Rally 8/27 Against Proposed RIPTA Fare Hike for Senior Riders/Riders With Disabilities

From the RIPTA Riders’ Alliance:

“Next Thursday at 5pm, RIPTA RIders’ Alliance is holding a rally against the proposal to hike fares on Rhode Island’s disabled people and seniors who are living on limited incomes.

When: 5pm, Thursday, August 27th

Where: Kennedy Plaza”

I’ll be present for at least part of this, because I think that wherever additional money to operate public transportation should come from (and I agree that we need some!), it shouldn’t come from people who are unlikely to be able to get much more money than they have right now. I’m sometimes able to go to things like this, so I will go in lieu of someone who might want to but can’t.

If you’re wondering what this has to do with the work of this blog, see the first paragraph of this post.

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RIPTA Fare Hike Public Meetings & RIPTA Riders Alliance Meeting, 7/14/15

Good public transportation helps the MOST people get where they need to go (without cars) when it is widespread, frequent, steadily and affordably priced, and safe to use. Especially in a city, better and more accessible bus service can mean fewer cars, and fewer cars mean lower greenhouse gas emissions, less heat, less traffic and road stress,  and potentially fewer paved/impermeable surfaces (because less need for parking lots) leading to better stormwater drainage and a cleaner water cycle.

Today, there are meetings about bus fares and bus infrastructure in Providence and Warwick. From the RIPTA Riders Alliance:

“RIPTA has more public meetings today about its ‘fare study’, which seems to be intended as a preliminary to getting more money from fares in addition to adjusting some of the details about fare structure and fare collection. There will be another round of meetings later.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015, 11am-1pm

Providence Public Library, 3rd floor meeting room

150 Empire St, Providence, RI

Tuesday, July 14, 2015, 1:30pm-4:30pm

Kennedy Plaza Intermodal Transportation Center

1 Kennedy Plaza, Providence, RI

Tuesday, July 14, 2015, 5:30pm-7:30pm

Warwick City Hall, Council Chambers

3275 Post Road, Warwick, RI”

There is also a RIPTA Riders Alliance meeting today at 3pm at the RI Foundation:

1 Union Station (Exchange Terrace betw. Exchange St and Francis St), Providence, RI.

Mutual Interview: Devi Lockwood and Kate Schapira

This is the first of my interviews with other artists about public/participatory art, climate change, ecology and climate action. Poet, touring cyclist and storyteller Devi Lockwood is on the move, collecting stories of water and climate change. You can read more about her, her process and her travels at One Bike One Year. Devi and I emailed these questions and responses back and forth between Fiji and the U.S.

DL: First question for you: when did you first start becoming anxious about the climate?

KS: Your question has two answers. I started being … provoked, I guess … by the possible effects of climate change (mainly sea level rise) in 2010 or so. But I started feeling real fear and grief and helplessness in the fall and winter of 2013 after reading an article on ocean acidification–so not climate per se, but carbon-caused changes–and ecological decline. And then I started learning more and more about the fragility of ecosystems, and the ability even of smaller rises in temperature, for example, to disrupt them. I don’t know if people were writing and talking more about larger-scale ecosystem effects of a rise in global temp around that time, or if it was just like when you notice something and then you’re switched to noticing it, you see it everywhere.

Do you feel that fear and anxiety are part of what’s moving you to collect stories? What are the other things spurring you, and what do you hope the project will lead to or push for?

DL: I try not to let fear drive me. What’s moving me is a combination of my love of listening and raw curiosity. I just graduated in May with a B.A. in Folklore & Mythology, and so the act of listening, for me, is an act of love. this project is a love letter for me to the world. I’m not a scientist, but I am a listener. I can’t measure change, but I can document it through recording the words that people tell me. I am twenty-two years old and I think that water and climate change are and will continue to be the defining issues of my generation.

I was recently in NYC to record audio stories surrounding the People’s Climate March. 400,000 people flooded the streets to demand more meaningful measures to address climate change. I spoke to activists from Uganda, Mexico, Indiana, Toronto, and beyond. The energy in the march was electric. You know those moments in your life when you feel that you are doing something that is just right, both for yourself at this moment and for the world you are a part of? That’s what’s moving me. It’s hard to put into words, but I’m doing something that feels right for me at this time.

