Monthly Archive for May, 2009

webs from my palms

today i had good meetings. this isn’t always the case, although i daresay i enjoy most of the meetings i am in, because i surround myself by effective people who don’t like to waste time or be bogged down in repeat convos and the like.

but today i met with someone on ruckus staff who felt blessed to work here, and was just feeling excited that in this moment when we could be panicking, we’re instead being non-conformist, living our dreams, loving our network and doing more and better work than ever.

then i met with a big thinker and mover of resources, talking about the work of the us social forum and international climate movement and where direct action fits into the bigger picture. was reminding said thinker that especially in times of empty pockets, direct action can be the most effective low-budget people powered strategy. if done with a long-term strategic lens, it can shift local, state, federal policy; and more importantly, advance the cultural understanding of a needed change. ie, making green cool.

then i met with this woman who does cool technology organizing and she was talking so tangibly about the work they are doing, and was excited to hear about our recent organizational shifts and the recent victories we’ve experienced.

it was like walking up a feeling of goodness and alignment with my work. also had that flying feeling i experience watching spiderman movies, like all of these conversations are webs from my palms and i am learning to spin my web towards my destination with more and more accuracy.

i stopped by forest books on 16th near valencia and grabbed Basic Teachings of the Great Philosophers, because i want to have more of those ideas within reach of my current brain, and a Le Guin book, and a new-to-me Philip Dick book. the bookstore keeps paper sales ledgers, which just made me feel nostalgia for books, paper, handwriting.

tomorrow i begin the second session of somatics and social justice work. am excited to see the people again, and think more about the big work of healing (the movement, our species, myself).

time capsule: may 26, 2009

a lot of things happened in the world today.

the california supreme court upheld prop 8, meaning gay marriage is still banned in california. the 18,000 marriages that happened in the window of enlightened thinking when gay marriage was legal will be upheld. as i’ve said before, i believe in civil unions for all, and marriage – gay or straight – as something that should be decided, however slowly, by churches. but this isn’t about that finer point, and we all know it. it’s about how much folks hate/fear what they don’t understand.

the supreme court overturned a ruling that stops police from questioning a defendant without a lawyer present.

tensions are spiking between north and south korea.

there were swine flu deaths in new york and a massive cyclone hit india and bangladesh.

a couple of weeks ago i got to sit with grace lee boggs again, which is always elucidating. sitting with anyone who is 94 is humbling. everything that feels so pressing and urgent and important at this moment gets shifted into a meta-perspective. more than any other 90+ year old i have ever met, grace pushes my mind, and after i have left her presence, questions that she voiced return. this last time she asked a question that she and her late husband/philosophical-partner Jimmy have been asking for years: what time is it on the clock of the universe?

on a day like today, when the bulk of major decisions and conversations seem so regressive, our species seems so infantile – do we fight or exclude? is there a way to make our failing justice system more unfair for those without resources?

the hope for our species is not at the statewide or federal levels of decision making, though we must keep strategically advancing our causes in those spaces. its at the local level, its in small victories.

a week ago yesterday a woman was attacked in the driveway behind my house, and my neighbors and i responded. yesterday, the woman who was attacked stopped by the bbq happening on our patio. i missed her, i was up this mountain i go to when i want to get away from technology. but she came, and she’s healing. as much as my neighbors and i have loved each other, this event brought us closer, and opened up more relationships between us and the larger community. on a small scale we participated in humanity stepping up to the gift of reason. reason can be used to resolve conflict, to help others, to strengthen community. this is happening in organized and unorganized ways all over the world – people are crafting the world they want instead of waiting for failed systems to miraculously work.

at this moment people are writing and living the solutions. here’s what i’m reading today, and what i recommend everyone else read:

Margaret Wheatley’s Leadership in the New Sciences and Turning to One Another

William Gibson‘s All Tomorrow’s Parties. Start with Neuromancer, then Idoru, Burning Chrome, Pattern Recognition. He writes about the future in ways that make you want to go there, in ways that expose cultural shifts and why they happen.

and, Anita Diamant’s The Red Tent. Honestly, I just finished this book, and it made me excited about the ways of women. How we heal, care, birth, hold the space for miracles. While reading this I crystallized some thinking about processes for change: if the greatest miracle we know of – making life – can happen as a complete process in roughly 9 months, then why are we so slow at everything else? And in this world of today, where I can hardly find a space for a non-reactionary conversation because there is so much crap to react to, that knowledge of time gives me hope.

