Sunday, March 27, 2005

¿Che, que significa...?

¿Che, que significa disfrutar?
(Hey, what does disfrutar mean?)

is a verb which can only be translated in memes and qualia.
is to be doing that verb,
to be ···

·emerging magically out of an invisible portal path in the bushes with telltale Keats-Purple-stained lips and fingers from picking blackberries up the wazoo, or rather, up the Rio Azul, but still more than enough left to make cobbler back home

·lowering a tongue to gather the very last of that Keats-Purple-staining coldness from the bottom and sides of that gleaming white tigela (bowl) that was once Açai na tigela (açai in a bowl, instead of diluted and poured in a plastic cup, erch, no way, thank you very much)

·glimpsing the specifically right now and never again spentamacular combination of sun cloud and mountain out the window and running out of the house with the door open even though its damn cold to stare at it with awe drip dropping down from open jaws

·trooping out to the huerta (garden) to gather carrots and beans and lemonade lettuce and tomatoes and squash and basil and potatoes and apples and watching it and helping it transform into a glorious feast in which only the oil and the salt didn´t come from this very land right here and right now

·standing in front of a pile of mud bricks that will soon be in the walls of a bakery for a school piled together by precisely the kind of hands and minds that seemed too idealistic to exist in the real world

·finally seeing that thin tall Amazonian palm with those tiny little berries that are concocted into Açai

·watching someone eat sunflower seeds right from the flower and realizing that´s where they come from

·gathering with fellow artists in an utterly non-hierarchical temporary performance tribe to put all professional social mental physical energy into the creation of art that exists specifically right now and never before and never again

·putting on a purple lavender hat that was knitted with love and given as Trueque (a system of barter exchange hereabouts, once complex and organized, bottom-up, during the economic crisis, and now still a common informal concept) in exchange for Bharatanatyam talleres (workshops)


Hey you.
A friend told me that when someone says hey you to you that means they like you.
I like you.
I probably even love you.
I might owe you an individual mail.
I might have told you about this time last year that I was done with mass mails.
Some things change.
Hey you.
Some don´t.
I´m in El Bolson, Patagonia. Sunday I go to Epuyen to live in a building where the nearest anything is a good stroll away. Except for the mountains and the lake and the dragon and the rosehips and the artesenal art and all the things that matter.
If you write me I will you write you back, (you back, you specifically and just you) and will try to make it before the next time the earth and sun are in this exact position right here and right now.
If you want to check in on me every now and then, this email was composed on, and it gets updated every twice in a blue cheese.
If you want me to send you these two blue cheeses, let me know and I´ll put you on a list. (Those of you who have already requested this, consider it done.)
Some things get too administrative for their own good.
Too much computer time makes malavika ammu mali malibu emu etc tara mohanan poopy.

Hey you.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

SEAS memories Take 2

Dear SEAS,

Spring 2002, I think it was, that the image first popped into my head and weighed on my heart. That we had been welcomed into your house, you, a righteous mama, once big and strong, who had suddenly taken ill. We had drank the last of your water in the hopes that, our thirst quenched, we would know how to nurse you back to health. But now we sat confused and helpless, meeting after meeting, our childish hands barely propping up your frail body.

I´m far away. I have no clue how you fare now. Whether this letter will go into a book
·on your raft as you sail off to die in dignity
·or on a shelf in your bustling bursting home
·or for you to read and rejuvenate with because you´re still in bedrest but well enough to be restless.

I´m far away. And yet I´m so close to you. I´m in a town called El Bolson in Patagonia, so far away and yet I´m one of 6 $tanford alumni, 2 living here, and 4 of us visiting. I have next to me
·the Honors thesis of one, about revolutionary artistic living in Bolson ("Life and All its Miracles. A revolutionary poetics of social transformation, May 17 2004)
·the voluptuous program for the 2005 World Social Forum in Porto Alegre, so far away from you and yet I was one of at least 10 Stanford alumni participating in it
·the DisO guide. Version 2002.

I sometimes forget why I brought the DisO with me in these wanderings of the globe. Then I open it and read an article and I remember.
Do you?

We first met, you and I, after the rally for Amadou Diallo. We wore red for the blood he shed (DisO ´02 p. 24). I got a flier (which I still don´t know whether to spell with an i or a y) from Tim Ly, went home and subscribed to the list, skimmed your emails, and continued doing my a cappella and theatre and classes and other generally non-specifically-revolutionary things and, and, and.