I am intrigued by the complexity of the problem, and also how it intersects along axes of race, gender, and class. I hope that this project will push for greater listening––that it will allow folks who listen to the stories I record an opportunity to get outside of themselves and their experiences and thoughts for a moment and to feel the weight of another’s story on their shoulders, to consider their point of view. Climate change is a global issue, and to address it we need globally-minded folks with open ears and small egos and open hearts. I believe that climate change poses a challenge to humans to reinvent our relationship to our surroundings and also to each other. I want to be a small part of that effort.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has a wonderful talk called the “Dangers of a Single Story”. Listening to another’s story is a way of knowing. Listening is an act of love. If there’s one thing we need across lines of race, gender, sexuality, class, and nation right now, it is love. And if not love, at the very least openness and a willingness to listen.

Are you anxious yourself? How does this project help you temper that anxiety?

KS: I am very anxious! As a person, but also about the effects of climate change in particular. But what you’re saying about listening to people’s stories is resonating with me very much, because if I’m listening to a confidence I invited, then I’m concentrated on hearing what that person is saying to me and seeing what they’re showing me. They were real before, but now my acknowledgment of their reality is active and laborious–I recognize them and want them to feel that.

Being able to acknowledge the realities of others, shared and also different needs and desires and fears, seems like the small version–the seed version–of bigger political and practical changes that could help salvage something from the effects of climate change. I think love has power when it is an action, something we do, not something we feel. How can I love, actively, the inlet in Jamestown, RI where I go swimming? How can I love, actively, the guy who started out as a climate trivializer and may still be one, but I’m not sure, because he ended up talking a lot to me about his mother’s tomato plants? How can I love, actively, a tiny frog that only lives in a place where I’ve never been?

When the answer seems out of my power is when the anxiety comes back. But when I’m listening to people and we acknowledge each other as members of a shared world, I feel like I’m answering that question of active love in that moment.

That’s another thing that I think our projects share: their temporality. They’re not totally evanescent (we’re writing things down when people share them with us) but mine, at least at this stage, feels more like a pile of brief and powerful encounters that transform the moment and maybe seep into a longer-term state of mind than it feels like, for example, recruiting people to a sustained commitment to practical action. Can you talk about how you see these stories and your relationship to them and their tellers adding up and shifting over time?

DL: That is a great question. Right now I am enmeshed in editing the hours of audio that I have recorded so far. I’m only adding fades to the beginning and end of the piece, but it is slow going. I am doing my best to be fully present in the experience of listening.

There is a beauty in temporality. That’s what I love about people––we’re always changing. We’re moving. We’re dynamic. We’re unfixable. The me of today is both like and unlike the me of yesterday, the me of a few hours ago. The question of which stories I hear (and those that I don’t) is left mostly up to chance.

I know that I am changed by listening with the whole of my heart. I know that listening connects me to a sense of place in a way that simply looking and taking pictures does not. I have always been an auditory learner. I hope that the recordings I am making will become an audio archive that people can visit and revisit in the years to come. It’s a small trip, a small snapshot of life, but an archive nonetheless.

While recording, I am doing my best to be attentive to not only the content but also the rhythmic structures of the stories I collect. Anna Deavere Smith has this wonderful paragraph in her book “Talk to Me” where she says:

“Character, then, seemed to me to be an improvisation on given rhythms. The more successful you were at improvising on language, the more jazz you have, the more likely you could be found in your language, that is, if you wanted to be found in your language. Some people use language as a mask. And some want to create designed language that appears to reveal them but does not. Yet from time to time we are betrayed by language, if not in the words themselves, in the rhythm with which we deliver our words. Over time, I would learn to listen for those wonderful moments when people spoke a kind of personal music, which left a rhythmic architecture of who they were. I would be much more interested in those rhythmic architectures than in the information they might or might not reveal.”

I’m listening for “rhythmic architectures,” for iambs and trochees and dactyls and spondees. Ultimately, I want the stories I collect from around the world about water and climate change to be in conversation with one another. We can go nowhere without dialogue, and dialogue doesn’t just happen at the level of governments. If we entrust everything in authority, we are toast.

I believe that storytelling (and, perhaps more importantly, listening) are forms of activism.

This is a big question and I’m curious about your response, too: Can you talk about how you see these stories and your relationship to them and their tellers adding up and shifting over time?

KS: Now I want to read that Anna Deavere Smith book, too. The rhythmic architecture of who a person is, and how a person might build themself in speech, or build themself into speech–how listening, then, might make room for someone to do that.

The short answer is, I don’t know right now, and I’m feeling my way towards it. Here are a couple of things that have happened since the project’s beginning, in May:

A bunch of times downtown, I’ve run into people who spoke with me at the booth, and we’ve recognized each other, and asked how each other are.

