The Farmers Market was host to many protests. We had a large protest on Genetically modified organisms (GMOs). SEE: March Against Monsanto.
The large group dispersed into the market with signs and enthusiasm talking about the dangers of GMOs to any one that would listen.
This a way to raise awareness on an important environmental issue. Specifically, they protested the Monsanto modifying crops to resist being poisoned by their insecticides.
All of the above activities gave me a sense of connection with people and community topics. I joined the The Participatory Budgeting process and proposed a project I called eVallejo.
From the sign:
eVallejo will promote internet access, internet basics, and internet commerce for benefit of the Vallejo community.
I spent a few months promoting this project, but unfortunately this project did not get enough votes to be funded. However, I led to me being involved in a much larger and more important project.
Last Saturday I attended my second training session to become a Empathy Circle Facilitator. The lesson was for me to conduct an half hour session as the Facilitator. And this morning I attended a Empathy Circle Cafe where I was able to practice being the Facilitator for about an hour and a half.
It was a group of about 7 people and we all talked about the environment. My job as Facilitator was to explain the process and make everyone feel it was a safe place to express themselves.
I must confess I got similar feeling about this online event that I felt at the farmers market. The group was from around the world. As the session progressed most all the participants volunteered a recent experience they had with environmental loss or destruction. This was a very powerful sharing that each of us was sensitive to loss. I felt I was not alone.
I shared a word with everyone in the group: Solastalgia. It was the book by Glenn A. Albrecht called Earth Emotions that brought this new word to me. I did a full diary on the the word for Daily Kos. See: Solastalgia: The Feeling When The Waveform Of The Destruction Of Your Home Collapses On You.
Solastalgia (/ˌsɒləˈstældʒə/) is a neologism, formed by the combination of the Latin words sōlācium (comfort) and the Greek root -algia (pain, suffering, grief), that describes a form of emotional or existential distress caused by environmental change. It is best described as the lived experience of negatively perceived environmental change.
From Wikipedia: Solastalgia
In closing I would like to share a link to the 2 training session that I attended on Saturday.