I am getting ready for the final yardsale. selling the tree house isn't easy but it needs to be done it is just too big. This tapestry is a real flashback.
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Friday, July 24, 2009
For the longest time, I still had a couple of chip bowls I had made, but most of the things I have given away over the years. I did buy some wonderful tumblers from my friend Kim at claypatties.etsy.com that even though glazed and fired, are infused with that healing magic of clay.
An old friend of the family, Nancy passed away last year unexpectedly and her studio equipment was orphaned. If I could figure out the water issue in my garage, I might pick it up myself. I'd say the studio is about 3 hours from here. I was offered the equipment and asked if I knew any potters who wanted to buy it. At the time, I was busy with Claire's hospice to really get on that train. Nancy's partner, Don wasn't quite ready to sell itthen anyway. So we kind of put it all on hold. We get together more in the summer at the old family farm, a time capsule museum. It is in North Berwick, ME, only an hour south of here. I just got this list of items. Most of the things are still in the studio.
Kiln Model K-18 Econo Kiln 220V/20A/4.4KW (L&L Mfg) w/ Dawson NMFR Kiln Sitter
purchased 1/3/74 from Newton Potters Supply for $198.50 + tax
Kiln vent, Bailey purchased 6/23/95 for $311.45
Potters Wheel Shimpo model RK-2
Shelf (disassembled) 38x25x71H
Chest + shelf
Craig's shelves 28x73x84
Egg crate-like shelves
Metal shelves 71x69x28
Ware cart 23x32x67
Not in studio:
Gas fired kiiln (outdoor, disassembled) purchased 1996 for $750
Kick wheel (?5/16/74 $61.80 from Clay Art Center)
some other etsy potters:
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
When the world seems bigger than it is .
It’s easy to get lost in the crowd.
that dazzlers are
accomplished at invisibility
when it all gets too close
Barely brushing humanity
Mounds of split tickets in the shadows,
swept up with the dance cards
Forgotten except the applause.
In the moment….
That’s what footloose means
No time for haunting regrets
When perpetually in the moment.
When your world seems bigger than it is,
Toss your heart in the corner pocket
Of the ghetto you spin in
And call yourself free.
Susan Chandel July 22, 2009
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
I was drawn to the flourite talismans,
their ornate bezels and the silver tassels.
I cupped them between my fingers.
The news about bloodroot was timely.
We never used sun screen.
The trace of cynic in the tension tamer tea was not lost.
A pale Klimt lady in a trance most days
I bet it all on a seer, landed here
With a little bay …
She needs to believe beyond doubt
in that expanded circle of love that radiates
miles around her.
Scary to follow the whim of a seer and to lay around daily in a trance.
It isn’t ordinary. .. But that is what it is.
Motionless tours were not as exotic
without the transcendent component,
Though the extraordinary is becoming more common.
There is heart in the pretty little bay, she chimed.
What about the city shelter with screams into
the dark night where people stay to get a subsidy or a hot meal?
Desperate is a matter of degrees.
The scientist asks for twenty or thirty and gets twenty five.
Her need for precision is lost on us.
When bent on the true.
and by that I mean the resonant, all stones are upended.
At the retreat, no singing in the shower allowed.
The curtain is torn.
Susan Chandel 6/17/09
Nothing to do with the poem except I was tossed back into the scene this past weekend. One summer ( maybe the summer of 1981) on Ellery St in Cambridge my friend Wally Butts had just come back from Montana and was looking for a place in town to stay. even though while living in the city I often had great rent controlled one bedrooms. I enjoyed sharing them so I offered him the day bed in the living room. He remebersa the parties on the roof and how he almost fell off one time. He reminded me of this fathers day as we munched quiche and sipped 8 o'clock coffee.
I said that I would not have the stomach for roof side parties these days. Perhaps since having been a mother. Wally is now called Walter. Poetry fans know him as W.E. Butts the new Poet Laureate of New Hampshire.
The dimple I crouched in seemed like a quarry, shards of feldspar everywhere with a faint smell of gasoline. I could make out roads along the grid over the lip, but I dare not venture too far. Coordinating dreamscapes with GPS marks was only a decade new and I could not afford to miss my rendezvous.. The dark misty sky slowly became paler. I felt damp and somewhat impatient. I could hear the kids in the distance as the sky started to reveal its true color. Smells began to shift gingerbread, jalapeño, tar in varying values. There was often a bite to the mingled scents. It was never immediately sweet or homey.. A few bugs were left to work out with this new system. I had only found out about it a few years earlier in a hospital waiting room. A young man was talking about reenlisting as there was not other choice Lots of people were feeling the same way there was just no money. . As we talked and waited some video screen flyers were distributed. They were the new ones about the size of a quarter inch thick plastic placemat. Are Your Visually Attuned? Spatially Perceptive? Join us. An older guy recognized the program. “Heal the world with your dreams.”
