Earth Day April 22 | Msg from the Future ~Green New Deal~ with AOC | Extinction Rebellion

Today, April 22, 2019 is Earth Day!

Earth Day April 22

Earth Day April 22

“On April 22, 1970, millions of people took to the streets to protest the negative impacts of 150 years of industrial development.” This was almost 50 years ago! I currently live in Providence, Rhode Island. I just watched as I stood in a coat and sweater, with long underwear on, a man get out of his truck in a t-shirt, then get back in, turn on the engine, and sit there parked, with dark brown and grey fumes coming from the ignition. He sat there for a long time. I stopped approaching people about the topic of their spoiling the air by leaving their engine’s idling after the first few months.

Earth Day April 22.

 

Certainly the most exciting thing presently, is the release of this fabulously illustrated, simple and direct message which reaches us through the heart.

The Intercept: A Message From The Future With Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

A Message from the Future with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Intercept

You can listen to the making of this message through Democracy Now, “A Message from the Future with AOC”: New Film Imagines World Transformed by the Green New Deal

In the meantime, The Climate Reality Project states “In report after report, including the IPCC’s Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5 °C, the world’s leading scientific experts have sounded the alarm that unprecedented and aggressive measures must be taken to reduce emissions to safe levels to protect our future.”

The Climate Reality Project Protect Our Planet

Which is why scientists and professionals as well as school children globally such as the Sunrise Movement, are stating that writing books and relying on the government as leaders and guides in addressing climate change and creating legislation to honestly do something about it, has not been working. That’s why people have started to Rebel for Life.

Extinction Rebellion professionals talk about what pushed people to act to change

Extinction Rebellion: what pushes people to drastic action on climate change?

Farhana Yamin is a climate changer lawyer who helped draft the Paris Climate Agreement in 2015. She participated in the Extinction Rebellion and was arrested, expressing that at various points in time people have to take a stand and act, in order for things to change, such as Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr.

Farhana Yamin Climate Change Lawyer, Paris Climate agreement, arrested XR

Farhana Yamin Climate Change Lawyer who helped draft Paris Climate agreement arrested XR

Extinction Rebellion, which began on April 15th in London and locations WorldWide, continues. Extinction Rebellion wants a Citizen’s Assembly for Climate Change. Greta Thunberg, who boycotted school to sit by the Swedish parliament, demands that they honestly talk about climate change and educate the public. She has inspired youth all over the globe to act. Greta Thunberg addresses the participants of the Extinction Rebellion rally in London.

 

Greta Thunberg, Swedish teen, School Boycott for climate change, Climate Actiont, Extinction Rebellion rally

Greta Thunberg Swedish teen School Boycott for Climate Action speaks at Extinction Rebellion rally

Extinction Rebellion Day 1 London Greatest Threat is Leaving it for Someone Else

There are plenty of local groups to join or discussions to participate in. I went to one by chance a week ago in which 8 panelists talked to a full auditorium of local Rhode Island citizens, to talk about Climate Change Solutions.

Publick Panel Climate Change Solutions

We Demand a Green New Deal

Horse Racing is Lame | US Horse Deaths and Drugs | Run to Death

What is up with the American addiction to excessive use of drugs and chemicals to enhance and control nature; in horse racing, child and adult psychology, the healthcare industry (not wellness), agriculture, animal slaughterhouses, fish farming, the energy industries – to the point that rather than optimizing performance, they become a lethal poison?

Horse Racing Drugs and Deaths, PETA undercover- investigation PETA

Horse Racing Drugs and Deaths PETA undercover- investigation PETA

Back in early March I saw a disturbing news clip “Spike in horse fatalities at Santa Anita Park casts shadow over racing industry” on PBS News Hour published March 7, 2019. A 21st horse died at the same race track in California, within just a few months. It primarily pointed to the conditions of the track as the cause. Near the end of the clip there was mention of horses being pushed very hard, with drugs used to mask their pain. Yet the overall message was poor track conditions. Perhaps because of the unusually wet weather, the rain had made the track brittle, like concrete.

How bizarre? What is this really about?

I had a horrific awakening to the reality of the sport several years ago in Pennsylvania when I accompanied my brother to see the horse of his friend race at Penn National racetrack. His friend owned the stable where my brother lodged his horse. When the race finally started I watched from the stands. However, the horse I was there to watch never came around the track. I asked where’s the horse? I found out within minutes that he was dead. What? He’s been ‘put down’ – shot, because he fell.

What? Shot? Already? What in the world? I hate the term ‘put down’ – as if you’re doing someone a favor. You don’t ‘put down’ your grandmother? Well, I later spoke to a friend who believes in the humane ‘euthanasia’ of humans as well as animals. I could understand her logic. Regardless, this was a very disturbing experience. In shock, I asked my brother why in the world was the horse killed? I learned for the first time that when a horse say, twists an ankle, it is kindly, slaughtered. This is routine? With panic in my voice I asked, “You mean there aren’t sophisticated ways to give horses support while they are healing? Aren’t there braces? Casts? My brother explained that the horse’s body weight couldn’t support a broken leg. “Aren’t there straps and ways to hold the horse securely while keeping weight off the injured leg? Can’t you immerse the horse in water to take the weight off their body?” No, it wouldn’t be able to hold still. I couldn’t believe it.

santa anita horse 23rd death CNN

santa anita horse 23rd death CNN

When I saw this headline a few days ago 2 days after racing resumed, 23rd horse dies at Santa Anita Park that more horses died, again, since reopening the track, I was angry. Within this a man makes openly claims that the horse racing industry must commit to stop using drugs, revealing that the deaths are not about the track quality at all, but the extreme measures the horses are pushed to. This declaration with respect to the state of California, is for a total ban of all medication (on race day), and commitment to a new trend, to put the welfare of the horses and the (mostly immigrant) workers’ who work closely with the horses, first. It Implies that it’s been quite clear to a lot of people within the industry, that these horse death’s were not by any means due to surface irregularities on a track. Well, that’s California, 1 in 52 states. It’s a start. I notice he is only talking about the banning of drugs on race day. Nevertheless, this is a huge admission to the connection of drug use and deaths of horses – on a regular basis in the United States – on this particular California race track.

I didn’t have to look very hard for more confirmation of race horse deaths as a result of bad practices and the use of drugs to articulate them. The practice of using syringes and injecting all sorts of drugs into the horses, is more a phenomenon in the United States. It verifies that the nature of horse racing is not about the horses, but about the money. The value of winning in this high-roller deluxe gambling industry, doesn’t truly value and honor the horse, at all.

It’s an industry in which humans gamble to win money, with the welfare of the animal a very low priority. The horses are exploited, abused, run on seriously injured feet and joints, exercised until their lungs are bleeding and driven beyond their capability, with drugs to mask the pain and enhance their physical stamina. They are run to death..

The nonsense of putting profit over the value of life, is the standard modus operandi – rippling through all of its industries. A country whose economics of capitalism, bleeds from the earth and its creatures.

Drugs and dead horses’: US racing reels after Peta video broadside

Horse Racing Exposed: Drugs and Death.

Horse Racing Drugs and Deaths PETA undercover investigation PETA

Horse Racing Drugs and Deaths PETA undercover investigation PETA

Horse Racing Exposed: Drugs and Death

“On average 24 horses a week die on race tracks in the US. This PETA video reveals that one of the leading thoroughbred trainers, Steve Asmussen, has continued a chronic misuse of drugs.”

Steve Asmussen, horse drug violations, PETA

Steve Asmussen one of many US horse trainers with drug violations PETA

“These are factory farms, where syringes are the most important tool of the trade.”

Posted March 22nd, 2019, Asmussen, the torture of racehorses and agonizing death of Nehro

The PETA – People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals – video reveals the footage from an undercover journalist working with horses in the ‘industry. Race horses are pushed and trained through serious injuries and pain. By using a cocktail of performance enhancing drugs as well as pain-masking drugs, regardless of having terrific injuries in their feet and joints, the horses are run to death.

This reassures me that horse racing is lame. Ironic pun. It’s a cruel and vicious ‘sport’ – using an animal to do the dirty work while people profit with dirty money. It’s up there with dog fighting, bull fighting and trophy hunting.

The extreme pain due to rotting and breaking shoes on their hooves is enough to reveal that they should not be running at all.

Lasix, horse drug debate, US horse racing

Lasix drug debate which is bleeding US horse racing dry

I looked up some of the drugs mentioned, and found this  Lasix: the drug debate which is bleeding US horse racing dry

and found this, Lasix Kentucky Derby Horses Use a Drug Banned Everywhere Else

“Nearly all of the horses running in the Kentucky Derby will be given a drug on Derby day that is banned in most of the rest of the world.”

