Skip to main content

Mon May 04, 2015 at 02:45 AM PDT

To My Daughter, On Her Thirtieth

by boatsie

The truth is always at the end of a shadow, a silhouette silent behind a door half open. It waits in precious patience.

You must forever be looking for the light, because the miracles are in the details. Barely discernible but so real.  
Never stop searching for the mysteries reflected in the background. Truth is only revealed to those who are true to themselves. The answer is never where your glance initially lands; nothing is as it first appears.
Beauty recognizes no fences. Be fierce in protecting it, but mindful that it is immutable only in the realm of forms.
Soar. sweet one. Soar. Even if in doing so, you soar solo. Trust in your wings to transform you. Know that the light is often buried within the darkness.
Continue Reading
I sit here every morning and again as the sun sets. Trying to imprint this image into the very DNA of my soul. So that it becomes timeless.
Hey, everybody. After six hours of writing this post, I JUST LOST THE WHOLE THING.

In a nutshell, here is what I was trying to convey. I came to understand why I am so passionate about the future of the planet.

Here is the meme I had developed.

I just moved upstairs ... and have have found in making such a small change that so much of my focus has shifted.

The image of a young child pulling down those old fashioned stairs to an attic and climbing up, their chin peaking just above the floor, casting a flashlight around and sighting an exquisitely wrapped package. Feeling guilty.  Backing down.

And the scents surround me. White Hyancinth. Candle-captured gardenia and tuberose. Verbana. A street in NYC.Body butters. Lime basil and mardarin peony and blush suede.
Remembering as time passed the package, but too afraid to go back and look for it again. And fearing that the package would eventually no longer be there.
A sole begonia stretches to the sun. Unaware it is the only one to survive California's drought. Vibrant. Alive.
And then the hope that these current changes in my life, this shift in focus, would embolden me to open that package. And then I would begin wrapping packages on my own. Saving beautiful things in the hopes that others would discover them and open them and then begin wrapping their own packages.
I often wonder why we aren't more in tune with the Impressionist's mission to evelope the essence of a moment of beauty so that from the background we experience a range of "AHA' moments as here and there one more thing comes more clearly into focus.
And then if we all did this, if we all preserved these precious things, perhaps we could re-generate the world.

Underneath a few of the images I managed to save is a short video about The Venus Project and Cities by the Sea.

The Venus Project: Cities by the Sea

The Venus Project proposes an alternative vision of what the future can be if we apply what we already know in order to achieve a sustainable new world civilization. It calls for a straightforward redesign of our culture in which the age-old inadequacies of war, poverty, hunger, debt and unnecessary human suffering are viewed not only as avoidable, but as totally unacceptable. Anything less will result in a continuation of the same catalogue of problems inherent in today's world. Today many people believe what is needed is a higher sense of ethical standards and the enactment of international laws to assure a sustainable global society.
Continue Reading

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, speaking at the Third World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (WCDRR) in Sendai, Japan, yesterday emphasized the need to "embed Disaster Risk Reduction into the very DNA of our sustainable development framework."

"Sustainability starts in Sendai," he said. "Disaster Risk Reduction can be a front line against climate change.”

How disasters drive hunger
Ten years after the India Ocean Tsunami and the implementation of Hyogo Framework for Action, the WCDRR kicks off an ambitious 2015 agenda which includes: July's third high level conference on global finances and sustainable development in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; the September UN Special Summit to implement the Sustainable Development Goals as part of the Post-2015 Agenda; and the December UN Climate Talks (COP21), where world leaders have committed to reaching an international agreement in curtailing GHG emissions by 2020.  
The WCDRR, which concludes Wednesday, brings together representatives from governments, NGOs, and civil society to produce an ambitious Global Framework on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR). Reports from the conference show a keen understanding of   the need for an all inclusive response to disasters, one which engages, youth, people with disabiities and that insures that communities are actively engaged in and understand DRR projects.

"Development, if done well, and if it looks at the hazards to understand who is vulnerable and how, is good DRR," writes UNICEF Connect's Anthony Spalton.   "It can lift people out of poverty, give them a voice and move them from harm’s way. But gains can be fragile and we must protect them.


Reports from international agencies and scientists reveal a daunting picture of the impacts of severe weather events.

• In the last 10 years, over 1.8 billion people have been impacted by disasters. About half of them are children (UNICEF)
• In past decade, 23 million made homeless by disasters (UNDP)
• Disasters have a major impact on children and their education: Most schools are poorly constructed and cannot withstand a disaster; 1.2 billion children are enrolled in primary and secondary schools worldwide and 3 out of 4 live in areas with high seismic activity
•Natural Disasters are the leading cause of hunger
•Poor, drought prone countries lack access to DRR funding (Global Resilience)
•By 2030, up to 325m extremely poor people will be living in the 49 most hazard-prone countries (UNICEF)
• Women and children are 14x more likely than men to die in a disaster. (UNFPA)
• Agriculture bears 22% of disaster losses (UNISDR)

Focus on Global Health Resilience in DRR

The World Health Organization has campaigned successfully to ensure that protecting people's health is front and center in the emerging framework.

“In the 10 years since Hyogo, governments have increasingly recognized that healthy people are resilient people, and that resilient people recover much more quickly from emergencies and disasters," says Dr Bruce Aylward, WHOs Assistant Director-General for Emergencies. "Recent and ongoing disasters – from Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines to the Ebola crisis in West Africa – highlight the centrality of human health to our collective goals in disaster risk reduction by all sectors."

Youth Involvement in DRR

Felipe Cala Buendía ‏@CalaBuendia  
#FreeFromViolence - Children deliver their messages to world leaders on #DRR. Catch today's WS at #WCDRR!
Youth are  highly visible participants at WCDRR. Speakers at today's Children & Youth Forum stressed the valuable contribution of youth as policy makers, volunteers, first responders and mobilizers.  

The urgency of educating youth in life saving skills was most dramatically expressed in discussions of projects where volunteers teach kids how to swim to survive floods.

In Bangladesh, for example, where 18,000 children drown each year due to extreme Monsoon flooding UNICEF supports a local SwimSafe program for kids.

SwimSafe’s programme recruits and trains Community Swimming Instructors (CSI) to teach children aged 4 to 10 swimming and survival skills. Through a 21-step process, children are taught to be confident in the water, to develop the ability to float and swim, and how to rescue somebody who is drowning. They are also taught to identify life-threatening water hazards, explains Sakander Ali, CIPRB Field Manager at the Amin Bazaar pool, one of four portable swimming pools in Dhaka. Drowning claims the lives of thousands of children in Bangladesh every year, but a UNICEF-supported programme aims to prevent drowning deaths by teaching children to swim.
"We have very limited window this year to realize all these very important priorities," the Secretary-General says. "Yet all these series of conferences are interlinked."
Continue Reading

Sun Mar 01, 2015 at 04:26 PM PST

Climate Action Hub: Flying Solo

by boatsie

Greetings, fellow climate activists, bloggers and Daily Kos environmental justice enthusiasts.

