Pierre the Pumpkin | Halloween 2017 in Montpellier, France | Day of the Dead

Montpellier, and France in general, doesn’t celebrate Halloween, but I do.

I spoke to soon.

Pleasant surprise, last night on Halloween, October 31st, Montpellier’s historic section was full (as usual), yet with a significant number of people in costumes on the mostly pedestrian narrow streets.

And unlike one random secular holiday, France celebrates the ‘Day of the Dead’ which is for them November 1st, for a full week. A week off from school! What?

the joint team grinder, Marlboro tobacco, lighter and OCB papers

grinder, Marlboro tobacco, lighter and OCB papers

As people do often in Montpellier, and in a lot of French towns, they walk around, hence the word promenade – both describing a verb to walk, and a noun, a central commons. Last night after pulling a costume together, I headed into town. Since I had covered a lot of distance bicycling during the day, I raced to catch the tram passing me as I was heading into town, to get on it with my bike. I was surprised and happy to see a group of three girls in costume getting on the train at the same time as I. They proceeded to take one after another selfie. There was another guy sitting alone with a black lace veil and scary looking eyes, when I could see them. He would reveal fangs every once in a while. His head remained straight ahead, perhaps slightly bent down. Duh, he was probably looking at his cell phone. The phone was the only thing out of place as he walked from the train in his black clad macabre nun costume. The train arrived at the central plaza in town by the historical center, la Comedie. Once I maneuvered my bike off at this stop I saw all sorts of costumes.

It was clear that this is one of those rare French towns that clearly does celebrate Halloween. It helps when 25% of the population are students. Sure, it was a small percentage, but this meant an ever flowing bunch of costumes. As I’ve mentioned, people in the town of Montpellier love to stroll, promenade, and certainly tourists as well. They gather in cafes and bars that spill into the streets.

I saw some really pretty scary, realistic looking wounds. wow! Yet only took a few pictures of costumes. There were a bunch of excellent, graphically real looking facial wounds and some very clever home-made costumes. One woman was a walking laundry basket. The group shot I took was because I walked up to a guy with a large metallic looking thing, asking “what is that?”. “I’m a grinder; explaining that they were the joint roller brigade; consisting of the grinder, OCB rolling paper, a pack of Marlboro and a lighter.

Pierre the Pumpkin Halloween in Montpellier, France 2017, where Halloween isn’t celebrated

Today, November 1st isn’t a holiday for me, but it is for France. I was wondering why the copy shop I went to was closed, looking at the sign and knowing it wasn’t that late, perplexed. As I paused on a tree-lined street with my bicycle closer to the center of town, I randomly asked a strolling couple with their two toddlers, “is today a holiday or something?” gesturing at the barricaded shops. They answered, we don’t speak french, we speak English. “It’s the Day of the Dead.” I mean, I knew the kids have a week off from school, but I wasn’t really sure what specific day this holiday landed on. I said, it would be crazy to think of people getting a week off from school for Halloween. I laughed. He’s a diplomat, originally from Flemish Belgium and she’s Turkish. They lingered. We talked for a while. I said I hadn’t remembered Day of the Dead being celebrated in Germany, mentioning I lived in Berlin, knowing they have a large Turkish population. She quickly retorted that Berlin has the largest Turkish population outside of Istanbul. He said “sure, it wouldn’t be celebrated in Germany, they’re Protestant”. Its roots are in the Catholic origins of celebrating ancestors. Their kids speak Flemish (Dutch), Turkish, English and are learning French. The woman’s Turkish name means ‘tree with no roots’. I said, but all trees have roots, and she said exactly. I said, oh, it’s a metaphor. She added that she has always embraced rootlessness, which is why when they met and he was still studying, he decided to become a diplomat so that they could live a lifestyle of travel. They’d lived in Belgrade, Serbia.