Because, to respond a little to grace’s question, the moment in the universe is one in which we (possibly the only sentient beings like ourselves, hopefully not) are becoming aware, through the sciences or through our own experiences of the changes in our environment, that our time here as a species is not infinite. And so we are turning away from the irresponsible and childish behaviors that we have called our nature, and our curiosity for how to live and be with each other is bursting up through the seams of old society.

It won’t be long before the idea of banning gay marriage will be seen as shameful and ignorant by the mainstream. Shortly after that it will be taken for granted, and who knows how it will show up in the history books.

We will learn from our collective experience, though those lessons may not show up in the mainstream of our culture in ways that we feel represent us. But here in the margins – margins of identity, of class, of philosophical leanings, of futurists – there’s clarity, there’s pride, there’s indignation, and there’s experiential learning of how to be with each other, how to make decisions for the collective good.

i have a crush on the future…

today was a good day for pushing the emotional futuristic quadrant of my brain (if that’s an actual scientific part i don’t know where it is).

first my Friend’s favorite artist william kentridge (or one of the top 5) surprisingly has an exhibit at sf moma, so we went. The exhibit was breathtaking, brought tears to my eyes, made me gasp with delight and wonder, and feel like someone had seen my whole life story and turned it into a delicate mechanical puppet dance and set it to opera and south african funeral songs. dude is a south african artist who makes these videos by drawing in charcoal, filming the drawing, erasing and adjusting the drawing and filming it more. the effect of this erasing is that the image grows in fading layers upon itself, it imitates life, nothing is gone, only faded, leaving residue. he creates these intricate worlds, engulfs the viewer in an entire emotional process, like looking at the inside of the heart of apartheid, or love.

one collection was self portraits where his self seemed to live within a larger simpler drawing of a monster – the monster felt what he felt, or responded to him with rage.

another theme was processions of people with belongings on their backs and heads, or in a frozen dance, reminding me of another shadow puppet artist who focuses on slavery-era images of black people. dance and displacement.

in each piece, things are constantly transforming, moving into flight, away from gravity, beyond what we know to be true of the physical world. in a room with 7 or 8 projections of him creating, there is a video at the end in which a naked woman follows him around, touches him gently, but when he senses her, she disappears – it’s everything about love and longing and grief, that subtlety, ah.

i cannot express how much this experience pleased my mind.

also, one of the arias used in the puppet show that made me cry was sampled in the kelis song “Like You”, so that rediscovery was nice.

then we strolled across the yerba buena gardens to the imax theater for star trek. false advertising in effect – star trek wasn’t playing on the imax screen for 6 hours, so we went to a normal big ass screen. it was my second viewing and i was just as thrilled as i was the first time.

anyone who has read just about any post on here knows this already, but it never ceases to amaze me – i have the biggest crush on the future. i love the toys, and the possibility of space and other species. i love how large and unknown the universe is and how that makes our painfully slow emotional development on earth more bearable.

i’m not talking about the Actual future, but the amazing future as imagined in the past. the future as seen from the 60s and 70s is particularly delicious, because it has the best of that period of style against the wildest imaginings of what exists. even the amazing future as we are imagining it now – the best of technological advances with some sort of moral evolutions that make us not want to kill and consume everything ASAP.

the anticipation makes me blush, i want to write notes to the future – will i like you, check yes or no? i imagine new toys, capabilities, and norms, particularly around moving from one place to another, and organic, grown structures as opposed to dead and temporary ones.

and in terms of this movie, i like the boots. older spock’s coat?? i want it. beaming? i want some! i already do a lot of nonviolent empath here, i want the right outfit.

my Friend laughed hard at my obvious excitement, but the future is cooler than any composure we keep about this moment. this moment is exciting, and i am doing better work on being present, but the biggest challenge is that my heart is light years ahead of me, and sometimes i feel like i have a butterfly in my chest, mostly when deeply engaging with william gibson, octavia butler, samuel r delany, phlilip dick, or a really well-made sci-fi movie or show like battlestar or star trek. some days i feel more there than here.

walking out of the movie with the view of yerba buena gardens and the sf moma rising in the distance, i could see it everywhere, coming. its a great way to create, to look at the world now and think of what would make it more awesome.

ok, now to try and pull my brain back into here and now, there’s a lot to deal with.

oh, and my gay evolutionary theory

i have a theory i’ve been thinking about and wanna share with y’all. it’s, for lack of a better term, a gay evolutionary theory.