Lasix, Kentucky Derby , inverse

Lasix Kentucky Derby Horses Use a Drug Banned Everywhere Else

Pharmacology of furosemide in the horse: a review. “Neither the effect of furosemide on athletic performance nor its efficacy in the prevention of exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage has been convincingly demonstrated.”

Since rather than the horse being retired, they are exterminated due to the nature of almost any injury to the legs, I absolutely loathe the sport. I object to treating an animal with cruelty. Horses are beautiful and gentle creatures. The concept of racing horses was  here long ago. This article shows a lot of the history of horse racing. “While the modern-day sport did originate in Britain, horses have been racing for as long as they have been domesticated. Nomadic tribesmen raced horses in Central Asia as far back as 4500 BC, while the first horseback tournaments on British soil took place around 200 AD.” It mentions that in the western world, horses were originally bred for war. Now it’s not surprising. And the fact that it became a royalty-centered thing in Great Britain, whose reputation went on to colonize and subjugate people from all over the world. It continued a hundred years ago, perpetuated as a sport which had connections with the social elite of Hollywood. And naturally, the excessiveness consumerism within modern day capitalism, the industrialization of just about everything and quantifying everything over how much profit it can generate, has outweighed again and again a respect and value for the natural world. In this game, the horse is a disposable commodity, which is valued by how much money it can generate. What is up with the American addiction to an excessive use of drugs and chemicals to enhance and control nature (in horse racing, child and adult psychology, agriculture, animal and fish farming, the energy industries) to the point that rather than increasing performance, they are a lethal poison?

Role of Agrochemicals in ‘Fungal Pathogen’ Mass Amphibian Death | Pesticide Induced Ecocide

A few days ago a friend’s FB post was an article Amphibian ‘apocalypse’ caused by most destructive pathogen ever associated with a hard to pronounce fungus. “The sudden appearance of chytridiomycosis, chytrid Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, was introduced into the affected regions.”

Dead Frogs killed by amphibian chytrid fungus photo, Joel Sartore

Dead Frogs killed by amphibian chytrid fungus photo Joel Sartore

Mass amphibian deaths worldwide? I hadn’t known. I felt distressed. “A silent killer has slaughtered frogs and salamanders around the world.Before the fungus, populations of the alpine tree frog were so abundant there, he had to watch his step when he went out at night. A global team of 41 scientists has announced that the pathogen—which humans unwittingly spread around the world—has damaged global biodiversity more than any other disease ever recorded. The origin of this virulent pathogen is unknown.”

Unknown?

Right.

I had a hunch. Was something else beneath the picture of a natural cause such as the proliferation of a fungus? Is this not more likely the repercussion of the poisons that humans have been putting into the earth and air? Is it perhaps the soil’s distressed or diseased response to pesticides?

Let’s get a Little more clarity about this ‘Fungal Pathogen’ killing amphibian. I couldn’t imagine that it wasn’t a detriment due directly and unequivocally to humans. I googled Chytrid fungus. Origin of Frog-Killing Chytrid Fungus Found
corroborating the Chytrid fungus as the cause of amphibian deaths, with no more conjecture as to the trigger of the growth of the chytrid fungi Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) and Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal).

This article points the finger at Korea as the origin of the fungi, sort of like a bait and switch.

regional origin of fungus but nothing of what exacerbates the fungal growth, agrochemicals

article points to regional origin of fungus but nothing of what exacerbates the fungal growth – agrochemicals

Then I googled ‘association of Chytrid fungus with soil’s response to pesticides DDT’ That delivered this.

Understanding Amphibian Decline: the Role of Pesticides and the Pathogenic Chytrid Fungus on Amphibians and Aquatic Communities
Taegan A. Mcmahon, University of South Florida

Effects of Pesticides and the Pathogenic Chytrid Fungus

Effects of Pesticides and the Pathogenic Chytrid Fungus – Taegan A. McMahon Graduate Thesis Univ. of South Florida

Effects of Pesticides and the Pathogenic Chytrid Fungus on Aquatic Organisms with an Emphasis on their Role in Amphibian Declines
by Taegan A. McMahon, January 2013

Questions these days need to … follow the money …Syngenta was the worldwide leader in agrochemical sales in 2013 at ~$10.9 billion, followed by Bayer CropScience, BASF, Dow AgroSciences, Monsanto, and then DuPont with ~$3.6 billion

Let’s stop this ecocide and complete lack of transparency in the scientific articles that somehow don’t point to the obvious.
Monsanto is now cloaked within Bayer.

How revolting that agro agriculture and agro chemicals have appeared out of poisons developed for warfare, thinking that we could control nature and mass produce, for our mass fortunes, to the detriment of the soil and all other life who also breathe in and bathe in the pesticides in the soil and water.

Basta! Not on our planet!

Zayne Cowie – Goodbye Earth | Yuval Harari – Master Storytellers are Bankers | Andreas Weber – Economy of the Commons | E. O. Wilson – Half-Earth Project

Zayne Cowie wrote this book which he presents in video. ‘Goodbye Earth’: A Story for Grown-Ups

Goodbye Earth, Zayne Cowie

‘Goodbye Earth’: A Story for Grown-Ups

Goodbye, Earth written by 9 year old Zayne Cowie on the travesties, grown-ups, mis-management

‘Goodbye Earth’: A Story for Grown-Ups by Zayne Cowie

Goodbye, Earth written by 9 year old Zayne Cowie on the travesties of grown-ups mis-management leading to climate catastrophe

It appears that an answer to the dilemma of our economic and political system that has been thriving in the past century due to the power of its agreed upon valuation of money over natural resources and the natural world, is the need to use our hearts and minds to create a new system. A system which recognizes and values all life forms and the resources upon which they all depend. Integrally connected and interdependent, requiring clean water, air, soil and the right to life and to wander on the planet. I don’t think that humans have the right to choke the planet with plastic, deplete the spoil and spoil the water and air. This and warming the planet are ecocide. George Monbiot says, Heating the Planet is an Ecocrime.

In my digesthis.wordpress blog Israeli historian, Yuval Harari talks about the power of human stories. Beyond our objective reality, humans have contrived fictional realities and entities, which dictate actions upon which all life depend.

Harari states in his Tedtalk on the rise of humans that “the master storytellers are the big bankers, the finance ministers, the prime ministers. They tell us a very convincing story and if everyone believes this story, it actually works.”

“Money is the most successful story ever invented and told by humans; it is the only story everybody believes.”

Species all over the planet are critically endangered due to human population increase, territory intrusion, human industrial policies regarding food, housing, energy and transportation demands as well as their tendency to continuously promote war and military might. These activities have damaging repercussions on the health of both humans and the habitats they encroach upon and destroy.

All of creation is dependent upon the decisions made by fictional entities, the storytellers (banks, corporations, governments, religions) and their fictional content (money, shares, development, GDP).

Harari eloquently reveals that “The most important actors in the global economy presently are companies which are legal fictions. Corporations mostly want to make money. And our capitalist system is one built on growth as measured by the Gross Domestic Product. Unfortunately, this hasn’t been the healthiest manner of cooperation with the ecosystem of the earth.

George Monbiot published ‘Common Wealth‘ in the Guardian 27th September 2017, subsequently in his blog. “Hope lies with a great, neglected sector of the economy, through which we can create a system that is neither capitalist nor state communist.”

Andreas Weber The Biology of Wonder cover

Andreas Weber The Biology of Wonder cover

The German biologist, philosopher and nature writer Andreas Weber recognizes the interconnectedness of humans to nature. In his talk at the conference on “Economics and the Common(s): From Seed Form to Core Paradigm” Weber mentions that though we can maintain aspects of our modus operandi of the age of enlightenment, we need to make a paradigm shift to enlivenment; seeing all life in continuous interrelationship.

“In our question of “what is life?”, we need to look beneath the ‘operating system’ engendered by the enlightenment in which things, life, humans are measured according to efficiency, competition and egoistical agents. This approach is cutting things down into blocks, separate parts, into arbitrary entities and dead objects. What is missing is that there are no feelings involved.”

This is where Andreas Weber draws the distinction between the repercussions of the enlightenment, in which nature and species have been commodified. “life, humans are measured according to efficiency, competition and egoistical agents. This approach is cutting things down into blocks, separate parts, into arbitrary entities and dead objects. What is missing is that there are no feelings involved.”

We need to create a paradigm shift, Weber states “we need a new bios, enlivenment; stressing the expressive and experiential qualities of being alive. Instead of looking at nature and life in a causal way, when we see things as they are, they are constantly changing, in an unfolding process of freedom, autonomy and value. Every commons is a material and knowledge commons.”

Enlivenement – we are feeling beings who wish to feel meaningful experiences within a community of other beings.

