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.

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

Borders on Vox | Johnny Harris Filmmaking & Journalism Excellence

Suddenly he was popping up on Facebook. He was in China and Hong Kong specifically for a while, now at the border between Columbia and Venezuela.

Johnny Harris, Borders, Senior Producer, filmmaker, journalist

Johnny Harris Borders Senior Producer filmmaker_journalist

The theme Borders couldn’t be more appropriate in today’s world. I read that the senior producer of Border, Johnny Harris, has a BA in international relations from Brigham Young University and an MA in international peace and conflict resolution from American University, each based in Washington D.C.

Johnny Harris, Borders, Prod, Filmmaker, Journalist, Vox

Johnny Harris Borders Producer Filmmaker Journalist Vox

Here is his current most recent video, on the other side of the globe from China, in South America.

Borders, Vox, Johnny Harris, Colombia, Venezuelans

Why Colombia has taken in 1 million Venezuelans

 

I’m posting a blog about him so that more people can become aware of his series. I think he’s an excellent journalist, weaving in history, talking to people. I see that he asks locals with any historical information they deem appropriate to his videos, to offer their insights. He’s obviously got a nice tool, a camera attached to a drone which makes for some fantastic footage. And his series on Borders couldn’t be more appropriate at this time.

Philip Wollen : Animals Should Be Off The Menu debate | Subtitles in 18 languages

Philip Wollen, speech, Crimes of Humans, Animals off Menu

Philip Wollen speech Crimes of Humans
Animals Off the Menu

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

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blogger, portrait drawer, painter, photographer, musician, composer

Let’s Act Differently-Embrace All Life-Change Habits-Incite Responsibility-Share Incentives

I am sending this letter today, right now, to one after another individual and group on the list included at the bottom. Talk about complete transparency. I want each to realize who all the recipients are, so that they may also add to the list. I need a job, and this is what comes to mind; gathering many to coordinate education at the grass roots level, that all of us can participate in.

I’d like to work with you in starting a global, grass-roots educational campaign – coordinated between all – re: ecological emergency; informing and inspiring public response to changing habits and actions.

Hi, 

I would like to work with you towards shifting peoples’ perceptions from complacency to fully recognizing how their actions and habits make an impact on their immediate surroundings and cumulatively affect climate change. Offering education and incentives that people can relate to, to guide them to think and act differently. An edutainment campaign which reaches to the public to give them a voice, through asking them to participate in providing ideas, questions, answers and listening to their responses. The idea, that by allowing people to engage and participate, they will feel more connected, more empowered and motivated, more responsible, and feel excited and involved as they watch how their messages like waves, ripple to bring other people together. 

I don’t believe anything can happen unless everyone is involved. That’s why I’m writing to each of the (individuals and organizations) resources of information I’ve valued and whose messages I’ve shared. Altogether about 40 at the moment. In fact, I’ve just decided to include the entire list of who I’m writing to, so that each of you can fill in and add some more people or groups to the list; who may in fact be more pivotal and effective in initiating this. I’m a female American who loves to write, draw portraits, paint trees and landscapes, play piano and bass guitar, and use computer music programs to compose electronic music. My compositions often incorporate the sounds of different creatures: whales, dolphins, penguins, insects and birds, so far.

I am ready right now (as I will probably have no housing nor money to pay rent in a matter of weeks and am able and willing to relocate virtually anywhere on the planet) to join a movement that coordinates education to raise awareness and offer guidelines towards immediate action. I believe that by working together, across individual and organizational boundaries, across disciplines, that we could engage the public to respond, as if life on our planet depended on it. Well, because it does. Complacency or lack of information has no place. Leaders and polluters will not inform. Therefore, though the odds may be dramatically against us (comfort over change), we could nevertheless try to inspire a movement of actions from the ground up, for each of us to collectively change some habits, that may actually gather so much momentum that people will start to care about what BIG energy hogs and polluters are doing, and BEGIN to speak out to them. New habits are difficult to start, but if everyone starts to really engage because the same messages are rippling out to the public globally by a team of people who are echoing what you and your collaborators have improvised, there is no telling how a critical mass of people with awareness and action and their heart into it, may start to make this grass roots message really move. 

The idea is to instigate people to re-define their relationship to the planet and its life forms and inspire them to re-imagine a dramatically different relationship to all of life, in which humans act responsibly as guardians to the plants and creatures with whom we share the planet. Messages which convey the realization that our greatest treasure is the life that surrounds us, supports us and delights us on earth; containing inspirational guidelines as to how we can change our habits, to live in harmony with other life forms and feel their value; the natural cycles, beauty of flora and fauna and fertility of the earth. You could say I’m an idealist. 

I’m primarily concerned with the loss of well, everything, all life with which we could live in harmony. Defenseless species of plants and animals lose habitats through the encroachment of humans, their residual noise, air and water pollution, chemical poisoning and the formidable elephant in the room, global warming, for which human behavior and industry are responsible. A trend which could collapse all systems on earth that have sustained life as we have known it. Given, Americans are the biggest energy abusers, without recognizing their contribution through the demands they put on having ease and comfort. By its nature, the capitalist formula is based on ever increasing profits, measuring success through the GDP, without factoring whatsoever, the health and well-being of all systems on the planet. This perception and motif has been perpetuated through the mendacity of those wishing to uphold it, in their allegiance to profit. We could actually shift our awareness to valuing deeply every single species as part of the labyrinth of life on this planet which we share. Effectually shifting from the notion of primacy of humans, to one valuing and being guardians to the sovereignty of all life. 

I speak conversational German, French and Spanish, pretty close to fluent. I love to communicate. I’m presently available to relocate anywhere. I live minimally, acquire a bicycle wherever I live, have no dependents and am healthy, strong and resilient. I gained new perspectives quite different from how I was brought up in central Pennsylvania, though I’ve gathered quite different perceptions of the world through having lived in a variety of quite alternative communities (New York city, Washington D.C., Taos, New Mexico, San Francisco, California, Berlin, Germany where I lived for 7 years altogether, Paris and Montpellier, France where I lived last year for 7 months. I’m adaptable. I’m also a person who has all my life been able to walk up to strangers, approach people and begin conversations. There are plenty of other people who with the incentive to save the planet, would be happy to do the same. I have a strong appetite of curiosity and creative drive to communicate. I have to admit that many of my blogs and music need to be more concise to be more easily approachable. I’m working on delivering more elegant and simple message. I also think vlogs are the way to go, more powerful and compelling, with images and music for people who don’t have the time or patience to read.

My dream is that outspoken individuals and organizations like yourself would actually stretch across each of their own boundaries and work together to create a resoundingly clear and transparent message and movement. A message that moves people emotionally to act, because of how overwhelmingly obvious and compelling it is. And a message that is spread through teams of people who go out into the streets to talk with people and collect information from the public. Messages that are informative, humorous, and elicit community participation. I can help you to create this message, I can’t do it on my own. We can do it together.

Below are links to my blogs, music and book trailer. I am in search of the best fit.

I came upon this quote when I was writing an article in 2003 which I just re-located on my HD. This from an Adbusters article in March-April 2003 Issue, “our first problem is one of denial. (and that) our crisis is not fundamentally one of technology, but one of the mind, will and spirit.” The author wrote that our ” denial must be met with a world-wide ‘perestroika’, predicated on the admission of failure: the failure of economics, which became disconnected from life; the failure of our politics, which lost sight or the moral roots of our commonwealth; the failure of science, which lost sight of the essential wholeness of things; and the failure of all of us as moral beings, who allowed these things to happen because we did not love deeply and intelligently enough.”  