I’ve collected a bunch of names and email addresses and skills/interests, in both formal and informal ways, of people who seem like they’d be interested in acting together or sharing with each other if they had some sort of plan for that.

Some people have invited me to talk about the booth, up to and including the North Kingstown Rotary Club, a class of Brown students who want to do a similar project around disability and access, and a group of Providence teens who are meeting to talk about the future of the city.

But how to bring all those things together? Climate change feels very near to me, very urgent. Because it’s already happening, because the sooner we make the large-scale decisions that could reduce the damage we’re doing, the better–and I agree with you in that my hopes are slim for people and entities making those large-scale decisions in any kind of protective way, or based on any acknowledgment of the reality of other beings–I sometimes get infected with that feeling of, “It’s really important for me to know what I’m doing with my tiny little project immediately, and do it immediately.” In fact, if this is going to work toward any shift in people’s attitudes toward anyone or anything other than themselves, it’s not going to work that way, and I want to offer people concrete options for action as well, so another part of “moving forward in time” is figuring that out. Part of my commitment to the booth was offering people what they wanted, not just taking what I wanted from them, and one thing that people did say they want was a way to act to protect what they love–sometimes that thing was threatened by climate change, sometimes by other things, like exploitation of their labor, or having no safe place to stay, or their own fears about asking for help.

I have a question that’s maybe a little more pushy. To make this trip, you have to fly a bunch in between biking stints, right? How did you decide on your methods and routes for the trip and weigh the damage of your travel against the benefits of listening and sharing?

It’s hard to ask this question without making it sound like a call for purity of behavior, which I think is not even a good goal, so I hope you won’t think I’m accusing you of not having it! I’ve been grappling with the idea of complicity, what it describes and how we use it, recently. I feel like “involvement” better describes what I see around me. We are involved with each other and with nonhuman systems and human-made systems in many and various ways, some of which are destructive. As people working in what we hope will be an art of connection, how can we navigate those involvements?

DL: I think that talking to people and listening, just listening, is one of the greatest gifts that a human can give. This needs to happen more across borders of nation, and I have set myself the task of doing that kind of work. Yes, the 10.5 hour flight that I took to Nadi, Fiji from LAX was doing nothing good for the climate. I hope that the work that I am doing offsets this ecological toll. Misconceptions about climate change come from a lack of awareness about the impact that these issues have on people: real living, breathing, and specific humans with their own stories to share. I am out to make a platform for these voices, to listen and to share what folks around the world have to share about those issues (and yes, even those who don’t believe that they exist).
I am not asking people to stop taking flights, to change their behavior. I am on a quest to document stories about water and climate change, and this necessitates putting my body in motion. If I had an infinite amount of time to do this project (and if I didn’t have a deep-seated fear of the open ocean) then I would take some kind of seafaring vessel instead. But this project isn’t about being on the water, it is about listening to and talking with as many people as I can. In order to do that kind of work, I have to take a few flights.

Another tough question: what good could come from climate change? We’ve talked about anxiety, but do you see any positives to this kind of shift?

KS: About your “across borders of nations” point: a lot of the conversations I’ve been having lately, about my project and about how to sustain one another, have had to do with methods that are portable, replicable and adaptable. I’ve been talking with Amy Walsh of the Apeiron Institute, and thinking about what I’ve learned from looking at Voices UnBroken’s model of setting up those who learn with them to teach and advocate for each other. Maybe the next phase of my project could become something like this: not just one person (me) listening to the people around me and, with them, talking and thinking about how we’ve been living and how we might live, but also explicitly equipping them to listen to others. That would be a different interaction than the kind I’ve had so far, which hasn’t been demanding in that way, and didn’t require anything of people that they didn’t offer. I would have to give up the openness of the interactions I’ve been having in order to move in a particular, more explicitly sharing / spreading direction. The people speaking with me would probably lose something, or give something up, as well.

With all of that in mind: I don’t see any positives in climate change or its effects as such. I do think that groups of humans will have the potential to respond to it anywhere from horribly to pretty well, and that the “pretty well” could be mutually nourishing and sustaining in ways that are maybe less common / widespread now. I’d like to be part of that if I can, and I want to learn more and think more and work more toward what it might be–how we might arrange and build it, and what we might gain depending on what we’re willing to give up or what we might have to give up, might no longer have access to.

