Monthly Archives: November 2012

With thanks to Thomas Builds-the-Fire

Some days may be good days to die.

Some days may be good days to have breakfast.

Some days are good days.

See you along the Trail.

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Why I like New York 23: the view from my office

It is hard to beat the view of all the flags of the UN Member states – bright colors on a sunny day.

The moon over Manhattan last night did that. This photo does not do it justice, but it reminds me of the beauty.

 

28 November 2012
from the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations
Manhattan, New York

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Filed under New York, Photo, Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations

Purple flowers, Pueblo Zoo

 

 

From Greeley, we made our way south to
Ghost Ranch.
We stopped to view the Pueblo Zoo.
Among the fauna and the flora
purple flowers greeted us.

Then the rain greeted us.
We spent some time in a shelter with
some wonderful folks and
more than enough obnoxious mosquitoes.

11 July 2011
Pueblo Zoo
Pueblo, CO

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Democracy

Democracy is as much about what happens between elections as it is about what happens during them.
Sergio Vieira de Mello

I have finished Chasing the FlameSamantha Power’s biography of Sergio Vieiria de Mello. Actually I finished it some time ago. Among the quotes that stay with me, is this reflection on democracy.

We – the United States – has come through an election cycle. We voted on the federal, state, and local level. We made choices on a president, senators, congress people, governors, mayors, city council people, judges and more. In some places, people made decisions on ballot issues such as marriage equality and the death penalty.

Candidates and PACS raised and spent tons – obscene tons in some ways – of money. Candidates said words profound and words disturbing. Fundraising appeals filled our email in-boxes. Robo-calls annoyed us. People went door-to-door and made phone calls and stuffed mail and entered data and planted posters and more on behalf of the candidate of their choice.

All important. All critical. All needed. And yet, only a part of democracy.

The votes are counted. Our work begins. Here are some ways that I know we can work:

We advocate for our concerns and about decisions that impact our sisters and brothers with those who have been elected.

We take part in community organizations and community organizing.

We support campaigns that address issues of concern to us and to our sisters and brothers.

We make phone calls, send emails and letters, visit.

We engage in the public policy making process when those policies are made by governments and when they are made by corporations.

We use our money through gifts and purchases to express our values. Or perhaps, we ponder what values our use of money expresses and whether we need to reshape how we give and spend.

What are some others? How do you practice democracy between elections?

See you along the Trail.

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Filed under Current Events, United Nations

Traditionalist

While squirrels in New York enjoy
a varied diet,
some squirrels still
enjoy acorns

27 October 2012
Central Park
New York, New York

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Filed under Food, New York, Photo

Will you share?

Some squirrels find all sorts of things to eat in New York.

This one has not – at least not at the time of this photo.

Although it seemed like the squirrel expected to receive something.

See you along the Trail

The photo was taken in Central Park on 24 November 2012.

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Purple flowers, Cleveland Heights back yard 1

Purple patterns
dance across
a backdrop
of green.

13 August 2011
Cleveland Heights, Ohio

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Trees

 

Perspective matters.

The Pool
Central Park
New York
23 November 2012

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Orange flowers: End violence against women and girls.

Today’s flowers are orange. They serve as a reminder that November 25 is an Orange Day – it is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. In fact, the UN Secretary-General’s UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign has designated the 25th of every month is an Orange Day to end violence against women and girls.

On November 25 and the 25th of each month, orange your day: wear orange and act for a world free of violence against women and girls.

See you along the Trail.

 

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Filed under Human Rights, Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations, United Nations

My friend Bruce is writing a book

My friend Bruce is writing a book. I am supporting his effort. You can read why below or you can just take the plunge and become a supporter too.

No . . . where are you FROM?A Book on Race by Bruce Reyes-Chow

During a trip to San Francisco, when I served as the Presbyterian Church’s associate for antiracism training, I asked a number of friends, colleagues, and wise people who I should meet for conversations about race and racial justice. A number of individuals were named, but one individual was named on a regular basis.

Bruce Reyes-Chow.

I listened. I contacted Bruce. And, over coffee, we met for the first time.

Our conversation ranged across the landscape of the social construction of race and the deconstruction of the structures put into place by racism. We explored the different perceptions of race held by different generations … the different experiences of raced lived by different generations … the differences between racism as experienced on the West Coast and in the Mid West and in other parts of our county. And we experienced the commonalities interwoven within these distinctions.

In the short time we spent together, I developed a deep respect for Bruce, the seeds of friendship were planted, and I realized that he has a voice I and others need to hear on questions related to race. Of course, listening to each other applies to all people. The difference is that Bruce is writing a book.

Bruce will self-publish No … where are you FROM?  He is in the process of raising funds through Kickstarter. I am proud to be a backer – even though I will receive no Pittsburgh Steelers swag as a result – despite my many suggestions of how that would enhance the project to my San Francisco 49ers supporting friend (comments about the results of this weekend’s games will be deleted).

Bruce describes his reason for writing as:

If you’ve ever wanted to cultivate honest conversations about race, this book is my attempt at offering ways to help make that happen.

He reflects on his hope for the book in these words:

My hope is that by sharing my story – the joys and the struggles – this book will compel folk to enter a space where they can get at some of the assumptions, misunderstandings and intentions about race so that deeper connections and relationships can be had.

You can get a sense of his perspective as well as the flavor of his writing from some of his earlier articles:

Bruce notes that:

it is also my hope that you will find the time, faith and courage to jump into these conversations with an openness that challenges the expectations of the world around race.

I plan to take that jump. I assume that Bruce’s book will challenge my expectations around race. And I hope that I will be better equipped to engage in conversations that will help me challenge expectations around race and realities around racism.

Thanks Bruce for writing this book (even if you are a heretic and you talk to your cat – it’s on the Internet, it must be true).

I’m a supporter and I urge others to become supporters as well!

See you along the Trail.

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Filed under Antiracism, Books, Friends, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)