With heart, intuition and intent,

Carol Keiter

carolkeiter@gmail.com

(720) 243-2953

skype:  carol_keiter

social networks:

http://www.facebook.com/carol.keiter

http://carolkeiter.tumblr.com

résumé:

https://carolkeiter.wordpress.com/2010/12/24/curriculum-vitae-portfolio

portfolio:

https://carolkeiter.wordpress.com/2010/11/23/parcel-of-my-portfolio

blogs:

https://carolkeiter.wordpress.com/

http://digesthis.wordpress.com/

I searched under the themes of environment and happiness in each of my blogs, which resulted in several pages in each consolidating articles on these subjects. 

https://digesthis.wordpress.com/?s=environment

https://carolkeiter.wordpress.com/?s=environment

https://digesthis.wordpress.com/?s=Happiness

https://carolkeiter.wordpress.com/?s=happiness

ebook trailer:

https://carolkeiter.wordpress.com/2013/05/23/final-metamorphosis-of-the-ebook-trailer-for-adora-vitali-a-spin-on-the-matter-of-motion/

music:

https://soundcloud.com/more_nomadbeatz/sets

https://www.reverbnation.com/nomadbeatz

http://www.myspace.com/nomadbeatz

podcast:

https://deliciousmedicinalfood.wordpress.com

Recipients as of August 24th 2018:  

Alternatiba
Avaaz
Beautiful Solutions Lab
Bill Maher
Bill McKibben 350.org
Brian Thomas Swimme – Center for the Story of the Universe
Center for Biological Diversity
Charles Eisenstein – The More Beautiful World
Climate Warriors
Collective Evolution
Dalai Lama
Daniel Pinchbeck – 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl
David Wolfe – Environmental Defense Fund
Defenders of Wildlife
Democracy Collaborative
Democracy Now Amy Goodman
DJ Spooky – That Subliminal Kid
Earth Guardians
Earthling Ed
Elon Musk
Gabor Maté
Gar Alperovitz – Democracy Collaborative
George Monbiot
Global Climate Action – Climate Network
Greenpeace
Interfaith Power and Light
International Animal Rescue
James Gustave Speth – World Resources Institute WRI
Jeremy Narby – Cosmic Serpent: DNA and the Origins of Knowledge
Joe Brewer
Jon Stuart
Michael Moore
Naomi Klein
National Geographic
National Resource Defense Council – NRDC
Next System Project
Noam Chomsky
PlaceToB – Paris COP21
Pope
Prince Ea
Rob Brezsny
Russell Brand
Save Animals From Extinction
Stephen Colbert
Trevor Noah
Vandava Shiva
WildEarth Guardians
WWF – Nikhil Advani – WWF Lead Specialist, Climate, Communities and Wildlife

Have you Heard of Global Warming? | Apparently 60% of Providence Hasn’t | Simple Solutions | Turn off Your Idling Engines

Make America Cool Again

Make America Cool Again

You know that Facebook post in which the kid in the car seat is sobbing about the fact that people are killing animals and causing harm, well I’m feeling that way, except that the emotional devastation is being channelled into anger.

Although I had already heard that various oil companies had known of the dangers of extracting and burning petroleum…it wasn’t until I read this article two days ago
Losing Earth: The Decade We Almost Stopped Climate Change” By Nathaniel Rich
Photographs and Videos by George Steinmetz
….that laid it all out so clearly, that I feel fully incensed.

As I bicycle by idling cars continually and witness the complete disconnect – lack of awareness among the people, I realize that they are completely unaware.

My feeling of exasperation is not going away.

In fact, after talking to a German woman I overhead speaking German today on the sidewalk, walking with her three kids produced clearly through marriage of mixed race, that of course, Germans do not leave their engines idling, they are aware of how their individual and thus collective actions affect the environment.

It occurred to me today that the reason I came here was to encounter this. Coming from the outside and looking in, after having lived in several European cultures in which walking and gathering in public outside of their cars, is extremely more common. Americans are isolationists. They are spoiled. They feel entitled. They seem to be clueless. The technologies (which I use for contact) are pulling them away from an awareness of their connectedness to their immediate present environment. I see students passing by in the neighborhood housing the Ivy League Brown university walking around with heads buried in their cell phones. Incapable of walking without it being in their hand to perpetually be connected to FB or whatever.

This blog is born however from witnessing the exorbitant number of people I pass by sitting in their cars with their engines idling. I’ve asked individuals, have you heard of global warming? 1% respond with recognition. I don’t think that I’m exaggerating.

United States of Addiction, United States of Avoidance

How many times do people reach for their cell phone to avoid eye contact? Inconclusive at this point, but clearly apparent. What about rates of food, drug and alcohol addiction?

With reference to the media or governments’ lack of response, talk about betrayal. The article is long, yet methodically lays out the facts of recognition and then a series of doing nothing, if anything, exacerbating the problem by denying that it exists, discovered over one hundred and fifty years ago.

It was fully understood and undeniably something to act on through diligent awareness, but put aside for business as usual.

US Govts Misleading Public 50 years

US Government administrationss Misleading Public over 50 years regarding the connection between petroleum extraction and burning and subsequent climate catastrophe

in addition to polluting the immediate environment, idling cars and indiscriminate use of plastics are collectively suffocating the planet

This is the letter that I am still attempting to send within the ‘form within the RI governor’s office website’, which doesn’t allow specific characters – like email addresses – to be incorporated in the body of the automated system.

Climate change is real, enforce laws against idling engines to generate income.

This article should be required reading for someone running a US State government office. I have been riding bicycle every day and night for the last 13 weeks throughout the city of Providence, RI. I have discovered that no matter where I go – regardless of age, gender, race, socio economic class (in fact it seems to be more pronounced among middle class professionals), 60% to 80% or more of the population are habitually sitting in their cars with their engines idling. This is not for a quick pickup, but for sustained periods, leaving their engines running. I encounter, regardless of district or neighborhood, a startling number of cars, per block, per minute, with people sitting in their cars, or on top of their cars, or walking away from their vehicles, with their engine left idling. Perpetually running engines. I feel the heat as I cycle by and smell the fumes.

There appears to be a complete unawareness among the population of the fact

1) That global warming exists at all, and is happening all over the planet, today, every minute.
2) And that people in Providence (collectively), indeed affect the air quality of not only other people and animals (if they still exist) in the immediate vicinity of their vehicle as well as what is happening ecologically on other parts of the globe, where warming has already been apparent for the last decade.

What is going on?

• 31 other US states have anti-idling legislation; either statewide or in a particular municipality or county
• The NYC metropolitan area have $2,000 fines per bus if caught idling.
• Citizens in Germany and Scandinavian countries turn off their engines, ALWAYS, some even during red lights. They are completely cognizant of the ecological emergency and climate crisis, with which the United States is perpetually not dealing with, regardless of the fact that we are the primary perpetrators of this crime to humanity and to all other life forms and systems that also inherited the planet.

What are you going to do about it?

It is unconscionable that this is happening and no one is doing anything (except for the scientists and individuals aware who are perhaps silently suffering in the understanding of continued political deadlocks and misinformation due to participating in an economic system based on perpetual growth and profit that has already killed 87% of the other species and will have large swaths of the US turned into a dustbowl and submerge most coastal cities under water.

This is not an economic issue, this is above economics or the Gross Domestic Product.

This is about whether we want to take steps ourselves, together, to do what our federal government has not been able to achieve, and in fact submerges, suppresses and turns a blind eye.

Human actions are creating an inhospitable planet for most other life forms through blind, headlong consumption and a complete disconnection with the natural world and blind faith in advertising and manipulation.

We are destroying the habitats of most life forms on the planet, and simply turning a blind eye. It is your responsibility as a leader, to take measures to impose legislations that will raise the awareness of idling and censure the actions of your populace.

https://sustainableamerica.org/blog/anti-idling-laws-around-the-nation/

https://www.edf.org/attention-drivers-turn-your-idling-engines

http://ksltv.com/394228/students-test-ozone-levels-cars-idle-schools/?