He was brought into the program in its early experimental stages. On the pretense that he was indeed a risk to himself or others, they took him to the initial labs and validated his fears that he was unto something. The presence of snipers in the trees on the edge of his yard were more than a delusion. So he had signed up for the gig and reported that he and his crew had started on agriculture reviving barren apple orchards and turned deserts into wheat fields. “Yes sir wonderful landscapes from the mind’s eye to the ground.” So he was glad to see that the program was expanding and that there was perhaps a new peaceful goal for the armies of the world to focus on. Because when you can imagine abundance and create that sort of love every where in your minds eye , what need is there for war. Most of us signed up for the program that night. We thought might as well, we had nothing to lose really. Houses in foreclosure, no career but the army.
We had no weapons. Last night when the wild boar ran through the bivouac lit by the embers we were startled. My fear vanished as she seemed to smile over her shoulder. It is good to leave a trace of the past behind. The complex fabric of GPS World Healing 101 were laid on a soy gauze base. The new course of study a melding of art, science and spirituality fell under biochemistry in most university catalogs. The primary function coordinating individual dreams so they lined up with the satellite codes was elusive to all but a few. It was however one of the greatest innovations of the century.
Some times the instructors would wait for hours in dead zones where the faint grids rolled over the dimples to coordinate “picnics“ a term for revived war torn areas. Skies the unbelievable blue of a June day. You never know what can happen when restructuring the world in such remote areas.
We have learned to move beyond the past. It is getting better and better every day. New picnics are sprouting up world wide.
Friday, April 24, 2009
I joked apologetically about the paper work at the kitchen table of the transitional shelter. A closely cropped blond tipped person sat across the table. I had heard about C from another client and the outreach worker said “she thinks that she is a black man“. It was considered a delusion and I thought well that doesn’t seem that crazy to me. If you can be trans gendered why not trans racial?
I don’t miss all the paper work of working for an agency, but I do miss the people and the advocacy. I miss the inside of the “not always so fun when you are in it” survival track. I miss the humanity of it all. Even though that does get lost sometimes in the paper work and the posturing. Since the company crashed, I fill my time with groups on the ground and on the net and my favorite pastimes writing and art.
New to the local Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) Branch, I agreed to help set up last Saturday’s workshop. (Code Pink the women who brought supplies to Gaza via the Egyptian gate is part of WILPF). The workshop was the Beloved Community’s training on White Privilege. I don’t really think that I need a workshop on white privilege, but I was looking forward to playing some of Augusto Boal’s Theater of the Oppressed games and getting to know some of the members better. The workshop facilitated by a multi racial individual focused largely un the more typical contemporary racial injustices and encouraged introspection.
One of my haunting brushes with White Privilege was when I found out that my beloved grandfather lost much of his mother’s Wabanaki culture due to climate of his times and he was forced to “pass“. He told me this when I was very young and he showed me an article about the Penobscot people. It is not even clear if this was his tribe because his half sister has a different story. I try to catch up on this loss by going to pow wows and reading. I like to be positive and hopeful. Times have changed now and it is actually kind of cool to be of native descent. Sometimes when I go to workshops like this or even pow wows. I feel a grief in the deep mists of my soul. Whether it was cool or not I think that I would feel that way. Probably because the look of loss on my grqandfathers face when I asked him to tell me more and he couldn’t. My garandfather who took the time to teach me so many things was never at a loss.
Many people claim native ancestry and like me the lineage was lost by the melding process or on a bad day you might say the “dispersal“. In the 19th century Native children were taken from western tribes and brought east. Some of them had been displaced to the west by manifest destiny in the 17th and 18th century. This is how my partner’s family who was part Blackfoot a northern Plains tribe ended up in Maine. Maybe that is why there was always such a resonance between us. I like to think that even though my grandfather was told to deny his tribal heritage he carried it deep within him and I inherited some of it. If you met him you would believe that too. It emanated in the way he lived his life.
A couple of weeks ago at a Wabanaki festival at Bowdoin College, I met a man Hawk Henries who makes eastern woodland flutes out of beautiful wood and plays them. He is a member of the Chaubunagungamaug band of the Nipmuc Nation. Which recently lost its federal recognition as a nation, (I looked this up). This means that the traditional slices of land near Worcester, Massachusetts are not officially considered tribal. The Nipmuc would have had to maintain 7 criteria for the federal government to consider their land tribal. I suppose that these pesky hoops one has to jump through were not something that the majority were willing to do. I don’t know specifically what the hoops are, but I think that after all they are someone else’s rules and probably constraining in many ways and just not worth it.
Most of the eastern woodland tribes dispersed and basically went underground to survive. It is interesting to read how they confounded enemy tribes and white settlers by trekking through the swamps and woodlands that they knew so well. The survivors effectively vanished into the woods in the 1600‘s. Not naturally a nomadic people they became so, making them a difficult target. You can google this information to learn more.
