February Postcard Swap

The February postcard swap is posted on Elfster and ready for you to sign up. You may do so by clicking here:

February postcard swap

I am really enjoying the Elfster format! I love that there is a discussion feature and I also especially love the gallery feature where we can share photos of the postcards we receive. There are some things that make it a little confusing for our purposes. I’m taking note of all of this so that when my husband codes something it will work really well for this. If you have any thoughts about features you would like please let me know!

In January I received this fantastic darkroom print from Daniel Schnieder! I’ve been following him on Twitter for awhile now and love his work. You can see more on his website.


And speaking of postcards, my political thought of today:

I am gathering up resources to take action against what is happening with our government. Among the various things I’m doing at the moment, is gathering together a shit ton of postcards that I can have on hand to send to congress about issues that come up. For example, today I found out that a bill was introduced to terminate the Environmental Protection Agency (CAN YOU FUCKING BELIEVE THAT?!?) So I am going to send a postcard to my congressmen. I have a feeling I will be sending lots of postcards out in the near future.

So anyway, I’ve been thinking about postcards. I discovered that you can download a handy postcard template from the Women’s March website to mass print at a printer. And these are also some really cool downloadable templates. I also started following this (completely awesome) small press. You can buy their postcards here. I’m also just thinking about making my own with card stock. It might be a good way to focus some of my anger into something creative.

 

 

Video

Why can’t we give love that one more chance

via Daily Prompt: Overwhelming

I’ve been obsessing and worrying a lot lately. There have been lots of tears. There have been lots of dark moments. I’m working extra hard  keeping myself on level ground. I feel like I can’t afford to fall into a hole that is impossible to dig myself out of.

I realized that I need a project. I need to give my brain something to do to keep it from worrying about the future. I keep coming back to sketching, which  is perfect because it is just enough of a challenge for me to keep my brain occupied. At some point I will, once again, get back into a daily drawing habit (why is it so hard for me to stick with it?!?) However, I realized that I kind of already have a project that I can do, that is much easier for me to jump right in to. It’s this blog. This blog has been with me through thick and thin. Through Bush and Obama. Writing has been the way I sort though thoughts. It has been my trusty companion my entire life.

So I am going to work through these tough times by blogging everyday. I don’t know what that is going to look like. It might be messy some days. It might be uplifting. It might just be a song, or a photo, or something that particularly touched me that day.

I’m hoping, mostly, that it will be a way for me to connect with you, because the last thing anyone should do during this time isolate.

The song Under Pressure made me happy twice today. It randomly played while I was running and also while I was getting ready for work. It is one of those songs that always fills me with hope when I hear it. And because I love a good coincidence, I can’t help but think that the Universe is trying to tell me something.

Pressure pushing down on me
Pressing down on you
No man ask for

Under pressure
That brings a building down
Splits a family in two

Puts people on streets

Um ba ba be
Um ba ba be
De day da
Ee day da – that’s okay

It’s the terror of knowing
What the world is about
Watching some good friends
Screaming

‘Let me out’
Pray tomorrow gets me higher

Pressure on people people on streets

Day day de mm hm
Da da da ba ba
Okay
Chipping around – kick my brains around the floor
These are the days it never rains but it pours
Ee do ba be
Ee da ba ba ba
Um bo bo
Be lap

People on streets
ee da de da de
People on streets
ee da de da de da de da

It’s the terror of knowing
What this world is about
Watching some good friends
Screaming
‘Let me out’

Pray tomorrow – gets me higher
Higher
High

Pressure on people people on streets

Turned away from it all like a blind man
Sat on a fence but it don’t work

Keep coming up with love
But it’s so slashed and torn
Why – why – why?
Love love love love love
Insanity laughs under pressure we’re breaking

Can’t we give ourselves one more chance
Why can’t we give love that one more chance
Why can’t we give love give love give love give love
Give love give love give love give love give love

Because love’s such an old fashioned word
And love dares you to care for
The people on the (People on streets) edge of the night
And loves (People on streets) dares you to change our way of
Caring about ourselves
This is our last dance
This is our last dance
This is ourselves
Under pressure
Under pressure
Pressure

Keep on the Sunny Side

Yesterday evening I gathered with some friends for our monthly Women’s Group dinner. As we chatted about current events, the conversation came around to what had been happening yesterday, the way Trump shockingly and quickly signed executive orders for several controversial things.  This circled around to me saying, “It’s so scary.” My friend quickly corrected me: “Don’t say it’s scary. Don’t invoke fear because fear is paralyzing. We need to stay strong and empowered.”

This was a great reminder, and I’m writing it here so I can remind myself when I eventually go back down the path of fear.

One of my friends brought this amazing lemon pie, and she formed a happy, sunny face on the top of it. As she made the pie she thought of the following song. She decided that before we ate the pie we would sing the song together. It was a fun release of energy. Here are words:

Keep on the Sunny Side
June Carter Cash

Well there’s a dark and a troubled side of life
There’s a bright and a sunny side too
But if you meet with the darkness and strife
The sunny side we also may view

Keep on the sunny side, always on the sunny side
Keep on the sunny side of life
It will help us every day, it will brighten all the way
If we keep on the sunny side of life

Oh, the storm and its fury broke today
Crushing hopes that we cherish so dear
Clouds and storms will in time pass away
The sun again will shine bright and clear

Keep on the sunny side, always on the sunny side
Keep on the sunny side of life
It will help us every day, it will brighten all the way
If we’ll keep on the sunny side of life

Another thing we talked about was our unique ability in our day and age to share our moments of subversiveness and resistance. My friends remember the protests in the Sixties. There were many protests in D.C. that happened that never got reported. We are in a unique time when we the people can do the reporting. We can film and get it out to our friends who might need need to be empowered and encouraged. I can’t tell you how amazing it was to see photos from the Women’s march in my feed from so many friends all over the world. It was empowering. So don’t stop sharing those moments. As my friend Marisa has said, it is important for us to document. And it it is important for us to share.