Officially the population of Providence is 179,300. 60 to 70 percent of the people who are in their vehicles, leave their engine on. Let’s say 60% of the inhabitants regularly sit in their vehicles with their engines idling = that’s about 107,500 people.

A fine to cars for idling of $50 x 107,500 residents = $5,375,000. That’s 5 million. Fines to diesel engines – city, state and independent contractors caught idling could be $200 + per vehicle. Fines for cutting down trees, $1,000, for endangering other creatures’ habitats through negligence or pollutants, ranging from $300 per individual to $10,000’s per business.

If nothing else, imposing fines would be a deterrent, and would immediately alert and inform people of their participation in increasing global temperatures and carbon monoxide levels, contributing to the continued increase CO2 levels and global temperatures rising to levels that in 30 years could prohibit human life. If citizens are not informed of this through education or the media outlets, it is your responsibility as a leader to recognize the crisis, and to enforce education and implementation of penalties as deterrents. Ecocide and homicide continues to take place, by ignoring the issue. Fines to coal and petroleum companies, could be in the $100, millions.

India planted 1.5 Million trees in 12 hours, https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/india-plant-66-million-trees-12-hours-environment-campaign-madhya-pradesh-global-warming-climate-a7820416.html by creating the possibility and enforcing it, certainly in a manner that brought people together to do something that will benefit each.

We could have many simple solutions through seemingly small actions, in steps that could make an enormous difference. Such as;

asking people to turn off their air conditioning units (except for hospitals and care facilities) – 3 days of the week – as a starter.
To attempt car pooling, public transportation, bicycling or walking several days of the week
To authorize penalties to the use of plastics
Create jobs for people to educate people about plastics
To inform people about how their participation in using plastics and idling cars are collectively suffocating the planet in addition to polluting the immediate environment

Measures could be taken globally to do this together as the human race, instead of being in competition with one another in terms of a race to increase the GDP.

With the fines, you could use the money to pay a fleet of bicycle cops to enforce the law and establish a safe bicycle infrastructure in various municipalities and between them as well as money to invest in public transportation.

After approaching people individually, talking to the mayor, sending a letter to the mayor’s office, talking to someone in a state legislative office to convey the message about the need to enact legislation to raise peoples awareness, I find it necessary to contact the governor.

Let’s do this together and make America a global leader in dealing with a crisis that we have alone caused, instead of turning a blind eye.

https://digesthis.wordpress.com/2014/09/30/peoples-climate-march-in-nyc-ww-september-21st-2014-flood-wall-street/

Rising Tide of Awareness, Great Pacific Garbage Patch, NYC Climate March 2014

Rising Tide of Awareness blogger talking about Great Pacific Garbage Patch at NYC Climate March 2014

EchoActivate | Education, Communication & Fun | Working Side-by-Side, Empowering through Participating | Cleaning, Reusing, Planting & Restoring Habitats for All Creatures | Global Climate Action Summit

If India was able to plant 66 million trees in twelve hours with a million + people side by side doing it, this same action could happen around the world towards any environmental movement.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/india-plant-66-million-trees-12-hours-environment-campaign-madhya-pradesh-global-warming-climate-a7820416.html

actions, EChOACTiVate

Word cloud of involved actions in EChOACTiVate

I meditate daily and ask the four forces – earth, air, water and plasma – practicing heart rhythm meditation. My intent is to carry my voice to peoples’ platforms I can participate in and for information and guidance to be carried to me. It’s an intuitive process of trusting in the intelligence and consciousness of the universal force. I feel that many things that appear to ‘happen’ serendipitously, arrive because of intention to connect to this information. Magic? Today, for the first time i clicked on and read this info from this community that I learned of while taking courses when living in Pennsylvania. Interfaith Power & Light: A Religious Response to Global Warming. I’d go to multidisciplinary talks with religious leaders from all these different faiths putting forth their viewpoint on various questions. Opening it, i found out about this, http://globalclimateactionsummit.org/. The Global Climate Action Summit happens to be taking place in San Francisco, September 12th to 14th. Just a week before the ccc reunion.

lets mots, les activité
pour EChOACTIvate

It seems to be an excellent place to continue to disseminate my idea. The idea started years ago, imagined actually right before the COP21 Paris climate talks, which I went to, to Paris for two weeks with 20 dollars.

Previously I named the idea Eco Revolution, then EcoActivate, because the first was taken.

https://carolkeiter.wordpress.com/2015/11/21/calling-for-echoactivate-partners-core-team-refugee-manpower-best-weapon-is-education-and-empowerment/

https://digesthis.wordpress.com/2015/11/21/calling-for-echoactivate-partners-core-team-corporate-sponsors-government-subsidies/

lo que tu puedes hacer con EChOACTiVate

The idea is to bring the information to the people, through a cyber portal of information, and a mobile unit that comes to a community with needs that people perceive or perhaps aren’t aware of at all, that they can then do together to clean up and build sustainable energy, transportation and to plant community gardens, bee and butterfly highways, plant trees and build animals bridges…

The idea is to bring people together in a celebratory, participatory way. With the knowledge they need to create, transform and participate in greening their own environment.

Education is the tool. People power is the engine.

was EChOACTiVate ist

was EChOACTiVate ist

False Dichotomy | Separate from Self | Gabor Maté | Michael Gregor | Shift

Unprecedented this time around with each of the blogs, is my intention to connect the two in meaning. Describing in each case an illness born of separation, and the prescribed means of emerging from this separation with an anecdotal film. Each contain points that will be woven into my book. I’ve created a connection between this and the other blog which I’m sending out to cyberspace – double happiness.

The spiritual and collective social bankruptcy is evident with the continued violence and addictions that stem from a separation from self.

On the frontier of ‘systems theory’, the Hungarian-born Canadian physician Dr. Gabor Maté recognizes that many conditions which people find themselves in are the direct result of their behavior – coping mechanisms – from what they experienced in their infancy.
Maté has masterful insights into the human condition.

Gabor Maté talks of the intelligence of the body When the Body Says No.
— Caring for ourselves while caring for others.

Gabor Maté When the Body Says No

Gabor Maté When the Body Says No intelligence of the body

He states that all physical and mental illness, misaligned behavior, criminality…comes from the trauma a person had in childhood. That ultimately every child entering the world needs to feel the security of attachment, a connection to another human being which extends into a feeling of belonging, together with a sense that they are being and doing ‘who they are’, true to their authentic self.

Maté suggests that most human malfeasance is related to a person’s experience as an infant, due to either not having a sense of security through not having had a significant attachment to another person (parent/caregiver) or having been prevented from expressing who one is. The latter for example, told to keep quiet, that you are in the way, your opinion doesn’t matter, criticized for each move one makes.

He believes that Western medicine continues to reinforce this dichotomy between the body and mind as well as the individual from the social and familial context. This concept of a false separation is what instigated me to correlate the topic with my digesthis blog, in the context of believing that we are separate from our environment.

https://digesthis.wordpress.com/2018/04/26/false-dichotomy-separate-from-environment-zero-point-energy-john-searl-brian-oleary-thrive/ This false sense of separation is what has lead to a mass unconsciousness about who we are and how much we are physically, spiritually and emotionally inextricably a part of our environment.