Hawk is very interested in music in a spiritual way. He learned to play the didgeridoo as well and had one with him the day I met him. If I was more secure in my financial situation I would have bought a flute. They were beautiful. I bought a cd instead. Just as well because I don’t have time to relearn the flute. There are beautiful pictures of Hawk’s flutes and Maine here http://www.hawkhenries.com/
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Hello Peace lovers,
Is this business or is it art or is it activism?
I believe Art is activism and art dolls are not just for fun.
Pop Periwinkle ( one of my needle felted characters) hopes to have an audience with Obama. Yup he is going to hop in a priority mail envelope in two weeks and head for the white house. If you want to put in your short peace oriented two cents worth or perhaps some words of encouragement for the beleagured prez and his incremental steps towards peace go to my flickr and add them under Pop's pic. Or call me and I hope to collect some signatures and hand written notes before the big send off! http://www.flickr.com/photos/suzeesjubileez/3426913690/
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
“…the ones whose homes were destroyed
who were stranded under the sky.”
Fresh spring snow
Cream of wheat
white dollops of fluff on top
brown speckles seeping through.
I did not see
the ones whose homes were destroyed
who were stranded under the sky.
I did not want to see it .
I did not want anyone to see it.
The maple syrup pools
in the crevices,
the sweet steam
sweeter than plaster dust.
The refugees have come here again
from the south.
They say even with the cold
it is warmer and safer here
though the same stars
pierce the heavens each night.
The wood fire softens our home.
The chickadees dance.
I can not grieve.
These were not my losses
hearts listen and imagine the depths .
The birch beacon
at the edge of our field
March 10, 2009
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
I was inspired by Natalie Goldman's old friend from far away a viewing of Milk and my first trip to San Fransisco.
magic in journeys: June 1974
Perched on the royal blue aluminum framed Jantzen pack, I leaned my back against the sign post on the sweltering gravel of an Oregon afternoon. I remember the jumble of logs and the waterfall across the two lane highway. Things had gotten a little crazy leaving Seattle. My penchant for comic book heroines had gotten the best of me when I sized up the stumpy middle-aged business man who was looking for a mistress to hire for the week. I passed on the offer over a hot fudge sundae.
So I sat, my native skin all brown from the roadside tour and considered pairing up with the dirty blond guy 16 feet down the road. I was looking like Idgy Threadgood ( who hadn’t appeared on the movie screen yet) in my cut off jean overalls, my sleeveless tee and purple converse high tops instead of her rounded work boots.
“ Where you from?” I said. “Weymouth , Mass” he said, only a few towns up the coast from my home and as it turned out he knew my friend Desmond’s brother. Never mind Desmond’s brother was a bit of a black sheep I knew him too. So as the waterfall surged before us and the surf roared behind us we forged a brief traveling alliance to San Francisco.
In Coos Bay a red pick up truck pulled up driven by a chunky poet and his side kick. “We are goin to the mission district. Hop in back” he said.
In the church basement on Sunday afternoon, the women from the homeless shelter drew pictures of redwoods. Three redwoods with hearts on them and intertwined roots to make a strong community of trees on a white poster board on a card table. Their poster represented a love for community, a love of the earth and the interconnectedness of all things.
It had been too long since I had seen the giant trees from the bed of the pickup truck speeding along the coast to San Francisco. The ride that landed us whirring at midnight in the mission district. I poured myself into a luxurious bubble bath in a clawed foot tub. Effervescent as the bubbles after a five hundred mile ride in the open air along the coast, I disappeared in the soaking warmth for maybe a half hour.
The librarian’s apartment was a perfect haven not far from the legendary Haight. Poet home sitters, art and books, to top it off a little poem I had written years before, was published in that issue of a national magazine. I hadn’t been looking for it. As it had been such a long time since I had written it, but when I spied the magazine on a rack I looked through it and there it was. Wow! So I bought a pair of fluorescent fangs and rode the buses around the city in victory.
Later when walking about, exploring the fabled city, I ran into my friend who had left Amherst for Alaska and who I had crossed Canada with. It was incredulous. I inserted my fangs and grinned a giant smile. We talked for a few moments, Alaska wasn’t what he had been looking for so he had decided to head south . After our strangely brief meeting, we continued on our way as if in a dream.
Magic endures in moments large and small, from meeting an old acquaintance on a city street far away from anywhere we expected to be to the eagle that’s waits around every bend of the river we kayak on. The interconnected roots of the redwoods that stood for miles along the highway was hidden from me that summer. The magical interconnectedness that sparkles through my encounters with humanity on every journey each day still fills me with awe.
Friday, February 13, 2009
When I was young I lived in a college town on the rolling Androscoggin River for 3 and a half years which is a very long time for me to have lived in one place. When I got divorced 30 years later I moved back to that area from the mountains in the more rural western part of the state because it was convenient to the three small cities where I would be able to find work and because I still knew people there.
Strategically, I had gotten some free lance work in my field ( research, trainings, and consulting). I was going to many conferences and workshops in order to meet prospective employers. After 14 months I was attending a training workshop. A woman I had met there introduced me to someone who was opening a new company so I gave her my resume. The woman just happened to pass us as she was running errands in the neighborhood.