so there have been gay people since forever, and societies have dealt with it in different ways. two-spirits, the ways of academics/politicians/leaders, a luxury for the wealthy, a radical lifestyle, something to fear/burn/punish.

the major religions of the world primarily developed at a time when it felt like there was a need to procreate – populate this massive uninhabited world! agrarian lifestyles needed large families to survive and succeed. colonization and empire followed (my babies deserve to rule this planet more than your babies). still with me (on this oversimplified history)?

fast forward a gabillion generations. now our world is overpopulated in a manner of speaking. we may not have too many people for the space of the planet, but the way we live is overtaxing parts of the planet and throwing the world – physically, spiritually and economically – into imbalance.

so now there’s this surge of normalizing same sex relationships – domestic partnerships and gay marriage are part of the mainstream political conversation, and legislation is making it official that gay love can be formally recognized.

part of this is just civil rights – the right of all people to exist as they are and be treated with justice.

but my theory is that part of this shift is an evolutionary call from the planet. in terms of population, same sex relationships don’t result in accidental children; the choice to parent has to be planned, intentional. now, at a moment when population is a controversial and confusing problem, a solution is emerging. the experiment where heterosexual couples are only allowed to have one child has failed, with mass murders and abandonment of female children, and hyper-focus on only children who bear the full pressure of a family to succeed and maintain the familial line. nyet. and we don’t want a world where plagues and massive natural disasters tragically decrease the population. nyet!

so imagine a world in which the 20-40% of people who are born with a preference for people of the same sex are fully legitimized as people with equal rights – to love, to live, to work, to raise children. one result would be that the family planning process would be much more intentional, economically sound – and the children brought into those circumstances are more likely to have two loving, present parents. population growth is balanced, and the quality of life increases.

this isn’t a massive argument for gay marriage, or for marriage at all. i have stated before that i am an advocate of secular domestic partnerships for all, with marriage as a process of religion and faith that domestic partners can choose to also participate in. what the state in my dream world would recognize is that people are choosing to be in a familial relationship with each other in terms of property, children and taxes. what the church would recognize is that people are choosing to be together in the eyes of their god.

what this IS an argument for is our existence. since the beginning of creation, living matter has evolved and specified and grown for the sake of survival. this generation we’re in is on the precipice of either great collapse and failure, or great joy and living beyond survival. if our choices for who we love were not based on the aspect of procreation, but rather on the aspect of true attraction, of life goals, of commitment? imagine the world that could come into existence! in fact, this is the world that is already coming into existence – not on radical edges of society, but in every small town, in every city, in every country around the world.

if we free ourselves from external and internalized homophobia, and look for the miracle, the purpose of our existence, then this theory presents the possibility of a greater call than identity…than even love. perhaps our love is now able to become a normalized aspect of humanity because it is what is most needed by the planet and the species.

so. it’s a theory, and only time will tell. but consider it. consider as you come out of closets, as you realize not all lives are driven by a biological clock that demands that we procreate, as the laws change to recognize love that has been repressed and silenced for too long.

maybe it is a greater calling – maybe it is evolution.

a little PTSD…

it’s official! i am a little ptsd. a little phased, a little out of it, a little slow, a little clumsy, a little terrified when im coming into my apartment complex, a little unclear on how to create a safe space of my corner. i thought i was fine. i keep hearing screams and the sound of people moving anywhere near me is amplified. i double, triple, quadruple check that no one is anywhere near me as i move from my car to my building.

tonight on my patio we had an impromptu popular education self-defense session. here were some of the finer points:

1. the main goal is avoidance. at every step you want to avoid getting caught or stuck in a hold or pinned down. instead of trying to use force, as often (as a woman or someone caught off-guard) you are in the weaker position, you should aim to avoid or release yourself from the contact. if in a chokehold, drop. if you are facing the person, aim for a vulnerable point (eyes, neck) with full force – and then run.

2. a lot of things you might think will make you feel safer – mace, a knife by the bed, basically any weapon – may end up not helping. if you are in the weaker position, you could get overpowered and that weapon could be used against you. in the time it takes to find the mace in your purse, you are vulnerable to attack. better to have self-defense skills and awareness.

3. it’s important to be realistic about where most attacks happen. they most often happen in or near your home, often by people you think you know. so it’s important to be aware and present in those moments.

