Banner for Kitchen Table Kibitzing

Back in June we went to a residential neighborhood in Palo Alto, CA where the president was scheduled to appear at a fundraiser and dine in the home of some lucky person. When we arrived at our intersection the police line's austere affect frightened TLO. What you can't see in this photograph is the line of police standing just beyond the police line that she is up against.

We were disappointed that the President's motorcade came in from a different direction than expected; we never saw him and don't believe he saw us. Our objective was to show the President that we heard his challenge to bring him a movement that would make him say No to the XL Pipeline. Our gathering of families with young children would have shown him a face of humanity that might be easy to forget, avoid, or take for granted. A much smaller gathering than the Forward on Climate Rally but no less important and powerful when you scan these little faces and think about the world they have only just arrived in.

If we could tell President Obama, this person who is really no more human than the rest of us, that we need his acknowledgement; if he could let us know he is aware of our presence and has heard our song, because we deserve that, because we are real, we are scared, and we do not want that pipeline or any other to deface and further harm our environment. He's not playing golf today in some far away country club; he is mere feet away from us and yet we are invisible. For the second time, we left a rally unsure if our gathering would have any accumulative effect on the climate movement or President Obama's environmental policy. It is easy, at times like these to lose hope; even incremental losses detract from the focus we need to fight Climate Change.

Too bad Frostpaw the polar bear was not there to catch the President's attention; we might have been more successful.

From Center for Biological Diversity: Endangered Earth

The media is still talking about Frostpaw the Polar Bear's visit to Martha's Vineyard earlier this month -- including MSNBC's Rachel Maddow, who recently ran a segment highlighting the Center mascot's time on the Vineyard. Maddow noted that everywhere President Obama seemed to be on his vacation, Frostpaw was there too, speaking out against the Keystone XL pipeline.

The Frostpaw story was also mentioned in several other prominent stories on President Obama's visit, including write-ups in The Boston Globe and The Washington Post.

Frostpaw the Polar Bear Follows Obama and Protests the Keystone Pipeline in Martha's Vineyard

Polar Bear€™s Not Pipelines, where ever he goes here we want him to see an anti-Keystone sign.
No matter what the President's decision will be, the wave of activism presently embracing our culture... Idle No More, 350, Dream Defenders... will continue to move us toward greater congruency between what we believe in, what we do and how we do it, which may prompt others who have not yet either woken up or stepped up to join us and solidify us.

Hope is greater than the richest oil companies and more than even the Walton's fortune; it is the answer to the question of what we will do to shift the status quo to develop a green and sustainable economy and life. It is the answer to the question of why we demand Chevron become a clean energy company. It is the basis for living with inspiration that has the power to compel the progressive community to shape a narrative that green, sustainable living and technology is the modern era. The era of fossil fuels and oil dependency is history.

In the misty woods near Salo, Finland, sit six decaying cottages. Some years ago, their owner died in a fire. Now, as prizewinning photographer Kai Fagerström discovered in his photo series The House in the Woods, they seem to be occupied by memories... as well as numerous fur- and feather-bearing tenants.

Kai took his camera into the cottages and sat for hours at a time to catch the secretive owls, mice, foxes, squirrels and other critters that have moved in.

"Deserted buildings are so full of contradictions," he said in a National Geographic article. "I am fascinated by the way nature reclaims spaces that were, essentially, only ever on loan to humans."

Fox pup peeking out of a cat door in a moss-covered shed.
Red squirrel profileon theother side of an open door.
Pygmy owl balancing on an ancient wooden beam.
More photos can be found here.

We're just passing through here on Earth, living one moment and gone shortly thereafter. Our legacy is a mixture of light and dark, our work often a contradiction to what Mother Earth has generously and selflessly given us - each of us, on loan to our Earth. My job, as I am coming to see it, is to recognize that we are not limited by our own minds or the small space our life takes up but that we are interconnected through generation, time, species and love. This accumulative lifespan, energy and breath are far more powerful than any one person holding hope, but I can be one of many before me and after me holding hope. In this way I can stand with others as a vital part of this inspirational and life changing movement - because after all, I am not content to accept things as they are.

Rainbow Valley
holding hope
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