He recognizes that the wealth and extent of human experience and awe and wonder contributes to the emotional and spiritual health of humans beings. We need the richness of diversity for the wealth of experience in feeling.

Andreas Weber’s book describes how he wishes the world to see natural living systems.

He claims, “Nothing is more open-source than DNA.“

The economy of the commons is naturally anti-capitalist. From within a cell to a whole organism, all life is in compartments with its own boundary. However it’s not a wall, but a permeable boundary, in which the inhabitants are continuously interrelating and crystalizing into a whole, a unity. Quantum physics demonstrates that we affect the outcome of the experiment by observing. When we’re talking about the biosphere, ecology, economy, we are always talking about ourselves.

E.O. Wilson extends this recognition of the importance of the commons, to half of the entire planet devoted to other species. To provide half of the earth for the species whose habitats have been rapidly depleted by the human community and their development, military exercises and energy extraction policies.

“Unless humanity learns a great deal more about global biodiversity and moves quickly to protect it, we will soon lose most of the species composing life on Earth.” – E.O. Wilson

Edward O Wilson proposes the Half-Earth project
Devote Half the Surface of the Earth to Nature

Designing an interactive means for all of us around the planet to participate in protecting the flora and fauna of our globe. https://www.half-earthproject.org/pledge-support/

Let’s help him! We can all do this together! Half-Earth is a call to protect half the land and sea in order to manage sufficient habitat to safeguard the bulk of biodiversity

Half-Earth Edward O Wilson Devote Half Surface of Earth to Nature

Edward O Wilson Devote Half Surface of Earth to Nature

 

Half-Earth Project Maps

Half-Earth Project Maps

Take the Half-Earth Pledge, Learn, Care, Act

Take the Half-Earth Pledge Learn Care Act

Chante Tin’sa Kinanzi Po: Still Standing Up for Standing Rock | Earth Injustice

Chante Tin_sa Kinanzi Po, Black Snake, Standing Rock, 360° Video

This links to the Black Snake film about Standing Rock

Bobbi Jean, the young Native American woman (featured in the photo with her arm raised) was raised in the Standing Rock community. She spoke of her experiences – walking and running – gathering people of all ages as they went from one to another community.

She said they made prayers with their feet.

She said that there were a lot of magical & spiritual events that happened along the way, among the different people and animals’ that joined in. For many days it rained, and yet when certain people spoke, suddenly the sun burst forth or a wind would woosh in. She knew that the ancestors were present with them in their journey. They walked to enlighten people about the fate of the land and all of the creatures, this sacred land, to money.They eventually landed in Washington D.C., which she said was a culture shock. She Lots of kids participated at different points who developed their own voice about the issue. Elders participated as well. The oil industry and the federal and state governments’ in the pocket of it, created all sorts of obstacles and their own narrative to events. Bobbi Jean continues to inspire and share the story.

This event was a panel discussion with Bobbi Jean Three Legs and Indigenous Water Protectors. Followed by screenings of Black Snake, a 360° virtual reality short film experience featuring citizens of Standing Rock, by Philip Sanchez ’05. It took place at Brown University, sponsored by Native American and Indigenous Studies at Brown, Native American Brown Alumni, and the Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology.

“Sacred Ground. The struggle for clean water continues.”

For more information and to support this cause, go to earthjustice.org

Blurred Media, Black Snake, Sacred Ground, 360 video, Phillip Sanchez

Blurred Media Black Snake Sacred Ground 360 video by Phillip Sanchez

Philip Sanchez’s 360º video Black Snake — Standing Rock — 360° Video is quite powerful; looking at the land that is sacred to the people who have lived there for generations, who know that they are not dispensable.

I had tears in my eyes, resonating with what one of the elder Native American women near the end of the film said.

 

“We’re destroying this earth.There’s no common sense. You’re hurting us, you’re hurting each other.

Don’t you think about life?

Every living thing has got to live. There is a purpose and reason why we are all here. You’re hurting yourselves and this earth. The waters. Everything is connected. My prayer goes out to all of you.”

 

“The story of the Dakota Access Pipeline is a long and difficult one to tell. On its face, it is the story of thousands of Native Americans and their non-Native allies that gathered for months in 2016 to protest the pipeline. However, this is only a small part of a much larger issue. The pipeline brought to a head conflicts about disputed treaty lands, the historical treatment of Native Americans by the Federal Government and the changing relationship between the predominantly white towns of Bismarck / Mandan to the north and the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation to the south.”

The XL pipeline has different names depending on its location, which works as a mask to recognizing that it is one and the same black snake that is slithering through the land and sickening it’s waters.

President Trump, Presidential Memorandum, advance approval, pipeline construction

President Trump Presidential Memorandum advance approval of pipeline construction

I was fortunately informed by a fellow ultimate frisbee player who is also keenly interested in protecting the natural world.

“The struggle for clean water continues.”

For more information and to support this cause, go to earthjustice.org
How can we be silent? How can we not see the value of the natural world?

Ventabren, France in Provence | workaway Jan. ’18 | idyllic town, castle ruins | architectural & textile beauty

A number of weeks after my trip to the New Delhhi airport and back to Frankfurt, during a number of days in limbo in a vacant office building over Christmas in a town not far from Frankfurt, I made a plan. I had warmth, electricity and internet access.  I arranged to go to a workaway in Heuchlingen, German, a work exchange in a village not too far from Stuttgart where I did some outdoor work as well as cooking. I realized my ex beau lived not far from there and visited him in Germany as well.  I documented the trip with lots of photos https://digesthis.wordpress.com/2019/02/02/new-beginnings-germany-a-workaway-in-heuchlingen-december-2017/

I had already begun arranging the  workaway in Ventabren, France in Provence to follow the one in Germany. It was January 2018. Ventabren is a village not far from Aix-en-Provence, which is a gorgeous city. That’s where I met my host and her son, A Russian woman Vicka and her son Maxim.

I visited Aix-en-Provence and took pictures in an earlier hitch to Nice from Montpellier, France to visit my sister. https://carolkeiter.wordpress.com/2017/10/12/hitchabout-nice-antibes-aix-en-provence-arles-and-back-to-a-redefined-montpellier-home/

Aix-en-Provence France Sept. 2017

After having visited Aix-en-Provence and taken the pictures in Sept. 23, 2017, I was now back there in Jan. 2018 about to meet my hosts of the workaway. I happened upon Rue du 4 Septembre in Aix-en-Provence where I took lots of pictures. This was the nearest city to the village where I would do my workaway in Ventabren.

In Aix-en-Provence, I was particularly drawn to the rue du quatre de septembre, because that’s the anniversary of my father’s death in 2012. That’s why I made an album specifically of these signs of rue du 4 Septembre. I had to look up the significance of this date in France. The significance of the date in France is that on the 4th of September, 1870 a new republic was declared.

4th of September France

The 4th of September has personal significance. My father died on the 4th of September, 2012.

On the road leaving Aix-en-Provence en route to the hilled town of Ventabren, this aqueduct was pointed out. Are you kidding me?

Roquefavour Aqueduct, Ventabren, France, Provence, travel, beauty, craftsmanship

Roquefavour Aqueduct near Ventabren France in Provence

Ventabren is a fairy tale, idyllic hilled, once-fortressed town with the ruins of a castle – Château of Queen Jeanne – at the town’s peak.

Ventabren, France, Provence, travel,

Ventabren in Provence, France

Here are the numerous pictures that I took during my stay in Ventabren, France. I was absolutely delighted with the fairy tale landscape and history and the craftsmanship of stone walls, streets, stairs and architecture. The home I resided in is particularly elegant, a breathtakingly gorgeous home with a tailored choice of fine materials; tiles, slate, ceramic, wood. It has beautifully crafted tiles, colors and fabrics and a gorgeous layout of space. Windows look over narrow streets and copper tiled roofs. One doesn’t need to occupy a huge square footage to demonstrate taste and elegance.

Ventabren, workaway, Provence, France

Ventabren in Provence, France 2018

workaway in Ventabren, France, Provence, art, architecture

Ventabren town and interiors in Provence, France 2018

Ultimately, this workaway, in this idyllic town was where circumstances lead me to decide not to continue on the path that I had intended, to organize one after another workaway on a farm or whatever kind of property in France. My VISA had expired. I didn’t want to be informed that i could not return to the country that I love. I also realized that although most of these properties are quite gorgeous and interesting, and i particularly would seek out places with animals, I decided that most are by their nature, remote. It was after that first ‘weekend’ in this idyllic town of Ventabren, that I realized, there wasn’t really any communal place to go to, no night life. I didn’t know anyone other than this family. This would be the same case in most of the other workaways. I had spent the 6 months in Montpellier, a town with multiple universities and tourist town. I could promenade along a street with hundreds of people passing by, go to one among a hundreds of bars and cafés, and found places to dance. I bicycled everywhere in that hilly town, Mont means mountain, so a mt. bike was necessary to adequately peruse the streets.

