Sunday Conversations

I started today's conversations with a book group from 11a.m. to 1:30 p.m., reading Todd Miller’s  Storming the Wall: Climate Change, Migration, and Homeland Security. Miller has done years of research and describes our “increasingly authoritarian world in which climate change, the displacement of people, and border militarization define the experiences of untold millions.” It is a global view of rising oligarchies responding to climate change and climate refugees with military violence while denying to their constituents that climate change is even happening. It's a small but well-documented, eye-opening book (even for people who thought their eyes were open).

At 2:30 I met Betsy, who has worked extensively with Joanna Macy (great portrait of Macy, who is 90, on the linked page). Betsy is planning a workshop for the replenishment of activists’ spirits. People in movements for justice need “filling stations,” Betsy says, so they can continue the work. Betsy told me, “I would live for another hundred years if I could, to see where it’s all going!” She sees the need to embrace “Don’t Know Mind” as an antidote to despair, and yet equally the necessity to take every action we can, "even actions we don't personally approve of, actions we ourselves would never take. We need all the actions. We need actions we've never imagined before. If the actions we're familiar with had worked, we wouldn't be in the mess we're in now."

Finally at 4 p.m. I joined Aimee Sitarz at a coffee shop. She has read all your comments and links on my blip of October 3rd, and she thanks you, as do I. We decided that I don’t need to write a new article, because all I might have said is encapsulated in this one, published last month. I’m going to post it on Facebook with some comments of my own, but I’m too tired to write them now. Tomorrow will be soon enough. This blip is Aimee, in her favorite T-shirt, drinking tea in the sunshine as we talked and I sipped a glass of steamed milk with cardamom and honey. She's dreaming up an action that might include a "gun" made out of children's shoes from "the bins" at charity shops. One of the criticisms of her art is that she should have donated the shoes to needy children, rather than spray-painting them. Apparently the person making that criticism has never been to the bins, where children's shoes are discarded because they lack mates. A gift to a needy child of one shoe, or two shoes that don't match? 

My gratitude for your appreciation of the portrait of JoAnn Hardesty. It is an honor to be her photographer and to have the privilege of time with her.

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