no offense, Sam, but my impression is that the generation that’s grown up on phones and with texting, they would defer to texting as opposed to a face to face conversation.

Steph:                     They might, or they might do both. And they might converge at a different rate. Sam, resident expert. I like this. I’ve got to move closer to make sure that we get you’re brilliance on the recorder [crosstalk 00:12:48].

Lisa 1:                     Bring the chair over closer.

Sam:                         In quarter two of eighth grade, we had to do a TED Talk on a topic, and one of my friends decided to do texting to compared to face-to-face. And he got data from like a health clinic on the internet, and he found that kids my age that are, this generation, they prefer Face Timing over texting and face to face. They basically found a way to take technology, but to look each other face to face.

Reba:                       That’s great. I don’t have a problem; I think that that’s fantastic. As long as for me, there are some conversations that I want to see your eyes, I want to see your body language, I want to hear the tone in your voice. And texting, that’s why I said it’s one dimensional for me. Like, for some things, it’s great. I can do one dimensional all day long, and then it gets to be like, well, ‘With this thing…’

Lisa 2:                     Now we really need to talk about it.

Reba:                       Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Lisa 2:                     Okay, we’ve hashed over the facts, right? You know the facts, and okay; now we really need to discuss it.

Sam:                         That’s when we call each other, and then that’s when we discuss. We have group chats and we talk about the biggest rapper, or biggest movie that came out, and then we end up calling each other, and we end up going to the movies to actually go see it ourselves. It’s like a transfer of communication, and then we go and actually see if it’s true.

Lisa 2:                     Tapping into prior knowledge.

Lisa 1:                     Yes.

Sam:                         Yes!

Steph:                     It’s also relational though, right? Because it’s also social. And I think that’s what people miss when they say it’s only about the information. No; it’s like a cultural form.

Sam:                         It is!

Steph:                     It’s like there’s a ritual to it…

Sam:                         …and it’s tricky…

Steph:                     …and you play the ritual out,.

Sam:                         Yea.

Steph:                     and then you build a basis of experience, and you do it again, and you get a little sophisticated with it, and then you can tweak it and you can do different things and it evolves. You’re developing relationships, right? Like you’re talking, these group chats are with the same people.

Sam:                         I also think it’s like, this generation, we don’t really do much that involves…we argue with each other, it’s mostly on the phone. We don’t really do it in front of each other. But then, give it a couple of days, we just forget about it. It’s like our phones are what we use to argue with each other, what we use to make plans with each other, it’s what we use to flirt with each other. We don’t really do it in public anymore. It’s like a…

Lisa 2:                     So, do you feel like you don’t have emotional conversations or exchange of…

Sam:                         See, that’s where it gets tricky. I feel like technology is a cultural thing. Like, the generation before us, it was more of face to face where you could show emotion. Now, it’s more of, we can call each other. Face Time each other, we can go on Xboxes and invite each other to parties and talk to each other. That’s how we demonstrate emotion.

Lisa 2:                     Um hmm

Sam:                         Like for example, you have social media. There’s a thing where you can go ghost where no one knows where you are, what you’re doing what you’re saying. For us, that means that this person is pissed off and they don’t want to talk to anyone. That for us is how they demonstrate their emotion, saying, ‘Don’t talk to me, I don’t want to talk to anyone. I’ll calm down.’

Reba:                       So, here’s my question: I think that that’s great, that you have this language and this way. And then, what happens when you’re in a situation where you’re around other people and that exchange has to happen in real life?

Lisa 2:                     In real time

Sam:                         That is when it gets like…

Reba:                       This is my concern. That the skills to develop that [crosstalk 00:16:19]

Deb:                         See; I agree.

Reba:                       Are missing.

Deb:                         …that’s what we were saying. It’s my concern, too.

Sam:                         That skill, I can honestly say was lacked in elementary school. In sixth and seventh grade. But in eighth grade, I’ve noticed, people started drifting from technology over to more face to face. And now that I’m in ninth grade, early start, for example, I was supposed to take the bus home to go back from my high school to my house, and instead, I walked home with all my friends. That was like an hour and a half. So, we basically drifted away from technology, and we’re not…

Reba:                       Okay, good. I’m glad to hear it.

Steph:                     I also…I’m suspicious. It seems to me there’s an assumption behind that concern, which is that we in our generation have done communication so well face to face.

Deb:                         No

Reba:                       No, no – you’ve gotta ask me if I think that, and I’ll tell you the answer; it’s ‘No’.

Reba:                       I think we’ve done a crappy job,

Lisa 2:                     I agree.

Reba:                       …which is why I think like me, working on my communication with people isn’t going to happen through this, so I don’t want that to happen to them.

Steph:                     But, see, I think they’re finding a way to develop skills so they will do it better face to face than we ever did. [crosstalk 00:17:20].

Lisa 2:                     Yea…

Deb:                         Why is the suicide rate so high in adolescents right now?

Steph:                     Because adolescents are smart enough to know the planet is going to die and we’re all going to be extinct and they’re feeling it and we are not doing the things we need to do to change that crap and give them hope.

Sam:                         That right there, I can agree with this. In my school, we have-well, not my school; it’s more of my middle school-we had a science class. It was basically, we put the kids that really liked science in one group, and then in other classes it was kids like, ‘Oh, we like science, but we don’t.’ And it was the other group was, ‘We don’t really care, we just want to go on computers and do whatever we want.’ That way we could have conversations with facts. Then, you have people that just want to go play.

Sam:                         We’ve noticed that, no offense, but this generation has to clean up a mess from another one. And we don’t really want to. That’s why we’re creating technology to go to other planets, to leave this one. We don’t want to clean up a mess that we didn’t make.