As you see in Ventabren, my room was adopted by the house cat Croquette. I was very happy about that.

house cat Croquette

house cat Croquette

my room

Ventabren

my room in Ventabren

hanging clothes to get the hitchhiking travel wrinkles out

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What I learned on My Week Long One and a Half Hour Trip to India

I was sitting in an airport hotel room in Kuwait when i began writing this very long story, for a very brief visit to my destination. I’ve decided to make it since a shorter story. I had sent just my family members a long email detailing my plans to embark on a journey to nature and wildlife, in pursuit of elephants.

I since had spent the last 4 days leading up to and beyond Christmas – which is also my birthday – mostly alone in an office, in a huge building, outside of Frankfurt, Germany; courtesy of the guy whose start-up it is. The building empty for christmas holidays, this huge building hollowed of people, was my home. It was actually the perfect place for the time. The electricity, WiFi, expansive desk and foldout bed upon which I laid my sleeping bag, served my time to continue to communicate and peruse the internet with ideas of where I would go now that my plans were no longer pertinent. I basically spent Christmas and my Birthday in a room alone behind a computer screen; catching up, filing, investigating my next possible moves, reading and writing. Something that I actually love to do, hence a gifted appropriate space.

I’ve been on a continued search of where to go, where to land, that is inexpensive, to create time. My intent is to complete my book in the next two months. That was what I was also after in planning a trip to India. My search there was for elephant sanctuaries and an elephant village. With India out of the picture, I considered hitching to Spain and ferrying to Morocco, to further hitch to a workaway there. A google for an elephant sanctuary surprisingly brought me to France. This shifted my efforts to look for workaway exchanges in France because it feels less risky. I’m going to a workaway host tomorrow in Germany, and have a host in southern France that I’m looking forward to that is booked for a later period of time.

Historic quarter red flag christmas

Historic quarter red flag christmas

I was living in Montpellier France, when I was asked to leave several weeks ago. I had a room with a mother and daughter for reduced rent, in exchange for English instruction to the daughter for the duration of the school year. I didn’t have much time to find a new living situation. I didn’t know where to go. I almost flew back to the United States. Family close and yet far, I decided to continue another intended segment of my journey, to participate somehow in helping elephants in their natural habitat.

I haven’t had income, so looking for any normal priced rental in shared housing in France seemed dubious. I decided to embark on a trip to Africa or Asia, something I have yet to do, to spring into the wilder places of our wondrous planet to experience seeing various different creatures in their natural habitats, while they’re still here.  Before climate breakdown, human overpopulation and ecocide (thank you George Monbiot for your continued fervor in sharing information) clip them out of existence. I’ve wanted to see elephants in particular. I was googling for sanctuaries where I could volunteer, found an elephant village. Tears came to my eyes when I discovered that these as well as potential workaway living/work exchange programs working with elephants. I have written about the majesty of trees, the regenerative properties of fungus, about plastic in our oceans, human corpocrisy, greed, the impossibility of continuous consumption on a finite planet, of overpopulation, of health, various methods of renewable energy and the splendid creatures and life forms with whom we share this planet. I alternately share other peoples’ inspiring or provocative articles or write my own in my blogs.

I decided to take this leap of faith to begin the travel that I’ve intended to do, to the wilder places of this living planet to see some of this splendor, before they are extinguished from existence from ecocide. I don’t like to kill even a spider or a fly. I love all life forms. I figured that once I arrive, the overhead will be considerably cheaper. I had little time.

Still pressured, not sure where I’d go. I write often about ecology and sustainability, with various ideas and potential solutions to matching the need of human power to create community gardens, bee highways, animal bridges, sustainable building and energy resources. I saw a way of creating a win/win situation of matching refugees who long for a home with projects that could be started all over the globe – in renewable energy as well as elder in home care, so that people could remain in their homes and have help stay with them. I thought that my huge love of animals and the natural world could lead me to apply my writing, creative and communicative skills towards matching with groups to educate locals on how to appreciate and live in harmony with the animals around them, to preserve their habitats.
I thought I’d go to a place with elephants. I honed the African safari countries down to Tanzania, however the US State Department had a rather fear provoking portrayal so full of warnings, that I was scared away. I had attended a lecture of an Elephant Dr. of Assam, India in Santa Fe, New Mexico a year ago and had this in the back of my mind since. I lived in Santa Fe last year where I busily working as a substitute teaching for K -12th graders teaching all subjects for the Santa Fe public schools during most weekdays, and working for the Santa Fe ski basin as a 1st year ski instructor for adults weekends and holidays. I loved it.

I have been writing a book that I keep having just small amounts of time to devote to. I have numerous times looked for and applied to artist residencies, but really have never been fully devoted to the task. Many of the residencies or asking for a patron require inquiring way in advance, and with small windows of open times  I had the opportunity this last spring to devote a big chunk of time to continuing with my book, through a friend’s lending me space as an office in his home in Taos, with the electricity and internet connection that I needed. It is a huge priority. I have been continually searching for affordable housing, or work/living exchanges with hosts with internet. And haven’t really found what I’m looking for yet: a group of artists/writers/musicians living under the same cooperative roof; each with a deadline and from time to time showcasing what they’ve accomplished from one hurdle to the next.

The pressure was on in my residence in Montpellier, holidays were coming. I continued searching, now India. Spent hours and days investigating flights, VISAs, vaccine requirement, safety. Booked a flight hastily, because each day closer to the 25th would go up in price. Then started the online application process for an Indian eVISA. That seemed pretty straight forward. I then found like a magnet, a perfect host through workaway. I hadn’t been really able to easily negotiate the WWOOF site, and upon clicking on workaway, of which I’d already been a member but needed to renew it, I found the site sophisticated, user friendly, and plus they list ‘last minute hosts’. I found an excellent match, in the same general area in northern india where I wanted to be. It was a Hindu Priest and his wife and kids who are descendants of the local deity of this Temple of Rats. They also also operate a Camel business. I was delighted and relieved, now having a place to land. All of this took an enormous amount of investigating and comparing and searching and reading and organizing. I had decided to fly out of Frankfurt, an airport hub, because I had over-extended my tourist VISA in France, besides having applied for jobs and attempted to get a working permit.

The adventure begin. Taking an inexpensive bus – a day and a half prior to my flight, because otherwise I would have exceeded the departure time, and I was now ready and willing to skip some comfort and sleep.

I had a long conversation in French with a woman who had been a school director. We had rapport on a lot of subjects. The sleep deprivation had begun. I arrive at the immigration to get to the flight, and I am asked something in German about Berlin. I figured it was about a train ticket, for once getting caught by controllers for not paying a €2,50 U-bahn ticket. The 25 year old German policeman was stern. He eventually walked me back to a waiting area. The price was not €100, or 200, but €1,000. He told me I needed to pay them €1,000 in cash to get on the flight. Uh, I guess the interest accrued over the years. He wouldn’t listen to any explanations, that I haven’t lived in Germany…He walked back to their offices behind a glass wall and I saw him laughing with his colleagues. I decided to take a picture of this, and another man rushed to the door and I deleted it before him. He left.

The other option was 15 days in jail, which wasn’t really an identifiable option, when one has just booked a flight, paid for an eVISA, and made all the preparations. I wonder how many times they do this? I walked to an ATM conveniently located just a few yards away. Typically I don’t get cash from a cc, it’s too expensive. Now was withdrawing a thousand euro, with which the exchange rate and ATM fees added to $1,450. I typically travel by bicycle, and have a loved mt. bike in Montpellier that cost a little more than the lock. There’s a lot of bike theft in Montpellier, I found out with the disappearance of my first bike. I’ve learned my lesson concerning outstanding tickets. I wanted to fight it, and now accept it.

Determined to fight this 1,000 Euro fine

I stayed some days in Frankfurt,Germany upon my return with the intention of getting this money back – criminal injustice. This was now out of the airport police jurisdiction and in the hands of Berlin. I decided to go do a workaway instead.

So, I pay and board the flight. In retrospect, was thinking that this amount of money is worth being able to re-enter France.

flickr_Trip Pics Frankfurt Oasis Plastic plug in Kuwait

flickr_Trip Pics Frankfurt Oasis Plastic plug in Kuwait

I had planned to sleep on my 21 hour layover of the Kuwait Airways at the Kuwait terminal (an online booking of the most inexpensive fare). And was shock delighted, to learn upon approaching the airways immediately and asking about their transit visas, I learned that I was to be provided a hotel and food, due to having over an 8 hour layover. This lead to a delightful series of conversations with Indian employees, from whom I learned a lot about their lives in Kuwait.

