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Archive for August, 2011

Last night I went to see Santana with Michael Franti and Spearhead opening. It was a special occasion. E paid for our tickets and her parents came as well. Our tickets were $95 each! It took me awhile to stop brooding about the cost and how it made the music inaccessible to so many.

I think that it was “Corazon Espinado” that finally got me dancing. I didn’t realize that song was a joint ManĂ¡ and Santana endeavor. I know, I’m a bit out of it.

So out of it, in fact, that it wasn’t until this morning that I thoroughly appreciated Michael Franti and Spearhead.

This song, “Hey World (Don’t Give Up)” appeals to me because it combines seriousness and hope, satisfying the social worker side of me who sees and hears too much with my desire to find a way to be positive. They did not play it last night.

 

Why is it that I haven’t listened to them before? E says I have. Evidently, I need to open my ears up a bit more than I do.

 

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Continuing on with the bicycle theme, I have created my first swap on swap-bot. Hope you will join and create awesome postcards/mail art about what bicycles mean to you. You can find my swap here.

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I’ve been making less postcards and journaling more. It gives me an opportunity to explore different techniques without having to have a finished product that is “mailable.” I haven’t had many journaling or generally making days in awhile. Tomorrow will be an opportunity. I will hopefully make the best of it.

I made this page a few weeks ago.

The stacked rocks are a common sight on hikes here in this area. The first time I saw stacked rocks was in Austin, TX. But they are regular occurrences on hikes and nature walks here in Spokane.

This page has another significance. It was my last bike ride on my red bike with the plastic green basket. My dear friend S. and I biked at least 35 miles along the Spokane river. I came home, locked my bike up in the backyard, went on my trip to Yakima, and when I came back my bike and my partner’s were stolen.

Rather disconcerting having someone come into your private backyard space. They came prepared with lock cutters which means a previous reconnaissance mission.

*****

Sorry for the harsh language.

I went to a really cool DIY bike shop in town and bought a new used bike. I put the pedals on myself. I needed mine to commute to work and did not want to wait but we’ve been talking about taking the time to make my partner E’s bike ourselves. I’d like to. My brief pedal replacement was humbling and fun.

I hate the idea that someone is roaming around our backyard uninvited. E’s been freaking out replacing locks in the house.

I’m a social worker for goodness sakes. I could have very likely talked to the thieves on the phone and gone out of my way to help them.

People tell me it is the bad economy. Others say it is because youth have nothing to do over the summer. I just think of the reasons why someone would feel the need to steal two bikes that together, were probably not worth one hundred dollars. A meal? A hit? A short moment of fun? And being me, I think of those who are currently making many thousands, millions, and even billions over one hundred dollars, that small yet increasing percentile who are living beyond anyone’s yet imaginable material expectations.

The gap between those who have and those who don’t is deeper than it has ever been. It is those of you who live with so much more than you need, more than the one time hit seeker who stole our bikes, that I blame for the loss of my cheap but well loved bike.

To you I yell out an even huger:

****

Note: I edited out the expletives. I was a bit angry last night. I still am but I decided to rid my post of expletives.

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Yakima

I just returned from a trip to Yakima, Washington. It is approximately a 3-hour drive from where I live. I dread the drive, but enjoy going to another world within my state, a world in which I actually use my Spanish and that reminds me more than anywhere else of the South Texas Valley where once I lived.

No matter where you are in the city of Yakima, a dry mountain looms in the background. I really needed to take a picture of it. Here is a photo that I found by Jem Rockholt. Next time I go, I will take one myself.

I just love the barren omnipresence of that mountain ridge. No matter where you go, you cannot avoid it. I am tempted to go on about how it is a reminder that nature can still overpower human ego, but others may have their own personal reaction to and interpretation of the scape.

Nonetheless, while on the subject of human ego, I had the opportunity to listen to a funny and genuine speaker today, Dr. Roberto Dansie. What I remember most about his talk, is the importance of living from the heart and of sending “buen aire” or “good air” into the world.

I did a quick search on google and found a video of his that I like. The topic is different than the one of today’s talk, but his naming of “those who dance,” those “who go back and forth,” and “don’t really go anywhere” spoke to me.

I like this guy.

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I haven’t been blogging much. Or being visually creative.

I went to the East Coast one week and weekend to visit the padres. Then last weekend I was at the annual CSTI conference in Portland, Oregon which will be AMP, Activists Mobilizing for Power, next year. I think the highlight for me was going to Mic Crenshaw’s workshop despite the fact that I had to leave early to start the six hour drive home. I found a song/spoken word/rap piece that he performed for us as he encouraged us to pursue our own activist creativity, Follow Your Instincts. I really liked him.

I feel like I am still finding my style, the way to express myself and share that appeals to a certain audience. Perhaps I have yet to find my audience, or a little bit of both.

My mailbox has been rather empty. There was this surge, on my part, of responding to the mail that I received while in school and now that I have caught up, all is quiet. Perhaps I am not considered a reliable corresponder since I was stressed out with school for awhile. As they say where I lived in Guatemala, “Saber?”

I am hoping that Saturday is a day of making. First off I need to clean out my work area which is strewn with clothes, my half empty/full duffle bag, and other accoutrements from my trips. Then I can start creating.

I will share some from the time before heading East. I kind of like them, even though I got an “unusual” from a swapbot swapper who received one of them. I think prettylily was a major influence on these.

May you create no matter what, making this world a more sustainable, just, and equitable world in the process.

mm

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