Things seemed to be unfolding as I had planned. Within a couple of months I had a job at this company. As is my custom I threw the tarot cards. Every love card in the deck came out along with good fortune. It was the happiest spread ever and had nothing to do with work. Hm. I had a friend throw the cards from a different deck and the same thing.
A few months later I found myself falling for some one at work. I started with an appreciation of perspective which was a little different than mine, practical, calm and insightful. Then there were silly things like disappearing dentures and lost keys. We went to lunch, my heart was doing jigs. We looked at my muffler which was falling off and we went to her house which was much closer for wire hangers and tools.
I am falling for a Virgo what is going on here. There was such a striking contrast between us the practical- the creative, the wise- the wild, the neat- the sloppy, the introvert-the extrovert. ….Not too mention a myriad of taboos. While I was getting the tools. I looked at the bookcase which very much reflected my own. We fixed the muffler and talked. Every word was so witty and wise although I can’t remember them I did finally say “you know you have to stop saying this in credibly witty stuff or I am going to have to start flirting with you. “ The response was you better not do that. I apologized. That was the mid November 1998.
With in three days we were dating and by the following Valentine’s day we shared a house. The ten miles of river was the distance between our childhood homes and ten is the amount of years our deep love flowed along that river. We were a very striking couple in that we had the bases covered because of the marvelous way we complimented each other. It was mystifying to some but it worked in the most incredible way. The greatest compliment from my love was that I had given such joy and fun where that had not been any. If that is the most I ever do on this planet I will be satisfied.
In mid November of 2008 my great love crossed over after a long illness at home as desired and several days of me saying that it was time now.
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Perhaps you are wondering what I have been up to. I have been of course enjoying my activist leanings and looking for work. I have been taking two classes one on colored pencil drawing and one on heart centered meditation. A new writing group has captured my attention. Here is a piece I just posted.
My childhood was full of the moves associated with a military family. It is through these many changes and uprootings that I grew a gypsy spirit. It’s a way of seeing that is always stronger when there is a turning in my life. I think of it as a survival skill that comes out when needed. I had already moved 4 times in the same general part of the country. We were about to move again to an unfamiliar place when I first noticed it.
The summer before our move while my father was stationed in Okinawa and we were living near my grandparent's. A photograph of a smiling boy playing near the surf hung over the old mahaogany crib in the bedroom at the top of the stairs at the house my father grew up in. I had seen it before, but this time it spoke to me not in words per se but I could feel the handsome boy on the beach who looked to be close to my own age. It was a beautiful picture but I had a vcery bad feeling about it.
I asked my aunt who this was. She told me that it was my father as a child. She was unusually dismissive, I did not believe her and felt even sadder. One day after my fathers return. He was preparing the car for our cross country trip while I sat in the driveway, I had his un divided attention so I asked him about the picture. He too said that it was him as a child. I out and out said “Daddy don’t lie to me” and I described exactly where the picture hung in his family home. He told me that it was his younger brother Georgie. After some prodding, bit by bit he told me that he died in an accident as a child when he was 5. He was upset about talking about it so I did not ask any more questions. Later I found out that my father had only been 7 when their older brother accidentally ran over Georgie, while test driving a car. Dad and Georgie had been very close and I don’t think that my father ever got over that loss. This helped me understand my father better over the years and I am grateful for this.
The gypsy spirit was still with me that summer. The night before we moved to the strange new place, I dropped of to sleep and asked to see where we would be living. Sure enough in my sleep I flew over the new town, when we got there it was exactly as I had seen it.
I did describe the town to my dad before we got there.... Even though it tickles me, the gypsy spirit actually it is a very powerful tool and a peaceful type of protection. It helped me stand my ground against my father who had an angry streak and served me well in my youth when I traveled parts of the world by myself. Oh, sometimes it just serves to make my life a little more magical and fun. Other times it really has saved me from harm. Although there have been times when I knew I was walking into a risky situation and did so anyway, because I was confident that I could handle it. I am not sure that all this spiritual swashbuckling was ethically sound, but it sure was fun. I may have taught someone a lesson they needed to learn. My philosophy is we are here to have fun and if make we a difference that’s good too.
I can share some of those “I am reading you like a book so don’t cha be messing with me tales” and other stories where I met some pretty mystical travelers who maybe had a little more control over their powers and I could clearly recognize but I didn’t want to be messing with them.
What brings up these musings on the gypsy spirit is that …I am now in a major transitional phase. Recent years may have dulled my edge a bit. Ten years ago, we found this marvelous hand hewn “tree house” hidden from the road in a clearing. It was not advertised in the paper the sign on the mysterious drive said for “sale by owner.” I kicked up the maple leaves on the decks to the song in my heart. I was about to receive some money from my share of a business. The timing was good and we bought it. It still makes my heart sing. Many animals cross the meadows, birches glow amid the pines and it has been a good place to raise a family. Since my youngest is a senior in high school and my sweetheart has moved on. I decided to take a heart centered meditation class as I prepare to make a decision on my next step.