The plaza was full of street performers and crowds around them. In this case several groups of break dancing guys with their loud sound system. Each capitalizing on the November 1st holiday, Day of the Dead. I searched the internet and saw November 2nd as the official Day of the Dead, hey, that’s my mother’s birthday; November 2nd. As I continued searching, it turns out that Day of the Dead actually starts on the 31st of October and goes through November 2nd, depending on what culture you participate in and how it’s celebrated. It’s officially on November 1st in France, called La Toussaint, All Saints Day. I found this CBS link showing photographs of this celebration throughout the world, in one form or another. It for the most part is about honoring ancestors. In fact, I hadn’t realized it was such a prominent holiday in Europe. I knew it was a thing in Mexico, but I never knew to what extent. Here’s a good article about its Mexican roots.

paper cut out graffiti

paper cut out graffiti

carol in her halloween costume 2017 to promenade along the montpellier streets

carol in her halloween costume 2017 to promenade along the montpellier streets

decided to grab a pumpkin from the grocery store today

roasted pumpkin seeds

I sure am fond of Pierre

His shape made me spontaneously draw him out.

hIs hat is very shiftable!

Pierre with an Asian cut

This was the spontaneous costume this past saturday

back in March in Santa Fe

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Fleuve Lez – Lez River, Montpellier Oct. ’17 Watercolor pastel pencils

I went out with paper a week ago at sunset when I did the first edition sketch of this, then went back today, racing to finish as darkness encroached along the water at Antigone in Montpellier on a warm October day.

Fleuve Lez - Lez River, Montpellier, Watercolor pastel pencils

Fleuve Lez – Lez River, Montpellier Oct. ’17 Watercolor pastel pencils

Light Water Wave Montpellier, France

This is a link to pictures on flickr that I took on my most recent bicycle ride to the Mediterranean sea from Montpellier. There’s a bike path all the way.

Light, Water, Wave, Montpellier, France

Light Water Wave Montpellier, France

carol keiter, blogger, Nice

blogger in Nice

Montpellier Jardin des Plantes France

Arsene Montpellier

Arsene Montpellier

My intention was to attend a graffiti event in Arceaux, then head to the Jardin des Plantes on this rather humid, warm and temperate day in October. I walked around covering a lot more of the gardens this time. I noticed in addition to the collection of cats who enjoy the gentle admiring attention of the clientele, the incredible richness of the audio. A magnificent collection of birds, fabulous layers of different tones, pitches and rhythms.

Montpellier Jardin des Plantes

Montpellier Jardin des Plantes

As I was making the tour of the entire grounds, i came back to the place where I usually stop and go no further. It was here where my eyes met with an elderly man whom I greeted with a smile and bonjour. And he was delighted to stop and interact. We wound up talking for quite a bit, and then as we were saying good bye a second time after a delightful conversation, I looked at the title of the slim paperback book he had in his hand. I declared, oh Spinoza, philosophy! And right before that I informed him of the different things that I love to do, photos, recording sounds there, writing. I added that my computer was in my backpack, and that I arrived on velo, bicycle, so that I had my office with me. He commented, mobile office. I mentioned that here there’s so much stimulation to the senses; light, rich textures of sounds, feel and to the intellect as well, because the design of nature is so elaborate. I added that this in itself is the concept of GOD, not something manufactured by human beings. And he said, that is exactly what Spinoza says. And he said three words, Theo era natura, let me look this up quickly.

Spinoza’s metaphysics of God is neatly summed up in a phrase that occurs in the Latin (but not the original Dutch) edition of the Ethics: “God, or Nature”, Deus, sive Natura: “That eternal and infinite being we call God, or Nature, acts from the same necessity from which he exists”

emulating nature

emulating nature

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

carol keiter, blogger, Nice

blogger in Nice


carol, after a swim

carol after a swim and bike to sea

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

Simpson’s 2000 Episode Trump Buying the US Presidential Election

http://www.rollingstone.com/tv/news/watch-the-simpsons-clowns-donald-trump-in-new-short-20150708

Simpsons episode Trump Homer paid to vote

Simpsons episode Trump Homer paid to vote from Rolling Stones article

So, I’ve had some kind of magical things happen with me, as well as hitting walls, or fear of hitting walls, of bureaucracy. Fear typically is of something one anticipates, even before hit happens, no? I’ve been warned as far as housing goes, about all of the things that one has to submit and prove; income source, bank accounts…

I decided that some things have happened in an uncanny way that have enabled me to do certain things, and I’m going to keep going with the serendipity.