I write to inform you about a change in direction for the Climate Action Hub and to thank all of you who have supported this work since the September launch.

For a few weeks now, I succeeded in rallying some of DK's finest eco writers to experiment with the idea of running the Climate Action Hub as a regular Sunday night series. The hope was that perhaps we would have better luck in gathering followers and building a powerful coast-to-coast community of climate activists. The short term plan was to focus on the campaigns which sprung directly from the success of the People's Climate March; most specifically #Action2015, #ActOnClimate and the #SDGs campaigns.  We began work collaborating with other regular Sunday series to support the regular lineup and were truly graced when 2thanks stepped in and began working his organizational acumen to help promote CAH.

After discussions with some of those who volunteered to help with this series, I have concluded The Hub does not have the support to continue as a team effort.    The Hub will, therefore, no longer function as a team and will not publish on a regular basis. I will not be seeking assistance or looking for volunteers to post or promote.

I do intend, however, to continue using The Hub personally, posting when I have the time as news on campaigns and mobilizations filters in through listservs and personal emails.  I hope these occasional diaries will inspire many of you to begin or continue to participate in civic actions to protest  international procrastination, the power of vested interests in dominating the global energy environment, and the immediate need to champion the rights of those who are most vulnerable to the impacts of global warming.

Things have changed so dramatically since we first began ringing alarm bells on global warming. Now, all of us have witnessed and cope with the impacts of a changing climate: droughts, extreme weather events, floods, the loss of ecosystems, and the impact of rising tides on our coastal communities.

I created the CAH soon after the People's Climate March/UN Summit with several goals:

1. To involve NGOs, climate scientists, think tanks, environmental writers, activists and Daily Kos bloggers in a team effort to educate and inspire climate activism.
2.  To breathe some 'fresh air' into the climate change community here, to mend some fences.
3. To  spawn local 'hubs' through the different local Kossacks groups
4. To present The Hub as a place for folks to stop for support on local campaigns and to comment on cllmate news which entered their personal bandwidth yet did not generate coverage at DK.  

I was not successful in meeting any of these goals.

Reflecting on what went wrong, I realize I misread the DK community.  I was attempting to ignite in you the passion, obsession might be a more appropriate word, in becoming immersed in the nuances of the UN negotiating processes, the 'real issues' masked behind the lingo, (endless endless acronyms like the GCF and the G-77, loss and damage,  DRR, CDMs, NAMAs, LDCs, SDIS, RMUs).  I believed that having well seasoned highly entrenched experts write about these issues, about where the UN process was failing, about the commonly held belief that the UN remains our last best hope of tackling climate change at a global level. Make no doubt about it: Underlying this motive was a keen understanding that it is highly unlikely that the Paris talks will come anywhere near what we need  and that, since the treaty does not go into effect until 2020, there is a monumental need to push for pre-2020 actions.  

I believe that the community will rally around the need for aggressive and informed civic engagement to pressure world leaders to negotiate a legally binding treaty at the UN Climate Talks this December. I have seen what we are capable of achieving when we work as a united team.

In my world, action on climate is not just the ultimate global political issue, it's the only issue. But that is my world.

Some have explained that the Climate Action Hub did not engage them because the idea was too vague; others said they no longer have the time or inclination to be involved in the grunt work of promoting, tweeting, cross posting, emailing.  I so totally understand. Still others said they felt compelled to drop in and rec a post even when they found it dry or jargony or just plain uninspiring. That the lack of interaction by new posters, coupled with the fact that many posts read mere press releases was a turn off.

I agree with everything. I misread what the community would respond to. My vision was wrong.

As most of you know,    John Crapper, the coordinator of Seattle & Puget Sound Kos, is launching Northwest Climate Voices next month. (John originally planned to call this Northwest Climate Hub, but at my request graciously changed the title so as not to confuse his group with the Climate Action Hub.) His mission is "To make the issue of climate change go viral ...  To serve the Pacific Northwest area providing a communication hub to inform, promote and empower citizens to take effective civic actions to bring climate sanity and sustainable living practices into our lives.”

(To find out more about this project, John outlined his ambitious plan of "bringing this power to the environmental activists in our area and designing it to be a prototype for replication throughout the country"  earlier this week Seattle & Puget Sound Kos - Change is Coming - Meet up Sunday 3/29/15.)  

"Voices" will feature guests from organizations and climate activists from the Pacific Northwest (and perhaps beyond) and will debut as a Sunday series in April.

The Climate Action Hub remains an active group.  I intend to continue promoting climate activism and will occasionally invite a guest host.  I will utilize it in the hopes of generating momentum for upcoming mobilizations scheduled in May and June in the lead up to the Paris talks. And beyond. I’m not going anywhere. I’m just flying solo.

I want to thank everyone who helped and supported our posts over these few months, with special gratitude to rb137, with whom I've worked for what must add up to hundreds of hours on every eco campaign here at DK since 2008; to James Wells, Agathena, ClimateDenierRoundup, Josh Wiese, and Tom Athanasiou. And a special, special thank you for the continuous support of the wonderful team of remembrance and Glen The Plumber, to 2thanks, to renzo for all those RTs, and to all the folks at KTK.

Bless you.

Just remember. Stay tuned for more from boatsie. I'm in this for the long haul. And I'm leaving it all on the road. But that probably doesn't surprise anyone:)

Continue Reading

Thu Feb 26, 2015 at 05:00 PM PST

Kitchen Table Kibitzing: Going Home

by boatsie

Friends from my past and present gathered around this table in Bolinas for breakfasts and dinners, games of Mille Bourne, and long conversations in remembrance of things past and planning of what remains unclear in our futures.
I returned home to Bolinas early this month.  Ten days on the Big Mesa, staying in a small cottage a short walk from where I lived for what was without doubt the most important part of my life. The time when I mothered, when I recovered and reconnected with my poetic self. Where I loved most passionately.

It is possible to go home again. To reconnect with old friends, to bring along current friends and share the wonder of a place.  I was fortunate that my daughter had returned to pick up much of what she had left behind (including her two dogs) to finalize her move to Nicaragua. They came out for several nights, giving us the chance for walks and chats and traveling back to the wonder of her childhood.