Maté mentions that this ‘separateness’ point of view interferes with the way that intellects accept information. They stand above what they are describing “behind their intellectual armor”, detached and removed. In their silos of research, they have a difficult time separating themselves from the structure of how they see things from what they’ve studied, to see a larger picture. Caught up in looking through the screen of what they know and have already adhered to as the correct picture, it’s difficult for them to envision a particular disease or symptom as the result of behavior that the child adopted (repeatedly) to compensate for the connection they lacked or being sidelined from being themselves. And that the repetition (like building a muscle or letting it atrophy) embedded in behavior as a coping mechanism, is what leads to substance or food abuse, negligence, suppression of feelings, continual anger or fear, or continued disillusionment and frustration from being obstructed from follow one’s own voice and dreams, is ultimately what makes a person ill. Completely connecting the gut, heart, mind and body…which can best be remedied through connecting all of these in the healing process.

Thich Nhat Hanh Guarding Knowledge is not a good way to understand. Understanding means to throw away your knowledge.

Thich Nhat Hanh
Guarding Knowledge is not a good way to understand. Understanding means to throw away your knowledge.

The emotional centers in the brain are wired for attachment. They are connected to the nervous system electrically. A hormonal immune system, with chemical messengers that travel to other organs; the brain reads what’s happening to the body. The gut has more neurons than the brain, and is sending messages continually to the brain. The gut feelings read the body language of a person. The heart also impacts our brain and physiology.

Many of us have been taught to override our gut feelings with what our intellect, our thoughts and conditioning have told us is more important to believe, when in fact there are plenty more neurons in the gut to bring that wealth of insight.

An infant picks up on signals of body language that translate emotions, with gestures, voice tones that attune them with the message. Even though they have not learned language, they can grasp the truth. He talks of the vast network of neurons connecting the brain, heart, gut, bones and immune system; more neurons are delivering messages from the gut and heart to the brain than the reverse.

Brain develops under the impact of the environment. Wiring the brain is a long-term trait, from a state of the brain to a habitual response. The pharmaceutical industry comes along and brings out pills that treat the symptoms, but do nothing for brain or psychological development. They just increase levels of hormones like dopamine, that has been diminished in the child due to stress. In fact Maté claims that these are not genetic disorders but the result of transgenerational transpersonal familial and cultural patterns are transferred from one generation to the next. One can’t blame a parent when in fact the parent is the result of how his or her parent were as a child. He mentions also Thich Nhat Khan interbeing.

Gabor Maté Attachment, Disease and Addition

In this shorter video on Attachment, Disease, and Addiction he mentions that though the classical Western worldview separates the body from the mind and the individual from the familial and social context, we need a cross disciplinary bio-psycho-social model. He talks of the fact that in traditional medicine, specialists study a type of cancer on a cellular level, yet are dramatically overlooking the obvious, that a cell lives inside a body, within a system relaying chemical, biological, emotional, psychological and social information. One can not separate the cell or the immune system from the stresses that may be occurring physically, socially and emotionally. Trying to understand the biology without understanding the psychological and social relationship is futile. “You can’t study cancer in a cell without seeing the whole relationship. It’s like studying a traffic jam by looking under the hood at the engine of a particular car.”

“When you live in a society that objectifies people, you have to ignore their fundamental emotional and spiritual needs. We live in a society with a pathology of normalcy. The ideological blinders that keep us from looking at the really simple realities of human relationship. Emotional denial serves a broad political and economic perspective, so that the mainstream culture focuses on diversions rather than genuine investigations, which threaten the very foundation of the society.”

One of the points Gabor Maté brings up in this second talk is how one can distance oneself from really seeing a situation, particularly if one is responding on an emotional level that contradicts what knowledge base they have been building.

• Thoughts are eclipsed by emotions.
• The better trained one is at looking at something through the intellectual scaffolding that they’ve built, the less open they are to new perspectives. They can remain shrouded by the intellect. When in fact the heart, gut and immune system of the body are constantly sending out messages.
• Meaning comes through an emotional response. In terms of addictive behavior, once you begin to ask why, you are already opening the door to find answers. That is, once you become aware.

pharmaceutical have nothing to do with it, it is nutrition and diet

Gregor describes that nutrition is what leads to health.

One of the crucial distinctions we have to begin making, is that what we eat is inseparable from our health or illness. Incredulously, the American Medical Association and other government health offices as well as the majority of medical schools across the country, do not even offer classes in nutrition, nor do doctors talk about the subject to their patients, as Dr. Michael Gregor points out in his talk. Doctors are seduced by pharmaceutical companies to hand out prescription medicine, yet not to talk about diet, when the food that people consume is the leading cause of death due to ‘impoverished’ diets.Dr. Michael Gregor talks of Food as Medicine.

Gregor talking about nutrition, specifically a plant-based diet


The movie “The Shift” put together by Collective Evolution, also talks about meaning conveyed through events that have a strong impact. They talk of 911 as one of the collective onsets of a shift in perspective. The old worldview of people as a commodity and as expendable, and view that the end justifies the means, just isn’t working any more.

The Collective Evolution III: The Shift | Official Release 2014, To change the state of our world, we have to change the state of consciousness that is within us.

The Collective Evolution III: The Shift | Official Release 2014

According to the Collective Evolution’s movie Shift:

“We’re seeing the disintegration of the old worldview and moving into a new one that hasn’t quite constellated yet, it’s been apparent as a growing movement; a political, economic, spiritual awakening, new thought paradigms, that starts with the self realization of looking fearlessly that embraces it.

What can we do?

1) continue learning, continue to research & spread the word to others.
2) vote with your dollars. use your money to show your support of the type of world you support; stop buying needlessly, organic and local foods, instead of industries that maintain this system
3) use the power of numbers; get together with others, join a cause, raise awareness to things that can reshape our world, having larger numbers shows the power that we hold over the elite
4) get together with those in your community to create change; community projects, get to know those around you, break down the illusion of barriers that create separation around us
5) opt out of the system in any way that you can; our system requires our participation and support to keep going; recognize the power that we have
6) start with you; reflect on your worldview and your consciousness; is the world you see today really the world you want to live in? we can think about why it is the way it is

The most suppressed technology is our higher consciousness

Our state of consciousness, or world view, needs to change in order to change the world.”

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Carol Keiter contact

Carol Keiter contact

The Eloquently and Elegantly stated Truth

Nothing is more important than reading this. And then reading it again.

The most elegant and eloquent presentation of the facts, that anyone who can understand words, must be persuaded to hear and respond to emotionally and intuitively as the truth.

I have merely copied and pasted the text of this writing within the link below (minus the original links within it), feeling it to be the utterly most important statement of vast insight, that everyone must read. And continue to talk.

-.—.—-.—–.——.-.—.—-.—–.——.-.—.—-.—–.——.-.—.—-.—–.—-.-.—.–.-

http://www.grenzbegriff.com/2017/10/leaving.html

 

these are my words at the time of writing — I am more like tree than rock — as I bend to reach the sunlight

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Leaving

Hi friends,

I’m leaving Google at the end of next week.

There’s too much I want to say.  🙂

I spent the summer away from work, outdoors in Oregon, awash in beauty.  I learned a lot.  I wept at how we’re treating the earth, as I rode past mile after mile of logged forests, polluted streams, and lifeless monocrop fields.

I got to be part of what I’ll call “alternative culture”, to explore ways of meeting all of our human needs through local community alternatives to basically everything we currently use money for.  I wrote some about this time here on this blog.  I barely scratched the surface though.  More and more people, perhaps millions now even in the West, are devoting their lives to new (and sometimes ancient) ways of living in healthy relationship with each other and with the earth.  While they are usually partly within the current system, when all of these new ways of living come together, the current system becomes obsolete.  I see joyous glimpses of this everywhere.