The other day I went to look at a room in a group house, and because the addresses are not just even/odd on either side of the street, but the numbers don’t coincide directly. So I first was looking for this number and I thought, is this a joke, a cemetery? And then I found what I thought was the address, as this gate for automobile traffic was closing. I quickly slipped in. This place had several different numbered buildings. My directions were to go to building 3. Turns out, after not finding the name and getting some residents to make a phone call for me, and then waiting outside of the building, that someone else came out (probably who was watching me standing there) to tell me that this was not the address. Turns out that ‘bis 42’ meant, until 42, but not that specific number.

So I eventually go down the street and find this correct address.

It was later that day that I randomly wandered around different streets looking for a company with the logo of the phone I use to get assistance. I finally found a phone store, which pointed me around the corner to another place with computers to rent and phone stuff. Turns out that the phone had indeed already been registered by the Asian woman in the shop in Paris where I bought it. It was ‘false information’ from a man in a small mom & pop shop days earlier who gave me whatever information he felt like, just to dismiss me, and have some kind of answer, saying it wasn’t possible to charge this phone. ? It was because weeks earlier I had purchased an espresso in this tiny shop in my old neighborhood that this 12 or 13 year old kid remembered me who happened to be in this computer shop. I had been kind to him and I’m sure different from their usual clientele (sort of an Arab enclave). He was in this shop because his dad is a friend of the owner. He suddenly indulged in using the computers there (with the ok of the guy behind the desk) to help me; looked up on the computer the info, then walked with me to a shop that sells the credit for the phone (which was literally closing at that moment), then punched in the number…he did all of this stuff which would have taken me with the language barrier quite a lot longer, so that now I had a functioning phone. Monsif is his name. A very smart and precocious kid that volunteered his time, simply because he remembered me from this other neighborhood.

So, today I’m leaving the doctor’s office where i had my stitches taken out. I’m delighted that he mentioned that the med student who did this had done a good job, and all looked well. I had been bicycling on random streets and decided to walk back to enter into this courtyard where I saw a building that said something about green technology. I walked away, but was still standing in this arched entrance when a man walked towards the street from the courtyard. I asked him about this business, and he said, “c’est en fait une longue histoire.. well, it’s a long story.

He spoke in French. 20, 25 minutes later, this Arab man from North Africa first talked about how these companies are not given subsidies, not very supported by the government. And that this is due to corruption. He said it’s the same all over Europe as in the United States. The profit motive has tentacles reaching into the media, which control everything. And that people are like marionettes, completely distracted, thinking about their phones, sports, material things and simply not really thinking for themselves. He was talking about how this corruption all started with the Illuminati around 1784, (sometime in the 18th century) and that only a few people control most of the wealth of the world. That wars and destruction are all part of the same modus operandi. Frankly, except for the religious views he espoused (I always have a problem with these stark devisions describing God and Satan) and don’t quite believe in a final judgement day…However I fully embrace what he was saying about having transparence, of being consciously aware and making choices between good and bad, right and wrong and that each person is capable of this. That the more a person lies and compromises, the less peace they will have between their heart and mind.

So it was this dude that said that back in the year 2000 there’s an episode on the Simpson’s about Trump. This article from the Guardian “the episode of The Simpsons that in 2000 foresaw such a laughable outcome has begun looking unnervingly prescient”.

Simpsons writer says President Trump episode was ‘warning to US’

So, I just looked up 2000 Simpsons and Trump popped up. Holy F S, I hadn’t known about it. 16 years ago, https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2016/mar/17/simpsons-president-trump-prediction-was-meant-as-warning-to-us

I presently can’t access the original “Bart to the Future” episode here in France, which first aired on 19 March 2000

Simpsons 2000 episode President Trump warning the Guardian

Simpsons 2000 episode President Trump warning the Guardian

After leaving him, walking into a general engineering school and presenting myself as someone who can use language skills. It was lunch time and one of the secretaries called the language director, a British woman, who came out to inform me that she’s filled her positions, but will keep my CV on file if I send it to her. The secretary was like ‘Radar’, in that she had already proactively written her email down too as she asked her to do it. And so I returned to home, and put together a cover letter, edited a few things on my resume (somehow I forgot to tell her when she asked if I have teaching experience, that I endured a year as a substitute teacher at the Santa Fe Public School system) which is in itself, rather epic, in that it’s a huge psychological test, each new day, with students that tell you, we already did that, as they opened up their phones or read Animé magazines, depending on the age level.