So wonderful this, a journey backwards in time. Transported by the power of the forces of nature to long dormant memories.  And to return slightly different.

Here are some pictures from my favorite place on earth.

I carry Bolinas in my DNA, I wrote once years ago. That will never change. My soul found its home here back in the late 70s and returning home nurtures me in a way nothing else ever has. Or probably ever will.
The art on Bolinas beach reminds me of "Butter Buddhas." The utter joy in the act of creation, then setting it free to the elements. Such an allegory for much of our lives.
Climate change has had a devastating impact on Bolinas.  Eroding cliffs continue to claim so much of the town's waterfront, whole segments of roads lost now to the sea ...
A typical Bolinas morning. The 1% may think they own the town now, but some things never change ...a 'native' woman in pink emerges from the mist, dancing on the beach.
The Bench. Just months before I left Bolinas, my brother returned from his daily time-out here and said he had the strangest feeling that when he returned I would no longer be living here.  At the time that seemed impossible.
The famous approach to Bolinas. The only indication a small sign indicating a road crossing up ahead. Blink and you've gone too far.
Table with yellow teapot and cloth embroidered with blue flowers

Kitchen Table Kibitzing is a community series for those who wish to share part of the evening around a virtual kitchen table with kossacks who are caring and supportive of one another. So bring your stories, jokes, photos, funny pics, music, and interesting videos, as well as links—including quotations—to diaries, news stories, and books that you think this community would appreciate. Readers may notice that most who post diaries and comments in this series already know one another to some degree, but newcomers should not feel excluded. We welcome guests at our kitchen table, and hope to make some new friends as well.

It's Oscar night. La crème de la crème of Hollywood gather for yet another over-the-top display of flitter and flash, yet another disconnect distracting us from owning and acting on the core realities which need to be front and center if we are to achieve radical and sustainable shifts in the way we act in the world.

The Climate Action Hub this evening provides an alternative,  an opportunity to participate in authentic actions on our very own "Green Carpet," to step up to the podium and be counted by joining two key climate action campaigns.

Please stay for our program, which tonight highlights some important issues related to global warming, its impacts, and commentary on where we need to be focusing our attention. Plus a few of our top choices for winning entries in the climate change action arena.

Coming June 18, 2015, Live Earth and the UN are collaborating to bring together 6 billion voices to "to shine a global spotlight on the nations convening in Paris this year and deliver a single message to all leaders - Take Climate Action Now." In  partnership with the world's leading brands, NGOs and non-profits, Live Earth will feature 24 hours of events across seven continents, broadcasting across major networks, an unparalleled civil engagement demanding negotiators sign a 'pivotal' agreement at the Paris UN Climate Talks this December.
Become one of a billion voices. Click here

Organizing for America (@OFATruthTeam) is staging a full throttle push to Call Out Climate Deniers.




Hundreds Of Thousands Turn Out For People's Climate March In New York City

Here at DailyKos, there were were over 300 posts on the PCM, including a trilogy on the Moment of Silence


Merchants of Doubt

Live Earth: Road to Paris

Imagine There's No Global Warming

Continue Reading
"Any human power can be resisted and changed by human beings. Resistance and change often begin in art."

The February 7 March for Real Climate Leadership is being touted as the "game-changing moment for the climate movement in California" as scores of environmental groups from across the state and thousands of protestors convene in Oakland Saturday to demand Governor Jerry Brown to aggressively address fracking, climate change, and the California water crisis.

The March is organized by a broad coalition of groups from all over California, including (and local 350 groups), Oil Change International,  Greenpeace, RAN, IFG, Center on Race, Poverty and the Environment, Sierra Club (and Local Sierra Club chapters), Tar Sands Action Southern California, Food & Water Watch and ForestEthics.

"We intend to serve notice on Governor Brown that it is unacceptable to keep allowing fracking in our state, fouling our aquifers, endangering Californian’s health, risking more earthquakes and exploiting dirty oil that contributes to rising CO2 levels," says Richard Gray of 350Marin.  "This will be a colorful and family friendly march with many bands, banners, Animals Against Extinction, Faith and Labor contingents and many others arriving by bus from all over California, bikers and even kayakers on Lake Merritt.  Everyone is encouraged to wear blue to symbolize our precious water and air."

Over one hundred blue puzzle pieces presenting alternative ideas for clean energy solutions have been created by volunteers to request the Governor become "a Piece of the Solution."  Participants are encouraged to create their own pieces of the puzzle. (See Instructions here.)

What you need to know

WHAT: The March for Real Climate Leadership: Our Water, Our Health, Our California
WHEN: 11:30 am, February 7, 2015
WHERE: Frank Ogawa / Oscar Grant Plaza, 14th & Broadway, Oakland, California
WHY: to visually show and tell Governor Brown the solutions and alternatives to fracking, and the climate change,water waste, and pollution it causes.

Act Now!

Sign up to March
Getting There

Immediately after the March,  Californians Against Fracking Convergence hosts a statewide event at Laney College Downtown Oakland to strengthen the coalition of activists engaged in stopping fracking. locations.  Sign up to attend the convergence.
Continue Reading
@Real_Leaders joins the silent snowman protest at #Davos2015. 193 snowmen, 1 for each country demanding @action2015

"People have the power to create extraordinary change when they come together." UN Environment

In less than ten days, the Action2015 Coalition has rolled out unprecedented actions from a network of UN groups and governments, billionaires and NGOs in a monumental mega-push to ensure 2015 is a game-changer in social and economic investments to create "The World We Want" within the next 15 years.

Here are some highlights:

The UN launch of "The World We Want" is calling on citizens everywhere to sign up and share their priorities to build "a collective vision that will be used directly by the United Nations and World Leaders to plan a new development agenda launching in 2015, one that is based on the aspirations of all citizens!"

Climate change threatens to destroy the lives of millions more and undo all the progress we have made so far. Inequality is growing everywhere and human rights are being undermined in the worlds most fragile and conflict affected countries while the world economy continues to falter.

Despite all of this, for the first time in history we do have the resources to end poverty and grow our world sustainably. It will take the work of all of us to make this happen and we must make our Governments listen and take action on the things that matter most to people everywhere!

You truly can get lost for hours in this enormous interactive global campaign so sign in ASAP and in the meantime, check out their phenomenal trending map which lists all the major issues and already has 910 items and 6772 comments from
4677 users.

Highlights of this week' #Action15 Digital Rally
Gates Releases "Most Powerful Tool In The History of Social Activism"

From the private sector, The Gates Foundation announced yesterday a similar project, the launch of Global Citizen,  its commitment to fund the creation of an enormous and comprehensive global citizens data base, which allows people to sign up to give voice to the the issues and causes that most concern them. This "Moneyball era of activism" database can be investigated via area of interest, region and several other fields.

