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[Written for Michael Freeman – a man of many talents – wait for the audio I reckon it will be better]

A progressor of progression
Towards a new – open world.

Not so cold
Not so old
So so so much more bold.

A spoon deep in a vessel
Sizzling senses of hot sauces

Brewing…
Of deep support,
sustenance,
and spirit.

His hands like a magician
Crafting unseen grace in the food he touches.

A tapstry of local foods –
a plate of possibilities.

Casting people in a revolution of trance for
Change with their mouths.

A magician unlike others
He’s ready to teach
– You and me –
The magic!
And remove the smoke and mirrors…

Michael
Your a friend I respect
A laugh as contagious as a winter cold
A heart solid like a beetroot freshly picked.

Your not buying into this cash train
Finding possibilities,
Spreading messages,
In the actions you take
The actions  you make.

– An actor nota talker –

I thank you
For inspiring, encouraging, and loving me

It’s true –
Our friendship is like glue

Founded on canned foods,
Long talks,
and all the shit that will shift this revolution onward upward and forward.

SALUT!

[I found out just the other day that a dear friend of mine from Australia has passed on after having a diabetic coma. It’s really hit me hard as I really saw her as a sister, friend, and awesome person in this world. So to her I wrote this…]

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Unofficially we have now had three big breakfasts. But officially we have had two serious ones with peeps that have come from various places around Melbourne to hang out, build community, talk politics, change, movements, and various issues.

What exactly is a big breakfast?

Well inspired by my friend Trianne and her housemates in Victoria they used to put on a breakfast at least once a month that anyone in Victoria (usually activisties) could attend. It was completely dumpstered food that would have normally gone to waste. I tragically was never able to actually go to any of these events and I think that slowly they disassembled because the house broke-up.

Needless to say I was always and still am impressed with their thoughts.

Building community…

I realise now after having just two of these gigs that this is such a beautiful of building community, sharing food, and just talking about sharing perspectives from lots of different ways. And I am about building community these days trying to get people together in whatever way I can. Trying to build strong connections with my neighbours and share knowledge and other things (bartering).

But yeah having the community breaky is a fabulous way of creating a nice environment to allow peeps to come over for some rad food. Yesss sir!

We’ve been serving up vegetarian dishes and vegan dishes (sour dough pancakes) and heaps of other goodies too. And the best part as of yet is that the faces just keep changing which is a pretty cool thing.

Last weekend (we are holding it the last Sunday of every month at our crib) I had a great conversation with some Italian students who were talking about the recently elected leader of the country Silvio Berlusconi. To most this man is considered a serious “right-wing facist,” which in general scares the people. Hearing a perspective on what is happening in Italy since the recent elections creates a scary perspective on what conservative governments have the potential of creating. Yes indeed some protest that these governments actually reduce debt that we pay but then I wonder at what cost? At the cost of those that are living below the living wage, at the cost of everyone through health care, those fighting for equality, and at the cost overall for society. It’s a scary reality.

But then that’s why we are growing community. That’s why I will always think differently and fight for what I believe in. Because I don’t want to create a world that benifits me but not others around me. Not others in the future that I leave it too. Not others in countries that I don’t see everyday but can feel their suffering. Nope I want more to this life then just to think about my pocket book.

I want change. I want to barter/swap/grow food. I want to share thoughts/ideas/reality. I want to work together. I want to love neighbours and know them more than a hello and bye each day. I want to break away from a system that makes me feel as though I’m not doing the right thing at 30 by not owning a house, sharing my house, and having a picket fence that’s white. I’m sorry but having a big house that isn’t fully used isn’t all that sustainable. And we as western people are lucky to have what we have…but for how long?

And no I don’t really judge those around me for living that life either. I love them as I love everyone. I think that we all have to work at this together. We all have to take on what we are comfortable with doing, and when we grow comfortable with that we can try to expand that to other things. But I do think that we have to realise that we all have an impact in this world for whatever way we want.