Now I could always meditate from the heart, but I am most comfortable zoning out and flying around. I can be very grounded and still fly around. My teacher tells me to try to stay in my body and be more focused. I picked an unusual medicine card~ armadillo upset down. It is a card about protection shields and armor. There is a lot to that. On the surface, it could mean that I have been standing still for too long. Ten years is my record for staying in one place. In my case perhaps that is the challenge. I am still mulling it over. The time may not be quite ripe for a sudden physical change… though other changes are happening.Perhaps I will be able to come up with an outside the box way to travel and stay here. Time will tell.
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
When I started to think about Hippies. I thought about several of my friends who sell their work on etsy. These artists are both talented and out spoken and have the true hippy spirit whether they were there or not... I asked some of them what they thought about the hippy days and social justice. I got some great stories: The freethinkers team ( see eye of wonder in the side bar) got really excited and showed thier hippy spirit
CabArray Martha a wise woman with a sparkly presence who facilitates the freethinkers lived in NYC
In '62 in the East village. She attended the NYU Washington Square college of Liberal Arts and Sciences. I used to hang out at a coffee house in Greenwich Village almost every day. She probably rubbed elbows with Bobby Dylan back in the day. spongetta says: In '72 I was a year old born to a couple who moved to the Catskills to afford land and live a sustainable life,yet to this day, claim they were never hippies.
realisationcreations who is from Australia obviously says:
My Dad told me this great story when he came and stayed at our place recently, about how he and my Mum met. They were both quite young, but were leaving behind failed relationships by travelling by train to the furthest place away from Adelaide/Melbourne that they could think of - which was Perth. When on the train they bonded over the fact that a man was making rascist jokes about the Vietnam War - my Mum and Dad had only met, but they were the only two that didn't laugh.
A day later, they reached Perth, and went out for a beer. It was really crowded on 3 sides of this bar, but one side was clear, so Mum and Dad walked up to the clear side and ordered a beer. The barman looked at them and said: "You realise you're on the boong side?" (Boong was/is a pejorative term for our indigenous Australians - the Aboriginals). Dad was stunned and asked him to repeat it, which he did. This was not happening in the other major cities at the time, but Perth was somewhat isolated. My Mum and Dad were shocked, and Dad turned around to the Aboriginals who were drinking there, and asked: "Do you mind if we drink with you". The reply was: "Yeah, no problems mate. Go ahead and drink with us".
My Dad told me that Mum later said that that was the moment she fell in love with him.
zephi says: I was there in spirit, Suz ;) That’s for sure check out Tori’s blog as well as her shop! The link is to the side.
beachcomberscove who was one of the very first people who came to mind when I thought of etsy hippies had this to say I afraid I was/am more of a wannabe hippie. I was in college 66-71; did have some semi-hippie friends in the art dept.
BUT, (sheepishly admitting) it was a Baptist school so we weren't very wild. But compared to the ministerial students, we were a little crazy:D (artsy). Oh yeah but ahe came out of the closet since.
Kymsart777 describes a home simlar to mine only I raised 3 artsy activist types
In 72...I was 10. Born in 1962 but a hippie at heart for my whole life. I am the proud parent of 4 Artsy, Fartsy, Dreadlock wearing, birkenstock, freethinking, long haired hippie kids! Thank goodness! I sit here in a peace sign tee as I type.
AltheaP whose work I admire greatly tells this tale: 'There's a generation of Native people here who were taken from their parents and put into "Indian schools" in the hopes of turning them into Baptists.
Actually, we lived in small town North Carolina when we first moved south and more than once, we were congratulated by strangers for "bringing little heathens into our home." My kids are Korean, and I guess the assumption was we'd brought them here to Christianize them.'
Maine was always a hippie destination with its ragged coast, less expensive inland farm tracts. Communes cropped up every where and are cropping up once again as people are feeling the crunch.
One of the first Maine hippies that came to mind was Bob Matus. Originally from greater NYC. He lived in the bay area back in THE day before moving to the Maine coast. A local Maine poet Gary Lawless remembers him making pine needle baskets out in the bay area now he carves really cool wooden items.
heroncovewoodcarving says: …a while back you mentioned my pine needle baskets ... I HAVEN'T been doing those for longer than most of this team has been alive,lol but I recently heard from an old friend on facebook who says she still uses the pine needle coaster I gave her over 30 years ago!
Lizzyoos A boogying, tie dying woman says: Oh I wasn't ( a hippy then)then but have been since and I would love to join in... let me know I have lived the life and lifestyle since and always will.... I never stopped doing tie dyes either. You'll find beautiful hand dyed silk neckties and silk scarves at reasonable prices and she even throws tie dying parties and rock concerts. Yeah she has connections when she isn't dipping cloth, she is a dj.
SO visit my all free wheeling hippie friends on etsy!
Hippy Days are Here Again....clear your voice, take up your pens and grab your signs and join us every where!