Right now, there are 1.2 billion people in the world who are deprived of basic rights and opportunities to achieve their potential. We’re a community, hundreds of thousands of people strong, who just aren’t willing to accept that--and we’re doing something about it. This is the place where you can amplify your voice, use your passion, and take action.
The dream is to have people in the big list declare, ‘OK, I’m particularly interested in the environment.’ And then we go to Al Gore’s people or whatever, and say, “OK those people, you figure out what messages go to them.” If they say health, OK we’re enough of a fair broker in the health game that we can come up with a finite set of messages that would include all the health people, if it’s hunger, if it’s education, and how you partition that out the right way. I think it’s very doable. I’m quite optimistic.”Bill Gates interview with Forbes

"The countdown has begun to September’s summit on the sustainable development goals, with national governments now discussing the 17 goals that could transform the world by 2030."  The Guardian. An Interactive.
As the MDG deadline approaches, around 1 billion people still live on less then $1.25 a day - the World Bank measure on poverty - and more than 800 million people do not have enough food to eat. Women are still fighting hard for their rights, and millions of women still die in childbirth.
UNICEF has kicked off its campaign to ensure that the rights of children are a centerpiece of the 17 Sustainability Goals with its #EveryChild2015 campaign

The Davos Challenge

Drawing attention to children and education, UBS and the UBS Optimus Foundation has been pressuring world leaders to put some skin in the game at the World Economic Forum's 2015 Annual Meeting in Davos. They are  donating a bicycle to a schoolchild in Africa on behalf of every participant who walks 6 kilometers during the meeting. This action is to promote awareness between high drop out rates and the exceptionally long distances African youth travel for education. Every day, for example, half a million rural South African kids walk up to six kilometres each day to reach a school.


1. Become an active participant in shaping  The World We Want

2. Global Citizen: connect with information, organizations, events, and campaigns - all geared towards the goal of ending extreme poverty by 2030Get Involved

3. Follow @Action2015 on Twitter for inspirational stories from around the world, find your niche, become involved and share with your social networks and friends

4. Show up in  San Jose, California This Sunday

This Sunday at 2pm, Ash Kalra along with speakers from 350 Silicon Valley , Forest Ethics, and Center for Biological Diversity will hold a forum at San Jose’s City Hall to highlight the safety and environmental hazards associated with the oil trains. An event well attended by Climate activists will show Ash Kalra, who recently announced he will run for State Assembly in 2016, that Climate Change policy is an issue important to voters as he prepares his campaign.
~ Please RSVP for the event here.
(See Glen The Plumber's post for more details: This Sunday: The Threat of Oil Trains in San Jose)

5. Each morning at 8 AM Pacific ClimateDenierRoundUp posts a short overview highlight the latest news about the climate denier movement. Let's show them some gratitude for their relentless work by recommending, sharing or commenting in a few of their posts.

6. Join and support the work of The Climate Action Hub as we strive to do our part in activating and educating the Daily Kos community as we move through the most powerful year in climate and basic human rights activism.

7.  There's a lot going on this year in Climate Activism, entirely too much for the eco writers here at DK to cover. Add information about any eco news you've come across in the past few days in the comments section below.

Continue Reading
Action/2015, a collaborative campaign involving over a thousand organizations from around the world, launches today, with an urgent demand that local and world leaders take immediate action this year on three key interconnected issues: halting man-made climate change, eradicating poverty and addressing inequality.

The future of billions of people is on the line if world leaders fail to take aggressive action at two crucial summits in New York and Paris later this year- September's UN Special Summit on Sustainable Development and the November-December UN Climate talks.

According to recently released calculations by the Action/2015 coalition, almost a billion additional people will experience extreme poverty, with billions more remaining highly vulnerable to impacts of these three crucial issues if leaders fail to deliver equitable and powerful solutions.

University of Denver research suggests that by 2030 the number of people living in extreme poverty (defined as surviving on less than $1.25 a day) could be reduced dramatically from over a billion to 360 million if action is taken by year end and implemented in a timely manner. This represents a decrease from the current 17% of the global population to 4%.

Other less conservative research, which incorporates more variables, suggests eradication of poverty is a possibility for the first time in history.  

Failure to act ambitiously and aggressively could actually increase poverty levels to to 1.2 billion over the same time period.  

"This increase would be the first in a generation (since 1993) and almost a billion higher (886million) than if resolute action is taken. Under this scenario 1 in 3 of the world’s population would live under $2 a day," the report concludes.

"People globally want an end to injustice, poverty and illiteracy," says Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and Malala Fund co-founde Malala Yousafzai. "Our world is interconnected and youth are ready and mobilised more than ever to see real change take place. Together, we are demanding our leaders take action in 2015 and we must all do our part. I will continue to work tirelessly to call on world leaders to seize this opportunity to guarantee a free, quality primary and secondary education for every child. That is my goal and I hope that my voice will be heard as it is the voice of millions of children who want to go to school."

The Action/2015 coalition is one of the biggest campaigns ever to launch, combining over one thousand environmental, human rights, development organisations and faith networks from over 120 countries. Action/2015 is also backed by high profile activists such as
Queen Rania Al Abdullah, Bill and Melinda Gates, Bono, Ben Affleck and Mo Ibrahim and also equally involves grassroots NGOs working with local communities,

A Movement Shaped by The People

Action/2015 is designed to ensure people everywhere can access information and tools to become engaged in influencing the outcomes of these unprecedented global debates.

The common goals are:

* An end to poverty in all its forms;
* The meeting of fundamental rights, tackling inequality and discrimination;
* An accelerated transition to 100% renewable energy;
*A world where everyone can participate and hold their leaders accountable.
“If we get this wrong, we could see the number of people living in poverty increase for the first time in our generation. But if we get it right – tackle poverty, inequality and climate change - we could eradicate extreme poverty within a generation. With two summits of this importance within just months of each other, 2015 could be one of the most important years for our planet since the end of the Second World War, but only if we rise to the occasion.”  Amitabh Behar, Indian anti-poverty activist.

Lauch Day: 15-year-olds for 2015

More than 50 countries are participating in activities to launch Action/2015. Fifteen-year-old activists are emerging as catalysts of change to give voice to the fact that the world's youth are most at risk.