And in one of my skimmings I stumbled upon Fair Trade coffee (p. 15) and, running after that butterfly, tumbled down off the side of the organizational mountain. I´m sorry. I´m sorry for mixing my metaphors and I´m sorry I didn´t follow your lead first and learn how to tread the paths before running off trying to forge new ones. (Big Mama, you know, you remember, but do your children know how we, StanFair, fizzled out after our original burst of fire, armed with so much information and so little womanpower?)

I finally came to you in the fall after a terrorist group attacked the people of the largest terrorist State in the world. The people under that terrorist State, citizens or not, knowingly or not, were entering a period of unprecedented fascism. War was in the air, on more than one front. And we, we would meet around the Haas Center kitchen table amidst that sound and fury and, and, and.

·And the labor struggle was intensifying (p. 60, also 14, 53).
·the Hoover tower had cast its shadow too long, too strong (p.36).
·prisons were doing a PacMan on schools (p. 18).
·the medical waste campaign needed follow-up (p. 28).
·Philipino airport screeners and other victims of racial profiling needed solidarity (p. 55).
·this group or that event needed money.
·flyers (i?) to be able to give money to this group or that event needed putting up.
And we would meet and say and do things but we still needed a campaign for this year but we couldn´t even agree on what Environmental Justice was (or figure out how to settle it into your name once and for all) and so many righteous folks had just graduated and it felt like none of us knew what we were doing and it was beautiful how we respected each other and put ideals into practice in our round-table straight-talking decision-making but did I mention how we still needed a campaign and, but, and, but, and.

And the DisOs were late but arrived, printed and beautiful. Little red books that opened onto the discontentment that sat like splinters in our minds, that shattered pavements to reveal the dirt tracks that led to the beaches on the islands of the rEvolution.

Lavanya put together summer reading for us, and the reader was red and black too, and when we came back in the fall we knew in our hearts that the Administration that had taken over the land commonly referred to as the United States of America was going to invade the land referred to as Iraq, and the Administration of our $chool was one of 5 contracted with the Department of Energy to research and develop nuclear weapons under the guise of stewardship of existing materials (p. 45), and on the same day that we were told to Act Patriotic or be hunted down by signatures on one document, Boeing signed another billion dollar deal with the Department of Defense to fuel an industry that toxified the water of its fellow citizens during a production process that aimed specifically for shock, awe, and death, and we knew $tanford was invested Boeing and we had to Do Something about it, and, and, and.

And we didn´t Know Everthing but we knew Enough To Act (p. 35) so we Acted, but in haste, forgetting that Acting would involve Being More Informed and Saying It Good to convince other people to act, and we took our divestment proposals and our befuddled well-intentioned selves to the Advisory Panel on Investment Responsibility (p. 71) and they Slapped Us Down.

We went home and licked our wounds and regrouped and recuperated and kept joining our people in White Plaza, the Quad, front of Hoover tower, the streets of Palo Alto, streets of San Francisco and, and, and.

They bombed Iraq.

And they occupied Iraq, and we were occupying too much space in the Haas Center. I came one evening and sat and looked at you, heavy and bloated with information and history and undistributed DisOs and felt like crying because all this time I still didn´t know who you were and what you´d been, and I took my scalpel in my childish hands and sliced into your organs and examined every tissue and steeled myself to discard and rearrange, even though each dead tree I threw away could have delivered an Honors thesis and I wondered where these righteous folks whose names danced out were now, and were they still as righteous, and did they ever feel as helpless? And now that I´d cut you into pieces I wanted to draw you whole again and bring you back to life but da Vinci wasn´t alive to teach me and, and, and.

And when we came back in the fall we still didn´t have a campaign, but suddenly you appeared larger than that. We couldn´t find a campaign for you like any other group anymore than we could attribute properties to Brahma like any other god because you weren´t any other group anymore. And we sketched you as we talked and you filled out and we glimpsed the exquisiteness that you could be and we set out to manifest it and we called it the Convergence.

May I? Might I describe, feeble as my words will be, a sketch of sorts?