Anyway, I put together my cover letter and sent a resume link as well as one within the text of my email, and sent it. Now I’ve come back to this cafe with WiFi that I like, and hadn’t realized that it’s adjacent to this Jardin des Plantes of Montpellier, which I never had located, but had walked by numerous times, not having come from the angle where I saw the sign.

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Carol Keiter the blogger on return hitch from Taos to Santa Fe, New Mexico

Carol Keiter the blogger on return hitch from Taos to Santa Fe, New Mexico

carol keiter blogger card

carol keiter blogger card

Letter to my Sister Joan | “I’M IN” British Referendum to Join EU | Trump: Fascism arrives in Amerika | Prince Ea Future Generations Sorry | ww right wing political responses prey on fear and xenophobia…forgetting history of colonialism and capitalistic expansion

I just had a FaceTime conversation yesterday with my sister (8 hours ahead in time) in England. Because of my sister Joan’s intelligence and sensitivity, we always have had interesting conversations about an extensive number of topics through the years. In this conversation, many different subjects came up. She and her husband live in York, England, ‘whitey white’ as she calls it. Living in England the past 5+ years – not in London where the metropolitan nature tends to be more tolerant and progressive – but in smaller towns mostly in Yorkshire, she’s seen the inbred, territorial bigotry of Englanders’. Where not only does the intolerance speak out against rivaling neighboring townships, but also occasional negative remarks regarding ‘Yanks’ = MerKons (that’s my condescending label for Americans who display similar racism), and ‘Paki’s’ = Pakistani people whose labor keeps Great Britain running, just as Mexicans are omnipresent within the United States labor force; in kitchens and various other under-payed positions. They do the jobs Americans don’t want to do.

I'M IN button, Great Britain, referendum, European Union

I’M IN button in Great Britain regarding the referendum to join the European Union


Our conversation started as she held up a button to my view, which she had had pinned on her shirt, which because of its political and specifically economic implications, those in her group were vehemently opposed to. She mentioned that the number of Polish immigrants in England is one of the contentious issues. For those against Great Britain joining the EU, their reasoning is that immigrants will take their jobs. It’s however mostly an excuse, masking their bigoted and xenophobic response; besides taking our jobs, refugees may taint our race (uh, destroy the purity of whiteness). Sound familiar? I’m not alluding to the Holocaust, but of the frightening prospect of the right wing parties popping up all over the West. We’ll get to that in a minute.

My sister was ‘not allowed’ to join the group which she’s been attending, because of her refusal to withdraw her show of support for the Great Britain referendum to join the European Union, by taking off the ‘I’M IN‘ button pinned on her blouse. It’s sort of a holistic therapy group; all about using tools such as meditation and the arts and therapy to develop one’s awareness and healing. It was ironically this group who cast her out, because of their intolerance and fear.

Here’s some info about the referendum and the split it’s gouging among English citizens, which is informative for those of us not directly involved in their politics.
The UK’s EU referendum: All you need to know. Among the information in there was this, started in Belgium:

What does Brexit mean?
It is a word that has become used as a shorthand way of saying the UK leaving the EU – merging the words Britain and exit to get Brexit, in a same way as a Greek exit from the EU was dubbed Grexit in the past.

I found this article written in the Guardian by Oliver Imhof, “Why I’ll leave the UK if Britain votes no to Europe”. “As a German living in London, I love the flexibility of life here, if not the food. But I won’t live in a country that turns its back on the postwar consensus of solidarity and human rights.”