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Women’s March: Sandy, Oregon

Friday morning started normal enough. I crawled out of bed poured my coffee and opened up the New York Times app on my phone. 5:55 am. That is the exact moment reality hit me like a ton of lead. In a few hours Trump would be sworn in as president. This was really happening.

I think that I’ve been living in denial for a long time. The reality of this man as our president has been too bizarre to wrap my head around. But when the reality hit me I couldn’t hold back the tears. I cried all day long. It was hard to even find something to keep my mind off of it. I had this weird compulsion to go online so I could connect with my friends and talk to them about this, but at the same time the online world was not doing anything for my mental health.

I woke up Saturday morning feeling a sense of dread. I searched my mind to find a reason to get up. A reason to be happy but I came up short. Several of my friends were going to the Woman’s March in Portland on that day but I couldn’t go because I am a Saturday Librarian.  I honestly wasn’t super excited about the women’s march, to be honest. Again, I think that denial caused me to not care about much of anything. I think I felt powerless and not seeing the point of protests. I didn’t even knit a pussy hat, and I’m an avid knitter! But I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t get excited about it.

Regardless, I learned a few days ago  that my small town was having it’s own women’s march. My schedule worked out that I was able to take an hour off to check it out. I thought, if anything, It would be an opportunity to shoot some film.

I am generally very shy about doing social things by myself and I was so tempted to just not go. But something deep inside compelled me to get away from the desk and start moving in the direction of the meetup spot. I honestly didn’t expect much because I live in a conservative town. I thought maybe 25 people would show up. But as I started walking I noticed small groups of women with pink hats walking in the same direction I was. My heart started beating faster. I found myself smiling a little bit. As I walked closer a small, pink headed crowd was gathered in the square.

Untitled

I was instantly heartened by the positive vibes and the crowd waiting to start. As I walked up I saw the faces of a few good friends. We hugged and talked about how happy we were to be able to march together in Sandy. We talked about how difficult the day before had been. And to see all of these people here, ready to march, seemed to have the same effect on all of us. It woke us up and empowered us a little bit.

Love is Patriotic

More and more people gathered and when it came close to 10:00 my friend said, “Gloria Steinem is doing a minute of silence at 1:00 in DC, we should do that here!” So the organizer quickly made this happen.

Moment of Silence

Then we were off! As we started marching I saw more and more friendly faces. My heart filled with so much joy. I can’t even begin to express how wonderful it was to march with my fellow townspeople, these people I have known and served at the library for 7 years. And we were all part of a much bigger thing. But we didn’t have to travel outside our town to be a part of it. I was in awe of the moment, as my fellow marchers were. And I was so grateful that the Universe conspired to get me to this place, despite my best effort to not be there. I needed this moment desperately. As I watched the news over the rest of the day and saw all of the women march in solidarity all over the world, the millions of women who came together, well, I am speechless. I have tears in my eyes even thinking about this and writing about it now. It is truly awe inspiring. We are powerful together.

It was a peaceful march. Around 200 women, men, and children marched. We stayed on the sidewalk and even waited for the light to cross streets. Many cars honked encouragement as they whizzed by us on the highway to Mt Hood. A few people yelled, “Trump” out the window but you know what? They weren’t aggressive and they were expressing their opinion. It was all good. Generally really good energy. I can honestly say it was one of the best hours of my life.

Here are a few more iPhone photos from the march. I also brought an Olympus Trip and took several portraits. I will post them when I develop the film.

Women's March on Sandy

Love Trumps Fear

Women's March on Sandy

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun damental Rights

In Our America Love Wins

Now we fight

My iPhone seems to have taken on a personality of it’s own the past few days and decided to, randomly, play protest songs for me. It has been kind of weird but it has also brought a smile to my face and has emboldened me to fight against hate. I’ve lovingly referred to this as my iPhone’s “Fight the Power” playlist. Here it is so far.
Renegades of Funk. Rage Against The Machine

If the Kids Are United. Sham 69

All You Fascists. Billy Bragg and Wilco

White Riot. The Clash

 

Megalomaniac. Incubus

Like everyone else, I am moved to do what I can to support those doing good in the world. I don’t have a lot of extra money at the end of the month so I am trying to be intentional about where it goes. I have already set up a monthly donation to Planned Parenthood because that is just a no-brainer. They provided me with health services when I was in my twenties when I didn’t have health insurance so I owe that organization a huge debt of gratitude. I should have been donating before now!

I feel that I really need to support good journalism right now. Freedom of the Press is one of our greatest rights and I want to support it. At the moment I am trying to decide which paper I am going to subscribe to. I am leaning toward the New York Times because I have always admired the journalism there.

I am also planning on making donations to the ACLU and the NRDC.

And because I am committed to promoting peace in this world I have re-subscribed to Tricycle so I can be exposed to ALL OF THE DHARMA.

I am fired up and ready to fight. And, apparently, I have the approval of my iPhone.


About the featured photo:

I was trying to find a suitable photo for this post  and came across this photo I took in Dublin. I can’t remember who the artist is but here is a video of him putting it up, and here is a better shot of it on IG. I keep seeing ADW Art associated with the piece.  The piece is a response to the Dublin coat of arms and it’s motto (according to the video).

I love it.

For you photography geeks: I used my Olympus XA and Tri-x film for the shot.