Reba:                       So, I’ve been watching this show on HBO called ‘Years and Years.’ Have you heard of this show?

Lisa 1:                     Airs and Airs?

Reba:                       Years and Years.

Lisa 1:                     Ears and Ears?

Reba:                       No; Years and Years.

Steph:                     There’s a ‘Y’ in both words; it’s the same word.

Deb:                         Like, ‘years and years ago…’

Steph:                     No generational clue there, by the way!

Reba:                       So, in this show, there is a kid probably about your age, and she is having a really hard time accepting her body, and her parents see that she’s looking at all of this trans stuff on line. So, they sit down with her and say, ‘So, let’s talk about this, because it’s really okay. It’s totally okay if you feel like you need to be in a different body, or you’re in a female body, but you’re really a man. We’re totally fine with that.’ She’s like, ‘What? I don’t feel like that.’ And they’re like, ‘Well, what’s all this trans stuff?’ And she says, ‘It’s trans human. We’re talking about being able to take our brains and put our brains into the cloud, so I won’t have a body anymore. I don’t have to worry about this if I become a part of the computer. If I become [crosstalk 00:19:32]’

Sam:                         Artificial intelligence.

Reba:                       And so it was, I was like going, ‘Wow! Holy crap! Is that the next?’ That’s the next thing. It’s called ‘trans human.’

Sam:                         That is…techno is the next kingdom.

Deb:                         This is like Black Mirror on Netflix.

Reba:                       I understand that this is a drama, right? It’s not like a documentary. But it was…

Steph:                     Science fiction.

Deb:                         Do you like Black Mirror on Netflix?

Reba:                       Kind of, but not really.

Deb:                         I love Black Mirror.

Lisa 2:                     Me, too. It’s about all this stuff.

Lisa 1:                     Yeah; it’s freaky. You’ve got to watch this show.

Lisa 2:                     I think I’ve seen one or two, yeah. [crosstalk 00:20:10]

Reba:                       So yeah, I was blown away by that concept like, I had never thought. And she was talking like, ‘No; this is really good. And we can do it.’ And her parents are like….

Lisa 2:                     …’Whoa: didn’t see that one coming.’

Lisa 2:                     I’ll tell you what’s interesting. From the point of a kid who moved a lot, so I lost contact with friends…these kids never have to lose contact.

Steph:                     Yea.

Lisa 2:                     They have the ability to communicate.

Steph:                     It’s amazing.

Lisa 2:                     with each other everywhere all the time anytime. It’s amazing. We did not have that opportunity. We had to ask to use the phone, and it was probably ‘no,’ because that’s a long distance call, you know what I mean? That’s how different it is. They’ve all got their own phones, and they’re not asking anybody, right? And they’re not even calling, so it’s really…I think it’s actually more communication.

New Speaker:    Yes, I agree with that.

New Speaker:    They’re communicating more with each other than we ever did. I was very isolated.

Sam:                         I think that our communication with each other may be great and we communicate a lot, but we don’t communicate right. We text each other, call each other, I just feel like…[crosstalk 00:21:19]

Deb:                         Well, that’s ’cause you’re young.

Steph:                     But, you mean in terms of the content of what you’re talking about?

Sam:                         Yeah. ‘Cause one thing means one thing, but then when you put it in the hands of a teenager, it means a whole totally different thing.

Steph:                     Part of it is learning that everybody always makes their own meaning. Always. Every time there’s a conversation. So, I might think that I’m saying whatever thing that I’m saying, but what it means to everybody is always going to be, it’s going to fit your context.

Steph:                     So there, just that, from the intrapersonal inside each person that’s what happens. And then, there’s kinda like the time you’re living in and what the context of that time is, which creates filters so that that is also…I don’t know. My hypothesis would be that what you hear in your generation from everybody older is going to get transformed into something else because you’re interpreting it based on how whatever it is they say makes sense in relation to the climate crisis and all the rest of the problems.

Steph:                     And then, you react to that in an emotional way to protect yourself. That’s my guess. And then how to you get through…it takes time to work through the emotions and get to a place of, ‘Now, what can we do strategically.’ I don’t know.

Steph:                     I have a pretty strong feeling that you’re going to get to the kinds of communication that you want to have because you’re very skillful and you’re very articulate, and it’s really a pleasure to talk with you.

Sam:                         Thank you.

Steph:                     Yeah.

Recorded on July 4, 2019.
Location: Granby, MA

Pool Party Part 1 (interpreting and unions)


Lisa 1:                     It’s almost like…

Deb:                         This is even like, he opens up the show with a tape from this guy…

Steph:                     I’m recording you.

Deb:                         A tape from…

Steph:                     It was her idea.

Reba:                       Okay. He opens up the show with a tape of this guy, and he was highway patrol officer in California. And he takes his Lexus into the dealer because it needs some kind of repair and they give him a loaner. And so, he gets the loaner, and he goes and he picks up his brother-in-law, his wife, and their kid. And they start driving down the highway. And the brother-in-law ends up calling 911 and Gladwell plays the tape of the 911 call and the brother-in-law is like, ‘So, we’re on Highway 125, we can’t stop the car; the car won’t stop. Where are you located? 125! What are you passing right now?’ It tells him. And you can hear them like freaking out completely in the car.

Reba:                       And then you hear the car have an accident, and you hear, I mean, this is the way he opens the podcast. And it turns out that, I mean, it was a highway patrol officer. This guy drives all the time.

Lisa 2:                     So, did he just forget to pick up his foot and put it on the brake?