“we unveiled our legacies of violence”, and then talked about women’s health, how to love being a woman, how that makes the experience of it so much more fulfilling.

that was a totally great way to name and be present with the shock of this week. and naming it makes us stronger.

the other great thing is: tomorrow someone’s gonna come hold me…

vulnerability and malcolm x

today is malcolm x’s 84th birthday. happy birthday el-hajj malik el-shabazz. here’s a wonderful post from grace lee boggs on knowing malcolm.

today i’ve been thinking about the violence of last night, and the lessons of malcolm’s life. at one point in his life, malcolm, aka detroit red, was engaged in a violent, survival-based life. he was doing cocaine, robbing rich people, menacing society, and shaming himself and his people.

the brother who committed this violent, awful crime last night is someone who has the potential of malcolm x within him. every single person who engages in desperate, violent acts, has that potential. for malcolm, it took going to prison, discovering god and humility, feeling the call to greatness and the power of words and service that was waiting in the wings of his life, finding himself and staying true to himself. his life was so short and so powerful, and it focused around this pivot to greatness. what would it take for the perpetrator of last night’s violence?

because i actually would go so far as to say that malcolm’s greatness came from the depths to which he had sunk. that is why his story stays with us, that is why we read his autobiography and then recommend it to people we love. that is why he was was our “manhood”, our “black shining prince”. because he was not just the story of a clean, neat life; doing the right things and succeeding personally. his was the story of vulnerability and impact – only by being vulnerable to his circumstances and his need for something greater could he transform into malcolm x. and only by being impacted could he know the full story of humanity – impacted by the place and time and people to which he was born; impacted by the circumstances of slavery and racism; impacted by desperation and ego; impacted by love, by god, by community.

the places he reached in the hearts and minds of those who heard him and followed were deep, and dark. the places where we hate ourselves, and believe we are inferior; the places where we believe we deserve no better. he used humor, ridicule and rhetoric to slip past the walls that surround the black community and say this tiny life of mental slavery and prison is not the way for us. we are a great people. we have to unshackle ourselves, and then love each other enough to free our greater selves – the community.

and that could have been enough. but at the end of his short life, when he could have chosen a road of limited but stable success, he humbled himself even more, he made himself even more vulnerable. he opened his heart to the people he had only ever thought of as his enemy, and saw that they too were human, were struggling, were creatures of deep spiritual potential.

i hold malcolm x in my mind’s eye when i think of what happened last night. i send my heart out to the little woman i held yesterday, and then send it out the further, harder journey to the man who beat her. i meditate on the humanity within him, the divine spark that he is holding, however deep down.

i hold malcolm x in my heart when i think of all of us, sitting with this unparalleled potential to love, restore, heal, grow and learn, pushing that part of ourselves down under layers of bitterness, sarcasm, hate, distrust, fear and even strategy.

can we reach out to those engaged in vastly different strategies than ourselves and ask to learn? can we travel outside of our comfort zones to grow our hearts? can we humble ourselves to the divine power so much greater than our individual needs that it can provide enough for everyone?

are we vulnerable enough to surrender? whether it is to forgiveness, or to greatness?

happy birthday, el-hajj malik el-shabazz. you humbled us all.

lee street avengers

this evening, i heard a small scream, which billowed into massive screams, coming in waves, the way people scream for their lives. i ran outside and my neighbors were halfway down the stairs trying to find where the screams were coming from.

he was next door, he was running past my neighbors, tucking the purse into his arm, he was cutting through the bushes. that’s him, that’s him, somebody stop him. my neighbors give chase as he jumps a fence, but i turn back to the screaming.

she’s there at the end of the driveway, tucked in the corner, blood pooled and staining everywhere, her car still running and playing music. i put my hand on her back, someone needed to touch her, saying you’re ok, you’re alive, thank god you can scream loud; wishing i knew more about stopping blood, slowing swelling. she was shock-calm, as someone gave her their t-shirt, and people brought ice, and people called police and ambulances, as four neighbors a street over wrestled him to the ground and held him, as they flagged down the police, as tons of cop cars and a firetruck and ambulance arrived, as she had to see him to identify him, as statements were taken.

she screamed, so she’s alive. we all ran out of the house and scared him into running, so she’s alive. i couldn’t understand how hands could do such damage, so it made sense when they said he had a construction hammer. she was hummingbird-small, barefoot and brave.

everyone stood around retelling the story for an hour, then we all went to our different gyms and pools and worked off the adrenaline. then we ordered pizza and watched the news coverage together. i’m left with all these thoughts:

what makes someone so desperate that they beat a woman with a hammer in broad daylight for a chance at her car, or her purse?