Joan points out that for the most part people don’t want more Polish immigrants to take their jobs. She has a local story about Polish workers kicked off of their jobs in the fields, which then the British ultimately didn’t want to do themselves. Her point stating that the Brits, rather than isolating themselves, should be more transparent and resilient, open-minded & open-armed to the current worldwide refugee crisis. As one of the Western powers who, uh hum, propagated the policy of bringing immigrant workers into their country in the first place, to do the low-paying, shitty jobs – through slavery and brining in workers from the countries they subjugated. Currently this subject has struck a nerve, all over the Western world as revealed in their politics. Yet the country forgets its own history, of colonial expansion as a super power at that time, for their own economic gain. Same as the trend of American and other multi-national corporations to downsize and outsource their jobs; setting up shop in remote parts of the world to obtain labor at slave wages and pollute those areas that are out of one’s own back yard.

In the meantime, I came up with this Guardian article,
Polish migrants to strike and give blood to demonstrate importance to UK

My sister mentioned that locally someone wanted to – and succeeded – in kicking some Polish people out of their jobs in local farms…and then no Brits wanted to do the work. Point is, if in this case the British people don’t want the Polish, Pakistani, Indian immigrants or Syrian refugees….they wouldn’t have much of a rich and diverse culture now would they?

She asked me, “Do you know how many Polish people are in Britain?” dunno, well, – now wait a minute – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poles_in_the_United_Kingdom ‘bout a million.

Because my sister and her British husband go regularly to France, the topic of the violence among football hooligans in Marseille came up. Deaths occurred there at a soccer match between the French and the Brits. While talking, I googled and sure enough, found these headlines: http://www.standard.co.uk/news/world/euro-2016-violence-running-battles-as-violence-breaks-out-in-marseille-while-england-fans-chant-isis-a3268166.html
“Euro 2016: Violence breaks out in Marseille as England fans chant ‘Isis, where are you?”

Fans, Clash, Marseille, Brit, Football, hooligans, racism, France

Fans Clash in Marseille – Brit Football Hooligans shouting racist remarks in France

We talked about this with distaste, then she mentioned that that same day, she had been accused of being a Yank in a pub, and harassed for it. The lofty talk of Britain not wanting more Polish people to come into their country, or any other immigrants or refugees for that matter, lead her to mention this, sort of regurgitating what reasons lie behind these voices that are opposed to this, which demonstrate their violence and racism.

She then asked me pointedly, “How many refugees do you think there are in the world today?” to which

I answered, uh, 8 million? “No”, she answered, “60 Million S I X T Y M I L L I O N.”

I offered the information that many of the refugees are fleeing their countries because of either ecological / climate issues or economic ones, or war… all direct and indirect repercussions of the business and commerce activities of the Western world; i.e. EXON Mobile, Shell Oil….I immediately googled that one while we conversed, and there it was on the Atlantic (formerly Atlantic Monthly), “Violence Has Forced 60 Million People From Their Homes

Joan mentioned that if each town would take in say 500 or 5,000 people -respective to their population – the worldwide problem could be mitigated and assuaged. I added that if the EU and UN would work together to investigate communities and their geographical conditions, to find locations to set up research and development for appropriate renewable technologies, and then assign and relocate people into communities. Rather than all of the deaths, these people who are fleeing problems that are impacted by the West, and relocated in a civilized manner.

The western world could facilitate helping refugees to integrate into jobs serving all of mankind; healthier environment, healthier relationship with all life, healthier relationship with one’s own immediate community. And all of the deaths that we hear about and then look away from, due to the black market of refugee trafficking, would end.

Basically, if it was you’re dad, brother, mother, child, uncle that was trying to flee, you would want this operation to be legal and facilitated with regulations and hospitable treatment.

It’s a world crisis that is a direct result of activities of the ‘Global North’; the northern hemisphere of superpowers that perpetuate activities that consistently harm the environment, think about only short-term gain instead of long-term consequences and continue to drive a wedge of ‘economic rifts’ by keeping things in the status quo; profit driven by greed.

This will change, it already has been.

Because of his eloquence and all-encompassing message, I need to place this here> Prince Ea’s music video rap which poignantly says it like it is.”
Prince Ea speaks to Future Generations: Sorry“, describing what a future generation may come across, when the Amazon Rain Forest becomes the Amazon desert…or when a tree is a thing of the past. He then stops himself mid beats to beckon the audience that it is not too late, if we all resolve to do something.

