a gal has to shake things
up a bit.
can't actually walk in
other people's shoes, she can
at least experiment with wearing her
own in new & different places.
Or, perhaps, not wear
any at all.
out, for example,
that feeling cold wet leaves
beneath your toes while staring at
your camera is quite
these experiences this past
week, because while those in power
continue to belittle women's voices, & the
voices of those without power, I
struggle to find
like so many past
beliefs is gone, blowing
in the wind, beautiful but not
recline on a
wood pile, wearing
those cool black boots from
The Pink Alligator & a black shirt
dress from Revolution.
It all feels quite
step in my
own shoes brings
me closer to what I love --
finding balance & power at the landfill
& in my compost pile, each photograph transforming
the discord & pain I feel in the world
around me into something
filled with coffee, sits on
the coffee grinds from which it came,
connected and real. In times
like this, it helps to
how powerful I felt
when we first installed our
solar panels in 2010. For less than
the cost of most new cars, we could actually
generate power - - 56,000 Kwh to date, in fact. So
I created this self portrait, wearing those
same black boots & holding a mug
of coffee made by a good
this is real
too. So after the
photo shoot at the panels,
I filled in my ballot & delivered it
to Town Hall, feeling very very powerful.
I hope that on November 3, 2020 you will vote
as if your life & the lives of your children's
children's great grandchildren
depended on it.
here's the deal.
If you can, do. If you
believe in your power, you
can generate power, not just with
solar panels and your vote, but with the
very core of who you are. I'm a mover & maker,
so I learned to embroider so that I could
share Whitman's poem, This
Compost, and the oh
so powerful final
Now I am terrified at the earth, it is that calm and patient,
It grows such sweet things out of such corruptions,
It turns harmless and stainless on its axis,
with such endless successions of diseased waste,
It distills such exquisite winds out of such infused fetor,
It renews with such unwitting looks its prodigal, annual, sumptuous crops,
It gives such divine materials and accepts such leavings from [us all].
-Walt Whitman, This Compost (From Leaves of Grass)
is the operative
word. Like all this stuff
about demitasse & cotillion dresses
& going deeper into who we are & what we
believe. It's so much easier to
explore when feeling
of what might
happen this week? Be a
tree & remember, if you can, do.
Connect with the earth.
Stand tall. Be
the making of amends for a wrong one has done,
by paying money to or otherwise helping those who have been wronged.
It's been three years since the Paris Climate
Accord. Apparently one of the reasons the Unites States has
withdrawn is that we do not want to pay our fare share of climate expenses.
It really is a puzzle. There are all these messy pieces, but the parameters are clear.
We have to transition away from carbon-based fuels as quickly as possible.
And as the recent National Climate Assessment Report suggests,
we don't have much time. The warnings have been loud and
clear this year, with enormous fires and storms.
But our leaders ignore the signs...
I get it.
I'm now doing physical therapy for injuries
I received during the summer, but ignored. It was just too
inconvenient. But, if I had acknowledged the irregular pains, and if
I had actually rested it right away, my ankle might have healed a lot faster.
Does this sound familiar? Let's just ignore the problem.
It might go away...
I don't know about you,
but I display this kind of behavior all the time.
In my head, I know one thing. In my heart I know another thing.
And then I act as if none of those understandings or feelings existed!
On a trip to Mexico a few years ago, we had a beachside room that was not very romantic - - Each day, the tide came higher and higher and each night I woke to the sound of
waves crashing beneath me. It was frightening. I vowed to never travel
again. I did not want to be part of the problem...But guess who's
going to Mexico with her extended family this year?
It was just too good to pass up...
What about the climate?
Yes, but what about my extended family?
It's a choice many of us make all the time, especially around
holidays. Instead of feeling overwhelmed, like when I first see all those
puzzle pieces in a pile on the table, I took action by gathering data. I may be an artist,
but I value real information. The facts. So I investigated the climate impact of my traveling. Here's what I discovered: When combining all trips I have taken alone and with my
family, beginning with my first international trip to Ireland & England, in
1974, I have traveled 208,674 miles on 105 different trips. That's the
same distance as flying eight times around the equator.
Total Carbon impact: 141.26 tons.
What's a gal to do?
Cross her arms, plant her feet,
and say "so what?" Or, perhaps, get on with it and
take responsibility? I'm tired of ignoring warning signs and not taking
action, so I went online and learned that 'all' I need to do was pay $4,146 to offset
the carbon impact of my family's adventures. (www.myclimate.org).
A carbon offset:
a reduction in emissions of carbon dioxide or greenhouse gases
made in order to compensate for or to offset an emission made elsewhere.
I had been petrified to learn what we might owe for our family's amazing adventures
and it was that fear that had kept me from exploring offsets sooner. But here I
am, still icing my ankle and feeling rather stupid. If we had paid offsets
as we went we would not have this debt for which we had not
budgeted. I wonder if our leaders feel stupid too...
Sometimes, as hard as it may be, we have to admit
our mistakes and pay our fare share for the privileges we have.
Given the National Climate Assessment's re-evaluation of our current climate
circumstances, it seems appropriate that we pay the carbon debt we owe
as quickly as possible. It's just the right thing to do.
Thank you, President George H.W. Bush.
Country (and planet) before self.
Next week, in part 2, I'll
talk about how.
Evelyn R. Swett
reframing the narrative in community and with myself, finding transformation and joy in the mess of it all
is a somewhat regular 'viewsletter' that hopefully inspires joy & transformation. It will include links to recent blog posts & updates about my work. Oh, and I promise I won't share your information (that would be so uncool) and I don't actually do promotions, but that text is required.