10 October 2013

SOS Messages to the World



The Power of  WORDS. The Power of MUSIC. 
The Power of Beauty to Change the World. 

As of October 10st, we've raised over $1700!!! Well I am completely awed, amazed for all the support for my sponsorship for the Rancho Feliz BIGGER THAN BORDERS RIDE. 
 MIL GRACIAS !!

VIVA LA VIDA !! WE ARE BIGGER THAN BORDERS!!
Styled by The Thrill Billy Magnet Queen 

I am inspired by the Spirit of the Guardian Warrior example of Rancho Feliz.     I admire the we can do this attitude with gratitude. I hope some of this will resonate for you and perhaps inspire you to ride a bike and find yourself a way to give back to community and discover a treasure within yourself. 

Words of Wisdom From the Buddha thanks to my vecino Alex Streeter 

FREAKIN A!!! We Made IT!!!! now only 50 miles to go!!!

I began writing this post a few days ago and wanted to share some of what has been on my mind as I ride. Thank you for sharing the space.  

Words are powerful.We are often left speechless. When they are held captive they demand to be heard. They inspire and break our hearts. Words can be silenced. They flow like a river. Sometimes they run dry and then come pouring out in an unexpected torrential flood. They wage for space inside our heads. Less is sometimes more. Poets wield them like swords. We often don't know the words inside of  another person and even our own selves. Sometimes we communicate without them. We feel and experience life and at times we can't find the right ones.  

Editing takes up my time and keeping a pulse on social networking and the world I glean my FB posts and Yahoo news to weed out the mundane and check out the pulse of  world. It's stunning how much I get to know about things I don't really am not interested in. Like the media's obsession with people who are 'celebraties' so I've heard but have no idea why they're  famous or what they do; why do I have to dig through pages of it; in the junk mail; in the grocery aisle; on the web; at the gas station; I am almost compelled to visualize without conscious their image;  a dancing menagerie of " beautiful' tortured people who look freaking great! they also seem to get in trouble with the law a LOT; they know how to Twerk and have documented baby bumps. I am also amazed at all the football players getting paid way more than our teachers and sadly they still end up beating up their beautiful  girlfriends, or killing someone. Daily news. The noise builds and then  there's the Fence. The pinche Fence. The fronteria. A multimillion dollar exercise in futility - laying to waste people's resources, the land and dividing the history and fate of countries. Most of all wasting the energy of so many dreams for a better life. 
Lost Dreams but not forgotten.  Sign of the Times - A morning shrine Trayvon Martin along my bike route to A Mountain.

I see these sad reports EVERYDAY  about weird shit that happens to women and girls and boys. "What IS Going on ?? " as Marvin Gaye laments.   Are you noise / WAR Weary ?? Some days I feel I could  curse and scream out loud and I do my best to compose my intention to go light a candle and ask for some divine guidance. Then in the midst of the sshiittt  there's these little gleaming lights. collectively the glimmer of hope stands out really shining bright. I have gleaned such wisdom from my friends FB posts these past couple years following their lines of interest, I have been inspired, enlightened, amazed, appalled and truly amazed. They've made me laugh and brought tears to my eyes. So it is;  there are somedays when a message reveals itself to you and makes you smile. A piece of trash on the street has a message. A bag in a tree takes on a new metaphor.  You swear that image of the St Jude just winked at you.  The quality of the light causes pause. A gesture of a man in repose with his shirt looks up at the mountain like an Adonis along the river's shore.  It's such a picture perfect moment but I don't want to disturb his peace.  Do you ever find it strange how certain random stories seem to fit into the  message of the day?  Like a sign from above.  Just like when I see a roadrunner cross my path I think of Juan Quezada telling me it means good luck!  You just know the Spirit of life is speaking to you like those random songs in foreign languages even if you don't understand the words. 