My Kuwait Airways experience was marvelous, especially the sophisticated jet that I was on en route to India, and the hospitality I received on the 1 day VISA layover in Kuwait.

Jan. 2018 – featured a complimentary Hilton Hotel room for those who had longer than an 8 hour wait. I was one. Processed a transit VISA there at the airport. The 777 jet was modern with a sophisticated interactive panel: featuring downward cameras, forward cameras, a map of timezones, flight trajectory map and zoom in images of earth from any point on the globe. I was investigating the depletion of trees in the Amazon rainforest at one point. Checking out a lovely unusual feature in New Zealand on a peninsula near Christchurch

Almost every Indian man when asking ‘how long have you been in Kuwait?’ answered 10 years. So I was met with a van taking me to the Kuwait Holiday inn, free of charge transportation from the airport, and complimentary meals and and room service. Things were looking great. The next flight on an equally sophisticated 777 jet with great interactive video features. I had a great person sitting next to me with whom I had a non-stop 4 hour conversation with a bright Indian girl attending NYC, daughter of two doctors, who was full of information and with whom I also had a great rapport. I’ve met wonderful people with whom I’ve communicated and learned a lot of fascinating information, as well as seen a lot of the impacts of globalization; on slave workers from Asia to the Arab countries, families broken up, over-the-top pollution in Delhi…

flickr_Kuwait Airways experiences

flickr_Kuwait Airways experiences

I arrived at the Delhi airport and proceeded to immigration, and now it was pointed out that the papers I printed out from the initial eVISA were not an actual VISA. There had been problems on the eVISA form, when after the 1st pdf file of my passport pic was not the correct size (after i attempted to resize it in photoshop, when I decided to go back to the copy shop, this time a different service woman scanned it with the precise dimensions that i stated. My error I presume for not communicating this the first time, or realizing that it had to be done initially within the proper dimensions. The form would not let me upload the correct size, now for a 3rd attempt. I contacted the Indian govt office link provided and explained with documentation my case # and so forth and sent them the attached pdf, showing my passport pic at the size that was appropriate. This information was not transferred. I was denied, and I assumed it was because of this technical failure. I was told I could not enter the country, and had 15 minutes to book a flight out of it.

They had no WiFi, I have no smart phone. Upon my continued demand for WiFi access, a young Indian guy with his smart phone was delivered. He became the person supervising and keeping me in check. His phone provided me with internet. I didn’t know where to fly to. I have left things of value at a friends in Montpellier. I didn’t want to fly back to the States. I was beginning to investigate flights to Nepal, where I was told there is ‘visa upon entry’. I was just about at the point of choosing a flight and paying, when the man approached and said, your 15 minutes are up.

He said I would be sent back to Frankfurt, from where I started, on a flight in several hours. My passport was passed from one to another official. This flight unlike the sleek, modern sophisticated 777, was smaller, older and packed with mostly men of Indian, Pakistani and Bangladesh origins, returning to work in whatever Arab country, where they leave their wives and kids at home for years. Another layover in Kuwait, but this time at an airport hotel, designed to be a lockdown, for those without VISA entry status. I met a bunch of people, Indians who are residents in NYC, a doctor and his doctor wife, an IT guy, another Nepalese IT guy, an aging Israeli hippy type who teaches yoga in NYC and who was carrying these Tibetan bowls, which he used for 7 of us to have a healing ceremony, laying down on carpets in one corner of the lobby, with our eyes closed and he guiding us with visualization and sending out tone reverberations of each of these bowls (which probably weighed altogether 75 pounds). The conversations we all had together were fantastic.

I arrived at Frankfurt and was about to approach the steward who had my passport, when a tall, big bellied, borderline disheveled man approached me with an envelope and sort of leaned into me and quipped, why did you go to India without a VISA? You need to pay for this flight. He was bullying and aggressive. It then occurred to me that he must have worked in the same department as these immigration police, who I felt, were using the parameters of the situation there at airport departing immigration to extort money. In such a sophisticated cyber system that they could almost instantaneously track fees, with years of interest rates, how was it that they couldn’t contact me via email, to inform me that I had an outstanding fee? Were they not able to discern that I was no longer living in the country? Or recognize mail delivery being returned? I demanded this guy to have my passport and then asked him what his name is, leaning down to read his name tag, and as quickly as he appeared, he receded.

So I arrive in Frankfurt ready to go to the police, above the police there at immigration, and find that there at the airport are the federal police. I tried to make an appt to reach someone at the embassy, where you can visit by appointment only, and there are no places to book it in their online system. I have a number I will call tomorrow, just to get advice on how this has come to be. I never saw the alleged ticket or anything in documentation. the guy had given me a flimsy 1×2 inch receipt, that surely would have been lost or forgotten, if I hadn’t been immediately sent back to land in Frankfurt.

I am sorry, I think that I have just formulated the blog I’m about to post, as I continued to ramble on to you, telling you the story. I have been waiting for days through the three days of celebrating Christmas in the German tradition, alone in this space, a bit daunted to leave it, because I wasn’t sure that I could get back in, even with the supposedly appropriate keys. I am still exhausted. I have now after writing for the last days, created two cover letters to ask would be hosts if I can stay with them in Morocco, and have begun investigating how to get there. I probably will use the Flixbus voucher I now have to return to Montpellier, where I have to ask someone if I can stay there.  Whoops, just as I waited the last few days for the American consulate to be open, I would have to wait a week here in Limbo for the holiday prices to drop down to their regular price. They appear to be doubled, even tripled during the holidays. And having packed for India, am pretty much ready to launch off to a new conservatively dressed

 

 

I had a workaday lined up, my laptop and electronic equipment with, absorbing all of the information about how to be street smart in India as a single female traveler. Had thought of going to Tanzania, but was scared away by the US State Dept rather fear provoking portrayal. So I decided upon India, and was pulling this decision and actions towards making it happen together in a matter of weeks. This coincided with the death of my only brother, on the 2nd of December and the decision of the last housing situation, mother of the daughter wanting to learn English in exchange for less expensive rent. When she told me, no discussion, that I needed to leave and kept pressuring me, I felt sort of fed up with having the last several shared housing situations evaporate. Money is an issue. I so much want to spend merely 2 months on completing my book, and want to continue to learn, research, absorb information and write my blogs. I thought that since my love is languages and animals and a feeling of urgency about the environment, that I could do cultural exchanges, live inexpensively and live for a bit of time at elephant sanctuaries….I found an inexpensive flight, then immediately processed an online eVISA, then set to contact potential hosts. Found some great workways. Felt so excited to finally embark on going East of Eastern Europe…had found a delightful sounding place to land, had researched like crazy, then had some technical issues with the pdf file of my passport not being clear, because it had not been properly scanned and digitized the 1st time and when I realized that I needed to do this again, it was now the 3rd time i was uploading the pdf pic of my passport and the reform kept saying ‘you already uploaded this’. I nevertheless sent the resized form to this office along with all of the documentation, and departed. I met a wonderful woman with whom i gained a lot of information and exchanged a lot on our ride on this inexpensive bus lines. Shared considerably a lot between our points of view of education….I had been doing so much research, so much, about where…how, guests of when. Then I arrive in Frankfurt, Germany airport hub, found a great cafe to do yet more investigating of the train station the new host informed me i needed to take on this long journey, after arriving in the int’l New Delhi airport, also a hub. I get to customs, and this 25 or younger hardliner, stern, police officer working at customs at the airport, when I was there with enough time to look at prices for the electronic equipment i want to purchase either there or in Delhi to not fry my laptop with unstable electric currents, and he basically says, about this ticket i didn’t pay, for a metro Berlin rail ticket, maybe i was given a fine for €35 euro or something. He said, you can’t get on the flight unless you pay €1,000 dollars. WHAT! this girl here is so fucking frugal i can live on 1,000 for 6 months. I never eat out, i have bought 2 beers in bars, way over my budget. i’m the purchase a can and drink it in the park to save money kinda gal. So, then he escorts me to this back waiting room where about 10 other officers were mingling about. I said, okay, and i was speaking in German, that this must have been something that accrued, over 5 or 6 years. what? he said, either pay me 1,000 in cash or go to jail for 15 days. I would have taken jail, but I just spent a GINORMOUS amount of time and effort to finally make moves towards this dream. So, angry, but naturally one can not reveal anger to an officer, tears starting to stream. The clock ticking. Investments and contacts and huge effort already made, basically thinking that the school year deal that this family had now suddenly retracted, left me with just not the funds to pay rents…..What got me was that this guy then behind the glass walls of the police desks, was laughing. I took a picture, and another officer almost ran out to me to grab my phone, and i deleted the pic in front of him. I mean, for me 100 dollars is extravagant. I realize now, and after sitting on the flight with a very bright Indian girl going to NYU who was returning to India for her winter break, that this is not something I’m just going to let slide. 

