Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Arrest fest, cooperation, and individual style

September 27, 2005
11:21 a.m.

Okay, I’ve been bad for the last couple of days. Some would think it good, but, in my world, I would have probably garnered more respect had I been arrested with all the good folks along with Cindy and Medea. I wanted to make a stand. And I guess I did over three days (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday) but which I didn’t take as far as I perhaps should have taken it. I didn’t get arrested at the mass march and arrest fest at the White House yesterday. The action really was for the recognizable and respected names to make statements and for those who wanted to stand in solidarity with them. I would have done it had my step-daughter not planned her wedding date shortly after the days of action.

I didn’t do lobbying either. Things got shifted around. The AZ appointment of significance to me was with Representative Raul Grijalva from District 7. And another group (Latinos for Peace) really wanted to meet Raul... which I have done... many times... so they used “my” time. I’m in District 8 and no appointments could be set up with Kolbe – McCain or Kyl also zip. So I attended the training for lobbying with UFPJ and will use all the materials and information gathered there when I set up the same appointments (that I couldn’t get set up here) back in the district when I get home. And that will ultimately be the success of these three days of action.... taking the energy, information and unified stance back to our homes and living with these elements in a more public and effective manner. So I will be looking for citizens to lobby with me on my return. (Leave a comment if you are in AZ District 8 and interested and we’ll figure out how to connect.)

I spent several days at the home of a lovely Buddhist woman, Marcy, who was raised in the Jewish faith/ tradition. I succumbed to the quiet calm of her home much of yesterday to lounge and recharge for what will be another full week of travel and wedding celebration activities.

Today I’m zipping in and out of bookshops museums and just sitting with a coffee and good old fashioned people watching. I’ve learned that I cannot be or do what others may expect an activist to do, be, or say. For example, I have the greatest respect for Medea Benjamin and feel true affinity when I am with her during and action, but we are not cut from the same mold. We do however work to the same end. We will each do what we can do. Her impact is high deep and wide and her currents will be felt for generations. I will never walk the path she walks, I follow my own path and make my own differences as I can. If I kept up her pace I would go mad. Literally. I have to have calm quiet alone time to be productive and being with people is draining. I give my energy freely and in large amounts when I am with others. She is an activist and ultimately I am a theoretician. We all have our roles to play and paths to walk.

The braiding of all our life paths into an exquisite path of life (whether the O’odham Maze or the Chartres eleven-circuit Labyrith the strength of the emergent progressive movement—we are finally beginning to understand the need for difference as well a diversity. Cooperation is not about sameness. It is a rich broth that can sustain life and provides the base for an amazing, rich stew.

(At some point I need to write about why I don’t like the word “progressive.”)

Trust yourself. Do what you can. Enjoy life and creativity.

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