Prince Ea, Music Video, Dear Future Generations Sorry

Prince Ea Music Video Dear Future Generations Sorry

Naturally, our conversation lead to discussing the present political scenario. “Do you know that Trump could become President?” she said, accusatorially. We talked about the frightening thought of a bigot and zealot entering the White House after the graceful and articulate Barack Obama is ushered out. I mentioned the fact that there’s been a wave of right-wing parties propagating in Europe; bringing up the example of how the Netherlands which formally had been heralded for their open-minded nature – a country who historically have had open arms to immigrants and a very accepting and tolerant nature, have now rebounded towards closing their doors. In 2004, the Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh (a distant relative of Vincent Van Gogh) was killed by a Muslim extremist. Shot dead – his freedom of speech and art the reason for exterminating his life, because the shooter had interpreted van Gogh actions as an insult to his religion. Dutch citizens have since collapsed their openness and are up there among the most fearful in Europe with their anti-refugee stance. Joan brought up Marie Le Pen in France. I had recently heard that Austria just had a quasi facist right-wing political party enter the scene (which either threatened to, or have come into power). Sorry, no time presently to look up all the sordid details of the various different European government political systems. Just that it’s a fact that there’s been a sweep of right wing zealots all over Europe, capitalizing (pun intended) on the public’s fear of economic instability and xenophobia. I went to the news source in English for Le Monde Diplomatique, Mondediplio, and there in this issue is an article by one of their regular writer’s “Why the far right is on the rise” by Serge Halimi. His first line of the article answered my mention of the recent Austrian election, “Before long a domino is going to fall: a far-right candidate failed to become president of Austria by just 30,000 votes.”

In the American political race, Trump is a man who is a joke and buffoon to many. Yet, he’s been getting huge amounts of free advertising and air time, because of the fact that he’s so outrageous. In fact, his absurdity and complete lack of morality and diplomacy, is actually serving as his tactic. He reaches his audience through the lowest common denominator; machismo, speaking to peoples anger, and playing upon their fear and insecurity. He’s already been well-versed in illusion in the arena of television, a stage he’s been very familiar with and knows how to play his part well. He can draw audiences and ratings because of how politically incorrect he his, nothing barred, says whatever he feels and the more inane and the more he taunts, the more amusing he is to his audience. Like regalia to adorn his stage, his wife and daughter are eye candy accoutrements to smile and wave. Having hammed up his tv personality, he knows how to rip out ugly statements that are dramatic in their shock appeal.Somehow, Americans are either dumb and dumber or so conned that they don’t see through his lies, or realize that he’s playing a ‘reality tv’ sitcom comedy called “running for president”, without any capability whatsoever of diplomacy, empathy or strength as a leader whose actions could inspire the world. He’s a con artist who dares to say what he thinks – which i guess is the reason that many people praise him for being real. Perhaps this is because many people cower about saying what they truly think, and therefore look up to someone who does because they don’t want to take the risk or are too lazy to bother to look up the facts to see if what he is saying is actually accurate. In fact, much of it is false, and somehow people are getting snowed, blinded by his bravado. This brazen man, by his uncouth statements with hatred and scapegoating etched into his sarcasm, could easily uncoil into the makings of a tyrant; his overblown ego and harsh statements and emotional instability are the makings of another Hitler. I believe that people prefer to believe what they want to hear. So instead of a gracious and educated, genuinely diplomatic and eloquent Barack Obama, here’s this sarcastic prankster who is all smoke and mirrors. I just happened upon this article on a German friend’s Facebook page, who is one of many people who pay attention to what is happening all over the world, as opposed to having their heads buried in the sand…although that may be what he’s doing right now on a vacation with his wife in the white sands of the Maldives. This article in The Washington Post articulates exactly what I was saying. uh hum. This is how fascism comes to America

I mentioned an article I just read about how emotionally unstable and narcissistic Trump is, the current Republican nominee for President in the USA. Yet I also adamantly responded with a no, he will not become president, because of the eloquent words of a consciously aware and articulate woman whose short but intense youtube talk revealed. I’m not typically aligned with the typical psychic, but this woman is simply an articulate and intelligent person speaking the truth. Psychic and Medium Danielle Egnew sayin’ “2016 Psychic Presidential Prediction – You may be shocked!