I never do. I wrote to Verizon wireless once in a complaint letter signing it at the end ‘Can You Hear Me Now?’

So, yeah, he escorted me to the ATM, and i handed over more cash than I’ve held in my hands in any one time, EVER. yep, i write, draw, paint, take photos, blog, research, have had numerous mega stints writing my book so now it is about %90 completed and I’m so, so into it and so excited and proud and fervent about what i’m introducing in this science fantasy tale with history, geography, science, biology…..woven into it. And this little nazi basically used extortion, intimidation and threats, and then laughed with his colleagues about what he was getting away with as i stood there helpless. Wow, is that ever criminal, super criminal. 

Well, then I have this continuous delightful conversation with the very insightful and bright young Indian woman whose both parents are doctors. She gave me many many insights into the Indian culture and places to visit…Mentioning that the phenomenon of males exporting themselves to Arab countries to work is more of a working class phenomenon. Then I arrive at the Indian customs, and basically the Indian version of the German dude, decides that regardless of whether the eVISA was rejected because of an IT flaw or passport blurry, when I contacted them 3 more times with officially explaining what happened. He decided that this American woman was going to have to bow down to his authority. And about an hour and a half later, he basically in a tone convincing and authorizing his boss to not let me in, lead to his boss saying that I can not enter the country. he said, you have 15 minutes to book a flight. uh, what? ok. do you have internet? no. well i don’t have a smart phone sir, EVERYTHING i do, job seeking, housing seeking, communication with family…..is though the internet. He then got this rather hot young guy in a suit to provide his phone to give me internet access. 

Oh, yeah, forgot to mention that after the 1 day bus ride and one night waiting for the flight, then anticipated 21 hour layover in Kuwait on Kuwait Airways, figuring I’ll be entertained looking at the people streaming by, i get a hunch. find a Kuwait desk upon arrival, and it turns out, the airline allows you to fill out forms to be ushered a transit visa, and the airline provide complimentary transport to a Kuwait Hilton, complimentary room, with slippers, room service, three meals, pool. This is a chick who only couch surfers or sleeps in lobbies, as I had the night before my flight, among an assortment of other airport campers, where I also met a really cool young Greek girl with whom I also had an engaging conversation. 

So, yeah, perks like this are VERY appreciated by me, sort of like a Fantasy. I immediately go to open a window, damn, windows in most hotels i guess don’t open, climate controlled, then when I did walk outside, i was like, shit, i can smell something funky in the air quality, so maybe it’s just as well to have a room that has a slight dank musty smell. I was loving life. Got an adapter to use….and the flight was really cool. Excellent interactive maps, movies…complimentary this and that. Yeah, so the green  tree-hugger just massively contributed to 777 chem trails.  

Okay, so I’m like 15 minutes to choose where to go? uh, okay, do i return? do i Nepal, okay, yeah, Nepal, sort of close. And was starting to configure in my head what I could do. go there, apply for the eVISA again. and then the (was just about to use another pejorative term for the supervisor) dude returns to say, times up, too late, what? so when he said, 15 minutes, he meant it. Now I was too late to book a flight, and was going to be sent back, deported from my 1 and a half hour stay in India. Thank fucking god that the airline paid to deport me, rather than now racking up another thousand for a last minute flight. The mobile phone guy was quite cute, gave him my card to check out the blogs etc. and then he walked back to say are you on FB? which appears to be a very heavily used network, because this was the same question of the young Indian woman who was among our group at the airport (tremendously more shabby) hotel where we (some new fabulous people i connected with who had missed their connecting flight to NYC) mostly Indian, a couple who are doctors, an IT guy father, another Nepalese IT guy and an Israeli yoga teacher who did a Tibetan bell healing ceremony with all 7 of us in the corner of the Kuwait airport lobby in the hooka area, where we laid down and he performed this ceremony. As this time none of us had transit VISA’s as i had had the 1st time around, we were sort of in ‘hotel arrest’, that is, no one in this hotel could walk outside, security, security, like i’ve never seen. Ganesh, the IT guy living in New Jersey reminded me that India hadn’t existed previous to its creation by the British. It had been a collection of separate city-states, each with their own language…of which there are approaching 300 or more. And that not only may there be religious clashes, but regional. Sushi, the NYU girl mentions that there’s sort of a disdain between those of northern and southern India. The north are fairer skinned and the south have a higher literacy rate. She also mentioned that the students that populate the student body of NYU in Manhattan (which has campuses all over the world including Ghana) are first in number, Chinese, second Indian and then the down home American students.

It was a series of meals and fantastic conversations among our little group who found one another who really quite connected. So, I’ve learned a lot, more than I have time to go into here, except that I see MASSIVE pollution. I mean Kuwait, like i said. Delhi, was unfuckingbelievably polluted now in the morning. I mean, as this plane was taking off today, now on a smaller, and more shabby and much less sophisticated plane, it was filled with mostly Indian, Pakistani and Bangladesh men, coming to work, in their quasi slave labor for the wealthy Arabs. 

I found out after asking, i always ask a lot of questions, that one Egyptian guy here, 10 years, and Indian guy from Kerala, here 10 years, uh, each with children and wives. What, you mean India is filled with women and their babies and all the men are abroad, for TEN YEARS? MY NEXT QUESTION, WHO ARE serving as THE PROSTITUTES? Well, I wound up chatting with the Kasaskstan (sp?) and Indian flight stewardesses at length in their service area. They told me of the Kuwait women, many many wearing toe to hijab designer clothes, yes, even the head scarf, and that the the Arab men technically can have several wives. And that the women in their black burkas, with only a slit revealing the eyes, also sport having different boyfriends and no one ever knows who is walking behind this head scarf. And they described a few times that a women is sitting down in seat 32 K or whatever in a black burka, then they come back and there’s a woman with a low cut top, mini skirt, high heels and tons of makeup. And they say, where’s the…oh, it’s her. She went into the bathroom on the flight and returns to her seat on her way to Paris, giving her phone number to whomever. It was hysterical listening to them. They had a lot of insights. I listened to cross-cultural comparisons of the woman from Kurdistan, (i may be saying the wrong  name) but a country that was once Russia, and hence she knows Russia and her own language better than English, and looks Chinese or Siberian! Then the two of them went on to describe that it’s young Indian girls who are the prostitutes, with a high turnover rate. And that it really sort of is slave labor, the Kuwaitis or Qutarians will hold onto the passports of the of their workers, and treat them like shit in some cases, and because they have no rights or ability to leave, they are stuck in these conditions. 

So, wow, I’m so tired that earlier today i had to make sure my laptop was on my little bedside table and not my lap, because i kept nodding out. And now, though i thought i was going to go to bed at 9pm. Our dinner gathering among these delightful mostly Indian native people and the Nepalese and Israeli (looking very much like a hippy) dude who performed this ceremony after our dinner conversations, now has turned into me deciding with my endorphins from sleep deprivation to begin to write. 

I first started to look at workaways, because frankly, i don’t have a clue of what i’m going to do or where I’m going to live. However I do know that I wish to complete my book, and that I have diversified interests and skills, health and strength to contribute to workaway or WWOOF projects, as long as they guarantee internet (necessary in research and writing the ebook) and can offer the time left over from the 5 hours/day 5 days a week to focus on full-steam ahead on the book. It’s cold everywhere, south of france, morocco, germany, and yeah. that’s what’s going on. 

So I’ve just had numerous conversations with all sorts of insights arriving from smart people contributing their ideas and experience. 

And do you know what? The developing and industrializing nations who are outsourced from imperial capitalists and corporate globalization, is just redistributing the dirt, grime and destruction and massive pollution that comes form construction and industry, and is just dumping it into the rest of the worlds back yards, not to mention tearing up social fabric, splitting up families who can’t get buy with the prices of the GDP affecting their now countries. and the Western Northern imperialists and affect of globalization is choking up the entire world. 

 

It is time for people to stop looking the other way. This is ALL OF OUR PROBLEM. In fact, I can’t believe that morally, business and politics can turn a blind eye. I googled before departing for my one hour and a half India trip, and learned that the Indian Prime Minister, like the US Orange MisFit each are in the pocket of industry. Preferring lining pockets for the GDP and forgetting the decency and morality and conscience of what ruin and spoil their actions of profit, for profit alone, are doing to the planet. When the plane was this morning rolling onto the waiting path of the runway and you COULD NOT SEE 20 YARDS, frankly, not EVEN 10 YARDS VISIBILITY out the window of the jet due to pollution. I just thought, oh my fucking god. what are we doing? As long as no one knows, know one cares. Not in my back yard, not my problem. PEOPLE THIS WAS A HORRIFIC WAKEUP CALL. and yeah, appropriate to tack on this handy international real-time pollution index. Looks like i have to wake up in 2 and a half hours, but hey, I had to get this out there. 