Meanwhile our dominant civilization is killing its own foundation: the healthy web of life on earth.  Through deforestation and pollution we are destroying the ability of the planet to support all forms of life.  We can see this in the oceans where the fish populations are collapsing, the silent fields that were once thriving forests, and the deserts where millions of people go hungry in drought.  This ecological crisis can’t be solved simply by swapping oil for solar panels.  I’m no longer optimistic that we will soon fix these problems with some new technology.  It’s quite possible that climate change is exacerbating the storms and droughts and fires, and that these will continue to become more severe in the next years.

The effects are not evenly distributed.  The unhoused breathe wildfire smoke while many of the housed have filtered air.  Some of us see our homes flooded or burnt while for others business continues as usual.  Most communities in the country and increasingly in the world have lost the ability to sustain themselves from their land, and now must import almost everything they need from elsewhere, which becomes precarious when those importing the goods see no profit in it (food deserts), or when disaster breaks down the supply line like in Puerto Rico.  Many communities no longer have access to clean water, or are losing it as I write.  On Monday I listened to a man from Guatemala talk about a new silver mine near his home that is polluting and drying up the water supply for many villages there.  Almost all silver is used to produce electronics, and demand is rising.  In Oregon this summer, ancient trees thousands of years old were cleared for fire breaks.  The entire planet is being saturated with chemicals that we ought never to have created.  These kinds of damage cannot be undone or fixed by technology.  The story for other species is even worse, as most wild animal populations have died off and we pack billions of animals in cages in horrific factory farms.  The coral reefs, the rhinos, the ancient forests, the whales, and even the insects… who speaks for them?  Some people do, and they end up in jail if their actions threaten profits.  Profits are made at the expense of Life.

And within our civilization, we have more prisoners and refugees, more drugs and anxiety and depression and stress and addiction than ever.  Even in wealthy regions, most people don’t like the work they do all day.  It’s also not physically healthy to be indoors or using a computer or riding in vehicles for as many hours as many of us who are “successful” do.  What is happening to us?

It seems the leaders of our world are apathetic or powerless, as they fight over the most gaudy deck chairs on this titanic.  While it pains me, I don’t hate them for this; their actions are the product of a traumatic history that touches all of us.  They don’t know what they’re doing.

I envision a more beautiful world where humans have a healthy part to play, to love and respect the earth, not to dominate and exploit it.  I see many people living that vision already, and want to live my life in service to it.  I see the extremes of both ugliness and beauty grow more stark.  Ugliness as we close down and protect ourselves from the ‘other’, beauty as we come together in community, in love with mother earth.  Will “society” as a whole make some kind of transition, or continue the march into dystopia and eventual chaos?  I don’t know.  It will be both at the same time.  Some people are already in an obvious dystopia, some are in a beautiful place yet in the shadow of a collapsing ecosystem.  To hope for a peaceful transition would be to ignore the incredible violence on which the current system lives.  It will be violent because it already is.  May we learn to be kind to each other as these changes unfold.

It’s been said that we need the darkness to see the stars.  We can open ourselves to what is happening, feel and honor our pain, grieve what is lost, and revel in our deep gratitude for the beauty of life.  I don’t mean to be a downer pointing at all this ugliness.  I feel that we have a deep need to see it and acknowledge it.  It makes the beauty that much more precious and worth living for.

“Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
With your one wild and precious life?”
-Mary Oliver

What should we do then?

I don’t know exactly what we should do.  I don’t have a rational “here’s what everyone needs to do” that will resolve all of these crises.  I want to let go of my need to control what happens, because I’m really not in control.  At the same time, even if I let go and accept whatever comes, I am a human being and it is natural for me to care and want to help, to serve what I love.  I will not deny that part of me either.  So I find myself thinking about how to help, even if it seems “hopeless” overall.  I need not stress about the outcomes, but I will still act.  What else would I do with my few short years here?

So what might I do to be practical?

I don’t believe our technology is serving us well.  We, the wealthy humans near the top of the power hierarchy may see it as indispensable, but if we consider the animals or the fish or the trees or the laborers in the sweatshops and mines and plantations, it’s not working out so well.  Yes, our technology relieves some suffering in some places, but at what cost?  We simply do not, and probably cannot, count the costs of development.  I am not enthusiastic that further technological progress will heal us.

I also don’t believe that our problems are mostly due to money being in the wrong hands.  Measuring everything by monetary value seems to me one of the roots of the crises.  The mentality that values money over life drives much of the pollution and resource extraction and oppression around the world, since humans first accumulated “property” and enslaved each other.  I don’t feel that getting as much money as I can and giving it to the non-profit side of the system is the best way for me to serve what I love.  I feel that the money abstraction and the distance it puts between us and the effects of our actions makes us feel disconnected and alone.

I also don’t like our culture’s valuing of measurable impact over everything else.  Much of what is precious to me cannot be measured.  What’s the measurable value of a 5000 year old yew tree?  What’s the measurable value of caring for a disabled child?

“May what I do flow from me like a river
no forcing
and no holding back
the way it is with children.”
-Rilke

So I don’t know what we all should do exactly, and I don’t know what I will do beyond the short term.  I’m skeptical of money and the dominant culture’s value system.  I want to trust what makes me feel alive over our culture’s normal stories that usually are rooted in fear.  I recognize that I’m one of the most privileged people in the world.  I know most people do not have the options that I have.  I don’t mean to judge, only to encourage.

Right now what’s happening is I’ve been living in a homeless protest encampment in Berkeley the last couple months, which has given me still another perspective on our society.  It got interesting this weekend and we’re fighting eviction, hoping to benefit and inspire homeless communities around the country.  With all of the disaster and war refugees today, and housing crises in many places, there are more and more people who can’t have regular housing, and we could learn to live together with more kindness and understanding.  I’m also involved with the community here in other ways like Food Not Bombs.  I expect soon I’ll be moving on to other places, to learn and to live in service to what I love.  To restore soil and help plants grow and be community.

I’ve learned I don’t need much money to live well myself, so I don’t need to earn it for myself.  Perhaps my perspective on money and impact will change and I’ll eventually decide that earning money and supporting my many friends who don’t have much money in their various causes is the best way to contribute, and then I might return to a job, but we’ll see.  “It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.”

Wherever I am, I’ll be with some kind of community learning how to live in healthier relationship with each other and with the earth.  There’ll be dark moments and joyous moments, and this is life.  Life is good.  Whatever comes, I will give attention to the beauty around me, the beauty of community and of nature and of every form.  Beauty everywhere begs our attention.

“An eye is meant to see things.
The soul is here for its own joy.

A head has one use: For loving a true love.
Feet: To chase after.

Rumi quote Spirit Mind

Rumi quote Spirit Mind

carol return hitch from Taos, New Mexico

carol the blogger on her return hitch from Taos, New Mexico to Santa Fe. One side of my sign said Santa Fe, the other, Fanta Se

Hitchabout Nice – Antibes – Aix-en-Provence – Arles | back to Montpellier

I think it was the fastest I’ve ever gotten rides in my entire hitchhiking experience. Residing in Montpellier, France, I had decided to hitch to Nice, the day before. I had anticipated it, knowing that my sister and her British husband go there regularly to escape the York, England chill. It was these two who had visited Montpellier several years earlier on a regular basis. That put this town on the map for me. I liked the sound of it. When I’d googled the town back when I suddenly had the proposition to go to the East coast from Taos, New Mexico, I learned that it’s the fastest growing city in France, of which 25% are students that emerge during the academic year. I sort of made the decision to go there in particular, and base myself . I was actually still deliberating on whether Portugal might be a less expensive and lively place to live while I was purchasing the bus ticket from Paris for Montpellier. At some point I decided I wanted to be closer to other countries in Europe and also where I have a semblance of knowledge of the language.

