Tuesday, February 19, 2013

...and then i came home (again)

Since January 8th, I've left home- for cross state travel- 4 times. Once for the trip with mattie, once for beehive meetings in michigan, once for the Extreme Energy Extraction summit in NY, and lastly to got the the Forward on Climate rally in DC with my mama. January and February have not been a slow down from 2012...

first there was The Trip!

Heres what happened- physically.
  • leave columbus...
  • paducah, ky (ohio and tn meet)
  • cairo, il (ohio and mississippi meet)
  • aurora, co (+dever; matties mom))
  • montezuma, co (agent!)
  • grand junction, co (matties grandfather)
  • mesa verde national park, co
  • the four corners (sorta...)
  • houston, tx (matties dad)
  • new orleans, la (matties brother + erin) 
  • tuscaloosa, al (matties sister)
  • back to columbus! 
We traveled 4,500 miles and took 19 days. Visited family, friends, and some lovely places along the way. Overall- it was a really nice trip that gave lots of space for slowing down and thinking things over. I had set the intention- with Beths help- to spend 15 min every day doing a visioning exercise to help guide me through what I want. I never quite got it to work for me, but I did spend time every day (almost, i skipped a few) thinking and reflecting and eventually scheming. 

I've decided I'm living here in Ohio! YES! I'm committed to being here for 2 years, with a broader intention of 3 years. In January 2015, I'll tak time to evaluate and make changes I want. For the record, I'm not glued here until then- if something happens that makes me want to leave/go somewhere else, then we'll cross the bridge when i get there. I'm really excited to be able to reconnect some roots I have here and grow new ones. I like being in Ohio... 

(ps: mattie made a blog post about the trip! He- unlike myself- actually has some photos)

Four days latter after getting back from the trip...
I left for Grand Rapids Michigan for Beehive Meetings!

Our meetings were a few days long, as we all snuggled up together in Pats studio, as winter blazed on outside the big glass windows. We found ways- with the extreme help from our 2 outside facilitators, dana and mattie- to update each other about what we were doing and explore the arch of where we might want to go. We did some fun activities, like making a timeline of the beehive, to help us all feel caught up and connected.

{thanks for the meeting photos Mandy! Esp since my camera broke, and I couldn't take any. ahck, bummer}

The biggest most delightful thing that happened during our meetings, is we had most of a day to sit around the Mesoamerica graphic (99% done! SO CLOSE) and do some story sharing and problem solving together. Plus! we had a chance to show off the original to some folks in Grand Rapids at a really fun gallery style event (photos to come? thats the rumor)

{story sharing- can't wait to tell ya'll more about it! In person of course, cause thats just how we do}

While our meetings didn't end with some epic decision or concrete outcome, they were generally pleasant. Folks felt present and I feel like we began to move forward. I feel optimistic about the ways we can move our work in a good direction and solidify things that need more work. 
{plus- i gotta have hang out time with some friends, and catch up}

Two days after getting back from those meetings...
I left to go to Kingston, NY for the first Extreme Energy Extraction Summit

The event was intended to bring folks together who are impacted by different forms extraction (oil in the gulf, uranium and coal in the west, natural gas all over, coal in appalachia... etc) to see if there are ways we can coordinate better and create a movement amongst all forms of extreme extraction, instead of seeing these things as separate 'issues.' Basically: trying to build power so we can more successful protect our communities (locally and globally).

There are lots of things I felt frustrated about during the summit, including a lack of agreed upon outcomes. I found myself feeling frustrated and unsure how to proceed given that there were more 'non frontline' people in the room that frontline folks (including myself, who isn't really on the frontlines). Those large obstacles being the case, there are things I really valued about it. 

As with most summits, I most valued getting a chance to meet folks and hear their experiences. I particularly appreciated hearing more about Idle No More - an upsurge of folks declaring they won't stand by anymore thats been set and guided by indigenous communities. I liked reconnecting and meeting new folks who are working on anti-fracking things in PA, esp some people working with the Mountain Watershed Association. I really appreciated the energy and work that was brought by folks working in Houston, TX with T.E.J.A.S. It was great to hear about the structure Peaceful Uprising uses to organize themselves, and hear from a solidarity activist working closely with the 1st nations Aamjiwnaang (in candada).  I loved seeing friends from Alaska again, as well as seeing so many friends living Appalachia. And all the small conversations I heard and took part in- I really value all the folks who were in the room, and appreciate the work thats happened to make it possible.

{look at this lovely drawing from the event some beehive folks made!}

I'm looking forward to see what happens from the many small working groups that were put together- and am optimistic about the summer meet up thats currently being planned and the ways in which what happened in NY can be built upon and grow. It's pretty easy to feel frustrated and unproductive when trying to create large shifts, and i'm constantly reminding myself it takes time. and a lot of work. 

And then I cam home (again) and was here for 6 days before...
i got on a bus and headed to DC for the Forward on Climate rally with my mama. 

We spent 17 hours on a bus and about 9 hours in DC. Good odds right there. Two buses full of people from columbus met busses from 29 other states and 40,000 people at the Washington Monument to stand up against the Keystone XL pipeline and encourage the Obama administration to block it from being built, and to take a strong stance on Climate Change.

In addition to the thousands of strangers, i had a chance to see a bunch of friends! I marched along with other folks fighting MTR coal mining and got a chance to catch up with them, met my friend Sonia briefly, and got to have a nice little dinner with Becks, Katie, and Michelle. Then back to the bus we went.

Quick and Lovely.

I'm glad so many folks showed up and look forward to the administration turning down that damned pipeline...

and now, i'm home. again. 

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