Wayne Elkin, a self described aging hippy posted a picture of a peace sign on a barn in Marin. In the past two days, I have received e mails on the Department of Peace and an Art Czar in Washington.
Well FAR OUT. Hippy days are here again! This warms my old rabble rousing heart.
There is a new awakening in our country, where a voice means more than just going to the polls on election day and sitting back with your arms crossed over your chest. These extraordinary times call for a more than a wait and see attitude. It is time to take it to the streets or to the internet, shout it from the roof tops. We want change. What does that look like? This is yes, a peaceful revolution maybe even an evolution. We can’t just elect leaders and leave them out there without direction… waiting for them to mess up. We have to participate more and we have been offered that chance, in fact reminded of our rights to free speech by our president a man steeped in the traditions of grassroots community organizing. It is good to be reminded because free speech in this country is largely taken for granted. There are places in this world where people lose their lives engaging in free speech. There have been times when our free speech here has been threatened by say the patriot act and McCarthyism. Free speech is a hard won right and deserves to be valued more.
After speaking with friends, relatives, and townspeople as well as looking at on line blogs and NINGS, I have come to the conclusion that your average citizen does not know what true democracy looks like. Maybe that’s because we actually live in a republic here in the US or at least that is what I have heard over the years. The average person needs to look back to when people were speaking out more visibly at :sit ins, marches, letter writing campaigns. Give your ideas flight! We have permission to engage in a true democracy. Carpe Diem . Yes now that the universal pendulum is swinging back to a more liberal and creative space, that decries the greedy excesses of top executives and the madness of senseless wars. Throw off weighty mantle of W’s fear driven regime and the decades of complacency.
Louise Dunlap, in her book Undoing the Silence: six tools for social change writing , likens these times to those of the early 60’s where people are once again finding their voice. I believe that when hope and change come to the fore, empowerment and joy are definitely close behind. We can end the wars, we can bring respect for the arts back. We can build a greater sense of community.
The new optimism in the air has given us a new responsibility to speak to power and actually be heard. After all it is not exactly peaches and cream. The economy is far from pretty but our collective spirit is richer and unshackled. Fear does lurk in surprising places. There are many concerns and a lot of work to be done. It is up to us to help find solutions to situations that need to be set right. The people that we elected to represent us are just that. We are in charge of them, they are not in charge of us. Sounds childish but sometimes the simplest things are the truest. I think that we can move beyond our collective fears and repair injustices. It is a healing process for society as a whole.
While it is very tempting just to ride this joyous wave while the energy is fresh. Responsibly, we must use this power to repair the damage and move to another level. It isn’t easy to change a nation, a world but now is a really good time to try. The guys and gals we have elected can’t do it alone they need our voice as cheerleaders and informed citizens. Once upon a time peace was not an outlandish notion and art was not a bunch of nonsense. That time is now.
Speak out! Speak up! Call your representatives tell them what you support and what you don‘t support. Go to these house meetings sponsored by the Democratic National Party or if you think that’s too partisan (I am a die hard independent voter myself), make up ones of your own design. But do gather, put your heads together for the changes you think are needed. We the People are empowered.
my next post will feature the hippies of etsy!
Friday, January 30, 2009
Jamie's blog giveaway! here---->
and if you aren't thrilled come right back here and complain lol.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
In my bones
marrow shrivels into
I open the window
breathe in the sky
the sunset dance and all its turnings.
The trees of the apple orchard
are stripped and evenly spaced.
Late Novembers flame
snared in their black branches.
the tiny particles slide and catch within my hollow bones.
Seeds in a rainstick,
they shift in their ossuary and roll with the sky.
slide into the shadows.
Vertebrae shudder rib against rib against rib
sliding down the clapboards of the kitchen wall
learning to catch the beat just right.
The dream was to soar through walls.
The trick is to soar with in them.
I'm toying with a new title for it something about change or freedom.
The there is this one:
On a late June day we were
the wild pacific wind
swirling down the coast
in the back of a red pick up truck
from Coos Bay to San Fransisco
Blowing five hundred miles nonstop through
Marshwood sculptured huts.
sometime after our feet hit the ground
in the mission district around midnight.
Friday, January 23, 2009
I got invited to join the facebook group iPeace. Some of the pieces I am reading there echo my feeling the pendulum is definitely swinging towards a less fearful, less hierarchcial, pro feminist time where we work in a more cooperative, creative and respectful way. I remember those times and have hungered for them to be more in vogue.
I took one of those blog quizzes and feel that it goes along with where I'm at right now.
You are The Star
Hope, expectation, Bright promises.
The Star is one of the great cards of faith, dreams realised
The Star is a card that looks to the future. It does not predict any immediate or powerful change, but it does predict hope and healing. This card suggests clarity of vision, spiritual insight. And, most importantly, that unexpected help will be coming, with water to quench your thirst, with a guiding light to the future. They might say you're a dreamer, but you're not the only one.
What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.