Mont_Saint-Victoire Paul Cézanne

Mont Saint-Victoire notoriously painted by Paul Cézanne among others

Nice, didn’t appear to have any available couches to surf on. The weather which has been continually warm and sunny, dropped about 10 degrees with predicted rain. I decided to go anyway. My bicycle had just been stolen 4 days earlier in the middle of the day around the corner from the cafe I was working in. After the initial discovery, I decided it was a gift for whoever took it. They not only got bad karma, but also a bike that didn’t work. It was hurting my knees because the gears basically didn’t move and I had to get off frequently, to walk up hills. Montpellier is full of them. Many at gradients of 55ª angles.

When I’d arrived in Montpellier the first day I asked a woman sitting on the tram near me “where is the mont”? She discussed it with her friend and decided that she didn’t know. My guess is that the whole town is so hilly that they decided to call it Montpellier, which means mountain. So, the missing bike precluded transport into town outside of the tram TAM, so it was as good a time as any to check out some other places along the Mediterranean. Nice, France is really close to Italy and Switzerland. By the time I finally left the house after consulting google maps to know what destinations to write on a sign, it was going on 2pm. The drive is a little over 3 and a half hours.

I strolled to the end of these outdoor tables with people seated there where I spotted a large white clean piece of cardboard tossed on the ground beyond the tables. I was already steering myself towards this cafe to ask for cardboard. Nice start, I had markers. The entrance to the highway was basically right there. This area was a short walk from where I’d currently been living, conveniently on the edge of town. I noticed several cheap bus lines departing from there, Sabine. I incidentally had been told two days previously that I needed to move out by the end of the month, a day after the bike theft. I had two weeks to decide my next moves. That was another reason to make this trip, a few pairs of ears to discuss my options. I was now less convinced that I wanted to stay in Montpellier. The housing situations had been a challenge.

I watched traffic stopping and starting at a traffic light, and was standing right before an indentation in the road for busses, perfect for cars to pull over. I had written Nice on one side of the sign and was starting to write Aix-en Provence on the other, flipping it up for cars to read both sides, when the first small truck pulled over after only a few lights. I hadn’t been there more than 10 minutes. He’d been working in Montpellier for the day and was on his way to Aix. He’s an Albanian man from Kosovo, his name packed with consonants, Xhemil Iveseldaj.  He’s been living in Aix-en Provence among other members of his family, for 40 years. He was returning from his work week in Montpellier where he stays in a hotel. His boss pays for that, along with his tolls and I guess all travel expenses. He works in such a specialized field, that he’s been accustomed to these long commutes for years, sometimes sweeping countrywide. He’d previously commuted to Paris from Aix, and before that by plane to another town. I learned a fair amount about his life and his two sons. He is one of 7 siblings, five brothers and two sisters. He said in Albania the families tend to be even larger. He said he doesn’t believe in a ‘God’ but in nature. We agreed about that, ‘Nature’ is our ‘god’. I asked if he believes in climate change. We discussed it for quite a while along with other topics.

He had missed his turnoff and I was wondering if I was going to be dropped off in the middle of the highway at an inconvenient place, but he then went back through toll booths, and tracked back to the highway where we were now still heading towards Aix-en-Provence en route to Nice. He’d seen the Aix on my sign. Works every time to have a sign. Xhemil always seemed a bit impatient when coming to any toll, as if seconds shaved off his time were going to critically screw up his day. I guess he was simply in a big hurry to get back home at the end of his workweek. He brought me to a good place where all traffic was heading in the direction of Nice.

I was happy to find a bathroom next to an odd parking garage area where on one side there were buses, ironically, one on its way to Nice. I had covered half the distance already and didn’t bother to approach the bus to ask the driver, preferring to hitch. Someone saw my signs and was yelling out to me from the top story of this large round parking garage building. I ignored him/them. It took about 6 minutes, maybe less, for a car to stop. I heard the responses from above as I was getting into the vehicle. The driver was Olivier, a local who lived in a little town with a great view of this mountain outcropping Saint Vincent from one side. He was on his way to Cannes for the evening. Olivier is an engineer, specifically works on plane engines. He lived in Paris for a stint, said he learned a lot working for Air Bus. He still works for them, and was relieved to move back to his home ground.

Mont Saint-Victoire, Paul Cézanne

Olivier says this landmark outcropping of rock Mont Sainte-Victoire, changes color frequently and has been a feature of many painters.

He and I had a nice rapport. We talked the entire time and really had a lot of similar points of view about the quality of simple things in life that give it value. He dropped me off at a very convenient location at the entrance to highways from Cannes. I was sorry to see him go.

My next ride was with a professional chauffeur, John Christopher. He had made sort of a precarious stop to pick me up. I guess as a local he knows what he can get away with. He was going to pick up his clients on this late afternoon to take them to a fundraiser gala event, hosted for wealthy families who were donating money to hurricane victims in Saint Martin, a French island in the Caribbean. He has worked for this same family exclusively for 15 years. He said that this event was perhaps at a hidden location. He knew that football stars, actors and actresses were going to be there among the very wealthy patrons. He described what these evenings could be like, and how he had to always be available for and and all things that might occur. He might have to make the commute over the bridge to pick up one item left behind, or drop off kids at different places. I enjoyed this little scope into the lives of the upper crust there, from the chauffeur’s point of view. A very gentle guy, he left me off before taking his route to the home of his employer. We left with smiles lingering.

Nice, France first shots - pastry and me

A bridge separated me between where I stood where everyone seemed to be racing to their next destination. I’m guessing I was at St.-Laurent du Var by this bridge. I wondered how long this ride would take, since now I was extraordinarily ‘out of place’. A hitchhiker with a backpack among demonstratively expensive cars and high income drivers. Surprisingly, a car stopped. It was Raphael a medical student in Nice, where he also was raised. He looked distinctively Spanish or Italian. He did me the courtesy of using his phone to dial my contact number and drop me off after crossing into Nice to a very familiar cement way lined with Palm trees before the beach. The Promenade des Anglais is where a demented man drove a truck moving down pedestrians on Bastille Day on the evening of 14 July 2016. The Nice attack killed 86 people and injured 458. Sound familiar? The whole area has since been reinforced to block vehicular traffic, involving bringing in full-grown palm trees with cranes.

historical Nice, France and cemetary

I wound up spending several days in Nice, endowed with lovely weather. Took various local rides ferried to different parts on cool excursions with family into the hills looking back down over the city. I had particularly wanted to see Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat.

Nice page 1 of second group inlaid stones

Nice, France inlaid stones

When it came time to leave, I finally noticed a text message on my cheap French phone, an invitation from a friend I’d met years earlier, who had actually invited me to stay at her and her boyfriend’s place. I texted her back explaining I’d missed seeing her text. In a little while I made my way to make a start, found some cardboard and what appeared to be the entrance to highways. I stood there a short time up in the hills. I saw a dread-headed girl across the street who when she crossed, approached to tell me she’s hitched a lot, and if I’m going to Aix-en-Provence, I’d have better luck down standing down by the water – once again before the Promenade des Anglais. I thanked her and walked down the hill. When I turned the corner I saw a group of people waiting for a bus a hundred yards away. I thought to myself, they’re probably wondering about what I was doing. Within several minutes, my first ride stopped. A smartly dressed man in a nice car on his way to Aix-en-Provence. I laughed to myself at how easy I made it look for the people standing there waiting for a bus. He made a phone call to his wife indicating he was on his way. I mentioned that I’d come from Montpellier to Nice and still was trying to figure out where to land. He mentioned that for using English, Aix-en-Provence would have better opportunities than Montpellier due to its larger influx of British because of the nearby seaport. He convinced me in fact. He said forget Montpellier, it’s mostly a college town, whereas Aix has an English speaking presence and a sophisticated flair.

mazza

mazza

 

Manu

Manu

The text was from a woman whom I’d met with her boyfriend 5 years earlier in Krakow, Poland. I was now getting out of the car upon receiving the text, only half an hour or so from Nice and 100’s of km before where I thought I was going. That was a great timed text, minutes before the Antibes exit. I had a splendid visit with these friends and their wonderful feline creatures. It was the therapy I needed, the playful cats along with friendly and inspiring conversation and inclusion.