Ecological disruption and its effects are the conditions of our present lives. If we live, we live with that. One thing I think our projects have in common is that we’re asking people to consciously inhabit, to be present in mind, in that reality. For me, and for a lot of the people who spoke with me, that’s hard to do and it feels bad. But the ability to do it is a necessary condition of responding to this reality and to each other, I think.

Is there anything you’d like to leave people with, that you’d like people to keep in mind, about your project that isn’t necessarily explicit in the way you’re doing or describing it?

DL: I think one thing that I didn’t take into account about my project is how it is, in many ways, an endurance event. I have never been involved with one project for so long (one year). It is both freeing and constraining at the same time. Travel can be exhausting. I am constantly adjusting to new people and places and foods and ways of communicating, all the while doing my best to prioritize self-care. I recently got sick for the first time on the trip–it wasn’t anything serious, just a 24-hour flu–but it definitely reminded me that in order to finish this project, I need to stay on top of taking great care of myself. A Buddhist chaplain I met in the cancer ward of the Mt. Zion Hospital in San Francisco told me that I need to treat my own body as well as I would if I was caring for someone else. I’m doing my best to live by those words, but it’s not easy. When I travel alone, there is no filter between me and the world around me. It is the strength and weakness of this project, I think, all at once.

What about you–is there anything else you’d like to add? I feel like we’re pretty near finished!

KS: I do too! I cosign the recommendation to take care of yourself, which includes the whole bodymind.

For me, the thing I need to constantly keep track of is the ways my project is and isn’t “about” me. Anything that has an element of making to it (the booth itself, the write-ups, the poems) is always about the maker at least a bit; I’m the one who had the idea and did the thing, and I had this particular idea and did this particular thing because of the person I am in the world. But there’s a mental trap where it’s almost like, “You should care about climate change because climate change makes me feel bad,” or like, “This person has a problem I can make a recommendation about. My advice is so good!” or even like, “I am a vile person because I can’t put even the tiniest halt on a centuries-long habit of exploitation and disregard.” All of that is so wholly beside the point–maybe there isn’t a “point”, exactly, but if there is one, it isn’t any of that. If there is one, it has to do with enacting a mutual, constant, flexible acknowledgment of the reality and importance of other beings besides the self–and that’s what this particular self has to keep in mind, and what I hope others will keep in mind too.

tellmeastory_peoplesclimate

Climate Anxiety Counseling: Day 28 / Day 5 of the Washington County Fair

Weather: Warmest day yet. Sunny and slight breeze, downpour around 1pm, then clear again.

Time frame: 10 a.m.-6 p.m., so as not to get caught by end-of-fair traffic. At 5:30 I put up a sign that said, “I’m leaving at 6. If you want to know what this is, ask now!” but only two people stopped by after that.

Number of people: 14 stoppers, 5 walkbys

Pages of notes: 8

Number of hecklers: 0!

Number of climate change deniers: 2

People who read the sign out loud in an incredulous, wondering, suspicious or amused voice, without stopping to talk: 30 

People who took a picture without permission: 1

TOTAL Money raised for South Kingstown Land Trust, all five days: $31.80! Thanks, people of the WCF!

 

Fair foods consumed: None. I wanted corn fritters but forgot to get them.

 

Best non-booth times today:

1) A little boy who walked by yesterday and said, “A map!” walked by again today and said, “There’s the map!” to the people he was with. I said, “Oh yeah, I remember you noticed that yesterday!” and he smiled a little smile.

2) Someone I met at the booth up in Providence stopped by and introduced me to their sister, brother-in-law and niece.

 

Observations:

Of course, the last day is when I realize I can put the “Out” sign over the “In” sign when I walk away from the booth, instead of taking out the pushpins, switching signs, putting the pushpins back.

 

I also realized only today the ways that the conventions of botanical illustration influence the way I draw on #RIorganisms of the plant variety. For example, when you look at a flower, usually you see the whole thing from the top (if it’s short and/or you’re standing or walking) or the side (if it’s tall or you’re squatting down). But nature guides will show you the stem and leaves as if from the side, the flower as if from the top.

 

Do I need to start redirecting people when they start talking about trash? I don’t like the oceanic garbage patches either, and some methods of mitigating climate change might also mean mitigating the amount of trash we produce, but the amount of conflation I’m hearing is starting to worry me.

 

*

 

Some conversations:

 

Not really, just takin’ it day by day. 

*

Him: You don’t think it’s just natural.

 

Her: I try not to think about it, which is stupid.

 

I think something can be natural and still be frightening. You think we’re arguing, but we’re really not. I do believe the science I’ve seen that says it’s caused by what people do.