Monday, January 19, 2009
1 I have very green eyes. Which I found out today could make me a witch in catholic school.
2 I played the flute in the school band.
3 I like Greek food but there aren't any Greek restaurants around here.
4 I am allergic to aspirin and scallops
5 I qualified for naval intelligence until I came to my senses and backed out.
6 I give a great massage and did that for a living for a while.
Sunday, January 18, 2009
When I was in Hattiesburg on December 30th 2008, I saw the news about Cynthia McKinney and the pleasure boat she was on delivering humanitarian aid to the blockaded Gaza strip. The yacht had been rammed by an Israeli war ship. This action was followed by the bombing of the Gaza strip a slice of occupied territory on the Mediterranean Sea.
I was later, inspired by a young woman who taught at a university in a walled city in the West Bank. I did more research. 10 thousand Israelis protested the bombing of Gaza. The Israeli activists are calling for similar measures to those taken to end Apartheid. Some of these Israeli groups are called Women's Coalition for Peace, Anarchists Against the Wall, The Alternative information Center, New Profile.
I received this email:
In 2004, the Israeli army began building a dummy Arab city in the Negev desert. It’s the size of a real city, with streets (all of them given names), mosques, public buildings and cars. Built at a cost of $45 million, this phantom city became a dummy Gaza in the winter of 2006, after Hizbullah fought Israel to a draw in the north, so that the IDF could prepare to fight a ‘better war’ against Hamas in the south.
When the Israeli Chief of General Staff Dan Halutz visited the site after the Lebanon war, he told the press that soldiers ‘were preparing for the scenario that will unfold in the dense neighbourhood of Gaza City’. A week into the bombardment of Gaza, Ehud Barak attended a rehearsal for the ground war. Foreign television crews filmed him as he watched ground troops conquer the dummy city, storming the empty houses and no doubt killing the ‘terrorists’ hiding in them.
‘Gaza is the problem,’ Levy Eshkol, then prime minister of Israel, said in June 1967. ‘I was there in 1956 and saw venomous snakes walking in the street. We should settle some of them in the Sinai, and hopefully the others will immigrate.’ Eshkol was discussing the fate of the newly occupied territories: he and his cabinet wanted the Gaza Strip, but not the people living in it.
Israelis often refer to Gaza as ‘Me’arat Nachashim’, a snake pit. Before the first intifada, when the Strip provided Tel Aviv with people to wash their dishes and clean their streets, Gazans were depicted more humanely. The ‘honeymoon’ ended during their first intifada, after a series of incidents in which a few of these employees stabbed their employers. The religious fervour that was said to have inspired these isolated attacks generated a wave of Islamophobic feeling in Israel, which led to the first enclosure of Gaza and the construction of an electric fence around it. Even after the 1993 Oslo Accords, Gaza remained sealed off from Israel, and was used merely as a pool of cheap labour; throughout the 1990s, ‘peace’ for Gaza meant its gradual transformation into a ghetto.
In 2000, Doron Almog, then the chief of the southern command, began policing the boundaries of Gaza: ‘We established observation points equipped with the best technology and our troops were allowed to fire at anyone reaching the fence at a distance of six kilometres,’ he boasted, suggesting that a similar policy be adopted for the West Bank. In the last two years alone, a hundred Palestinians have been killed by soldiers merely for getting too close to the fences. From 2000 until the current war broke out, Israeli forces killed three thousand Palestinians (634 children among them) in Gaza.
Between 1967 and 2005, Gaza’s land and water were plundered by Jewish settlers in Gush Katif at the expense of the local population. The price of peace and security for the Palestinians there was to give themselves up to imprisonment and colonisation. Since 2000, Gazans have chosen instead to resist in greater numbers and with greater force. It was not the kind of resistance the West approves of: it was Islamic and military. Its hallmark was the use of primitive Qassam rockets, which at first were fired mainly at the settlers in Katif. The presence of the settlers, however, made it hard for the Israeli army to retaliate with the brutality it uses against purely Palestinian targets. So the settlers were removed, not as part of a unilateral peace process as many argued at the time (to the point of suggesting that Ariel Sharon be awarded the Nobel peace prize), but rather to facilitate any subsequent military action against the Gaza Strip and to consolidate control of the West Bank.
After the disengagement from Gaza, Hamas took over, first in democratic elections, then in a pre-emptive coup staged to avert an American-backed takeover by Fatah. Meanwhile, Israeli border guards continued to kill anyone who came too close, and an economic blockade was imposed on the Strip. Hamas retaliated by firing missiles at Sderot, giving Israel a pretext to use its air force, artillery and gunships. Israel claimed to be shooting at ‘the launching areas of the missiles’, but in practice this meant anywhere and everywhere in Gaza. The casualties were high: in 2007 alone three hundred people were killed in Gaza, dozens of them children.
Israel justifies its conduct in Gaza as a part of the fight against terrorism, although it has itself violated every international law of war. Palestinians, it seems, can have no place inside historical Palestine unless they are willing to live without basic civil and human rights. They can be either second-class citizens inside the state of Israel, or inmates in the mega-prisons of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. If they resist they are likely to be imprisoned without trial, or killed. This is Israel’s message.