•    In Bolivia, three coordinated rallies in Laz Paz will bring together younger and older people, each one representing one of the core issues of the campaign – climate change, inequality and poverty.
•    In Costa Rica, young people will take to their bicycles to raise the profile of the campaign in a cycle rally which will deliver the message of the campaign to leaders and the public.
•    In India, young people are meeting their leaders in 15 states and over 150 districts to deliver their messages of hope for 2015.
•    In New York, the Secretary- General of the United Nations Ban Ki- moon will meet a group of 15 year olds to discuss why we need global action in 2015.
•    In Nigeria, 15 year olds will present their hopes for the future to Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala at a live concert;
•    In Norway, a delegation of 15 year old campaigners from across the country will meet with Prime Minister Erna Solberg to challenge her to play her part in the summits and secure a safer future for people and planet in 2015;
•    In Tanzania, 15 year olds will meet Vice President Mohamed Gharib Bilal to discuss their aspirations for the future and the action they want from political leaders in 2015;  
•    In Uganda young people will challenge the Speaker of Parliament to listen to their demands when they hand over a petition signed by over 10,000 young people;
•    In the UK, some of Britain’s leading youth activists will meet Prime Minister David Cameron and Ed Miliband, the Leader of the Opposition, to urge them to seize the opportunities of 2015.
Continue Reading
Experiencing the terror. The imminent danger of being swallowed by the forces of your emotions into the hopeless abyss. Tumbling, severed strings, into the darkness.
I am in constant battle with the demon of emotional imbalance. Dis-ordered moods. I no longer pathologize the conditions of my mind, my spirit, my emotions with a label. Emotional disturbances, frequent fractures with my connectivity to the here and now, are the stuff of my everyday life. Before my eyes open each and every morning, I scan my inner landscape in preparation to meet the day as it gathers outside my window.  Just how powerful today the enemy, my self?

"In order to heal, it has to hurt like hell" is the mantra, which has dictated my interaction with my distorted relationship with reality.

Perhaps, I think, I have been wrong about this.

After my latest major psychological/spiritual episode late last year, I opt to do things differently. I decide to concurrently take the terrifying plunge and change my meds by consulting with an unconventional and highly respected psychiatrist. I follow this with  five days working one-on-one with my master yoga teacher, an aruvedic healer.  At first glance, an unusual choice, this combination of western psychiatry and ancient natural healing.  

It turns out this leap of faith, this movement into unchartered territories, was without doubt the wisest decision of my life.

a block of nine abstract depictions of disabilities
KosAbility is a Sunday 7 pm eastkost/4 pm leftkost volunteer diarist community of, by & for people living with disabilities, who love someone with a disability, or who want to know more about the issues. Our use of "disability" includes temporary as well as permanent health/medical conditions, and small, gnawing problems as well as major, life-threatening ones. Our use of "love someone" extends to cherished members of other species.

Our discussions are open threads in the context of this community. Feel free to comment on the diary topic, ask questions of the diarist or generally to everyone, share something you've learned, tell bad jokes, post photos, or rage about your situation. Our only rule is to be kind; trolls will be spayed or neutered. If you are interested in contributing a diary, contact series coordinator postmodernista.

"Well, I must be in the right place," I note, when the doctor opens the door to find me holding his copy of  Carl Rogers' On Becoming A Person. "A psychiatrist with this book in his waiting room. Exciting."

His eyes light up. Five minutes into our meeting and he can hardly contain his glee when I tell him I've known for 20 years that my problems have nothing to do with depression, that my imbalance is directly related to dysfunction of my HPA Axis. And when I note having reported about 'brainzaps' before any doctor had an inkling of their existence (that I had actually created a blog "Brainzaps") he is nearly rhapsodic. We talk like colleagues about dysfunctions of the glutamatergic system, the enteric nervous system, and how Effexor XR with its neuronal excitatory signaling is absolutely counter indicated for my particular endochronogical proclivities. Ten minutes in, we know we are about to launch into a magnificent therapeutic relationship.

Staying with the darkness allows something to happen that escapes us if we are hasty. If we resist our natural tendency to take flight before painful experiences, we can descend into the dark aspects of the unconscious, which is necessary if we are to make contact with what Goethe calls ‘infinite nature.’ Turning toward such darkness requires a willingness to stay with suffering and to make a descent into the unconscious.  – Stan Marlan, The Black Sun: The Alchemy and Art of Darkness (Carolyn and Ernest Fay Series in Analytical Psychology), p. 27  (thanks Depth Psychology List)
With a highly finessed flick of his Honoré de Balzac Mont Blanc fountain pen, he scribbles a script guaranteed to squelch the cortisol rushes tout de suite, a drug he says we will use as a 'bridge' in our journey to end my reliance on pharmaceuticals forever. He sends me off with his blessing to delve in the ancient wonders of Aruvedic healing.  "Be prepared, he says. "The stomache is, after all, the second brain."
" I would surround myself with beauty no matter how primitive and artless–objects, colors, sounds. I would eat and drink well." Carl Jung.
The little house on Clement Street sits across the way from foresty Lincoln Park and the Legion of Honor. I take off my shoes and enter rooms scented by Bergamot Beeswax candles. Mungbeans, broccoli, sunflowers and fenugreek sprout in the sunlight of the kitchen. The sound of mantras resounds throughout the house. My teacher radiates love and acceptance as she sits me down at a table, which I share with five tightly wound pink peonies. I will observe them each day as they open.  

"We can not hope to address your emotional imbalance until we deal with your digestion," my teacher says. "Your lack of appetite. You will not sleep until your body reconnects with its natural rhythm. Right now, there is too much vata. So, first you will eat. Then you will rest. Then we will begin the work. The mind is the second stomache."

But before anything, she sends me out into the garden where I walk for ten minutes while swishing pure Sesame Oil around in my mouth. Then on to a tiny bathroom where after scraping my tongue, I scrub neem into my gums.

A glass of warm water, brown with herbs to aide digestion. A sliver of lemon and ginger to awaken hunger.  A small salad of sprouted beans and spinach, some kraut, seasoned with pink salt and a blend of cumin, turmeric, coriander. Cream of broccoli soup and kitcherie.

Small portions all, yet I have not eaten this much in months.

Five days of being fed.  Resting. Breathing. Walking. Meditating. Having oils massaged into my scalp, all over my body. Resting. Breathing. Walking.  More oils. Resting. Breathing.

With all this love, with all this caring for, I sleep more deeply. The new med (which is NOT, by the way, a psychotrophic) kicks in. I am no longer waking four or five times each night. The rushing leaves my chest. Yet still my mind is unable to rest. It ruminates. Worries. Clings. Meanders. My body relaxes. Softens. My spirit stills. But my mind can find no peace.

