Let there be Peace on Earth

…and let it begin with US.

And let us begin with me.

I encountered a very confronting moment this week. I don’t know if I’ve told you about this yet, but I make sure to volunteer at least once a month. There is a lot of stigma around volunteer work and charity. Some people think we should call it out on the rooftops, because that way others can follow our positive example. I have also heard that humility is the most important, and that we must focus on improving our selves and not on changing others. I have to say I agree more with the former.

Shame is a such a harmful emotion! I don’t see the good in being ashamed of sharing our good deeds! So here I shout out my truth: I help people. I do it for them, and I benefit in return. The pleasure I get from helping them, which is major, and the pleasure I get from telling you about it, which is subtler, does not take away from the joy I bring to the seniors I visit.

I bring my guitar and sing songs with them. I listen to their stories and I let them convince me to tell them mine. It’s normally fun, and I leave with joy and love and sadness in my heart. I wish I could do more, but that is a typical human mind trap and I focus on the positive feelings of connection.

This week went a little bit differently. Instead of looking up the chords to “Jazz standards”, which I normally do, I had to google “cheapest towing in San Antonio.” Yep. I was stranded on the side of the road with a truck full of pre-packaged dinners destined for a neighboring nursing home. I got there to sing but they had a special program, a speaker giving a lecture on Zen Buddhism. I think they would have been happier singing, but I’m glad they were being enriched. Honestly most of the people I talk to there are already so Zen that they need more LIFE, more shaking-up, than chilling out.

So since I was there, I asked if there was anything else I could do. A harried orderly asked me if I had a clean drivers record, which I do. Then she said, Could you please do a delivery for me? The usual driver didn’t show up for work today and we’re swamped.

What they were so swamped with, I don’t know: Zentertainer (great new word I just invented!) seemed to be keeping the people verrrryyyy quietttt. Perhaps they were taking advantage of that rare silence to accomplish all the little tasks they normally don’t get to.

I hopped in the van and used my Waze to direct me there. It was only ten miles away and it wasn’t rush hour, which was why I agreed to do it. Then halfway there, POP! I heard a tire go. Then POP- another on! Apparently there had been an accident recently and they didn’t go a good enough job at cleaning up the glass.

I ran the air the whole time I waited, which luckily wasn’t even a half hour, so the food would’t spoil. The tow guy understood the food situation so he actually drove us to the center to drop off the food before taking us to a tire store. I asked him sweetly if he could drive me back for my car, and he did.

I saw it as charity going full circle: on that particular Saturday, instead of giving the service, I received it.

 

The Election

I’ve been thinking a lot about the election recently. It’s shocking how abysmal our current situation is. I am finding myself in a strange position where I don’t feel passionate about any of the candidates.

  •  2008

Like most young people, I was touched by Obama. I was touched by his passion, his intelligence, his self possession and his easy smile. I hadn’t yet learned anything about the economy and how it works, so I voted for him. I think I could have done much worse and he has done well on certain social issues and his behavior never made me cringe.

However-and yes, there is a however- I would never have voted for him today. Not after what I have learned from the Libertarian movement.

LIBERTARIANISM IS

(not to be confused with LIBRARIANISM or LESBIANISM, although now that you mention it, there is definitely crossover)

Libertarianism is the stance that liberty is the priority. It is the position that individual freedom comes first, and that short of preventing physical violence of one citizen upon another, the government is not in its rights to enforce behavior. The governments job is to PROTECT INDIVIDUAL LIBERTY. Not to infringe upon it.

Since I’m from the United States and that is what I am thinking about, Libertarianism means believing in the sanctity of the Constitution.

WHAT LIBERTARIANISM DOESN’T SUPPORT 

  • The government telling us what we can and cannot eat
  • The government telling us what we can and cannot drink
  • The government telling us what we can and cannot wear
  • The government telling us what we can and cannot say
  • The government telling us how we can and cannot pray
  • and basically anything else other than
    • DON’T HURT PEOPLE.
    • FIGHT TO DEFEND OUR SOIL WHEN FACED WITH IMMINENT THREAT OF VIOLENCE

That’s it! It’s so simple, right?