Edwige and Bernards in Antibes

Edwige and Bernards in Antibes

 

Edwige, Antibes

Edwige in Antibes

Edwige and Carol Antibes

Edwige and Carol Antibe

I departed from my friends and the kitties in Antibes who I was already missing. Once again I got fantastic rides, two rides from Antibes. A young baker, boulanger, who told me stories of his life and his wife and 2 kids. At the moment that I noticed a sign for a rest stop I asked him whether there was another like it prior to where he was going. He wound up immediately pulling over, because he in fact was getting off soon, where the town was so small he explained I’d probably have very fewer ride possibilities than here at this highway stop. I parted farewell from this sweet guy and was walking into the rest-stop restaurant and showed my signs to the people as I was walking by them. They were a couple, and happened to be driving to Montpellier. I said that that’s where I live, but am going to Aix-en-Provence. They said they could take me there, it’s on the way. I hung with them a bit at the outdoor tables after I returned. We had a few interesting exchanges before getting in the car. A huge lovely white dog accompanied by a man entered the picture. I said, ‘elle est belle’, and the girl laughed, saying she has exactly the same type of dog, whose name is Belle. It’s unusual for a couple to offer a ride, very rare. They have to be really confident with one another, and these two were. Thomas and Gwendoline were very animated. At one point I mentioned out of the blue that I’d like to go to Istanbul, and they laughed, saying they’re going there next Thursday. They each engaged in conversation the entire time. We really connected. He owns 2 businesses in (IT), one which he originally started doing web design and the other advising companies on how to work more efficiently. She isn’t currently working. We talked the whole time, They were on their way to Montpellier to visit his father, and in fact he drove me into the center of Aix-en-Provence which he loves, and Gwendoline had never been.

Eight weeks earlier I wouldn’t have been able to understand but a quarter of what they were saying, now 8/10th percent. She spoke some English cuz she lived a year in New Zealand doing a WWOOF with baby sheep! She visited Australia too. She joked that she’s probably more conservative politically than he. He described that he believed the French president Macron would have more possibility to take a center stage in the global political arena. As we were driving into Aix from the highway, I commented that I believe trees may be more conscious than we are. To my surprise, Thomas the computer guy, heartily agreed, saying that he despises that people believe that they’re at the top of the pyramid of life, when in fact all life forms have intelligence. Thomas so much admires the town, that I decided after walking around a bit that for my saturday night, I’ll stay in Aix-en-Provence, regardless of where I may or may not sleep.

Aix-en-Provence, France

On this late summer Saturday afternoon in the street of Aix-en-Provence  I came upon a group of woman doing a spontaneous dance exercise; an an all female dance troupe. They were doing an improvisation exercise in their practice. I sort of guessed that this is what they were doing. Later when they were less involved in any presentations, I asked a few. One woman with eye that met mine with a sparkle in her eyes and large smile approached me and handed me a flyer.

She was in fact the director who organized this theatrical dance art group. http://cie-mariehelenedesmaris.com

I had decided to stay there regardless of not having looked for couchsurfers. It was a Saturday evening, it’ll be fun. I asked the right couple on my walk, who described several different options, pointing to areas on a map I had of specific areas to find things going on.

I went to a cafe to catch up on writing and organizing my pictures, and wound up hanging there into the late hours, with co-workers and guests. As the evening progressed, I was invited not only to stay that evening, but for an extended length of time, if I was demonstrating that I was doing the work I needed to do. I could now stay at this apartment there in Aix-en-Provence with these two brothers. However that vanquished at the point that the one breached my trust, and caused me to launch myself out back into the streets of Aix with the approaching dawn. It seemed like it might have been the semblance of a good thing, if not for the immediate security violation. One of the brothers was already in bed, it appeared. I was ushered into a room, fine, ah, but wait, no lock on the door. I waited before getting into bed with my pully and pack on by the door. listening for a few moments, when suddenly the door swung open, with me standing right there. I’m sure it surprised him as much as it did me; bursting into the room allegedly having misplaced his cell phone. Not only did this maneuver make me feel quite uncomfortable with the thought of sleeping there, but it also immediately dissolved that opportunity. So, I was heading out from Aix that morning, and still not sure what would define my future. This town hadn’t particularly welcomed me; no couch surfers, no housing possibilities and no tolerance for an opening in a bachelor den that was the epitome of neglect.

 

Arles, France, Nice, hitchabout

I hitched to Arles from Aix-en-Provence that morning. Maybe I’d go to Nimes (Roman ruins in both towns) on the same day.  The two cities located in the Occitanie region of southern France, were an important outpost of the Roman Empire. Nimes is known for its well-preserved monuments such as the Arena of Nîmes, a double-tiered circa-70 A.D. amphitheater still in use for concerts and bullfights. Its Maison Carrée white limestone Roman temple and Pont du Gard tri-level aqueduct are around 2,000 years old. I wound up staying in Arles instead.

Shortly after arriving at a good departure point in Aix, a woman stopped in her sleek car. I assumed the boy of about 11 sitting in the passenger seat was her son. She was an attractive, well dressed, middle aged woman who appeared professional, everything intact.  She was on her way to Nimes. The song that was playing on the alternative rock station was fairly pop, and each of the songs became progressively more hard-edged. The music didn’t seem to go with her appearance at all. The volume was so high that it impeded the ability to talk. When I asked, she staccato answered that she lives in Aix. That was my first and last question in an attempt to engage them in conversation. Her son and she didn’t say a word to one another the entire time.  She drove very fast and agilely on the highway on her way to Nimes, maneuvering efficiently. I was surprised she picked me up at all.  I pictured that she was dropping her son off at a midway point in an agreement with her ex, as they trade time with the child since divorcing. I decided that she was annoyed to have to drive him there, the hour and a half, now wait, 3 hour journey altogether to drop him off in Nimes and return; an invasion on any other activities she might have wanted to do on that Sunday. I didn’t ask. I let them ‘not talk’ to one another or me. I felt sorry for the kid. The music was quite loud. The silence was fierce.

Michael Jackson T-shirt, Always Be Yourself

Michael Jackson T-shirt
Always Be Yourself

I’m sitting in a cafe putting these pages together, sitting near the bathroom entrance. Many people flow by. One guy was waiting in line, a tall Arab guy, I saw in between the edges of his jacket a skeleton, and I said pointing, “is that Michael Jackson”? He said, yes and opened his jacket. I said, trying as I could in French, after multiple plastic surgeries that destroyed his cartilage, he’s now a skeleton. He said, exactly. He and I were both laughing pretty hard at this point as he was now walking into the bathroom, since it wasn’t supposed to be that obvious. I asked him when he came out to get a shot of the shirt, which is even more hilarious, saying below the image ‘Always Be Yourself‘.

In Arles I met a man whose eyes met mine from where he was perched on a balcony of this cloister.  I was like, what, are you WORKing there or what? Later we met on the stairs where he offered me an extra ticket to the last day of the photo exhibit there. He’s local. So, he’d waited until the last day of the exhibit to finally go see it. I had the impression that in this town that flowed regularly for most months of the year with tourists, that it was well stocked with woman accessories.  I wondered whether he took advantage of this, and lead a sort of double life. I was sort of expecting that we’d hang out together more, but he had other plans, probably a dinner gathering, or going home to dinner with his family. He bade his farewell and disappeared into the dusk, cutting through this building. Perhaps I seemed too risky, an American woman who happened into the town and didn’t know where she was going to sleep that night.  It was a nice exhibit. I wound up wandering away from the middle aged man who vanished to walk up a hill to find myself watching bats fluttering about and looking out over the valley, and instead talking to some young North African teenagers.