Deb:                         That’s right; he forgot to put it on the brake. That’s right. He was so focused on the fact that the car was out of control…

Sam:                         That’s almost like a seizure…

Steph:                     Right.

Reba:                       …that he never thought, ‘Let me step on the brake.’

Steph:                     He…yeah.

Deb:                         I had a similar thing happen. I went to pick up my car after they did some kind of brake job on it, my Subaru. And, granted, I had just had surgery, my mother was in the car with me, and I couldn’t get the key out. And I realized, wait, I started the engine or something, something happened where I completely forgot, ‘Oh, you needed to put your brake…’ that was it. You needed to put your foot on the brake to shift it. Completely forgot that. This was like 20 years ago.

Steph:                     Yeah.

Deb:                         I called the guy, right, Richard’s Automotive, to tell him ‘I’m stuck in your driveway; I can’t get my car into reverse.’

steph:                     Yeah. ‘Cause you get tracked, then you’re on a track and it’s automatic. And something has to deviate you from that, has to draw your attention to the fact that you’re in a track and there might actually be a couple other tracks that you could…

Sam:                         …thinking outside the box.

Lisa 1:                     Yes; that you could go.

Steph:                     You could switch, but you’d have to figure out how to…

Sam:                         Which one…

Deb:                         They think now that he thought he was pressing on the brake, but he was pressing on the accelerator. That’s why he thought there were no brakes and it was [crosstalk 00:02:21]

Steph:                     Right. So, his body memory was off.

Sam:                         Wow. That’s a little scary.

Steph:                     All right.

Steph:                     So, this is a podcast called ‘Structures of Interaction.’ If you guys approve it, this will be like episode nine or ten which I will probably link to the effort that I start on Monday which is to unionize sign language interpreters and maybe from that basis, go to unionizing interpreters in general. And why I’m excited is what I’m thinking about is, the resistance to having a union is from the employers and management because they don’t want a check. They don’t want anything to balance out their control. But in fact, all of our social systems need to have checks and balances. They actually, because we know we’re on a runaway track, employers should be inviting unions into existence so we can negotiate a better way forward and how to make the changes, but it’s a different track, and you’ve got to get people to jump on it.

Lisa 2:                     Well, change is always met with resistance.

Lisa 1:                     Yeah, it is.

Lisa 2:                     It doesn’t even matter whether it’s good change or bad, it’s just like…

Deb:                         People just have to get used to it…

Lisa 2:                     …’No; it’s going to be different!’ That’s always the first reaction, you know?

Steph:                     It is. But, aren’t we past the first reaction, now?

Lisa 2:                     Well, we should be; of course.

Steph:                     Like, that’s what I think. The fear reaction, a lot of people have had it already now. What’s next? Do you stay in fear, or do you start thinking about, ‘Well, maybe we need some help.’

Sam:                         Time to get outside.

Steph:                     Maybe we actually do need to make some changes, and where would be the strategic places to make those change?

Reba:                       Are you talking generally, or specifically about unions?

Steph:                     I’m really talking at the social institutional level, right? If you’re going to put a label on the largest system it’s economic, right? But it’s also about like the hierarchy, the stratification, which has white people at the top and brown people every place else, and it’s still playing out all around us and we’re aware of it every single day. You know, it’s like it’s incumbent, I think, on us to figure out how we can invite in the mechanisms that will help us change because we’re the drivers. Even if we’re just coasting. Even if we think we have our foot on the brake, our foot is still on the gas pedal.

Lisa 2:                     Right.

Steph:                     That’s where I’m at.

Deb:                         Yeah, yeah.

Steph:                     So in unions is one idea that I’ve been playing with for interpreters for a while and partly because of my experience in working as a medical interpreter at Baystate for three and a half years, you know? Because the way that people orient to having an interpreter present is like, I think is like a microcosm of like all of the problems with difference. All of the conflicts. It’s like, ‘Oh, I have to adapt; we don’t speak the same language. I have to do something with this weird third person who’s doing stuff that I don’t know what they’re…’ you know? Like, it just changes everything.

Steph:   If people could get comfortable with that kind of interaction, I think it would give us like transferable skills to solve all kinds of other communication problems, right. Situations where we really just need to figure out how to have a higher quality, more effective communication both ways, listening, as well as expressing….

(Continued next Saturday in Part 2)

Recorded on July 4, 2019.
Location: Granby, MA

Braver (Greta’s Song)


Lindsey: This is a song…this is called Greta’s Song. Do we know the Greta I might be speaking of? Right, and Greta definitely knows how to make some noise. So this was inspired… I’ve watched her — I’m going to tune while talking — I watched her give a speech–it was online at the European Parliament–that is just… astonishing.

So these are… this was written from some of what she said and how she was.

There will be climate strikes and walks in September. It’s a whole week. The third week, 20th to the 27th.

The house is on fire, it’s panic time.
The house is on fire, it’s panic time,
the house is on fire, it’s panic time.

You’re comfortable, you’re tired I know
But now is not the time to go slow. We gotta put our bodies on the line, move to where we say we wanna go.

I urge you to consider what’s better than what is easy
I urge you to risk instead of retreating

Everything will have to change. Yes! But the change is for the best. Yes.

So lean into whatever you can to make you braver,
lean into whatever you can to make you braver
We need you braver, I need you braver

The house is on fire, it’s panic time, be braver

I love the world
I love the air. It lets me breathe.
I love the water lets me drink it.
I love this soil that feeds me.
I love the world and being alive in it

Can’t you see me crying? I’m crying
I’m crying for the world I love,
I’m crying for the world I love.
I’m crying for the world we share
So lean into whatever you can,
lean into whatever you can.
Lean into whatever you can
to make you braver, I need you braver.
The house is on fire, it’s panic time. Be braver
Lean into whatever you can, I need you braver. Be braver.