 

Her: What do we do?

 

[I tell her a very basic version of how it works.]

*

Walkby, white, stout, older: There’s no such thing as climate change.

Me: Sorry, I can’t hear you, what?

Him: There’s no such thing as climate change.

Me: I’m sorry, I can’t hear you because of the music. If you want to tell me something you’ll have to come over here.

[He did not.]

*

[This is the first person who spoke to me at the fair — she said she loved it and wanted to take a picture, but didn’t come back … until today!]

This [the booth sign] reminds me of like — tonic you could buy in the Wild West that would cure everything. The color of the sign, everything — you could have a hat* and a big beard. The colors are out of that late 1800s palette. The sign, “The Doctor Is In” — they didn’t have pushpins, though. But it touches on the idea of panacea, and that’s what people want — they want something to make them feel better, something to make them feel like everything’s gonna be okay.

*

pH levels in the ocean. Whenever I think about it I freak out. I went Antarctica as part of these climate classes. It was really intense learning about it in Antarctica because it’s so extreme there, you can really see the changes.

Do you talk to people about it?

It depends on who the person is, what their argument is. A lot of people, you want to just throw statistics at them, but usually they won’t know what you’re talking about. You have to talk about it based on who the person is and figure out your argument. The main thing I try to tell people is that if we do things to promote the environment they’re not gonna hurt, they’re only gonna help us do better.

[I offer her a #RIorganisms card]

You don’t have any invasive species on there, do you?

 

*

[This young man was a volunteer firefighter, and gave extra $ when he found out it was going to the SKLT.]

I have Type 1 diabetes. I wanted to go into the military like a lot of people in my family, but they said do you got any medical issues, I said diabetes, they said nope. There’s a lot of things my friends do that I can’t do, and I have depression because of it. I see a psychiatrist, yeah. She gives me medicine, which I hate taking, but it helps — I hate to do it because it’s another thing I have to do when I get up in the morning, it stresses me out to remember. … We fight forest fires too. You remember that big fire in Bradford? I was there. 

*

I worry about it. I worry, where does all the trash go? We have a disposable environment — we throw away and throw away. We don’t think of the consequences, the impact it’s gonna have. It used to be one crib stayed in the family, everybody used that crib — now everybody gets a whole new set of furniture and leaves it on the side of the road. It’s more of a gripe than a worry.

*

Climate, definitely. The air we breathe — how bad or good is it for us.

 

How did you come to get worried about that?

 

Just breathing it in, and other people mentioning it to me.

 

Do you talk to people about it?

 

I start conversations about it with people, with friends, but mostly they’re like, “Yeah, that sucks.” I feel like everyone’s talking about it, but not everyone changes — and not everyone’s actually aware, or they’re aware of a little bit of what’s on top of the surface but they’re not fully educated. If people knew more, maybe they’d do more. Simple things like not wasting water, recycling — well, those aren’t really air things, but they’re things people could do in their towns.

 

*

The world’s going down. The media is a distraction so the government can do all these horrible things.

 

What do you think they want? What’s in it for them?

 

Power, money, the more they can get. There are more of us than there are of them — we could overpower them.

 

What would we do if we overpowered them? What would be the first thing we could do?

 

I haven’t thought that far.

 

*

 

Maybe you can tell me if this is true, what somebody told me. I’m a chef at [REDACTED] in Misquamicut and somebody told me that in 20, 25 years, it’s gonna be underwater because of global warming. Is that true?

 

All I can say is it could be true. One of the things that makes global warming so hard for people to think about is that we don’t know how bad it’s gonna get how fast.

 

Somebody was telling me that the property line, the owners own up to 10 feet out in the water because 80, 85 years ago the property line was there and now it’s 10 feet out in the water.

 

Today’s poem:

 

Can you tell me

if it’s natural

if it’ll all

be the same in

a million years or

wreak or wrack

such changes

to all our kin

with all our care

or almost none

the line may be

ten feet out in

the sour water

the sore air spit

out and sucked back

the more you start

at the taste in

your mouth the worse

it won’t bother to be

for you being ready

enough and more

bringing water in

lifeless and sipless

 

View from the booth:

wcf817 - fairgoers from booth

 

 I’ll be posting bonus material from the Fair throughout the week — including pictures of oversized and misshapen vegetables — as well as reflections at the end of next week. 