I return home and follow her instructions. Stock up on organic Indian spices. Ghee. Chai. Turkish Apricots.  I begin cooking. Mung soup. Dal. Quinoa with Mint, Cilantro & Red Onion. Carrot Soup. Beets and greens. Chickpea breads.  Drink only warm water or chai, which I sweeten, if at all, with brown coconut sugar. I listen to the music of Snatam Kaur, Mirabai Ceiba, Jai-Jagdeesh. Burn beeswax candles. Place fragrant peonies, lavender and stargazers in my home. I limit use of my cellphone and computer. Am asleep by ten.

"Listen to your heart," my teacher says. "You are loved. You will heal. Trust your heart. Your inner teacher."

Two days before Christmas. A two-hour candlelight Yin Yoga Class. A new teacher. She scents the room with Frankincense and myrrh. We hold each asana for five minutes.

I stay with it, settling in each posture up to edge of pain.  

I notice a subtle shift. Colors seem to have a scent to them. Smells vibrate. My feet connect more smoothly with the earth.

Lantern Launch. New Year's Eve, 2014
"When the darkness grows denser, I would penetrate to its very core and ground, and would not rest until amid the pain a light appeared to me, for ‘in excessu affectus’  [in an excess of affect or passion] Nature reverses herself." Carl Jung
After the holidays, I begin exploring brainspotting, a new modality of addressing trauma

Brainspotting involves working to modify the mammalian 'midbrain,' (home to the the  flight-fright response triggered by trauma). The process involves bypassing the 'thinking brain' (the left prefrontal) and using the intuitive right brain to access both the mid- and the hindbrain.

Here's an example. A young woman is asked to focus on some trauma from her childhood. She locates the spot associated with being five as being to the right and upwards. She focuses on that spot and experiences a sense of weight within her chest.  

By intensely honing in on these 'trauma cells' where painful feelings or memories are lodged,  the conscious brain "observes' the unconscious brain and begins "traveling down the neural pathways that are unpredictable and kind of mysterious to our conscious selves. But by doing it, we’re actually watching the brain process the experience and watching the brain healing itself."

Visoka : state free from pain, or suffering; Va : or ( other practices from 1.34 to 1.39) Jyotismati : inner light , supreme or divine light ... Or By Perception Which Is Free From Sorrow And Is Radiant (Stability Of Mind Can Also Be Produced )  Patanjali Yoga Sutra 1.36 (Parisamvad)
Leaping into Darkness

I find myself brainspotting Thursday night at an Ivengar Yoga class. The instructor has us place chairs at the top of our mats and we move through a progression of postures in preparation for the evening's final asana. A shoulder stand.

I've done shoulder stands from the floor before. But this time, our end posture involves not just the inversion but also moving the buttocks away from any contact with the chair, without the support of your hands on your back. After launching your legs over your head, you move your body forward so that it is only you on your shoulders. You hover in space, seeking balance in darkness. Unsupported. This is no leap into darkness, trusting a net will appear.

No, you are the net.

As I mull over whether to venture this far tonight, my conscious mind travels at unprecedented speed and connects with deep feelings of my inability to trust. Of not trusting others, but perhaps, more importantly, not trusting in myself.

And as if a magnificent light shines intensely and transformatively on that feeling, I awake to the knowledge that it is no longer serving me. That I have moved beyond this.  And, simultaneously, something shifts just enough and I am able to risk.

I move my body a few inches away from the chair.

In the very first moment, I feel blessed and utterly exhilarated.  Courageous. Triumphant. Amazed.

But then, as my legs struggle for stasis, my consciousness rapidly cycles between moments of absolute terror and bliss.  I can only compare it to the utter intimacy, one experiences when making love with someone for the first time.  That co-mingling delicious tension between total vulnerability and fear, anticipation and moving forward into the moment.  Being there.  Fluttering, ironically, while in absolute balance.

After class that night, as we pull on our shoes, scarves and coats, I ask the teacher what would happen if you could not hold the pose, if your body could not support you, if you lost control. She shrugs, as if it would be no big deal.

But to me it seems enormous. As if something catastrophic would occur.

"Would you die?" I ask.

And in that moment, I realize that I actually care. That for the first time in I don't know how many years, I actually want to live. I have such an acute awareness of how much more I have to accomplish. Of how many secret yearnings I hold in my heart of hearts. And I feel such gratitude that I am finally untethered to this profound battle with darkness.  

I listen recently to a lecture about applying the concept of loving kindness to oneself. The teacher encourages you to imagine your interactions with a person you love and respect. To think about how you would fight for them, advocate for them. Reserve a sacred space that is theirs only, a space and a time in which you would nurture and cherish them.

And then, he says, trade places and imagine that person is you.

It is not until you learn to do the same for yourself that you can truly heal.

"When you adopt the viewpoint that there is nothing that exists that is not a part of you, that there is no one who exists who is not a part of you, that any judgment you make is self-judgement, that any criticism you level is self-criticism, you will wisely extend to yourself an unconditional love that will be the light of your world." Harry Palmer.
Banner for Kitchen Table Kibitzing

Happy New Year, climate activists one and all, and welcome to the first dispatch of 2015 from the Climate Action Hub. Pull up a seat at the table and join me for some news on climate change happenings here at Daily Kos.

Photo by Overpass Light Brigade.
All indicators point to 2015 as the long awaited (and, hopefully, not too long overdue) tipping point when massive civil engagement, coupled with private sector, NGO and political action coalesce around the urgency to take action and move rapidly towards a zero energy future to combat global climate change.

Earlier this week, Pope Francis expressed his growing concerns about alarming changes in the climate in Vatican City (and, in fact, all over the world) and announced his desire for "direct influence" with the 2015 UN Climate Conference in Paris this December.  

According to Bishop Marcelo Sorondo, chancellor of the Vatican's Pontifical Academy of Sciences, the Pope wants to be directly involved with the 2015 UN climate conference in Paris. This meeting will determine the planet's future.
"The idea is to convene a meeting with leaders of the main religions to make all people aware of the state of our climate and the tragedy of social exclusion," Sorondo was quoted as saying in the Observer.

"Just as humanity confronted revolutionary change in the 19th century at the time of industrialisation, today we have changed the natural environment so much," he told a London meeting of Cafod, the Catholic development agency. "If current trends continue, the century will witness unprecedented climate change and destruction of the ecosystem with tragic consequences."

As mainstream American media has failed in its responsibility to inform (and, in all too many cases, has flagrantly misinformed ) the public about the impending climate chaos,  the environmental community here at Daily Kos has relentlessly championed the message that global warming, green energy solutions, systems change and sustainable development are without doubt the most important issue of the 21st century. If we don't get this right, and quickly, nothing else matters.  Groups like Climate Change SOS, Climate Hawks, DK Greenroots, and the new Climate Action Hub have attracted experts in the fields of climatology, meteorology, climate activism, and clean energy.