I had wandered around the periphery of the olympic Roman stadium and along streets in the town looking at the sites. I had gone into a lovely church where I learned some history. It was later, much later that my bed found me.  I was walking around a building and saw this little sort of fenced in courtyard that was merely following the contours of the rounded building. There was a low decorative iron fence around a small curved plot of soil, encasing a few bushes and a tree or two. I spotted large pieces of cardboard neatly wrapped up and tied together stacked vertically on the outside of this area. I learned years ago from a French (North African) truck driver that cardboard can be used to insulate from the cold. (Who I wound up driving with through Italy to Germany where during Ramadan, he’d chain smoke and start drinking his coffee before the sun came up or went down, and had packed a delightful gourmet assortment of foods home-made by his wife who packed them for his holiday fasting). I picked up the cardboard, pulled the pieces out, saw that they weren’t soiled and laid them out to form a platform to lay on. I had no sleeping bag. It wasn’t cold. I felt quite safe there and happy to not have to carry my backpack any more.  A pretty ‘sleepy’ town, I didn’t sense that anyone was going to look for me there. I didn’t sleep, but was comfortable. The night before in Aix-en-Provence I hadn’t slept at all.

I had already decided to stay in Arles that night. It was still pretty warm, September 25th, 2017. Later that evening, my resting place found me.

Arles rockin an auberge cardboard style at the hidden concave of a building

It was the last ride, Phillippe Lu, (great grandparents or grandmother came from China to Cambodia, where his parents were from. It was the intelligent conversation I had with him and his power of persuasion, which now convinced me after all that I should in fact plant myself in Montpellier; offering English courses with all the university separate buildings spreading over the north of town. He said I could make €15 to 20 per lesson. He texted his son to get the coordinates of an umbrella organization for all the universities called CROUS. He helped to give me some wording for a sign to put up. I since had looked up C.R.O.U.S. and gone there several times to get as much information as I could from what I’d written down while riding with him. They had info about housing, the university of lettres (languages) and basically I followed through and later wandered the labyrinthe of different buildings that a part of the university, that spreads across the north part of town that had been 50 years ago, fields. When I’d returned to Montpellier I was now homeless and searching through many different sources, mostly online, for housing. It was on the eve of the beginning of the month that one friend pointed out a site I’d already disregarded, judging that it was too expensive. I told him I’d already looked at that one, and it tends towards more expensive listings. I noticed that my friend had fr.fr in the beginning of the web address and mine us.fr, because I had first viewed it from the United States (I started viewing housing listings from the moment I booked an inexpensive flight). Turns out the subtle difference in the website made a huge difference in what was offered. The local listings offered a category unto themselves, anglophone families looking for English native speakers to live with them for reduced rent in exchange for some prerequisite time and activities. I’ve since found the most remarkably perfect situation, a win-win.

my signs for the return trip

my signs for the return trip

Montpellier Zoo, Jardin des Plantes

Montpellier Zoo Jardin des Plantes and street pics

It started, or rather was continuing a year ago in another desert, in the high desert of New Mexico, bordering Colorado. Luna was Bill Light’s dog, who built his home in the canyon 5,000 feet above Santa Fe, New Mexico en route to the ski area. His wife had died a few years earlier. I stayed for several months in a cabin adjacent to his home which he built for his daughter. I lived there in the autumn of 2016.

I quickly became a fan of going on walks with his dog Luna. She was a fan of walks as well, and would actually come over to the cabin and tap on the door with her foot. Wow! She absolutely loved the excursion off the property and a long a path cutting through a narrow valley to the National Forest land. In the late summer twice with Luna, I was exposed to bears. It was because Luna discovered them, and barked them into submission.

 

Luna, Bill Light's, Santa Fe New Mexico 2015

Luna my friend at Bill Light’s cabin in Santa Fe New Mexico 2015

I lived in the cabin next to Bill Light’s home in my first months above Santa Fe, New Mexico where my nice landings began. Luna and I would cut through trails up to the National Forest land and then either move further into the canyon’s or launch up to the ridge. These became my sketching/water color excursions. Luna launched and climbed the hill with ease and I followed.

Bill who had an earlier bought with cancer which had gone into recess, got it again, and died from pneumonia since I had moved out. It’s a strange thing that he was there and actively doing all sorts of things, and now gone. I don’t know what happened with Luna, certainly she was completely at home in the mountains. I hope a neighbor took her in. Besides seeing lots of deer in the late summer and the few incidences with Luna barking a bear and her cubs up a tree, I would mt. bike into town from there, regularly. I cycled 7 miles up 5,000 feet to get to the property. I never used any bike lights or reflectors, despite the fact that there were no street lamps. My eyes would adjust whether it was a new or full moon. i figured it was a good way to balance out staring into a computer screen. I find a bike wherever I go and also animals that I love. Now there are stray cats where I am, and I’ve just landed, with muscle and sweat and help with several bike mechanics, a bike that I am delighted to ride.

Now there’s no dog present like in Santa Fe and the ones I affectionately grew acquainted with and loved immediately in Taos, New Mexico the following spring. There are a bunch of stray cats however here in Montpellier. It occurred to me to look for a used bike at this place I’d become a member of months earlier. Le Vieux Biclou. After asking a guy in the street when I knew I was in the vicinity of the bike shop if he knew of where it’s located, it turned out he was on his way there. There I spotted the mt. bike I wanted, and the following day during opening hours learned of its one major obstacle; a seat post jammed all the way down that wouldn’t budge. Several technicians, pounding and myself instructed to scrape off the rust of the now ejected post, and a day later going to another bike shop to get a lock appropriate for the rampant bike thievery in this town, I purchased bolts to replace the quick release wheels and seat, and was assisted in mounting the lock to the frame. After riding it the second time i realized that this bike runs flawlessly, enabling me to climb any steep slope with ease. Stoked!

I’ve since made my signs and printed them and edited my contact cards. I wanted to get this blog out, put up the signs in various excursions, and begin today on a singular path to complete my book between my father and mother’s birthdays. That’s pretty immediate. The difference, no noose around my neck to pay a rent that squelches my time and psyche.

And as is typical, I ask for donations. Thanks! PayPal Donate Button  Carol Keiter aka nomadbeatz welcomes donations for her writing, photography, illustrations, eBook & music composition

carol keiter, blogger, Nice

blogger in Nice

DiSmayed | Who Knew ? What FeelTheBern Could Imply

I was not aware of any of this. Dismayed is the word that popped into my head.

THE TRUTH ABOUT BERNIE, OR WAKE UP BEFORE YOU #FEELTHEBERN (OFFICIAL RECORD) NOVEMBER 13, 20152NDVTREPUBLIC

After a mega list which reveals a well, horrific record, I see that…there’s a continuation of the same long list.

“Here is just a small sampling of Bernie’s bending over to please the Owners. Even as he turns on the “populist” rhetoric he votes for the establishment. Examples of this abound if you take the time to look beyond his empty and hypocritical rhetoric.”

…many of his deeds are not at all what he has communicated with his words…

Dismayed, berne sanders

Dismayed The word that popped into my head after reading this article.

“So what is to be done? First and foremost, withdraw your consent from the corrupt and collapsing U.S. of Empire’s broken two-party political system. Second, work to further all things local in your community – finance, fuel, food, education, the arts. Third, turn off the damn Tee Vee. And finally, instead of #FeelingTheBern, feel the turn – of a 21st century world in which the local will matter more than ever.”

carol keiter blogger card

carol keiter blogger card