Your DisOrganization lives in the heart of campus. Perhaps the Old Union. You offer yourself to every individual and collection of individuals that believes that Another World Is Possible. They themselves don´t know what that means, and they disagree constantly, but that´s just fine. They disagree in the warmth of your embrace and with access to your
·library that tells them that noone has ever exactly what they´re doing but have tried something very similar that they could learn from. The library would have the essence of the history of each group and movement across campus, across the country, across the world, from the beginning of all groups and movements, like a fantasmic cataclysmic explosion across all dimensions of the DisO.
·website, the cyberpresence that allowed them to connect even away from your physical embrace, the nexus not only for the network of learning activators on campus, but even those who had learned and left and were activated in other worlds.
·calendar that allowed them to schedule events in cooperation and concert
·art supplies and whatnot, so that one´s trash would be another´s revolutionary masterpiece.
and they would examine each of their resources in the light of cooperation, not competition, and the cooperative houses would be sisters and brothers to the ethnic theme houses and you wouldn´t be able to tell what the event was about based on the color of the partipants
and the community would converge at the beginning of each quarter to present themselves to the young ´uns, and each big ´un would take a young ´un under their wings and each group would know the other groups so that when a young ´un came to them and expressed desires and ideals and ideas that jived better with another group the big ´un would point ´em right to that other group, and each ´un, lil or big, would learn how to direct every part of their life and learning towards the possibility of that Other World, not just in meetings and rallies and petitions, but in classes, and parties, and finals, and jobs and houses and homes and food and clothes and how food grows and clothes are made and schools or non-schools and shampoo and group decision making and burrito tomatoes and strawberries and bicycles and wines and computer parts and water sources and crop seeds and, and, and.

And when they converge they look like the people sitting at the bottom of the DisO cover holding hands, not boxed in, but safe and secure in the warmth of your embrace that is the frame around us, and they quote K.M. (back cover) knowing that he was wrong in some things and right on in others and so are they.

Spring 2005 it is.
How do you fare?


Thursday, March 10, 2005

What I´m working on, to send in to current SEAS folks by March 20. Suggestions please?

Spring 2002, I think it was, that the image first popped into my head and weighed on my heart.
That we had been welcomed into the house of a righteous mama, once big and strong, who had suddenly taken ill. We had drank the last of her water in the hopes that, our thirst quenched, we would know how to nurse her back to health. But now we sat confused and helpless, meeting after meeting, our childish hands barely propping up her frail body.
I´ll start from the beginning, shall I?

We first met, SEAS and I, after the rally in protest of the acquittal of the officers who gunned down Amadou Diallo. March 10, 2000.
(italics) We wore red for the blood he shed.
Tim Ly (often said in the same breath as Louise Averhahn, who I still think of as SeasLouise) handed me a flyer (which I still don´t know whether to spell with an i or a y) about Students for Environmental Action at Stanford, I think it was still called then. I went home and signed on to the list and did nothing more than skim emails for the next several months. I hadn´t really joined the revolution yet, see.

Late fall or early winter, a note about Fair Trade coffee caught my eye, amidst the notes on toxic medical waste and whatnot. I worked in a café and loved the substance. What could it have to do with environmental issues and injustice? What wasn´t fair about trade? I pulled on the dangling thread and didn´t even realize when what was left of the fabric that veiled my middle class liberal eyes was entirely and utterly unravelled.
(italics) You take the red pill, you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.
Our relationship didn´t really take off, even then. SEAS wasn´t pursuing the coffee thing, her plate was understandably full, so we went our separate ways. I was part of the founding of yet another student activist group to address an issue that we felt deserved more attention. I ran into her every now and then, in those repeating faces and names at events and rallies and petitions. SeasLouise came to our group´s first tabling to offer advice and wisdom and I was glad to finally put a face to the name.
(italics) You´re an activist, huh? Hey, so what´s your cause?