Debut performance by Lindsey Peterson at a house concert in Northampton, MA.

Based on the 2019 speech by Greta Thunberg to the European Parliament.

Original music and lyrics by Lindsey Peterson. Copyright 2019.


Healing Turtle Island


It’s not quite 48 hours since the third Healing Turtle Island ceremony was concluded. I woke this morning from a dream in which I urgently needed to call my mom. It was so compelling, the need to call mom, that it woke me up. Mom died ten years ago and I do occasionally have moments where I forget, still, or at least I have the experience of ‘now is the moment when I would have called Mom,’ as was our habit for the last several years of her life. But I usually remember right away that I can’t call her like that anymore. So the dream was striking. I guess that it is the beginning of the work in my DNA, as Sherri Mitchell put it, these changes that will unfold in us over the next six months or so.

As a white person, being invited to attend these ceremonies, it’s astonishing. There’s so many things that are happening there and most of it is, or the central layer, I guess, of what is happening is the Ceremony that these indigenous elders are having among themselves, preparing themselves, healing themselves, connecting to each other and the work of this moment of climate threat, this time in which all peoples, regardless of heritage or status, need to do the work to heal ourselves from our respective trajectories and come together so that the planet, mother earth, survives in a way capable of sustaining life: our own lives, and most importantly the lives of future generations–of humans and all the other species on the planet.

So it’s pretty big and ambitious and probably at some level to the non-indigenous mind, it feels impossible or unrealistic or, I don’t know, superstitious, but the experience of spending five days in a fully realized gift economy, a completely alternative time-space to the way we have been indoctrinated to survive on the basis of speed and a financial system that favors wealth and accumulation and competition that forces other people into positions of suffering, to have the experience of the alternative is surprising. And maybe it won’t change things for every white participant who attends, but it seems inevitable that some seed, some sense of possibility that deviates from what we are used to would get planted and have the chance to grow.

We were pretty explicitly called upon to do that work individually and as an ethnic group, as white people in the system that exists, to turn to each other among ourselves and to turn back toward our ancestors and really dig deep into … I mean, you could call it history, the genealogy of how our unique indigenous cultures from a millennium or two ago were stripped from us. We were separated from the knowledge of being one type of organism existing synergistically with all the other organisms on the planet and drawn into this–addiction is what Sherri called it–an addiction to movement, to motion.

And I’ve thought of it as an addiction to speed, but the relationship, right, between speed and movement is the ability to go so far and go so fast that we’re always in a hurry. We’re always operating under the momentum, the impulse of machinery in the industrial assembly line, to being consumers and being drawn, whatever level of class we’re at, being drawn precipitously into the urgent emergent need of my paycheck, my house payment, my car payment, my need to buy groceries or pay the rent or cope with an unexpected medical bill. We’re all under that pressure, and if we’re a part of that wealthy percent that doesn’t feel financial stress, they’re still under the daily stress of the fear that if things change, whatever it is that makes them comfortable, will be taken away or lost.

It just seems likely to me that white people experience that in a different way or more acutely than peoples who have been systemically oppressed in the system because those peoples have had to figure out how to cope with that stress, and of course it has consequences on their health and wellbeing in chronic ways. It is white folk who have not felt generally those daily threats to survival being now faced with a potential collapse of all the cushions and pillars and buffers in the system that have allowed us to have comfortable, essentially physically soft lives. To be facing that brings up a lot of anxiety and depression and fear and makes us susceptible to hurrying and going for quick fixes and finding any palliative method that will ease the advent of discomfort or the pain that we’re terrified is coming our way.

I know I’m generalizing, and maybe projecting. But I don’t think I’m far off. I think that there is evidence and symptoms are all around us, so Sherri’s call to do the work of our own trauma healing, to recognize the wounds that we have carried intergenerationally, the original wounds of separation that fed flight, migration of our forebears whose primary identities may have been more national than indigenous when they arrived here on Turtle Island, the North American and South American, Central American continent, and would have fed the violence that we then perpetrated on others, repeating the violence that had been done to us or that we witnessed happening to others like us and fled.

That’s deep trauma, which has been masked and covered up by a couple of centuries of being the beneficiaries of that violence, of having been lifted up because of an external characteristic, our white skin, that was manipulated into a position of privilege, superiority, not because of any essential actual better qualities within us, but because it served the savagery, the white savagery that’s been so carefully honed by the system, by white people who designed the system to be specific.

So there’s a lot of work to be done around whiteness itself and separating whiteness as an invented, cultivated, carefully crafted basis for an identity that has been abbreviated as the only source of identity for folks who’ve had everything else stripped from them. So white people today in the United States have no other basis, typically, generally. There are strands of course, of heritage and tradition that have filtered through, but by and large, the expectation and the basis of how we understand ourselves is linked and fused with capitalism, industrialization, all the new ways of technology.

And we’re being manipulated and yanked around on the basis of our deep familiarity with things being fast and having our emotions manipulated and being unable to slow down enough to gain perspective, because slowing down means allowing the horror and our fears to come forward, to be looked at and felt and processed. So we have to create spaces and times to do that. And only by doing that can we come to a place where we will be competent enough to renegotiate agreements with indigenous people and other peoples of the global majority who have suffered and are trying to heal from the generations of suffering that has been visited upon them and they’ve gone through.

And I will tell you that I am on 91 crossing the Connecticut River, and a bald eagle just flew to my left.

