Another world is not only possible,
she is on her way.
On a quiet day, if you listen carefully,
you can hear her breathing.

- Arundhati Roy -

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

We All Need Good Food

Family-farm agriculture is flourishing; living more harmoniously with each other and the earth is nourishing.

Mark Dworkin and Melissa Young, Clinton, WA

Traditions Lighting Our Way Forward

November Traditions for 2008, from LIGHT TRAVELS II
by Veita Jo Hampton

We plea to All Sacred Universal Entities
For strength, relief, truth,
Courage, confidence, compassion.
We acknowledge our differences.
We celebrate our common goals.
We seek patience, tolerance, and endurance.
Grateful for laughter, beauty, surprise,
Wonders we cannot explain,
We celebrate love.
We are thankful for homes, space, place,
People gathered with us, those alive, and
Those who grace us with their spirits.
We acknowledge our quaint place in the universe.
We are grateful to be free to choose how we gather, for
Whom we vote, to whom we pray, where we share opinion,
We are thankful for the Constitution of these United States.

Photograph by Scott Charles Clarkson, California State Democratic Convention, April 2008.

Neighbors Helping Neighbors

My dream is that more people will finally feel empowered to act on their own dreams, to act as their own best selves in shaping any of the the worlds they live in. A long-time activist in my tiny community, I've found that an attitude of hope--grounded with some degree of common sense--will take you a long way toward your goal. This is no time to be an Eeyore. Dream little, dream big, but take that dream into the real world for a test drive too.

One of my dreams for health care is working in my own community right now. Given our current and future economic circumstances, I wish more and more communities would start something like our Friends of Friends Medical Support Fund. It began more than a decade ago when I asked 75 acquaintances if they'd give me $100 a year to help people in our community with uncovered medical expenses. That first year--while I was just piloting the program on a small scale--$7,500 came in, and 11 people were helped with doctor, hospital, prescription, and medical-travel expenses. It's a very simple, low-red-tape program that doesn't even have an office, but last year Friends of Friends helped more than 200 people with more than $75,000 in medical bills. It wasn't a grandiose dream, to be sure, but it has provided a measure of emotional and financial relief to more than a thousand people over the years now.

Something like Friends of Friends can be adapted to the needs of your own community, no matter how you define it--your town, your neighborhood, your block, your congregation, your affinity group. Neighbors helping neighbors: It's what America has always been about.

Lynn W, Whidbey Island WA

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

"Oui, On Peut - Yes, We Can"

Obama ZYDECO from Louisiana 2008 - A lilting tune that will keep your spirits bright and your feet dancing.