Thursday, September 6, 2012

Summer Scrawlings (Notes from the Diary)

Hello Beautiful People,

I must apologize for not writing my blogs as avidly as I used to. What can I say? Summer is busy when you live in the rainforest. Us from the Northwest, we spend 8 months a year indoors, staring through rain splattered window panes. Then summer arrives and we just wanna go outside. Go to Festivals, go camping, go fruit picking, go swimming, go, go, go.

Speaking of life on the Go. Doesn't it seem like life is moving faster now than it ever has before? I don't know anybody who is bored anymore. That seems like a fad from the 90's. that we have left behind. Nobody talks about slackers anymore. slackers are like dinosaurs.

And how do we integrate with life moving so rapidly. It seems like every month, every week, every day, presents us with life changes and challenges. Learning lessons, and growth. Numerous times throughout the summer I have gotten ideas for writing blog entries. But alas, before I have time to process the learning adventures that would constitute a blog entry, I am presented with more profound experiences to try to process.

Therefore, as the summer winds down, and in an hour break between work and parenting, I am flipping through my diary and finding fragmented writings from the summer to present here and now (and I promise that within a week, I while present a more formalized and well thought out blog.)

(Sometime Early May)
- "Lately I've been thinking about feelings. Yes, I am a thinker. But life is asking me to feel. Yesterday I went to a workshop. The workshop was on gift economics. I came expecting to dive through numbers and statistics, theories and proofs. Instead, the instructor asked us to hold hands with strangers and share stories. It was kind of new agey, kind of fluffly, but undeniably a powerful experience. It's as if, in order to change the world, first we must change our hearts.
That's all good, but when you are a thinker like me. That is challenging. Matters of the heart come hard to me.  I must admit, I would rather not dive into the deep waters of feelings, but it has become unavoidable. As I lay in bed tonight and talked to my partner, she shared who inner fears and hopes. After many minutes, she finally asked me, "How do you feel?" It was extremely hard for me to tell her, that I do not feel comfortable sharing my feelings with anyone, especially someone I know and love. (For some reason it is often easier for me to share my feelings with a stranger than someone I know.) The truth is, I know that this is not the healthiest way to live. In order to live in the new world, the world we are creating, I must learn to feel, to open my heart and share the most beautiful and ugly truths that I have. And this process is going to be hard, I know, but in order to create a better world, I must learn to have the courage to change. So I'm thinking about feelings. How can I express myself? With you, with my friends, and especially with my partner?"

(Sometime in June)
-So recently on Facebook, I saw a post that said, "People need to wake up." Below it someone commented, "I'm awake, now what?" I would like to create a list, probably through google docs in which numerous people can contribute, and we can compile a huge list with resources for making the world a better place. Would this help? Sometimes I feel like all the answer have been written, we just need to turn thoughts into actions. But how do we organize actions, large scale actions, when so much of modern life is dis-empowering to the individual?

(Late June, I was asked to perform at Oregon Country Faire. This experience presented numerous thoughts and learning lessons.)
-Manifesting is real. There is a power to create your destiny. The first time I went to Oregon Country Faire, I stood in the audience and watched an MC and I said to myself, "Next Year, I'm going to be on that stage rapping. I don't know how I will make this happen, I don't know anyone in town, yet this is going to happen."
Now, one year later, I find myself getting ready to go on that stage, and I'm grateful, and I'm scared, and I'm excited, and....

-Hello, so my name is Plaedo and I'm here to make the world a better place, and yes, I will say that with a smile on my face because I'm a philosopher of play. And I think, if we can take the energy from these festivals, the community, the playfullness, the love, and infuse that spirit into the everyday reality we all share, we can change the world...
...We've all had pain, and we all know that pain does not feel particularly good. Therefore we can look at others experiencing pain and we can imagine their pain based upon our experience. And from this shared experience of pain, we find the well springs of compassion, which is the key to healing ourselves, our relationships and the world...
...Today's revolutionaries look like you and me. (They probably look more like you than me.) They are in our schools, they start businesses, they are even found in our government. THey look at the world and say I believe in a world way better than this one. And everyday they work towards this goal through countless small gifts of service and acts of courage. For whenever someone gives a gift of service, and helps a stranger or speaks out against a corporate or government imposed injustice, it sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, crossing each other, they build currents that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and injustice. I know, that many of you are working towards sustainability, justice, and compassion, and of course fun. So I thank you, all of you, the everyday hero's..."