Recorded on July 17, 2019
Location: Interstate 91 driving north from Connecticut to Massachusetts

The White Body


Steph :                   The white body.

The significance of the White Body — of being embodied within a white body has just … made itself an apparent … notion in my consciousness, in my awareness, just within the last couple of weeks. I’ve been quite aware of white fragility in the couple of years since the 2016 presidential election: observing the urgency and anxious response of many white people, some of whom have had long careers in activism, but most of whom may feel liberal or progressive in their interpersonal relations, but have not ever attempted to change anything in the system, either at their organization, their work, their church, their neighborhood, and certainly not at a political level.

I think that white fragility is … a label for the anxiety manifesting through white bodies. I understand the technical definition that Robin DiAngelo has created, and I agree with it — that because white people have not considered their whiteness, have not considered the being-ness of living through existence in a white body with the privilege that comes from that — that the sensitivity to talking about race and understanding ourselves as white people, as raced, is a correct definition for white fragility.

As the anxiety in society ramps up overall, because of the pressures of climate change, and the advanced stages of exploitative capitalism, white people are more susceptible to a generalized kind of anxiety, which can manifest both through white fragility, and I’m sure many other ways. And probably it’s conflated, like maybe it isn’t always only the fragility of whiteness, but not having had to deal with extreme social pressures, and survival pressures, in the way that people of color have had to. It just means that white people in general, especially from the working middle class, or the working class, and lower middle, and middle class on up have had to deal with difficult things, but not the systemic struggle which does cultivate a certain kind of endurance, and sustainability, and resilience in personality and character.

Figuring out how to navigate through rough periods of social interaction is not necessarily a skill that is widespread in white communities, or even white spaces. I’m hypothesizing. There are, I’m sure, communities out there who have worked through very difficult things. I’m thinking in particular of communities who become activated because of horrific violence through a school shooting or something. People do obviously hold together through tragic illness, all kinds of personal life circumstances. It’s a different kind of thing when holding together is what’s required to address the social pressure: a social pressure that is larger than random chance of what happens in a person’s life.

Communities of color have had to deal with that for generations. There’s a lot of trauma associated with that, and that trauma has to get sorted and healed from, and is going to manifest in interactions with white people as well as within communities of like-identified folk. There’s a difference between the trauma of generational trauma and situational trauma. It’s one of the reasons why the Jewish experience is so tricky, because there’s generational trauma, intergenerational trauma. And, there is a kind of passing of white privilege. Both can be true, and one aspect or the other may be more alive in a given moment than at another moment, but both are always true.

The simultaneity of our identities is … potentially a really powerful place to identify where intersectionality makes its strongest impact. White fragility manifests at that intersection between the institutions that have promoted white people to be in positions of more comfort, even though a white person might be lesbian, gay, queer, transgender, or Deaf, or of a religious minority, of a class background, or some other identity, group identification or experience that is not favored by the institutions, but is targeted by them. That’s the switch when white people switch to one of those target identities when that’s not where the intersectional emphasis is happening.

There’s a lot to tease out there, but I think there’s some coming back to the body, and the white body as the site where the anxiety and the privilege is playing out, both at the individual level and at the social level, and that white fragility is an entry point to transformational capacity. It’s actually kind of exciting. It doesn’t mean it’s going to be fun to be exposed to one’s own vulnerabilities, especially as they manifest through white fragility, because it’s a disjunct. It creates cognitive dissonance, right? If at the interpersonal level there are good relationships with people of color, but at the social level, and the organizational level, and the institutional level, we haven’t done that work, and it becomes apparent when our white fragility shows up. That’s not fun, I mean, it’s tough to go through. But I guess I hypothesize that the sharper or the more acute the white fragility is, or the deeper and the more enduring, whatever, there’s a certain kind of power there, a force intensity that can be transformed. It’s energy.

That energy can become directed in another way that could be very constructive, and productive, and transformative, and contribute to social change in ways that make it grow in momentum and become more real and substantial. So we’ll see how it goes moving ahead in this conversation about the white body.


Mid-Century Modern (e.g. Frank Lloyd Wright)


Steph:                     We’re going to call this “Mid-Century Modern?”

Lindsey:                 Okay.

Steph:                     Okay. That’s what they’re called.

Lindsey:                 I like this one too.

Steph:                     Yeah.

Lindsey:                 It’s a little more like… It has brick, it has some more privacy.

Steph:                     Yeah, I like that the height of the exterior is tall enough.

Lindsey:                 Yeah, I like that.

Steph:                     But you still have all those windows. This is my question, who is going to wash those windows?

Lindsey:                 I don’t know.

Steph:                     Yeah.

Lindsey:                 [laughter] I don’t know babe.

Steph:                     Besides the fact that you gave up money.

Lindsey:                 This is a Craftsmen that somebody’s calling a mid-century modern home, but it’s a Craftsman home. I don’t know why they’re calling that a mid-century modern. I like craftsman homes.

Steph:                     You don’t like it?

Lindsey:                 I do like Craftsman, but I lived in a Craftsman. I don’t have a lot of experience inside mid-century modern homes.

Steph:                     Okay.

Lindsey:                 On the interior.

Steph:                     Okay.

Lindsey:                 I have a couple.

Steph:                     Okay.

Lindsey:                 I know I like the light. I know I also want some room definition, which is contrary to the whole trend of totally open floor plans.

Steph:                     Yeah.

Lindsey:                 I would like a room that you close the door to that has a piano in it, for example, and that it’s not open, and if you want a computer on, it’s not in the same space.

Steph:                     It’s not interference, yeah.