Resistance in Palestine has always been based in villages and towns; where else could it come from? That is why Palestinian cities, towns and villages, dummy or real, have been depicted ever since the 1936 Arab revolt as ‘enemy bases’ in military plans and orders. Any retaliation or punitive action is bound to target civilians, among whom there may be a handful of people who are involved in active resistance against Israel. Haifa was treated as an enemy base in 1948, as was Jenin in 2002; now Beit Hanoun, Rafah and Gaza are regarded that way. When you have the firepower, and no moral inhibitions against massacring civilians, you get the situation we are now witnessing in Gaza.
But it is not only in military discourse that Palestinians are dehumanised. A similar process is at work in Jewish civil society in Israel, and it explains the massive support there for the carnage in Gaza. Palestinians have been so dehumanised by Israeli Jews – whether politicians, soldiers or ordinary citizens – that killing them comes naturally, as did expelling them in 1948, or imprisoning them in the Occupied Territories. The current Western response indicates that its political leaders fail to see the direct connection between the Zionist dehumanisation of the Palestinians and Israel’s barbarous policies in Gaza. There is a grave danger that, at the conclusion of ‘Operation Cast Lead’, Gaza itself will resemble the ghost town in the Negev.
Ilan Pappe is chair of the history department at the University of Exeter and co-director of the Exeter Centre for Ethno-Political Studies. The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine came out in 2007.
and wrote this letter:
Lets stop funding war crimes
As we embrace change , the US must change its policies in Israel. Israel’s brazen and atrocious acts against the people in the occupied territories of Gaza and the West Bank demand outrage from the world. Israel’s government has been given free license to commit genocide in the name of peace for decades. The bombing of Gaza is over for now, but I am certain that the siege of Gaza continues. The occupied territories are still walled by 15 foot walls and oft times impassable checkpoints. There are thousands of Israeli activists, both Jewish and Arab citizens of Israel, urging the world to make sanctions against their own government such as those that helped to end Apartheid in South Africa. Some Israeli citizens are even asking the world to put their leaders on trial for war crimes in the wake of the bombing of Gaza.
Some say Israel needs to be a bully in the middle east to keep terrorists at bay, while painting them as the victims. Victims who have access to the best munitions in the world. The powers that be in Israel have ignored UN directives time and time again and recently bombed UN facilities in Gaza. Killing over a thousand innocent civilians in what amounts to a continuation of genocide. World pressure decrying Israel’s actions may have influenced the current cease fire. The world needs to do more. Gaza needs to be changed from the worlds largest open air prison to a free city. As we work towards a new integrity, the United States must truly turn over a new leaf and stop funding Israel’s war crimes. Susan Chandel
Refer to http://jewishpeacenews.blogspot.com
I am in hopes that more people will speak out to effect a change.
Thursday, January 15, 2009
The Etsy Freethinkers are going to be featured on blockhead radio on Saturday, January 17, from 1pm to 2:30 pm EST. We will be discussing the origins of the team and talking about our members and what they make. Names will be named and shop URLs given out.I'd like to invite everyone to tune in to listen at www.BlogTalkRadio.com and or call in questions. The phone number is 646-648-7320.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
latest mitts and grandpa^
Robots robots everywhere. Some of my favorite folks are making robots notably http://www.tofunutloaf.etsy.com and http://www.psandqs.etsy.com. As I look at these robots and the knock off robots I can't help but wonder, what kind of a statement is this in our difficult times where the unemployment rate is sky high? Does it mean we have been treated like robots? Does it mean we have all been displaced by robots.Are we taking back the robots? "I'm no body's robot see. I have My own robot" "Do I look like a robot to you?" These were my first thoughts as I considered the current state of affairs in society today. People if they are working are grateful to actually have a job and perhaps are more apt to put up with being treated like robots?
It could be simply an ushering in of change.
Well in the wake of job shortages people are flexing their creativity to get by, which is a good thing considering all that has been done in the past 8 years to squelch the arts in the schools with this no child left behind left brained cookie cutter programming. Well I guess that we haven't been rote off yet :D.
okay with that ghastly pun its back to the drawing board or felting board as it were.
Labels: ramble, robots, umemployment
Saturday, January 3, 2009
Karaoke can be done anywhere but we happened to be staying in a hotel in Cypress, Texas just west of Houston where they happened to have a fun karaoke night next door at Henry Hudson's pub. The KJ didn't have a list like most karaoke jocks. He said he had anything and everything. He seemed to have a few tunes I hadn't seen at other karaoke nights.
We were on the road in a U haul from Austin TX to Fall River MA. I especially enjoyed Louisville KY where we did some touristy stuff. Checking out the Ohio Falls museum and several art galleries including the very cool 21c hotel and contemporary art museum. Not to mention The World of Swirl/Paradise Cafe.