And yet for many decades, the government has done just the opposite, waging drug wars and telling people what to do with their bodies.

This bring me to:

  • 2012

Twenty twelve was the year I had my mind blown by Texas Congressman Ron Paul. This was the year I learned that the idea of government that I had been spooned from birth was a farce. For the first time, I got REALLY into politics. Gone was the blasé girl, the pollyanna with rose-colored glasses who was happy to sing and dance in her own little world. Here was the BLAZE girl determined to learn as much as she could about politics and make a difference. I set out to do this by campaigning for Ron Paul.

On cold winter nights after work, I would trek down to the Ron Paul Call Center called Liberty HQ. Liberty HQ! Where else would freedom-loving-me rather be? Unfortunately, despite many people’s valiant efforts, he didn’t make the cut. The media pretended like he didn’t exist and when they did  mention him, called him “crazy.”

If only he were running NOW!!!!!!!

Now, he would win. He is so much better than all of the current candidates, and it hurts me to know that if he’d waited just ONE MORE ELECTION, he would make all today’s candidates look like the motley crew they are.

Ron, if you’re out there and you ever see this, know that I will always appreciate the hope, passion and sense of FREEDOM that your campaign(S) taught me to feel and to value. God Bless you, Congressman, and God Bless America.

 

You don’t know how it feels.

 talking about freedom and feminism can have such immediate and palpable benefits on a micro scale

“Light/Keys”

You don’t know how it feels

to walk down a dark street at night

So weave straight

into the light

out of need.

 

You don’t know what its like

To be riding along on a bike

and suddenly feel someone

touch you-

the need

 

to rage comes on hot and fast

like a cortisol furnace on blast

and you wish you could turn back and fight

but you weave on towards brighter light.

 

You might know what I mean

when someone says something obscene

and instead of being mean

you smile a little

(turn green).

 

Society makes it a must

to act on faith and trust

that love engenders lust.

and lust had gender

thrust

 

upon it like a yoke

but that old system broke

it made Wild Women choke

and now the new is here.

 

we still weave into streetlights

when walking out alone,

holding on to sharp keys

9-1-1- on our phone.

-Anonymous

This poem was submitted by one of the high schoolers in our Freedom Youth Project. She wrote it in response to a prompt. The prompt was “why we need feminism when going to a movie alone.” Pretty open-ended prompt, and we were blown away by the amazing responses we got.

Another young woman did a dance piece. It was remarkable. It was a multimedia experience based on her feelings as she watched a film in which a woman her age dated. She projected the subtitles on the wall as if it were a silent film, with titles such as: “When the Girl on the date Pretends she is Having fun.” First, she played happy, romantic, date-type music and sat in a chair smiling (but with obvious dis-ease to anyone who is conscious).

 

 Imagine if a young woman on a date were able to embody all of those complicated feelings.

This alone was enough to make the audience release [and i MEAN release, because it was truly cathartic] peals of laughter. Why? Because we have all seen so many of these scenes in movies, but most of us usually just accept it as “how things are.”

Next, the music changed. It was dark and stormy. The projection changed. It said “When the girl On the Date is unable to articulate her feelings Because she Hasn’t been taught the Tools and wants to People please in the Moment even though he knows deep Down that she is Bound to Disappoint [because her HEaRts not in it].”

Then, she started moving in ferocious bursts. It was moving to see her body, obviously untrained in dance but athletic and expressive, showing the feelings of rage, confusion, desire and sadness. Imagine! Imagine if a young woman on a date were able to embody all of those complicated feelings. It might unlock the potential for a deep experience for both partners on the date.

Then the music went back to the happy restaurant music. At first, it was jarring to see her angry movements to such a mellow song. And then a red alarm bell was projected onto the wall as a wailing alarm sounded.

“SEE!” the girl said. “That feeling of strangeness is the feeling that we want to avoid giving people. We don’t want to be the blight on a light heart, the ill on a chill vibe.