Lindsey:                 To me that’s important.

Steph:                     You need a music room.

Lindsey:                 A separate space. I did live in a Craftsman, and it was all open. The floor plan on the first level was just-

Steph:                     Uh-huh, all the way around.

Lindsey:                 It had a middle.

Steph:                     I guess that’s like the house I grew up in.

Lindsey:                 Right?

Steph:                     It went all the way around.

Lindsey:                 The house I grew up in-

Steph:                     Which was kind of cool.

Lindsey:                 The house I grew up in was that, but all of them had doors.

Steph:                     Because one way through was the bathroom and it was kind of like a secret.

Lindsey:                 Oh, that’s fun.

Steph:                     Yeah.

Lindsey:                 Between a room was a bathroom?

Steph:                     It was under the stairs…

Lindsey:                 The bathroom was under the stairs?

Steph:                     The stairs went upstairs and downstairs and then the bathroom, a single seat toilet, was tucked there.

Lindsey:                 Oh, it was under the stairs. That’s cute.

Steph:                     Yeah. People could use that without going upstairs. You had a guest bedroom or bathroom.

Lindsey:                 That’s cute. I like that.

Steph:                     It was cute, but then we could run around the entire… But normally we didn’t. Normally, we just navigated the house in a “C,” from the kitchen to the dining room to the living room to the front entry and stairs.

Lindsey:                 Kitchen to the dining room to the living room to the stairs.

Steph:                     Yeah.

Lindsey:                 But over here is a bathroom? Wait, but what’s the…

Steph:                     Between the stairs and the kitchen…

Lindsey:                 …is the bathroom. You could walk through it?

Steph:                     You could walk through it, but we didn’t usually, because it was the bathroom.

Lindsey:                 That’s cool!

Steph:                     Every now and then we were…

Lindsey:                 What year was the house built? Do you know?

Steph:                     Rich and Dad would know. I don’t know.

Lindsey:                 Hmm. Cool.

Steph:                     My brother would know. Wait a minute, because the reason that we’re having this conversation is because we discovered that your album is designed in the mid-century modern style.

Lindsey:                 There’s privacy things they have going on there. Do you see that?

Steph:                     Does that mean we’re not supposed to have this conversation on the podcast?

Lindsey:                 Oh, no, no, no. I was looking… How did they get… There are not a lot of areas with the amount of privacy that would allow for as many windows as I think are beautiful in a mid-century modern house for me to feel comfortable having them open all the time.

Steph:                     Right.

Lindsey:                 I just noticed that they did a little technique here where… Because curtains are not mid-century modern. Curtains don’t fit the aesthetic.

Steph:                     Okay.

Lindsey:                 This is a slat kind of thing.

Steph:                     Okay.

Lindsey:                 That functions as a curtain, but still lets the light in. Okay. You were talking about the album.

Steph:                     That’s how we got here, because we were talking about the conversation between the text on your album-

Lindsey:                 And the pictures.

Steph:                     The text, and the font, and the style of that.

Lindsey:                 Yeah.

Steph:                     And the style of the photographs.

Lindsey:                 Right. The photos are 1970, and I said to the person who ultimately designed the text that I wanted the text to be more modern-looking. I guess by modern I meant clean lines, which to me is like a mid-century modern home.

Steph:                     Right, so that’s how you closed the gap.

Lindsey:                 That why I said it’s like the equivalent in album text…

Steph:                     Then we started looking-

Lindsey:                 …to a mid century modern home.

Steph:                     Right. The example of the album cover that you’re talking about was, did you say, John Lennon’s cover?

Lindsey:                 No, George Harrison.

Steph:                     George Harrison.

Lindsey:                 His text is very clean, and I like the very clean text. I forget the name of that album, but it was George Harrison with a line and all of the text is very thin. The album cover was a sepia tone with a picture of him that had been faded. It wasn’t live color, but the whole album cover evoked that kind of sparseness, but in particular the text. I like what I arrived… I’m not going to say her name, because she doesn’t necessarily know if she wants to be in this.

Steph:                     Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Lindsey:                 I like what she arrived at with the text.

Steph:                     Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Lindsey:                 It’s modern but it isn’t that.

Steph:                     Right. Right. Then we got to this conversation, because you sent it to somebody to do the layout without any instruction whatsoever, and she matched the text-

Lindsey:                 To the pictures.

Steph:                     To the pictures and put it in that kind of time.

Lindsey:                 It was seventies.

Steph:                     It was okay. The point is that you didn’t want your message to be “This is all about the 70s”. What you’re saying is, “I started with the music of the 70s.”

Lindsey:                 Yeah.

Steph:                     “That’s where I started. That’s what you see first.”

Lindsey:                 Yeah.

Steph:                     Then you have to think about what is happening between the words, the text on the album, and the photos on the album.

Lindsey:                 Yeah.

Steph:                     And then how do all three relate to what’s happening in your lyrics?

Lindsey:                 There you go.

Steph:                     Yeah. Like that. Is that the house you liked best?

Lindsey:                 Well, I don’t know. It’s all relative. I don’t know. It’s a little boring, honestly.

Steph:                     It’s all relative.

Lindsey:                 Too much glass.

Steph:                     What were we saying before about the title?

Lindsey:                 [crosstalk 00:06:47] I like the wood like that. What, the title?

Steph:                     The title of the album.

Lindsey:                 Right? Yeah. You were saying something about how it reveals…it’s just the outline, so people have to fill in?

Steph:                     Right, right.

Lindsey:                 …the content of Anthem?

Steph:                     Yes.

Lindsey:                 Or that they’re participating in the making of Anthem? There’s space there.