This is stuff I'm airing out in my head as I train for my riding the 50 miles in the Cochise County Cycling Classic. and the Rancho Feliz Bigger Than Borders post ride Fandango.   There are so many endings and new beginnings I can barely keep up the sequence of the rapid fire changes in my life.  I am not alone and the words crowd my head.  So many people are in the current and Lordisma knows where we're heading. A flood of images flows in a stream of memories.  From what I've seen of the world there are more people who want to make the world a better place. Even if they're one in a million. 

Along the Santa Cruz River Trail below A Mountain. Tucson, AZ 


Another good reason I  ride is  I am also thinking about the resiliency of the  human spirit.  Even when it's  hard I feel I could cry as I climb the mountain that is the metaphor of life; alone we must travel each one of us. We are compelled to meet the challenge for our own reasons. I have also been working on being conscious of gratitude and to say GRACIAS and BUENAS DIAS. The air is sweet after the rain and the dark of the morning cool in the desert. The only reprieve. The breeze. The creosote. Looking for the river's path after the rains. It is good to see the river's path and look out so far across the valley. It looks mystical and surely I am learning it is. Ancient people's lookout from this place 1000's of years ago. Today a viejito, an older grandpa, is wearing a AZ Wildcats baseball cap. He picks up last nights party trash and puts it into one of many trash cans not because it's his job but because he loves this mountain.  His family is from Sonora - ranchers and farmers del Oeste he gestures  with his chin and looks south and west with crystal blue eyes.  Todo cambio... asi es. Asi es. The sun is behind a bank of clouds making a majestic display. I share my dried mangos with him; looking out we admire the valley each imagining farmlands and times when the Santa Cruz river ran. 
Bike Haven : BICAS.org  Someday I hope something like this will exist in Agua Preita ; ) 

The words of the poets and writers stories come to mind when I ride. Randomly I listen to my ancient ipod from 2007. I have Jack Keroac's  On the Road read by Will Patton; Old Mexican love songs and Flagtown Punk Rock gets my amp on  between a honky tonk and Chopin and Cher song ;  I think of all the stories I now carry in me thanks to  the words that were poured into me  telling me of peoples ordeals in the desert climbing and climbing and walking through the brutal heat. I am just going for a ride on  this  cool and beautiful morning through a sleeping neighborhood; from the barrio to the mansions on the hill.  Jesus! How AM I going to do this?? I laugh at myself. I comfort and cojole. Next rock. Next tree. Yes you can! Flashback 5 years old and the Little Train that Could. Flash back that beautiful girl in the barrio living in a shack. Some one loving on her. Reading to her. Pull my knees in. Breath. Breath of fire. Get that negative crap out. Now breath in this beautiful morning!  flashback  Meeting yourself on the matt.Yoga class. Be like a strawberry and wear your heart on the outside. Tap into the BIGGER energy. I give this practice to honor those who are helping others. Children's faces flash before me bright eyes; dreams gleaming!  Go further. Ride it like you run the river. Hold that line -Set a point and go for it. Jesus!!! It's Beautiful in the morning dark and this is kicking my ass! 
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Here was a  bit of news that has enlivened my own sense of purpose in the 'doing of the thing' I've never done before. I gleaned this very tender story of 5 year old Toby Little whose dream is to write a letter to every country. So far he has written over 234 letters.  I LOVE his letters ! His curiosity and interest in the world. and has a list of who else he'd like to contact which I found endearing.  

As it goes, one link leads to another. Two young people , one 5 years of age in England, another 11 and blind in a refugee camp , are inspired to reach beyond what they know even at their young age through expressing themselves. What wisdom in their true response to the world.  


Boy, 5, Writes Handwritten Letters to Every Country in the WorldBoy, 5, Writes Handwritten Letters to Every Country in the WorldPicture
Toby's website: http://www.writingtotheworld.com/
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/writingtotheworld

Boy, 5, Writes Handwritten Letters to Every Country in the World


Toby at 5 years of age is contributing to SHELTERBOX.ORG by writing letters to strangers who become pen pals from  the world. How amazing is that??? 