Here’s a good indicator to follow, a real-time global pollution index, to perhaps guide you with a more informed decision of where you may wish to head to next. http://aqicn.org/map/india/

Real-time International Air Polllution Index aqicn

Real-time International Air Polllution Index

To Joan with Love | Animals Watering Hole Africa

Here’s a new Faber Castell watercolor painting I did today for my sister Joan. I reveal the progression of the painting through taking photos at various periods of time. From a composite of 4 photographs, I did an initial small sketch, then replicated it on the sketch pad.

to_Joan_Wateringhole_Africa_12_19_18

to_Joan_Wateringhole_Africa_12_19_18

beginning sketch composite of several photographs

beginning sketch composite of several photographs

To Joan with Love Animals Watering Hole Africa

To Joan with Love Animals Watering Hole Africa

 

 

 

 

1_giraffe bird baobab

sources of painting
1_giraffe bird baobab

to_Joan_Wateringhole_Africa_12_19_18

to_Joan_Wateringhole_Africa_12_19_18

 

Carol Keiter aka nomadbeatz welcomes donations for her writing, photography, illustrations, eBook & music composition

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Tragedy of the Commons | Oskar Eustis | George Monbiot | Invest in our CommonWealth

I’m from Pennsylvania, one of four States of the 52, which is a Commonwealth. I never really knew how that distinguished PA from any other state. I learned of the concept of the Commons through the writings of George Monbiot. He wrote this article published in the Guardian September 27th, 2017. Don’t let the rich get even richer on the assets we all share – It’s time for communities to seize back control of resources upon which their prosperity depends

Monbiot states that the commons has three main elements. “First a resource, such as land, water, minerals, scientific research, hardware or software. Second a community of people who have shared and equal rights to this resource, and organise themselves to manage it. Third the rules, systems and negotiations they develop to sustain it and allocate the benefits.” He goes on to state:

The commons have been attacked by both state power and capitalism for centuries. Resources that no one invented or created, or that a large number of people created together, are stolen by those who sniff an opportunity for profit…those who capture essential resources force everyone else to pay for access.”

What comes to my mind immediately is companies that for example take (extract/steal)  a region’s water, and then force the local people to pay for what they bottle. Or the fact that various individuals and companies throughout history who tried to buy, destroy or steal the plans of various individuals who designed medical or energy devices that could have provided a product to the public for almost no cost. Instead, they were hidden from public knowledge so that the perpetrators could make a profit through their own devices. By obscuring the competitor’s inventions, they were able to bank on their own goods or services.

Monbiot subsequently published essentially the same themed article in his blog Common Wealth on the 2nd of October, 2018. Entitled Common Wealth – Hope lies with a great, neglected sector of the economy, through which we can create a system that is neither capitalist nor state communist.”

The commons is water, land, air, natural resources, scientific knowledge, natural parks.

Commons is managed for wellbeing.

Tragedy of the Commons, Nicholas Amendolare

Tragedy of the Commons video by Nicholas Amendolare

The Tragedy of the Commons is eloquently described in this video. Basically if a community consumes a common resource too fast for regeneration to occur, people must choose between restricting their own consumption for the good of the community, for if they continue to consume at a rate that satisfies their immediate “self-interest”, there may be dire consequences later. That seems to be what is occurring on the earth presently. However, in terms of consuming and/or spoiling resources, the fact is that it isn’t really the individuals who make up communities who are necessarily at fault. In the last several generations, the resources and supply has for the most part been in the control of a very few. This has upset the balance and tweaked the demand curve.

We’ve gotten into a weird state of affairs in the USA, which is being replicated all over the globe. It used to be the land of effulgent possibilities. Labeled the Land of Opportunity, the American Dream. The land of entrepreneurship. The place where people could be assured that their ideas and efforts could be strengthened and developed. But the dream has been taken hostage by just a small percentage of individuals and groups, who have been able to use their money to buy their passage, gobble up competitors, purchase the media and think tanks to hurl out propaganda and crush anyone in their way.

In the last decades, as a friend says the last 70 years, the emphasis in the States has become top-heavy towards enriching the industrial interests, which has coincided with buttressing the military. A handful of people have been controlling these interests. The process has downright gutted many of the small businesses. Anyone who has been alive long enough in the United States of Amnesia, has seen their local hardware stores, five & dime stores, pharmacies, grocery stores, local boutiques etc, in which you knew the families of the people who owned and operated them, disappear. Now Big Box Stores like Walmart have replaced them. They can’t compete. I mention this in my other blog. https://digesthis.wordpress.com/2018/12/06/the-photo-ark-half-earth-project-plastic-ocean-dolphin-deaths-sonar-seismic-tests-patriotism-to-finance-the-military-industrial-gdp-ecocide/

Robert Reich explains in this video THE MONOPOLIZATION OF AMERICA: The Biggest Economic Problem You’re Hearing Almost Nothing About about how this phenomenon evolved. He says that a century ago there were anti-trust laws preventing any company from getting too large, but that these protections disappeared during the Reagan years. Reich points out that the less businesses there are in competition, the more the few who are in control can create their own prices as well as the wages. No competitor, no problem, for those making the rules.

Robert Reich Monopolization of America Health Care Monopolies 2016

Robert Reich Monopolization of America Health Care Monopolies 2016

Robert Reich Monopolization of America Walmart Drives Down Workers Wages

Robert Reich Monopolization of America Walmart Drives Down Workers Wages

 USA, business, Walmart Nation, Health Care, Boeing

The USA according to what businesses ‘control’ each state. Walmart Nation, Health Care Boeing

 

What we need to do is to step by step, reinvest in our own communities, and take the tools to work side by side. Forming relationships with people and seeing our own work and voices mirrored, empowering people to be intimately tied to their own land. I’m living in a town next to the birthplace of the industrial revolution. A number of people told me how toxic the river was that flowed through this town. The townspeople and any other life that had been here certainly suffered, while the industries reaped financial rewards. The trend in the USA has been for cities to clean up their waterfronts and create common spaces that people can enjoy. That is their heritage, to walk and commune freely with others in public spaces. That’s what I’m talking about here. Except not just riverfront property. I’m talking about fields and woods surrounding towns, forests on the periphery, about national parks, about creating once again and maintaining spaces that are naturally the habitat of other life forms. About taking picks to break up parking lots and creating community gardens instead. About people engaging in these public spaces, with love of the land, connectedness among the people and the desire to protect and allow the land and all the other life forms to flourish.

What I understand in the idea of ‘taking back’ the commons – is for community members, you and I, to have joint ownership of the land; for community members to be entitled to make decisions on how best to use this resource and to together create community works, community theatre, community stores, community gardens, community farms. Because when something is shared and invested in physically and monetarily, one will put effort, love and pride into maintaining it. We have had this tremendous land grab by companies, private sectors, who own vast stretches of land which, one would think, should rightfully be a heritage of the people who walk on the earth. So if the people collectively owned these swaths of land, fields, forests, grasslands, natural parks and so forth, then we the people would be engaged in participating in protecting it. It would be something that belonged to the people, and therefore, instead of being neglected or some other owner reaping vast rewards while the local populations received little, the people could benefit from either choosing to create fields, community gardens, parks with fruit and nut trees. In other words, this would deliver the ownership to the people and the wealth of the land would be valued by the people and recirculated among the people, not trickled off to enrich an owner far away.

Oskar Eustis, Why theater is essential to democracy, TED Talk

Oskar Eustis TED Talk
Why theater is essential to democracy

I had the pleasure of listening to Oskar Eustis, the director of Hamilton, speak at a salon coordinated by the Athenaeum in Providence, Rhode Island. His words echoed the same concepts, of the need to bring back community theatre and arts and take back the country from all who have been dispossessed and cheated. The idea of power coming from below, from the community. He launched the audience with his humor and great storytelling into the past, to the first theatre and the fist actors of ancient Greek history. He mentioned Thespis, the first person ever to appear on stage and Aeschylus, the father of tragedy. He mentioned that it was the Persians who brought to the stage for the first time – not just one actor donning various masks – but two actors to stand side by side on the stage. This new perspective, with dialogue revealing that there could be more than one isolated truth, but a dialectic in which a discourse between two or more people holding different points of view could establish a truth through reasoned arguments, happened to coincide with the beginnings of Democracy at about this same time period.

