Saturday, September 21, 2013

A Permanent "New" Culture

 (from the article I wrote for iGreen Woman Magazine)

As a woman, I find myself deeply connected to nature and I want to nurture, to protect and to love. I feel deeply that I am here to love, honor, respect, and protect this planet. I am here to serve the earth and serve the communities of plants, animals and people that are around me. I do so by being a steward, a caretaker of the earth.

Sometimes it seems difficult and even challenging to do this work, to be a steward, a protector. I am hindered by constraints in law, constraints in power dynamics, constraints within communities, and constraints in humanity itself. One of the more pressing concerns is climate change and the rapid changes in landscapes taking place all over the globe. How to be a loving steward in the face of such imminent disaster? It can be overwhelming at times.

But, there is hope! There is a movement of people- men and women alike- that seek balance and harmony and have created tools to bring back balance. One of the things I've discovered over the years that really can shift how we relate to the land and to each other is called Permaculture.

Permaculture- a term that comes from 'Permanent Agriculture' and/or 'Permanent Culture'- is a conscious, integrative design science that is solution-based and is geared towards ways we can all establish creative, self-maintained systems that are truly sustainable. These systems are modeled after nature and work with nature- not against it. Permaculture is about relationships: how we relate to our surroundings and to each other, and how we can look towards creating synergy, so more integration and more meaningful connections get created.

What would our planet look like if we all cared for each other and for other species, cared for all ecosystems, and valued the incredible diversity that exists on this planet? This is the essence of what Permaculture seeks to shift: creating a future in which sustainability, as a core value, is built into the foundation of how we live our lives. This knowledge, how to live sustainably, isn’t new. We’re just now re-discovering it, while also adapting it with the tools and technologies of our time.

The tools of Permaculture leave me inspired and empowered to care for the land, care for our communities and steward the one, truly valuable and precious thing I have: this planet. It is the only one we’ve got after all. Since discovering and exploring Permaculture, I have found others that have a similar relationship to nature and care for the planet as I do. This growing community of people, that are fostering stronger networks and partnerships across all boundaries and borders, also are passionate about creating a world that works: this is my calling.

I have the honor and privilege to join many others, especially women, all across the globe, who are doing this work: stepping up as leaders in their communities, being people who nurture, protect, and most importantly, love. I feel honored to join you all: those who have come before me, those who stand besides me, and those who will come forward in the future as we create a world that's in balance and harmony for all people and all qualities of life. To all the women out there who, like me, have similar desires to make a difference in the world, thank you! As Alice Walker has said, we are truly the ones we've been waiting for!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Tales of a Do Gooder Series #1

ok so it has been a while since my last post and I have created a mini-series on the blog called Tales of a Do Gooder. I feel called to write these because I wanted to share with you my experience revolving around my work (granted its all intertwined with what I have to talk about int he regular blog anyway). And boy am I having some tough moments right now. Let me go into detail with what is going on for me.

Currently I am
a) the Office Manager (part-time temp) for Global Community Monitor an environmental justice non-profit
b) the right hand woman (volunteering) of my friend Trey, Program Director for Living labs, a non-profit that does ecological rehabilitation of school yards and works on getting kids learning outdoors
c) may be starting as the Garden Coordinator for Lakeview Elementary School in Oakland (low paying and needing to write grants/fundraise to pay myself more $ and bring in more $ for the program)

I am juggling my time right now with these 3 things. I haven't had work in over a year and haven't had a defined schedule in more than 3 years so my brain is freaking out. I am very detail-oriented and when I cant organize myself it drives me up a wall. a) is only lasting through till Sept and then may move into contract work. b) is what I seem to feel most passionate about helping out with but if I take position c) I wont be able to devote as much time with b)and I don't want to overwhelm myself. But, here is b)'s situation. Living Labs doesn't have any funding right now so we need to fundraise and write grants to fund our school projects and the work we do for salary. seriously, it takes at min. 6 months to get a grant which getting one is a shoe in and up to 2 years to build relationships with personal donors. so no, getting this money is urgent, we need it now to sustain ourselves, time to think outside of the box for real. There has been no planning yet till now with my help and I am trying to get things in order so we can really take the project off the ground and run like the wind with the force of Mastadons getting to work but how can we sustain ourselves without enough human and monetary capital? I want to take more on but I can't, it isn't in my power (yet). And like Trey said, I am the org in .org but I cant even get my org on when I cant control everything or at least get my finger on the pulse of all the stuff happening because it just organized. Position c) isn't organized either, and is asking for a lot of work for little $ (which I am doing for the kids and not the $ but for the amount of things as far as responsibilites/job description, it's a lot for such little amount of income), so how much disorganization am I willing to get myself into?

Note: so I am doing this work because I want to become an educator, I want to get kids outdoors, and get healthier food in their mouths. In the long term I want to marry Waldorf and permaculture education, and reform the systems so that our children get high-quality knowledge that includes "life skills". I want to teach in the schools and work abroad, working with communities, empowering them with the various tools I am learning about like permaculture and non-violent communication (NVC), etc. I want to build community, take back the commons, bring back the village and show people that they can love on another an care for this planet.

so the big theme here is ORGANIZATION. I am having a hard enough time right now trying to organize my own life and now, trying to organize the different positions too. The Do in this Do Gooder is feeling a little stuck. I know I can handle it, maybe I need a yerba mate or something and have a group of friends cheerleading me by my side while I do this work. I certainly don't lack the inspiration anymore but the motivation seems a little daunting.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

welcome home

hmmmm, yes, I have arrived back to the "fertile" lands of the Island of Staten, where I was conceived and raised. It is warmer here and more humid than West Coast for sure. I miss Berkeley all ready. I have gotten so use to the weather out there that it still shocks me when I come home. Home? This place I use to live doesn't feel like home any more to me. I don't resonate with this land. However I do have a fond appreciation for the greenery and the birds, gorgeous song birds, I must know what they are. It's funny how I have become so much more appreciative of nature once I left the coop.

ok, on to the real blogging. so, I originally wanted to title this blog ____tales or ___rants but ranting isn't the only thing I do. The information I have to share is important or even vital for the coming of a new era, brushing away the old paradigm for a healthy world and way of living. There are conversations/dialogue that need to be had, that are barely talked about or not at all. I will speak, I will have my voice be heard. I have felt so dis-empowered for so long and now, with the freedom of the blog, it will be let free!

this is just a hello post. it will flow more once I get a good rest. sorry if my grammar and vocabulary isn't completely professional but I will just type as I type, say what I say and maybe reflect in later post. I titled the blog as is because even though I am talking in the present and my wisdom is coming out today, this knowledge has been around, has always been known, though maybe not always reflected, it always was, is and always will be.