There's no question about it: 2014 was a pivotal point in raising public awareness about climate change, primarily as a result of the release of the IPCCs Fifth Assessment Report and the extraordinary coalition which mobilized the largest environmental movement in history. (For an overview of the Top Climate Movement Victories of 2014, check out Ted Glick's article in EcoWatch.)

People's Climate March
Over 400,000 participated in the People's Climate March in NYC, with over 700,000 marching in solidarity around the world. Numerous Kossacks from all over the US traveled to the New York, including eeff, AllTheWayWithLBJ, VL Baker, mole333, raines, The Poet Deploreate, WarrenS, mimi, Tool, Poco, sidnora, KathyNY, and boatsie. (if you were there and your name is not included, please mention this in comments below.)

The Road to Paris

The Climate Action Hub launched soon after the People's Climate March here at Daily Kos, when several of the NGOs working on amplifying awareness and activism in 2015 agreed to use The Hub to publicize their work to promote mass involvement in 2015.

Many, including Joshua Wiese, Tierney Smith, Joy Hyvarinen, and Mattias Söderberg reported live from December's COP20 UNFCCC Lima Climate Talks. (Scroll down for some short bios and  check out The Guardian's extensive overview of the Lima Talks).

There is some major organizing work ahead to prepare for a 1 million strong rally this December in Paris, designed to coincide with the UNFCCC's COP21. After over 20 years of failed negotiations, nations are expected to sign an internationally binding treaty on climate action this year. (For more info on Why COP21 is so important, read the Q&A with Jennifer Morgan, the World Resource Institute's director of Climate and Energy programs:  How Do We Secure a Strong, International Climate Agreement by 2015?)

Prior to the Paris Climate Talks and mobilization, a second and larger NYC Climate March is scheduled in late June. This will occur alongside the UN High Level Meeting on June 29. Another huge mobilization is being planned in Germany this fall.  Here at The Hub, members will be working to inform the community on the key issues which are stalling progress at the UN talks, initiating discussions on ensuring that climate justice is a key priority, and introducing spokespeople from developing countries and organizations focusing on equity in the outcome.  

Here at Daily Kos

Many folks at Daily Kos have created organizations and projects focusing on the issues relating to climate change.

Here are a few examples (in alpha order by user name.) Please add your project or relevant employment in the comments below so we can include it.

citisven has been working for the Ecocitizen World Map Project, a global initiative connecting neighborhoods on-the-ground with online crowd-mapping tools designed to explore, understand, and measure holistic urban health from a citizen’s perspective. EWM is a collaboration between Oakland-based NGO Ecocity Builders and UNEP, the World Urban Campaign, and the US Department of State, among others. More info here, here, and here.
Photo by Overpass Light Brigade.
noise of rain and badscience originated the idea of the Overpass Light Brigade, which currently has numerous DK volunteers. An offshoot of the  Wisconsin Uprising,  OLB has expanded into a network of 50 different chapters throughout the United States, Canada, the UK, and Germany, allowing them to collaborate on street actions and synchronize messages which proliferate on social media.

"The urgency of climate disruption continues to increase, and we have organized many actions individually, and with larger groups such as, Fossil Free UW, and the Global Climate Convergence, in order to cast light upon the need for serious change regarding our relationship with the planet," noise of rain writes. "We were involved in early planning for some aspects of the powerful People’s Climate March in NYC, and many light brigade volunteers and organizers took to the streets of NYC in October in a strong show of support of People and Planet over Profit. The NYC-Light Brigade was particularly prominent in the march and subsequent nighttime actions."

RL Miller's Climate Hawks Vote is incubating big plans in 2015 in anticipation of the 2016 campaigns. "

"We anticipate an initial release of the Senate Democrats scorecard covering leadership on climate toward the end of January, and we'll be recruiting candidates throughout 2015. Climate Hawks Vote is the only grassroots-funded SuperPAC focused solely on electing climate champions. Hatched in June 2014, we endorsed 17 candidates and won 11 of our races using on-the-ground field organizing backed by social media."

WarrenS has been busy with his Climate Message project as well as the ongoing Playing For The Planet concert series.  

"Next year will see a renewed push on Message stuff, and hopefully an expansion of the concert idea to a more frequent event series."

Meanwhile , some exciting news is percolating right here at Daily Kos, where John Crapper, recently designated Daily Kos State Community Builder for Washington, is hard at work in realizing his vision of Washington State as playing a pivotal role in the path the United States should take in the world's climate future.

"Plans are currently under development to highlight and promote the current work of the Climate Action Hub while drawing attention to the regional efforts being made in the Pacific Northwest to address climate change issues," says John. "Specific focus will be aimed at the efforts of  Washington Governor, Jay Inslee, featured in the showtime series "Years of Living Dangerously" and touted during that series as the "greenest governor in the country. Stay tuned."

(Note: We are hoping that John's work up North can serve as a template for other Kossack groups to begin regional work on climate change issues and forming coalitions among politicians, environmental, civilian, religious and local media. (Get in touch with John or the Climate Action Hub administrators if you are interested in finding out more about his work if you have an interest in establishing something similar in your region.)

And finally, early in 2015, after over a year of work, I will launch 2050kids, a nonprofit working to engage and empower children in developing nations as actors in adaptation, working in the design and implementation of locally relevant solutions to such issues as health, food security, displacement, water and sanitation, and disaster preparedness.

The Climate Action Hub: 2015 Agenda

Beginning this month, we will pubish a weekly morning series, hosted by one of our members aor by an invited guest. As many of our newcomers are based abroad, we are considering an 8am Pacific launch time so that they can be available to engage in discussion when possible. (Flexible on this;  we are soliciting community input on time and date to ensure the largest audience while not interfering with other regular series)
We will be running high octane campaigns to promote and publicize actions such as the June Climate March in NYC, scheduled to coincide with the UN June 29 UNGA High-level Event on Climate Change.
We are inviting representatives from local Kossack groups around the nation to use our team to promote local environmental events and to help us in spreading the word in your communities about local, regional, national and international mobilizations. (see John Crapper's project)
The Hub will support the projects of other members of our eco community.
We intend to work to unite all Daily Kos environmental communities to aggressively participate in and promote climate action.

