Veggie Voyagers

Couple travelled 30 states and 3 Canadian provinces between 7/07 and 5/08 running their 1987 Ford truck on straight veggie oil. The blog continues with a focus on the natural world and energy politics from a personal perspective

Monday, November 28, 2011

 Megan and Alfredo visited at Thanksgiving with their two darling kids and Orien was home so we got to be surrounded with kids, almost as good as having grandkids of our own.
 Ajani and Chase came by for a second but Orien borrowed the camera for kid-time at Caper Acres.
 We had some of our usual foggy  winter weather and I got a shot of us smooching out by the creek.
 The Best part of Thanksgiving this year was serving food and being with the people in the park at Occupy. Our own Riparia gathering was quite small. This photo is of Susana who is a wonderful cook.
As the new week starts I am filled with concerns about what is happening with the Defense Authorization Bill in Congress, the Climate Summit in Durban.. the anxiousness starts to build back in but last week was wonderful, in the shelter of normal activities like cooking, eating and visiting. I'm grateful for these breaks. Grateful for the people in my life and for this beautiful planet and our place here at Riparia.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Buy Nothing Day

Happy Buy Nothing Day!
Yesterday we had two Thanksgivings. One at the Occupy. It was a miraculous gathering of food providers who turned into food samplers and people who came simply to eat. All of us in a fine mood on a drizzly afternoon. The second dinner was set to be another big Riparia feast but few showed up so we enjoyed ourselves none the less but felt a little less than our usual over-flowing at the seams selves. All in all a memorable and wonderful day.
The photo is of Susana, a superb cook, in her full-on Cornucopia Goddess self.
 Today was Black Friday, what we call Buy Nothing Day with the proviso that Local, Green, Fair Trade, Home-made are way o.k. So many people are out of work. So many of us thinking about our shared values in regards to consumerism and exploitation and expectations and the whole conversation around Christmas buying.

Folks from this Occupy sponsored vigil were on all four corners of the main entrance to the Chico Mall on 20th Street. A local printer donated his time and made the wonderful signs and all these sweet people got out there to make these strong points.

 Tomorrow is Fair Trade Day at the Chico Peace and Justice Center.  I hope people will do what they can to slip out of the clutches of corporate control and do what is needed to save our planet and people.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Thanks Due

My spirit went down for the count when I saw this destruction of the Peace Endeavor bench and planter and the murder of the tree that lived there. It had been a place of frequent circles, group photos, quick meetings. It had also been a place where homeless, using, and mentally ill people hung out and the businesses on the street wanted it gone and in compliance with the other park benches that don't shelter from the street. I thought I was ok with it but I wasn't when it came to my feelings based on all the memories going back to the time when Willa, Helen, Jessie, Art and Margaret, Delilah, Joan, Doug, Rose, Frank, Gerald, Shar and Theresa (and others) were with us. A place of meeting in gentleness and loving strength. Gone for commerce.
So I had a little moment there. Nothing new really. Sometimes the grief wells up and the powers of what needs to survive is dwarfed so badly by the powers of greed that a huge dualism is set up and its like a wall inside my psyche where a mythic battle is being played out so long it sets up into something impenetrable.
That's when meditation, actually a CSA attunement ( really helps. With gentle listening the area was identified, deeper and deeper sensing and the wall was entered. (Thanks Kath.) More time, more surrender into the way it was and a virtual tree emerged, sequestering carbon, breathing out oxygen, a river of quiet exchange, free of content, vast and opening into a universe of the 100%.
I'd been so worried about the Occupy. That the tents would come down, that folks would drift away from determination and purpose. That all the concerns we share (going all the way back from those peace-keepers who have left us,) would become amorphous again, buried under every day business.
But, the presence continues. The future is unknown. Orien passed the Bar. Let Thanksgiving begin.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

With the 99%

Fall is stalking slowly along. The leaves along the Esplanade are turning brilliant about two weeks late. Asters and sunflowers in mid-November. We've had some frost but only barely. Tender spring is erupting from the last wetness, now turned dry. It's been intense lately too. A lot of energy and push.
Occupy Chico continues, after about a month. The young folks who began it are getting burned out and everyone is realizing we have to step in and help the core group. CT Butler, founder of Food Not Bombs and author of books on Values Based Consensus process, and his partner Wren Tuatha, did a weekend training on Consensus that really galvanized us and I'm sure will help the General Assemblies and our Occupy decision making ability. Some Occupiers have impressed me with their level Best/ rock solid natures-- like Tammy, our Chico Peace and Justice Center coordinator speaking with a regular plaza dweller below. It's been really impressive to experience the determination and clear headedness of some of the Occupy folks. It is a huge learning curve for all of us, this direct democracy.
As in every other Occupy encampment in the U.S., the Occupy folks become charged with how to be present with the homeless, head injured, mentally ill and substance using unemployed who fill our city centers. The media reflects back scary issues of violence and outrageousness and the Occupy people cope as best they can. It is really challenging to be at the tents at times.
And other times it's just fun and important, like vigiling with Peter, a Vietnam Vet, and a student (whose name I forgot) on Armistice Day with Robert and Chuck playing peace songs and the overwhelmingly positive response we got from the passerbys.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Bank Transfer Day

Today was Bank Transfer Day. 76,000 people have moved out of the corporate banks. Folks are appalled at the consolidation of the banks, predatory practices that continue after the bail-out, like unethical lending and foreclosures, the piggy fees and the big CEO salaries. We have moved to local Credit Unions which are non-profit, accountable to members and which invest in the financial well-being of our communities. For me it felt great to pull my pension out of B of A and move it to Star Community Credit Union.
Marchers hiked from the banks at the north end of Chico to the Hands sculpture by the city offices for a rally.
There were about 75 people and we stood in a large circle. The energy was great as we started off with our intentions for a positive future--very important to not always be focusing about what we don't want! Then we had the support of the Doin It Justice Choir members in a number of unifying songs before marching to the other big banks with our message of empowerment.
Great way to stay warm on a cold, gray day. Expressing Truth to Power and Transferring Power to the People!!!