A boy and his Tambur in Iraqi Kurdistan

A boy and his Tambur in Iraqi Kurdistan

Syrian refugee Delan playing his tambur with his father holding his microphone as he 
plays at Qushtapa refugee camp, Irbil, Iraqi Kurdistan, September 2013.


A child on the edge of chaos sings his heart out into the world with a gift that inspires those who are suffering around him. Music is what keeps him calm.  I discovered this little clip on Shelterbox.org and heard the powerful voice of 11 year old Delan, which means 'Heart'.  As a Syrian refugee his beloved instrument was damaged at the border crossing. I realize again I do not know anything about Syria; I know of the ancient history and that we are balancing between war and some alternative. This interview imparts  a window into a world that is covered in headlines and visions of war.  The photo is compelling and I can feel I am there in the refugee camp. I can feel  the Soul of the people.  The music reached down deep and resonated deep within me when I heard his song. I wish I could hear the whole recording.  His songs are so powerful the government has prevented him from attending his music school.Yet he plays into the night for the people his own compositions.  

" Hug me and I forget my pains
I want compassion
I need you my mother
 I am going to sing for 
the childhood. 
With my songs and my words 
they make me 
forget the gift of seeing 
Thanks to my God. "  


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" If you put your mind to do something 

nothing can stop you. "

The other reason giving purpose to my ride is to ride for those who can not.  I did not know it was against the law for a woman to ride a bicycle. All the more reason to ride!  

WADJDA  The first  Saudi  Arbian movie and the first woman director  Haifaa Al Mansour, an International film award winner about a teenage Saudi girl  and her quest for a bike.  


Haifaa Al Mansour

Haifaa Al Mansour, the director of Wadjda, the first feature film shot in
 Saudi Arabia opens September 20 across the U.S.
URSULA DÜREN/DPA/CORBIS


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He Said: 


I wrote earlier about how we are inundated, saturated with the tragedy of sexual abuse/ violence in our world. It's a case of "they're" much worse over "there" as if what's happening right here in not just as disturbing. Sadly abuse is Everywhere. It knows no borders. Yet these brave women are taking their place back in the world as beautiful survivors and warriors reclaiming their light from a dark place. I was overwhelmed with emotions as I read and looked into their tender faces and let the honest truth sink in. I too share space with the survivors and for this reason too I ride. We are free to recreate ourselves in our own time.  



10
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Since its founding, the project has showcased over 2,000 survivors' stories.

Since its founding, the project has showcased over 2,000 survivors’ stories.



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Creating Beauty in a Crazy World. 

I have loved writing letters all my life. I used to circled words in books before I knew how to write. I was anxious to write or color. A deep desire to communicate. I can still remember my 1st grade teacher Mrs. Mackler taking extra time to help me write left handed. I have had pen pals through out my life and participated with great zeal in the art of passing notes on tiny pieces of paper folded into intricate origami. These images were created in my friend, art educator Meg Bitner's ESL Class at the same high school we attended while growing up. She had her students do their profiles and creative writing and I combined them with their portraits in photoshop. I really think it was a beautiful collaboration. I have been inspired by the work of Jose' Antonio Abreu and his Global Youth Orchestra movement. If we nurture our young people and light a fire within them they will shine. The importance of art, music, inclusiveness and the tools to be able to express oneself.  Beauty is also a human right. 

Words Inside of Me. 

These 'sketches' form a series  from a small body of work made a few years ago with my long time friend, fellow artist and educator, Meg Bitnner's English Class. She invited me to photograph her students and teach a book making class. I  created  Photoshop composites with the student portraits , their actual writing and the portrait tracings they made into hand made books. 









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Reaching for the Stars:                                                           Music Education Gustavo Dudamel and José Antonio Abreu

Sometimes I will feel slightly shy or embarrassed to say one of my goals in my work is to show the beauty of the world. After I listen to Maestro Jose' Abreu I feel assured I am not LOCA - WE need beauty to keep us connected to the magic of the the miracle of life and all what we can experience and share with one another on our brief time around the sun. We are each a star. Here's to the LIGHT and inspiration of dreams.


Here's to the Magic ; )  



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