-.-.-.-.-.-.- Here’s the actual letter I wrote to her following our conversation, with only a wee portion of it censored!

subject: You have special gifts to share with the world – yes, ‘I’M IN’

Hi Joan,

i’m so happy that I looked at the clock and decided to try you on FaceTime. It sounds like you are going through so many different feelings right now between Carole Anne whom you just befriended nearing her death, the incident in the pub, the fact that you couldn’t go on your vacation with Graeme and then not being allowed in – because you stood up for yourself and your right to freedom of speech and choice.

You also have had many fortunate things woven within these stories, but presently the more hurtful ones are screaming out. I’m so happy to talk with you. we have always been communicative through all of the years of growing up and you working at CBS so that we talked so frequently sharing many things. I’m glad to still share this with you and have always learned and expanded my awareness through your insights and intelligent looks at the world.

You can feel like an underdog and feel resentment…I have basic misanthropy because i’m often mostly disgusted with what humans have done to the world…however, WE ARE THE PEOPLE WHO NEED TO MAKE OUR VOICES HEARD.

It is not just for you or my own egos, it is because the world, many many people are either completely unaware, ignorant, stupid or just conned through habit and their lifestyles (kids, economics) to not have or make the time to reflect and contemplate about the actual things happening in the world. therefore we need to speak out.

you have the intellect, insights, wit, sarcasm and you can start writing (4 minutes a day) the notes towards a comedy/satirical podcast about these things, and then edit them and put together a 4 minute/5 minute piece about the hypocracies. you could make it funny as hell. for example, the I’M IN button, and the fact that you were ostracized from a fucking health and well-being therapy group for speaking your mind! that’s a joke as a start!

I love you. I worked on music, then realized, oh shit, this really, is not working, so I started yesterday to bit by bit repair it – creating loops that are 1. the same length, listening carefully to the beats to match them, cutting out stuff that is unnecessary…and sure enough, I’m learning through the process of doing it. Instead of shrinking in embarrassment for what i put out, i’ll fix it and show the tremendous improvement and that process alone makes me proud. I have been way too much of a perfectionist all my life, which stopped me from even beginning often. well, not really, but it’s not going to throttle me any more. I read two weeks ago about a kid here who’s made a big success; 1. his parents taught him to never, ever be afraid of failure, because that is how you learn. 2. his father drilled into him a quote the gist of which is that he who hesitates, could wind up dying before they get their masterpiece out there!!!! don’t hesitate, just dive in.

Well, you’ve always dived into things, you’re not timid about that. I just say to remind you as well as mother, to be thankful and have gratitude for all of the positive things that you can list. There are many. 1. the fact that there in the most potentially miserable 2 weeks of your life in the hospital, there you met Carole Anne, who befriended you, with whom you bantered, and with whom you gained trust, sympathy and a bond, so that she gave you this beautiful ring to always, always have her close to your heart.

Think if you can, about how lucky you are for having the fucking brain, insights and perspective that you have, so that you can laugh at these poor hooligan close-minded Brits and make a joke about how pathetic they are!!! and remember that you were having a pleasant exchange with nice reciprocation with the other people in the bar.

it is very easy to hone into and only exaggerate the negative, like when a person has a wound, it is that which nags and raises itself to one’s consciousness above everything else. But do something with these wounds, with this awareness Joan, to help to heal the world.

Yeah, and it is devastating that Mother couldn’t be in her own home – i even think that when one MUST walk and MUST move around more, they DO. Anyway, I would have had her living with a Guatemalan sister and brother who fled as children refugees into the United States, who are by nature family oriented and loyal. They could get basic healthcare training, and because mother speaks Spanish, she would love the company….but this is no longer the case. We can encourage the new girl to take her out for a walk and to perhaps drive her around to be in the vicinity of trees, woods, to hear birds, see sunlight moving. She will be there for a long block of time, 2x a week, so I’m sure she could have authority and time to do this.

Hang in there and put that energy into bit by bit creating a skit! or new designs! You are very creative and have special gifts to share with the world Joan.