Climate Anxiety Counseling: Day 12

Weather: Gray, damp and chilly, misting with occasional actual rain and gusts of wind

Number of people: 9 stoppers, 2 walk-bys

Number of hecklers: 1, possibly? Couldn’t really hear him (seems to be a pattern)

Pages of notes: 9

Conversations between people previously unknown to one another: 0.5

Packets of Small State Seeds given away: 7 (we still have some left, come tomorrow!)

People who recognized and commented on the Peanuts reference: 1

Money raised for Environmental Justice League of RI: $1.31

 

Observations: 

Number one thing that seems to keep stoppers’ numbers down is cold and rain — people are more eager to get where they’re going, and if they don’t have anywhere to go, they’re still less inclined to conversation.

Related: Butts can shiver, it turns out.

Someone yesterday brought up the political valence of climate change as it’s discussed in the U.S., and how that separates Americans from the reality of it. That’s been showing up a lot this week. Other themes today: low-emissions cars, how to talk to people you don’t know.

 

Some conversations: 

 

I think it’s some natural, a lot manmade, and it’s definitely something to be worried about. It affects not only us. This is where we live. But I believe that things happen for the good of the planet eventually — like the ice age helped the planet overall.

I get what you’re saying about the long term, but how do you think people can help each other in the short term?

I feel like it’s the little things that work towards something big. Like some people say “I can’t help because I can’t do that much,” but if everyone does a smaller part, it can have positive effects.

What about things like driving less?

Driving definitely is a problem, but maybe it’s more like not to drive things that–like some cars, all they do is pollute. Maybe more efficient cars, but that’s companies’ responsibility to make more efficient cars, cars that don’t pollute.

*

Do you ever talk to people you don’t know about it?

Not too often. If somebody says something really ignorant–but I don’t go up to people and go, “Hey, world’s kinda hot today.” … We need to change people’s ideas around how they use energy, how they use renewable and unrenewable resources. It seems like when people talk about this, they’re not giving a good reason, or they’re not presenting the information in the correct manner.

What is the correct manner? 

I don’t know. I feel like one way to enact that sort of change is to look at examples. Holland decided, instead of burning fossil fuels, they’d burn their trash for energy. And then they had so little trash, they actually take trash from France and Belgium. It’s the same with solar energy and wind energy–if you have more than you need, you can sell it back to the grid and make money. Or you can live off the grid, there are people who do that–they call them “landships”, they use the methane from their waste to heat their houses. They’re totally self-sufficient.

That’s silly, they’re not self-sufficient. The trees make their air–

Okay, they’re not relying on outside human systems.

*

I started thinking about how people think of things as replaceable–the things we buy are designed to last shorter and shorter. What if some CEO was in the production business, and he wanted to shorten the business model to have the company for like, 7 years, and then get out? What if he just made the highest quality things he could and they would last for ever? What it means for something to be replaceable–if our things are replaceable, are we replaceable? The thing that isn’t replaceable is the earth … The other thing that really makes me anxious is that people seem to think different activisms can’t work together, like social justice and environmental justice–they’re seen as irrelevant to each other. But the physical place where people live is so related to hierarchies of power. 

*

Society doesn’t care until it’s at your back doorstep, and then it’s too late. Let’s find better ways of getting cars not to put so much emissions into the air, factories not to put so much pollution. Let’s find ways to care about the environment. America is one of the best countries in the world. We have every advantage, we just need to appreciate it more. 

*

I’m concerned about it but I don’t know how to get people to be concerned about it as well. Frankly, I think people think it’s almost not real. … We all have this common thought that the government’s gonna protect us, that if there was anything to be worried about, they’d be worried. I believe people do notice it. But they’re like, “Oh, I’m just one person”–that’s how I feel sometimes. But also, how can you move from conversation to the next step? My friends from college and I have these great philosophical conversations, but how can we move from conversation to action, how can we accompany our thoughts with some actions? I don’t do as much as I should do, but I believe it’s our duty to do it. 

 

Today’s poem: 

The idea that there’s always going

to be more especially

more to take away

is with us even if we were

or are the children of

the ones taken even

if our name was plunder

way back in the family

presumption of bounty

has communicated itself

like a blight on a host

it moves on

to ourselves and staggers

how we disease

and how we sicken

the whole incontinent

so wide we thought

it could never be us

we could never be full

communicably we came through

with no sense of waste

with consequence of waste

and now in a double blink

we forward our future to our present

we say goodbye to our beloved grasses

even though they’re waving

our beloved ashes even

though they’re standing right

in front of us making promises we see

through them we see right through them