Then she sat back down. On the chair. “Thank you for dinner,” she said, to the audience-cum-date. “I feel angry, scared, confused, desirous and sad. I need to process this at home. Call me in a while, or go to a movie alone.”

So as you can see, we had lots of fodder for a very interesting conversation. There was a charge in the room. I could tell the girls were happy to be sharing in ways they aren’t used to sharing.

I even had one mother call me and thank me for doing the workshop. She said her daughter had been mostly ignoring her for months, but that suddenly she was interested in hearing about her life experience as a woman who was both a mother and in business.

She sent me a gift certificate to Uncommon Fare. How sweet is that? I mentioned how I only eat organic, and she sent me this link: http://nypost.com/2015/06/17/is-diet-the-key-to-curing-autism/ . Really interesting stuff. She said her nephew was autistic but he was mostly cured. And she really cares about supporting it now. I’m going to keep this in mind, because I come across autism in my work with women and I will point them towards nutrition as an effective, chemical-free therapy.
I am very happy to see that talking about freedom and feminism can have such immediate and palpable benefits on a micro scale. It helps alleviate the feeling over overwhelm that sets in when you think of the whole world that needs to be saved.

 

 

FREEDOM. NOW.

Listen to this and read along:

“New Kicks”

 

Peace Now, Peace Now, Peace Now, Peace Now!

We are gathered here, we come from so many different places.
From different identities, different cultures.
Different backgrounds different religions.
And yet we can gather, under the guides of peace….now…
Peace now!

“We say no to war!”
Peace up, war down!
“We say no to war!”
Peace up, war down!
“We say no to war!”
Peace up, war down!

“We made it. We’re here. We’re here right now and we’re not leaving.”

Now I hear you, I hear you people.
Now I hear you, I hear you people.
Now I hear you, I hear you people.
Now I hear you, I hear you people.
Now I hear you, I hear you….

“Now, we have reports that more and more people are just taking on ramps onto the bridge and taking it over.. it’s just…just…”

“I mean, i’m just like..ahh!”

This is what democracy looks like!
This is what democracy sounds like!
This is what democracy looks like!
This is what democracy sounds like!

“Reports from protests from among Georgia… Amsterdam… and Fort Lebanon… East Seymour… Florence, Italy…London…Milano, Italy…Paris, France…
Dozens of cities in Spain… Reports in Athens, Georgia… Austin, Texas… Westford, Virginia… Charleston, South Carolina… Colorado Springs… and
Defiance, Ohio… Denver, Colorado as well as Durango… Geneva, New York as well as Houston, Texas… Cianis, Massachussetts…In Hawaii as well…
Lawrence, Kansas… Los Angeles, California… AND I AM ONLY NAMING A FEW!”

Peace…now! Peace…now!

And as Eleanor Roosevelt said…
“It isn’t enough to talk about peace, one must believe in it. It isn’t enough to believe in it, one must work at it”
And we here today… are working at it!

“This is possible, and even necessary. So grab the sword, pick up the hammer and the saw. And start building a better world!”

No blood for oil!
We will not be violent!
No blood for oil!
We will not be violent!
No blood for oil!

“We will not go to war, for a selected president, who wasn’t even elected!”

We must stand here, token, abound and unchained.
We need healthcare!
We need education!
We need freedom in this nation!
Freedom in this nation!
Freedom in this nation!
Freedom in this nation!

“Thousands of people have taken over 3rd Avenue and are marching North. The crowd stretches at least 15 blocks from 44th street to 59th Street.
The police have just simply… given up.”

This is what democracy looks like!
This is what democracy sounds like!
This is what democracy looks like!
This is what democracy sounds like!

“We will not sell out!
We will not back down!
We will not compromise!
We will go forward,
Until peace is on the world’s agenda!”

I started a theory that there were no more heroes in the World.
But Today, I see all the World’s heroes standing before me.

“We say no to war!”
No war!
“We say no to war!”
No war!
“We say no to war!”
No war!