Love,

Carol

Carol Keiter the blogger pensive

Carol Keiter the blogger pensive

Appropriate photo following yet another mass shooting last evening in Orlando, Florida in the United States; slaughtering 50 people because of hatred.

nomadbeatz aka Carol Keiter ~ As an avid blogger who is presently picking up where I left off to complete my eBook and beginning again to compose music, I ask you rather unambiguously and unabashedly to please donate, if you are able. !-))

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Liberté? Censorship in the West | Teju Cole The New Yorker | Kabir Chibber Quartz

I came across these two articles amidst the hubbub of the media’s portrayal of events in Paris after the attack on Charlie Hebdo and feel they need to be shared. Each point out the bigger picture, censorship and colonialism in the West.

One written by Teju Cole for the New Yorker January 9th, Unmournable Bodies

Charlie Hebdo, the New Yorker, Teju Cole, the Eiffel Tower

“Unmournable Bodies” article by Teju Cole for the New Yorker, the Eiffel Tower dark after attack on Charlie Hebdo

“This week’s events took place against the backdrop of France’s ugly colonial history, its sizable Muslim population, and the suppression, in the name of secularism, of some Islamic cultural expressions, such as the hijab.

Rather than posit that the Paris attacks are the moment of crisis in free speech—as so many commentators have done—it is necessary to understand that free speech and other expressions of liberté are already in crisis in Western societies; the crisis was not precipitated by three deranged gunmen. The U.S., for example, has consolidated its traditional monopoly on extreme violence, and, in the era of big data, has also hoarded information about its deployment of that violence. There are harsh consequences for those who interrogate this monopoly. The only person in prison for the C.I.A.’s abominable torture regime is John Kiriakou, the whistle-blower. Edward Snowden is a hunted man for divulging information about mass surveillance. Chelsea Manning is serving a thirty-five-year sentence for her role in WikiLeaks. They, too, are blasphemers, but they have not been universally valorized, as have the cartoonists of Charlie Hebdo.”

The other submitted by the author Kabir Chibber, a number of hours ago on January 11th, for Quartz Boko Haram is turning into the next Islamic State

World Leaders, Hypocrites, Charlie Hebdo, liberté

World Leaders in Paris Today 2015-01-11 Quartz Biggest Hypocrites re: Free Speech

Kabir Chibber states “These are the biggest hypocrites celebrating free speech today in Paris.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

The schoolgirls were kidnapped 8 months ago and are still missing.

Boka Haram #BringBackOurGirls Quartz

Boka Haram #BringBackOurGirls Quartz

This week, Boko Haram used a 10 year old girl as a suicide bomber. Last week, Boko Haram committed its worst atrocity yet, killing as many as 2,000 people in Baga (Nigeria). Most of the victims were reportedly children, women and elderly people who “could not run fast enough when insurgents drove into Baga, firing rocket-propelled grenades and assault rifles on town residents,” The Guardian reported. Civilians gave up on trying to count all the bodies.

Kabir mentions that the recent massacre barely made a ripple in the international media. Not enough people are paying attention!

I caught this the other evening and thought it interesting. An interview with Nawaz Gerges, Middle East expert talks about the clash of ideologies on ‘Consider This‘ – an Al Jazeera America news show. He mentions that France’s secular ideology (i.e. dis approval of Muslim traditions such as women wearing the hijab (headscarf and veil in schools) causing some young people (mostly men) to feel disenchanted and disenfranchised in their place in the country. This can wind up motivating them to become recruits into the extremist groups. At the same time, he mentions that the extremists are trying to divide Western society. They recruit the disaffected militants (like the Paris gunmen who are like pawns) to carry out their missions like ‘hit men’ for the larger cause. As I listened to this interview I recalled George Bush Jr.’s (the President at the time) reaction and statements to the public on the day of the 2001 synchronized terrorist attacks in the United States, and thought, he was sort of guilty of the same thing. By talking about an ‘Axis of Evil’ and pointing to the Muslim world he was driving a wedge into international relations. Even if he had specified a smaller segment of militant extremists, somehow the ‘stamp’ of Muslim stuck as ‘someone to be feared’. Am I wrong or missing something?