instincts are amazing. each of us did a different thing, the thing that made sense for us to do. together, as an unplanned team, we intervened.

there are so many dynamics – her tiny frame vs. his massive one, her whiteness vs. his blackness, her ability to fight back vs his ability to pummel her. the way that the whole community responded was where all those dynamics were challenged – smaller men chased him and caught him, folks from every background responded, tenderness came from every size and shape imaginable.

there’ve now been two violent robberies and two violent murders on this corner…how do we rebuild safety?

mostly, i wish for a restorative process now. i wish this was a peace zone, where we could catch him, comfort and heal her, and then get to the root issues that created today’s events. i wish she could stay in the comfort of her community while being treated, instead of hauled away alone in an ambulance. hearing people call for his beating, his punishment, just made me wish the community energy extended even further.

part of me is still shook. thank god for my neighbors, for my folk, and how we look out for each other.

work life balance

today i swam for over an hour in the outdoor pool at diamond park, surrounded by trees. i did lots of flips in the deep end. i slept in. i met a baby. i bought three fans for my house – one large oscillating and two small personal fans to blow on me wherever i am. i got turquoise cutting boards, the flexible kind. i found a beautiful swimsuit on sale. i did dishes but now there’s more. i did my laundry.

someone asked me today about work life balance – they were wondering how to get there. in thinking about it, i realized i’m there right now. working virtually, spending two days a week with my coworkers where we meet and cook and deeply discuss our work, and three days of working from home, meeting with partners and donors – its a reasonable way to work. swimming every day, being in a great relationship, loving my family, traveling and being home, protecting my weekends as time to mostly think and relax and not work, but knowing my work is important and doing a good job at it…its not a permanent state, i recommit to it every day. but i really like this moment in life – being tan and engaged, physically active, and highly efficient in the work i do.

so…yay!! tomorrow’s monday and i love that, saturday and sunday were soo delicious!

components of a perfect day

1. going on a date with myself to the star trek movie. i sat in the theater and giggled with joy, gasped with satisfaction, felt thrilled by the visuals and like, “oh, yes that makes sense,” about the storyline. bravo! part of what made it so good was waiting for the right moment to see it, letting the anticipation build up to the point of near frenzy. i have to remember that i was taught, through our family birthday process, that anticipation is the best part of any truly special occasion.

my girl favi wrote something i couldn’t quite grasp, but which made me realize that spock might actually be the star trek character im closest to – virgo (me) and vulcan (him) are both logic based creatures. and he’s a mixed kid!! geek. out.

2. swimming outdoors because its 97 degrees out. the first pool i went to was closed, boo. the second pool was closing in 5 minutes, and they had no towels to rent. the woman saw my face and said – go get in. they let me swim and flip around for 10 minutes, it felt sooo good. i decided she was kind of an angel of my day, especially when she let me pat down with her towel after.

3. going to a graduation of new teachers at mills college. my sweet neighbor bong lau was graduating with his teaching degree – he teaches art. the whole thing made me so emotional! i cried through the first 3 speeches. the righteous energy, the commitment to doing such hard and needed work as teaching, the love of students and justice and imagination – it was inspirational and unexpected. almost everyone in my life commits themselves to teaching, sharing knowledge, fighting for justice. but it’s rare to just say it, to realize how many people are out there in different ways working to make things better against impossible odds.

4. the bbq! we have these bbqs on my patio, my neighbors are amazing at cooking and inviting folks over, and it’s literally hours of us collectively holding court for a wide range of hilarious, inspirational or super raunchy conversation. some of the content last night included: matchmaking, how happiness changes (one neighbor has a 3-year theory, that every 3 years your idea of happiness changes, and if someone told you what was going to make you happy in 3 years you wouldn’t believe them. this theory worked completely when i applied it to my own life…), how people develop their sexual preferences (my theory is that porn brings a lot of ideas into the bedroom that aren’t actually pleasing or logical), strawberries, my friend tommy’s new improvisation troupe, my friend valerie’s art space and pending choir, the andre ward boxing match (which some of our party went to briefly and reported back that it was aight), and a new friend and i talked about relationships and freedom, 1 upping each other with our openmindedness. then we realized we were talking over each other, which was because we were a virgo-sag match, both raised surrounded by people of the other sign. he is one of the latest adoptees to the buildings. folks come to one bbq, and see that it’s truly like some television version – 10 strangers find themselves in an apt building, diverse, funny, and with a penchant for meat on a grill and talking about love. irresistible.