Fall 2001, after immeasurable ages of state sponsored terrorism, the United States government, and the people it presides over finally experienced terrorism on what they called their own land. War was in the air on more than one front; the labor struggle was intensifying. Meanwhile, some of the most revolutionary folks had just graduated, off to continue their work in the bigger and badder realms of the struggle.
(italics) Hasta la victoria siempre.
I returned to school and joined SEAS, not realizing her health was in a precarious stage. Meetings were Monday nights, I vaguely remember. I would head down to the Haas Center with Adrian Guzman, my roommate. Sabrina Fernandes made a deal with him that she would join Vegan Action if he would join SEAS. She (Sabrina) and Cody had been in SEAS the year before. They were starting to get the ins and outs, the whats and the whos. Lavanya Chekuru and Adrianna ?? seemed to bring the most experience to the table, that table in the Haas kitchen, having their fingers in so many of the activist pies (They were SLACers too). Adrian and I were newbies. We stumbled through the haze of recent happenings, the various campaigns and whatnots...
*Medical waste needed follow-up. Anyone? Cody? Consider it done.
* Prison construction needed stopping. Delano II was on its way, or we/they had stopped it already, there had been a victory on one front, a loss on another, I wish I could tell you more, but like I said, hazy happenings, purple from pollution. We´ll return to the problem of this historical strategical haze later.
* Philipino airport screeners were getting screwed over and needed solidarity against the racial profiling at SF airport that was one locust among the cloud that was being flown in and dropped from the latest Boeing Apache helicopters.
* Special fees needed campaigning for, which meant flyers needed printing and sticking up, only to end up fluttering in the winds of deforestation.
* Special fees needed using, which, for this year, meant that requests from other groups and events needed
* Dis-Orientation guides needed printing. Little red books that opened onto the discontentment that sat like splinters in our minds and shattered pavements to reveal the dirt tracks that led to the beaches on the island of revolution.
* And the doozie. This year´s new campaign needed identifying and researching.
So we followed up, stopped (?), were in solidarity, flyered, and printed. But the identifying was another matter. I mean, what the hell WAS our cause? Each

I felt like I was part of a collective diarrohea of activity. The Dis-O was the fiber mass that grounded us. I have the little red book in my bag as I type from a small town in Argentina. I can´t really explain why I carry it with me....
Let me explain my ambivalence.
* Med waste. Was it over? Did we win? Who did what and how?

-med waste. one righteous campagin. it was for a year. consistency. whats our cause? community history. we didnt know what happened.

what is ej?
Summer reading

After summer, more what is ej. Antiwar, slac.
Boeing, committee.
Convergence and Seas history files. Searats.

What campaign do we choose?
What is progressive?

Friday, March 04, 2005

From Curitiba, Parana, Brazil

Me, on computer 10. Thea, computer 11. Daisy, computer 12. Three blind mice.
We type freely, oh so freely, for Curitiba has government sponsored free internet.
Thea says, what is this, Muzak Beatles. She sings along to the saxophone that croons in the night air of this Twin Peaks town with a world-acclaimed transit system, institutionalized scavenging/recycling, European citizens and cobble stones, and Native women with wool wrapped wiggle worm babes on the sidewalk. Welcome to Chi-chi land.

I can't take this. I'm out. Leaving, on a jet bus, don't know when I'll be back again.
Maybe April, to join the MST march. Can I handle that?
Who knows, all I know is I can't take this world of restaurants and hotels and touristing and not giving to beggars and trying to save money to pretend I'm living in solidarity with the povo, the pueblo, the gente,
Now I need a place to hide away
Oh I believe in yesterday....

Shut up.
Self-righteous pompous self-depracating whining tooting (is all that possible simultaneously?)
Get with the program. Life is, will be, however I live it. Ahhhh, and that is the question. How to live it. And I'm finding out, I truly am.

the WSF youth camp bag slung from the shoulder of the stranger on the bus (the bag slung from my shoulder is from last year's WSF. the propaganda spreads among us)
the dry compost toilet (that I was too constipated to contribute too, but appreciate nevertheless) at the fresh beautiful hippy scented permaculture house
the whiffs of a library in a Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon (Amandouim, the children will breathe in word art, and perhaps then create it, because of you)
the hand-made DIY collection of random individuals that are streaming out of the woodworks like termites that know that If we all work together, we can totally disrupt the system (Risa, how many 10th graders have you corrupted, how many future revolutionaries have you created, so far?)
in all these
I'm finding out.
How To Live.
How To Love.

Peter Singer, Noam Chomsky, Arundhati Roy, Howard Zinn, Murray Bookchin, Vandana Shiva, Aung San Suu Chi, Mumia Abu-Jamal, Gilberto Gil, Alice Walker, Grace Paley,
in all these living souls
I invoke the strength to know
How To Live, How To Love

From you. Reader. Friend. I invoke the peace, the health, the truth, the beauty,
that lives and breathes inside you,
revolves around a deep core that is you.

Ate logo, amigos.