Steph:                     Yeah!

Lindsey:                 This is interesting, because this is a very densely populated area, obviously. Neighbor, neighbor.

Steph:                     Right.

Lindsey:                 I’m assuming they have not a lot of windows on each side of this home, and just on the back is where they’re getting their light.

Steph:                     Right.

Lindsey:                 And they did a good job. I liked that.

Steph:                     Which means they live there.

Lindsey:                 I know. I was going to say, “I don’t know if I want that, but I like how that looks on that window.”

Steph:                     All right.

Lindsey:                 I don’t know. I just like looking at houses.

Steph:                     This is seven minutes. We could go a little bit longer. Is there anything else you want to say about the album release, which is happening…?

Lindsey:                 I hope to have it in hand August 12th.

Steph:                     Right, and then the second house concert is going to be…?

Lindsey:                 August 18th.

Steph:                     August 18th.

Lindsey:                 Here’s the classic.

Steph:                     And then there’s another.

Lindsey:                 September. [background sound — a squeeze-toy horn] Oh, there’s the timer.

Steph:                     Oh, kale chips. Okay. Okay. We’ve got a plan. Anthem.


I am not against Kamala. I might be for Pete.


I am not against Kamala. I might be for Pete.

I’ve been involved in a process of trying to evaluate how the first Gathering Resilience event went. Part of that evaluation is making sense of how it might be situated in relation to other conversations that I’m participating in, at least as a consumer.

There’s something in this about the white body. I’m not sure what yet, something. Overall, I think the event went well, and there were some pretty stressful dynamics. For me, anyway. I mean, I hope the stress was behind the scenes and other folks weren’t aware of it. And we got through them. We did a really risky thing, we did a couple of potentially risky things, but the riskiest thing we did I think was call out whiteness in the icebreaker and trusted the group would hold that. And the group held it actually really well. And I think the young people who got to experience facilitating a small group of adults, people older than them, the Gen Xers. No, no, no, no, no, no, no, who are we? The Baby Boomers. This is like an opportunity for the current youth, the activated youth, an opportunity to practice facilitating a conversation with Baby Boomers, because that’s the conversation that has any kind of hope.

I mean, there’s all the rest of the conversations, and they matter, they’re important, and they have their moments, but young people are growing a movement to change the economy. And changing the economy requires Baby Boomers to help, to become drivers of the change, not just passive participants in whatever doesn’t happen or is prevented from happening, and riding along in this comfortable current of whiteness, white privilege. It’s a big deal. I think it’s a big deal. But it’s not so easy to shift your body out of that current, right? You’ve been in it for a long time, and you’ve been variously aware of it. There’s no way that becoming aware of it is going to be a piece of cake. There’s so much stuff associated with it, historical, deep history, familial, autobiographical history, and this whole social context that situates those histories and biographies.

Yeah, so anyway, I think the event ended up going really well despite some really stressful stuff. I mean, the facilitators I think were confused for a little bit, but they just held it together and waited, and delivered. And the young people, so far, I’m still going to do my follow up soon, but their initial energy was pretty good. I think they grew somehow or exercised a muscle in a way that worked. I don’t know. But I hope so, I think so, I’m going to follow up. And that was my kind of baseline indicator of success, is how the five young people who were facilitators felt. And then there’s all the rest of it.

So, anyway, yeah, and I’m just thinking about this because actually the single most effective part of the entire design was the barn dance. Yeah. It’s really true. That’s it. It was just the best thing. And it came, I don’t know, but it came at a good moment. Maybe it wasn’t the perfect moment or the ideal moment, the moment that it should always happen, but the timing was correct. And the energy I think went up until that point.

And then the second groups, eh, not so much. I mean, the conversations that happened in them were good. Actually, maybe the second groups might’ve been okay. But then there was more work after that. And I think that that’s not what I want to do in the future. And I was trying to avoid that, but it wasn’t clear how to do it. I really needed help. I needed partners to talk through different perspectives on it, and we just didn’t have much time to do that, to get those kind of a capstone, “How do you close and transition it in a good way?” So the evaluation process is all I have right now for doing that, and everybody’s got their own experience of going through the day, and then whatever’s happened since, and whether it’s been something that has stayed in memory or you just moved on.

So yeah, so the evaluation process. And it’s just … What are the other conversations I’m involved within, because, okay, so we had a good internal conversation, we had a group level interaction at a micro-social, interpersonal scale that has relevance for who’s going to be the next president. And how much mandate will there be? How much evidence for a mandate? And it isn’t even evidence of a mandate, right? Because evidence can be manipulated. It’s how big of a measurable shift will we create for the economy? There has to be incentives of the right kind that will make it meaningful for corporations to retool. We’ve done it for war. We did it to get to the moon.

So the conversation, it seems to me, at the national level and the international level, that is at the global scale, at the scale of solution, that conversation is being driven by youth activists, since Standing Rock. I mean, that’s when it started.

So yeah, anyway, this is I guess my first public report on the first Gathering Resilience.


A Reading of N. K. Jemisin

Transcript (Quoting Jemisin):

Eventually, I considered it the topic of death.

I could kill myself now, probably. This was not normally an easy thing for any god to do, as we are remarkably resilient beings. Even willing ourselves into nonexistence did not work for long; eventually, we would forget that we were supposed to be dead and start thinking again. Yeine could kill me, but I would never ask it of her. Some of my siblings, and Naha, could and would do it, because they understood that sometimes life is too much to bear. But I did not need them anymore. The past two nights’ events had verified what I’d already suspected: those things that had once merely weakened me before could kill me now. So if I could steel myself to the pain of it, I could die whenever I wished simply by continuing to contemplate antithetical thoughts until I became an old man, and then a corpse.