(So I performed at Oregon Country Faire, a dream come true, but It wasn't my best performance.)
-How the Fuck could I have Fucked Up This Performance! FUCK! I'm usually so on top of my game! FUCK, I can't believe I forgot some lyrics to one of my oldest most performed songs. I suck...

-The seasons of the soul have changed, it is now time to try to adapt. Yet it's hard, been questioning my life recently. Like, why was I born? Life is such a challenge, it's exhausting. Why do I have this need for love and approval from others. Life would be so much easier if I didn't worry about performing and sharing my soul via art. Yet I can't not do art. What The Fuck? It's a compulsion, an addiction, words keep coming. I have to keep writing, keep performing, even if it causes myself pain. This is my predicament. This is my story, and of course, nobody can abandon their story. Well, I guess they can through suicide. And I've taken pills, I've tried to kill myself and got scared, because years ago I watched this Robin Williams movie "What Dreams May Come" and the person who committed suicide was sent to purgatory. So that's what keeps me alive? A silly superstition from a movie. Well, that and my family. Each day I come home from my unsatisfying job and they greet me with smiles and love, when you are depressed, it is almost unbearable. But, GOD I LOVE THEM. I guess, I must keep living and loving. And I must continue performing...

(In July, I started to reflect upon the past year, and the fact that Occupy Eugene as a movement, as an organization, was dieing. This was a serious grieving period for me. As I spent the previous year intensely involved in the Occupy uprising, and now the wave was receding back into the waters of life. I was asked to write an intro for a photography book about Occupy. I wrote the following essay for the book (although this essay will not be published in the book. I ended up writing another essay and you will have to get the book to read that essay:) )
-Flipping through the faces in these pages, I see a group of individuals who had been living their lives strangers to each other. A group of individuals, who cared about the world, who wanted justice, who could see where the system was broken, who dreamt of another, better world. Despite our commonalities, we were strangers nonetheless.
And then Occupy came. What started as a call for solidarity from Occupy Wall-Street, erupted into a national protest. Filling a void within each of us that became, occupied. In Eugene an assortment of the 99 percent gathered to answered this call. First there was an assembly where we practiced non-hierarchical consensus building. Nobody could anticipate, nor did we try to anticipate, what would come out of all of this. All we really knew was that we were ready for change and that we were going to have a march.
And so we marched 2,000 strong serpentining through the streets. Then with gusto and conviction, Occupy Eugene's protest camp was built. We had our protest camp for only 68 days, but for those of us who lived it, it was possibly the busiest, most exciting time of our lives. In that disproportionate flash of time we organized, protested, argued with each other, shared ideas over meals, educated ourselves, raised awareness about issues, talked to the media, negotiated with police, and publicly attempted to create our grandest vision for a better world with an extremely humble reality. Through all of this, strangers were linked into allies, unlikely friendships were formed, romantic relationships were realized, and a community was born.
Looking through these pages I see the hope, pain, possibility, and passion that has united us in this righteous adventure. Through Occupy Eugene many people realized that they were not alone, many people found roles in a community, many found dignity within themselves. Many found empowerment to succeed and support to cope with failure. And many, learned that their calling was elsewhere and moved on. Nevertheless, it is through the power of community that Occupy Eugene has been able to evolve into an organization and into a culture. As I write this and Occupy Eugene approaches it's one year anniversary, Occupy Eugene moves courageously into the future and continues to work for social, spiritual, and economic justice.
Regardless of what the future holds for Occupy Eugene, regardless of Occupy Eugene's effectiveness as a force for systemic change, the undeniable and incalculable, power of the community that formed around Occupy Eugene will ripple for many years to come. For many of the people photographed in this book, that sense of community has made their world a better place.

(And now it seems like the process of life and death has completed. As Summer ends and fall starts. I'm ready to lay Occupy as it was to rest, I'm ready to continue pursuing my artistic ambitions. I'm ready to feel, to use my heart as a compass, to change costumes and continue to do community organizing, and I'm ready to finish my album and start booking more shows. I have recently gotten a new job, which is actually more of a profession. I will be doing sales for Brew Dr. Kombucha. This pays better and offers better hours. I think it will supplement my art nicely. I have begun to learn computer programming and I look forward to helping Kindista (research Kindista it's an awesome tool to facilitate the emerging gift economy.) In the next few weeks I will be rolling out a marketing campaign to promote my new album. Thank you for reading these summer scrawlings. Stay tuned for more details on my journey. I Love You.)

Peace, Love, Joy, Wisdom...

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