How You Can Help

1. Take a minute to answer the survey below so we can get an idea of which morning (or evening)  would work best to publish the CAH weekly series.
2. Take another moment to scan through the bios of the CAH members you might not yet be familiar with. (Most of them have already posted, and there are about ten invites still in limbo to folks who I've enticed to join Daily Kos but have not yet gotten the hang of how to join and post to a group).
3. What are your plans are for climate action in 2015 and how can we assist you in promoting your causes and events?
4. Share your skills and support by joining the Climate Action Hub! We need all the help we can get!

"Here’s to a climate-sane 2015!" says citisven. And here's to our hopes that you'll join us in this work here at Daily Kos, in your communities, and in your personal commitments.

Let's do this!

Below are short bios of some of the newcomers to the Hub.

Joy Hyvarinen is Executive Director of FIELD– Foundation for International Environmental Law and Development, a non profit organization based in the UK. Her work focuses on climate change, multilateral environmental agreements and the UN post-2015 agenda.

Rhys Gerholdt is the Communications Manager for the Climate and Energy Program at World Resources Institute. He brings expansive knowledge of WRI’s issues and skills as a communications strategist, with more than eight years of communications experience, and six years with environmental organizations.

Bridget K. Burns is the Advocacy and Communications Director at the Women's Earth And Development Organization (WEDO), where she specializes in policy advocacy, research and mobilization focusing on the linkages between gender equality, women’s rights and climate change; particularly in the context of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Joshua Wiese is Project Director for Global Call for Climate Action, responsible for running GCCA's Adopt a Negotiator and Fresh Air projects. Fresh Air is a GCCA initiative that connects climate and energy bloggers to relevant work being done by GCCA partner organizations.

Tom Athanasiou is the Executive Director of EcoEquity, an activist think tank focusing on the justice-related aspects of the climate crisis. Mr. Athanasiou has been participating in Climate Negotiations for over twenty years and together with the Stockholm Environment Institute, released the first version of Greenhouse Development Rights in 2004, a reference framework designed to deepen our common understanding of what a fair-shares approach to emergency climate mobilization would have to entail.  Ecoequity is a project of Earth Island Institute.

Kelly Rigg, a leader in international climate, energy and ocean campaigns for over 30 years,  is the director of the Varda Group. Rigg served as the Executive Director of the Global Call for Climate Action for four years. Follow her on Twitter.  

David Turnbull is campaign director of Oil Change International. Prior to working at OCI, he served as Executive Director of the Climate Action Network (CAN)

Environmental journalist Tierney Smith writes for the Global Call for Climate Action tcktcktck website and updates social media channels. She  reports live from UN Climate Talks around the world.

Retired university professor and "eco-agitator' David Millar is a social networker for Quaker Earthcare Witness, a spirit-led action to address the ecological and social crises of the world from a spiritual perspective, emphasizing Quaker process and testimonies.

Mary Anne Hitt is director of the Sierra Club's Beyond Coal Campaign, which is working to eliminate coal's contribution to global warming and repower the nation with clean energy.

Jeff Conant directs Friends of the Earth's international forests campaign; he is co-author of A Community Guide to Environmental Health (Hesperian Health Guides, 2008) and author of A Poetics of Resistance: The Revolutionary Public Relations of the Zapatista Insurgency (AK Press 2010).

Mattias Söderberg is Co-Chair of the ACT alliance advisory group on climate change advocacy, and senior advocacy advisor at DanChurchAid, Denmark. Mattias have been following the climate debate closely since 2007, and in 2009 he was head of the Ecumenical COP15 secretariat, with the task to coordinate global participation of churches and church based organisations.

The Climate Denier Roundup is a daily look at the upside-down world of climate change denial, so you don't have to. Every day we scan the blogs and media outlets that publish misleading, misinterpreted or misguided climate commentary, and pick out what's most important. We look for emerging arguments, egregious errors and most importantly, keep an eye out for manufactured scandals with potential appeal to the mainstream media. We provide not just notice of these events, but hope to offer rebuttals as well. In fact, some posts will be reporting on formal, peer-reviewed rebuttals or other clever responses to climate denial. That way you'll stay on the cutting edge of the opposition's argument, without having to sift through all the garbage.

Christina Manning is Communications and Learning Manager for the Anglican Alliance, a faith based organization focusing on development, relief and advocacy.


On what morning would you support weekly Climate Action Hub post?

6%1 votes
13%2 votes
13%2 votes
6%1 votes
26%4 votes
6%1 votes
26%4 votes

| 15 votes | Vote | Results

Continue Reading
Banner for Kitchen Table Kibitzing

It's well before 8 Saturday morning, the eve of the Winter Solstice, as I set out for the waterfront, dogs trotting, impatient, beside me. The fog hovers over the puddled pavement.

A mere five minute walk to the marina, a grassy promenade grazing the bay near the houseboats and anchor outs. A well guarded perch for local birdwatchers on the lookout for sightings of Slaty-backed gulls, Belted Kingfishers, Spotted sandpipers, Bufflehead ducks; home to the usual suspects - surf scooters, cormorants, terns, skimmers, egrets, on occasion a pelican.

This morning, though, at least a hundred pelicans convene along the shore, conversing in their characteristic shrill and hoarse calls.

It is just us. The birds, the dogs and I.

Releasing my pets, I walk deep into the mist. Saturated in the surroundings.

I linger, at the pier's end, losing all awareness of unleashed dogs, of time, of any salient schedule. I smooch, still and silent, with the music of the moment.  

And then, perhaps ten minutes elapse, I consciously reach for my camera. Leaning into the crisscrossed steel fence blocking access to the sailboat slips, I tease the lens through an aperture, focusing on just one magnificent bird moored before me.  

I wait.  

I linger and, in doing so, find temporary furlough from the endlessness of clinging, from the relentless grasp of seared patterns of thinking, acting and reacting so imperfectly in the world, now behind me.

I am swallowed into the scents, the sounds, the frothy fog, the tone, the texture. I taste herring fresh in my mouth. My feathers settle, resting soft against my body. A lengthening interval between each breath. I bend my beak to glimpse my smooth reflection, soft in the bay.
In my quest for balance, I stand on one foot, lift and roll my wings, lengthen my neck to the right, to the left.
And then I lift. In a sequence of micro alignments invisible to the observer yet burned throughout millennia into my DNA, I fly. Without hesitation. Never looking back. Samadhi.
I wake to the blissful sounds of dogs at play.
Back home, I am acutely aware of a grouping of three pink peonies. I notice that each one is in a different phase of awakening. And I wonder, had I not lingered earlier, would I have been aware, atuned to the miracles, the nuances of life?  To observe. To marvel. To wonder why.


As the days grow shorter, allowing us to linger more in lightness. share one of your magic moments.

Continue Reading
You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.


Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site