Eustis stated that the Truth is dialectical. Precedent to Hegel’s dialectic, dialogue asks the audience to listen to two points of view, recognizing that each lead to the truth. Thus theatre, storytelling in its beginnings, came with this perception of each person having a voice. And this recognition through theatre, precipitated Democracy.

Oskar spoke at length about how bringing the theatre to the public, to allow actors and non actors to participate, empowers people. Project Discovery, which Trinity created is theatre of, for and by the people. He mentioned that creativity is inherent in all people, and that it is human to have the desire to create. Some people have had more practice. Creativity simply needs to be nourished.

Oskar Eustis spoke of the fate of the marketplace. That the economy and technology of the last decades has turned its back on the people. Wall Street and corporations operating in this global economy have robbed people of jobs. As the jobs disappeared – outsourced to other countries for cheaper labor – it has pulled communities apart. He talked of revitalizing communities through investing in projects such as theatre. When people can see their own story and speak their own story, they are empowered to share their stories.

Oskar states that “It is our job to knit this country back together, not to be right.

Oskar Eustis’ TED Talk weaves together the idea of a public theatre, common voice and a democratic government.

The Work That Reconnects, Pat van Boeckel

The Work That Reconnects Pat van Boeckel

 

 

One of the practices within The Work that Reconnects is an exercise called the Riddle of the Commons Game. It brings to awareness the fact that people need to balance between their own self-interest and collective self-interest. Each is necessary for the common good.

Greta Thunberg, speech Swedish Parliament, Swedish Schoolstrike

Greta’s powerful speech to Swedish people before the Parliament

 

 

 

 

‘We Have Not Come Here to Beg World Leaders to Care,’ 15-Year-Old Greta Thunberg Tells COP24. “We Have Come to Let Them Know Change Is Coming. We can no longer save the world by playing by the rules,” says Greta Thunberg, “because the rules have to be changed.”

There’s nothing more important than recognizing that change can happen. Coming through education and arts and activities within your own communities. We can drive that change. If one young girl has already sparked and inspired students in Australia, in another continent, this can ripple. We need to look very, very hard, at what we are choosing, so that we don’t lose what is most precious. You may think your own immediate children are the most precious, but what if there are no trees, woods, grasses, available food, no clean oceans or rivers or lakes, or air, and no other life? It is an astoundingly clear choice to me. We’ve got to make some changes, and we’re going to do this together. And plenty of people are pointing the way, and your own ideas will be as valuable as anyones, collaboratively we will create this change.

My friend Loren Booda states, “Start with hope, funding of positive efforts to return nature and, with native education, make everyone responsible for and aware of their use of resources. The major problem? Almost all of us usually put other needs or wants before the environment.” Full-circle back to The Tragedy of the Commons.

Carol Keiter aka nomadbeatz welcomes donations for her writing, photography, illustrations, eBook & music composition

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blogger, Carol Keiter

December 10th, 2018 Carol Keiter

Innsæi – The Power of Intuition | Nature Is Our Silent Witness

“The biggest obstacle to intuition is noise. We are bombarded with information and distraction all the time, and in particular, noise. The noise of the external world is muting our attention to the internal world.”

~ Malidoma Patrice Somé

Innsæi – The power of Intuition is an inspiring and thought-provoking documentary film in English with Icelandic subtitles. It was made by two Icelandic women Hrund Gunnsteinsdottir and Kristín Ólafsdóttir. They tell their story by distilling wisdom and insights from divers sources. They eloquently reveal that the modern western tendency is for people to disconnect from themselves and one another, ironically, the more that they think they’re connecting, through their devices.

Innsæi – The Power of Intuition, Icelandic documentary film

Innsæi – The Power of Intuition

INNSAEI O PODER DA INTUIÇÃO DOCUMENTÁRIO 2016 COMPLETO LEGENDADO HD

Insight and intuition comes through that silent connection between one’s thoughts and feelings. It’s an emotional connection. One person interviewed mentions that 95% of our mental processes are unconscious. When interacting with another person, our brains process most of the information from implicit cues we pick up unconsciously; through gesture, tone of voice, choice of word, facial expression. Intuition lies outside of the things that we’re consciously aware of, yet can play an important role in guiding us, if we allow it to, by not being so enormously distracted with information and noise.

Innsæi, Iceland, Documentary Film, Nature is Silent Witness, Intuition

Innsæi Documentary Film

The richness of our lives emotionally, psychologically and spiritually emerges through the wealth of diversity of plants and animals which make up the life system of our earth. We are part of a huge, fabulously intricate and awesome network of life woven together. The more we tune into it, the more human built distractions will diminish. We need to cherish and support the entire living system and do our best to safeguard it. The refrain of Joni Mitchel’s song Big Yellow Taxi couldn’t be more accurate. “don’t It always seem to go, that you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone, they paved paradise, put up a parking lot”.

Icelandic film, Iceland, Documentary Film, Nature is Silent Witness, Innsæi, The Power of Intuition

Nature is our Silent Witness, Intuition needs the vocabulary and many languages of nature

An excellent synopsis of the documentary film here in Zeitgest Films informs you that the film makers “Hrund Gunnsteinsdottir and Kristín Ólafsdóttir go on a soul-searching, global journey to uncover the art of connecting within in today’s world of distraction, disconnection and stress.”

This writer plucked out a lot of the important points of the film.

Intuition plays through the creative insight of the right hemisphere of the brain that coordinates information coming from many senses. In a recent conversation with a girl I met, I was talking about seeing through the heart and that we have a lot of neurons in our heart and gut. She brought up the fact that when speaking with people regarding sensitive topics like ‘climate crisis’, it’s extremely important what words one chooses. A word is linked to an emotional connection. A person’s attention may be immediately diverted because of their preconceived notion and association of that word. A word can cause someone to tune out, because of what they associate it with, or cause them to respond, because it is integral to their own way of responding to life – their operating system. Unconsciously, we label and draw conclusions from our associations with the word.

The mention of the performance artist Marina Abramovic who drew a tremendous response when people lined up to sit on a chair facing her, to look into her eyes. Her complete presence in the moment became this clear reflection into the person’s psyche. In that silence they are seeing themselves. “Something people rarely take time to do”, she says. In quietness with no disruptive waves, as she breathed slowly and aligned her attention and eyes to meet those of the stranger before her, people would in this silent communication melt into tears, or flicker into rage. She advises people to go into the unknown, to enter into a different pattern. Making mistakes is the way we grow.

The joy in his eyes and complete confidence in his tone of voice made me eager to attend to every single utterance. The more he said, the more it resonated. Malidoma Patrice Somé is an African elder who was interviewed. He was born in a Dagara community in Dano, Burkina Faso.

Malidoma Patrice Somé, African, Dagara, Dano, Burkina Faso

Malidoma Patrice Somé

He talks of our need for nature, that “Nature is a Silent Witness to our Intuition”. We couldn’t have intuition without nature. He wishes westerners would give credence to and have faith in their intuition, because this is how one connects with their past, present and future and makes sense of our own lives.

Somé says “The biggest obstacle to intuition is noise. We are bombarded with information and distraction all the time, and in particular, noise. The noise of the external world is muting our attention to the internal world.

He mentioned the Dagara tribe and I found this article written by a woman Sobonfu Somé, same name.

THE SEEN AND THE UNSEEN: SPIRITUALITY AMONG THE DAGARA PEOPLE

These words in particular pulled me in. “In the Dagara tradition, the healers have you walk so they can see how your body moves. Is your body ready to deal with this or are you still in conflict? The other way that healing happens is in the context of a community. If someone comes down with a particular illness, it is not seen as that person’s problem. It is a problem of the community, because that person is actually the voice of what is deeper in the core, in the fabric of the community.”

Last evening while watching a show of ice skaters at an outdoor rink, I smiled and clapped for the cute, hopeful, aspiring and the excellent technical maneuvers. I endured some of the music, telling myself, this is what this performer chose. And then a former olympic female figure skater entered and I recognized the first two or three notes of Franz Schubert’s Ave Maria. My eyes welled with tears and continued for almost the duration of the piece. I can’t say I was feeling sad or that it was bringing up a reference to a specific event. To me it is one of those astoundingly touching songs, like “Beautiful World” in which the melody and voice convey something beyond words, into something that launches emotions with piercing clarity.

We all know that it is the music in films that determines how the audience will interpret a scene; to be lighthearted, comical, tense, melancholy or frightening. It’s the emotional impact of art, the intuitive, that opens the doors.

Take some time for quiet moments, to notice things and ponder. And especially to go into the unknown, the source of the known.

Meditate! Listen and observe.

Peace