And perhaps it was even simpler than that. I needed to eat and drink and piss waste now. That meant I could starve,and thirst, and that my intestines and other organs were actually necessary. If I damaged them, they might not grow back.

What would be the most exciting way to commit suicide?

Because I did not want to die an old man. Kahl had gotten that much right. If I had to die, I would die as myself–as Sieh, the Trickster, if not the child. I had blazed bright in my life. What was wrong with blazing in death too?

Before I reached middle age, I decided. Surely I could think of something interesting by then.


–N. K. Jemisin. The Kingdom of Gods, Book 3: The Inheritance Trilogy (2014, p. 1036). Orbit/Hachette Book Group: New York.

Mahacanattuck River Walk, Day 7


I’m not great at this time thing, time and timing. It’s day seven of the Water Walk. I think that’s right. I’m trying to finish the blogpost about kind of summarizing the first week. We got to hear the sound of running water a lot. On the day that we went for the 27 mile stretch of the upper, upper Hudson, the Muhheakanatuck. Shoot, Mahacanatuck. I don’t know. I think that’s the right way to say it, but my auditory ability to pick out tones, not so good. Chinese? Norwegian? Tonal languages, identifying birdsong. Anyway, there’s a little bit of running water near where I live, where I spend most of my time. It’s kind of special.

The pressure of the moment, the crisis is building, which means we have to be even more intentional about creating peaceful, nonviolent alternatives that still give people a sense of purpose.

For instance, it is meaningful to join the SacredWater is Life Prayer Walk. Communication can happen and does happen, regardless of whether we’re paying attention or believe, have been convinced by the evidence, whatever it is we rest our knowledge on, or our sense of confidence in the knowledge that we believe, or feel, or think that we have or that we earned, or that we acquired through effort. What if there are parts of it that are flawed and how do you identify that? Face it and change if it’s been dug so deep? Going on the Water Walk can be meditative because you’re walking. So that slows you down a whole lot more than any other mode of transit, and all the other modes of transit are typically preferred because they’re faster. So being on the Water Walk slows you down.

It’s meditative. But Grandmother tells stories and things happen, and you have to figure out this, that and the other thing. So you have to actually negotiate for silence if that’s what you would like or if that’s what’s called for, or discipline yourself to remain silent if someone else needs it. The efforts at healing, at restoration, at any kind of social repair; reparations, actually recognizing and acknowledging the need for reparations, and starting to do the work of figuring out how to implement it.

I think the question is not how much, the question is how, and then in the how, we figure out the engineering of the financial system that makes it work, so that people who currently feel pretty comfortable and can coast right up to the end, don’t commit suicide for all of us. Because they can’t emotionally figure out how to absorb the change.

But I think that kind of creativity is only going to come out of people spending quality time together in some kind of moving meditation. So your body’s engaged, but you’re actually able to bring your awareness to your body, because your body isn’t just moving in service of whatever it is you’re doing, or trying to do, or rushing to get to, or hurrying to get done. So you feel where it’s tight, figure out how to relax and become lighter and more nimble with responses, so that whatever it is that sets something off, you can be quick enough to go, “Oh no, no. I’m not going to go down the usual path. I know where that one leads, not so ideal.”

Would be happy to let it go. I just have to figure out what’s the other thing to do in that moment. But just to have that capacity to interrupt, is a big step and you can only get that if there’s a condition that stretches out your experience of time, so that the other things that occupy your mind, don’t get continually re-stimulated, and so they have a chance to kind of dissipate into the background. They’re not gone. They’re just not defining who you are at this moment. So I go back to the Water Walk tomorrow and hopefully I’ll have the blog post up by then, and we’ll get this event nailed down June 22nd, it looks like.

Yeah, there’s a lot more Walk to 28 day cycle, closing ceremony on July 2nd, event June 22 and maybe something in-between. That’s not quite clear yet, but every day there’s Walking and we love to have Walkers with us. Grandmother especially, would love to have Walkers with her, who are there just to listen. Okay. Not just to listen. They want to help too, but to fit the form of the prayer that most suits Grandmother Carole.

All right. That’s this one.


Gathering Resilience


I’m in high gear now for Gathering Resilience. The event coming up in May — Moving from Woke to Woven. It’s high spring or I’m having an accelerated spring, recording this as I’m driving south from Massachusetts to Tennessee but I’ll be back in Massachusetts for Gathering Resilience. I’ve been thinking about what it would take to reorganize the food economy in western Massachusetts. For one thing I know we need milk distribution centers. I don’t know exactly, but maybe four or five throughout the state because that would make it possible for the smaller scale dairy farmers to sustain their businesses rather than be forced to work with these mega corporations that have no investment in the local social welfare.

Then there’s just producing food and making sure that we have no food deserts; that we have a really high level of resilience in terms of production and distribution locally. Again building up an economy or reconfiguring an economy that rewards people that do the work of growing, harvesting, packaging I guess, preparing the food and getting it out to everyone who needs it — which is all of us by the way. You noticed? I’ve been watching signs in grocery stores for a couple years that talk about a shortage of some produce or a particular product that has been impacted by a weather event and the rumors about what’s going to be in short supply or what will run out soon.

This is one of the trends of that instability that results from an increasing temperature in the atmosphere. Anyway, I don’t want to get into too many details but Gathering Resilience, Moving from Woke to Woven is coming up. You can get more information about it at learningresiliency.com. Yeah I think that’s it for this one. Catch you next time.