celebrations and transitions

what a moment!

just back from a successful weekend planning the road to the us social forum in detroit in 2010. got to spend time with my allied media conference family, the conference/gathering that brings together the minds that excite me more than anything else in the world.

the plan leading to the forum is about more than the 5 days of the forum, there are conversations about asking folks to buy homes instead of getting hotels – homes that will belong to organizations in detroit after the forum (to counter the colonization that is happening in detroit with buyers from japan and california scooping up foreclosed cheap homes in bulk). folks are going to be asked to bring bikes to leave in the city to support alternate forms of transportation. there’s even talk of launching an alternate currency during the forum! the theme has been another world is possible, another u.s. is necessary. grace lee boggs has been saying for years that another detroit is happening, and this will be a space for all of that to pollinate and burst to a national and international level.

so that was good.

arrived home to police cars surrounding my block, again. one of my neighbors was recently murdered and dumped on the side of a road by a vicious ex, and you’d have to live under a rock to be unaware of the violence that’s been building between the police and the people of oakland this year. this time, a 97-year-old neighbor was beaten to death in her home. ivarene was a super active, wonderful, strong woman who was sweet to everyone in the neighborhood. a moment for ivarene – may she rest in peace.

this kind of violence so close to home is hard to align with the amazing growth and forgiveness and movement building i’ve been seeing, but it’s also a reminder that the world we live in NOW desperately needs the change we are working for, the healing we are growing in ourselves and our organizations and our communities.

today i spent two delightful hours with one of the most radical funders i know, talking about how shamefully many major donors are behaving during this economic crisis (giving nothing when they can still afford to give, even if it’s less). we also geeked out about the growth of networks in a time when institutions and structures are crumbling fast. it’s so natural – buildings and inanimate structures – even the human body – begin to deteriorate as soon as they exist, and it is only a matter of time before they are reclaimed by the earth. organic structures, however, have life cycles. humans have tried to extend ours in ways which are negatively impacting the planet, and we have applied that thinking to organizational structures. we try to create indestructible institutions, and we’re surprised when they become antiquated, ineffective; when they fail, fall apart, implode.

ruckus has been a network since it’s inception, but it feels like we are just now understanding the strength of that structure. networks are organic, people/organizations are a part of networks from a place of passion and natural interest, rather than for a salary or a title. when monetary resources leave the network structure, the love and community can keep it going. this economic moment has definitely impacted us, donors have given less or not at all, foundations who promised to fund us this year are now giving no new grants. fortunately we restructured last year, committing to our network structure and trimming all the fat from our budget. we will make it through if we are meant to, and we have been able to share lessons about our network model with other struggling organizations. the thing is – this moment of change is exciting. we are healthier and more engaged in cutting edge work than we have ever been. and the victories support that the nonviolent direct action network model works – desert rock permit denied, klamath river dams brought down, new school president ousted. it’s a good moment to take action, and taking action is affordable when nothing else is :).

i also went to a friend’s birthday party tonight which was lovely, sacred, and healing. i ran into someone i have always thought of as family there, and this person was not happy to see me. with all the amazing changes and drama of the past few months i have been negligent of certain folks, and i hope they can understand and forgive me.

it was mother’s day this past weekend (happy mothers day to all the humans with wombs, and all the people who take on the role of mothering babies and midwives and dulas and godmothers and grandmothers in this world), and i got to send lots of love to all the mothers in my life. my mom is one of the most incredible people in the world, and has always been so open and supportive of my life, and i have put her through it. my family was all together while i was facilitating the us social forum process, staring at my perfect nephew. he makes me understand the miracle of motherhood, the beauty of childbirth, how special a new life is, how much we all need to love children and support children in our lives.

on the midwife tip – my dear friend sara was breaking me off on some serious numbers. it costs $4000 to have a homebirth, in a safe space with a midwife and the wisdom of ancients welcoming a child into the world, supported through the entire pregnancy. it costs $30,000 or more to have a hospital birth, in a sterilized cold space where pregnancy is treated as an illness, where you’re cared for for up to 2 days and then dismissed. um…yay midwives!! let’s honor the practices of ages and evolve the western process to involve and respect these ancient and natural ways.

as a final point, i have been reading pattern recognition by william gibson, and it’s a brilliant book about a “cool hunter” who is allergic to brands, grasping how trends start and get commodified by corporations, and how hard it is to be original, to notice something genuinely new. i love his thinking and his writing and recommend him.

this is long, maybe that’s enough. more to follow.