I have a beautiful friend that I meant at the Dreaming Festival last year named Rachel Shields. She’s aboriginal, a musician, a full of this amazing spirit to which I was immediately drawn to when I first met her. I respect for all the levels of connection she has with this sacred land. The other day I got this little ditty from her and wanted to share. Hope you enjoy it. xo

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So it’s been a massive dream to move all the contents of my house from one part of a city to another by bicycle. I all started when I was on The Otesha Project in Canada and met this amazing Food Not Bombers (well one womyn particularly) in Victoria who had moved all the contents of her place on this trailer they had built out of a stretcher used to bring peeps out of the bush.

I was in total awe and respect when I heard that I planned secretly of doing that myself.

Believe it or not we got cheered from several cafes along route which was ubber rad in my opinion. And motorists kinda just looked in respect and awe and took photos on cameras and cheered us on. Epic journey. Beautiful peeps and man I’d do it again in a heart beat!

So without further ado…

And heh if you are bored check out the first Bike Move that happened just before mine by my rad friend Kat…

Oh yeah folks it’s a freakin movement…

xo

Well folks it’s all happened.

As some of you know I applied for my second working holiday visa here in OZ so that I could stay in Melbourne for a year and work with Cycle for Sustainability. All I had to do was pass a physical (yipes), work three months on a farm, and do some jumpin jacks. And yesterday I got notice that I’ve been accepted for another year!

So what does all this mean?

Well basically I have felt pretty strongly about getting The Otesha Project (Australia): Cycling for Sustainability — formerly (Cycle for Sustainability) moving in bigger directions with more peeps. And I’ve moved to Melbourne, tag teaming up with Ange & other crew, and trying to make all this dream into a reality. So for the next year we’ll be planning out some serious tours (3 or 4), performing skits, monkeying around, dancing to funk, and applying for grants. If we can get a sizable grant it would make a huge difference in the success of this project. Phfew wish me luck! It’s pretty huge for me at the moment as this was a huge decision but honestly it feels right..it feels true. Inside I feel that I’m following my heart more than I ever have. Shit yeah!

And now we’d like to thank our sponsors…

I’d just like to take this opportunity to thank all the rad peeps out there. My friends, my family, my Aunt here in OZ for her endless giving, Andrew for his guitarness, Ella for her chips – beer – and laughs, and all that rad support, encouragement, love, giving, more giving, and help.

We are nothing without community. We are nothing without the support, inspiration, and love from others. Let’s hope that we can pull this bad boy off.

Peace, love, dance moves, and life.

PS – Shane is typically renamed to Shano don’t ask me why but I kinda like it.

PSPS – Leunig is an amazing artist from OZ.

Woop There It Is

It’s been a while since I last wrote anything on this crazy website and some of you migth have wondered if I had croaked or given up on the web. Not really…not that radical. Still love reflecting, sharing, and being in the moment.

Upon arriving home in Canada I stayed in Calgary for two straight weeks mainly catching up with beautiful friends, visiting my family,  attend my sister Shannon’s wedding, and then attending my good friend Shawna’s wedding (where I was bustin up the mic as the MC. Oh I’m sure you are thinking “Danger will Robinson” but it wasn’t that bad I had a blast! And cracked a few jokes — even though I was poopin my pants in the meantime)

It was beautiful to see how amazing my friends are moving along on different but similar paths. Growing in ways that I expected and didn’t expect. But in the end I feel proud to be surround with amazing people doing these different things. To experience and share them in different and beautiful ways. I’m just lucky to have that, be a part of their experience, and share some part of that with them. I thank each one of you that is doing something really different and unique, pushing your limits and societal boundaries so that I might look upon you and feel inspired.

The Crew

Then I headed out to British Columbia for one week before leaving on a jet plane back to Australia (yep that quick and no I don’t feel that great about it but given the circumstances of extending my visa — it’s a long story — I kinda had too).

It was beautiful to be out in British Columbia chillin with old friends from the BC Otesha Tour one last time before I jumped on a plane destined for the other side of the world again. It was like this beautiful convergence of all these rad peeps who live all around Canada and elsewhere on one day to celebrate Yodi’s birthday (Jodi). The crew being The Switz, Lani, Alicia, Jeanie, Yodi, The Hersh, Mel, Jen, and Moi. A fine crew to  head out for some  good  yummy food and then chillin on the beach for a few hours catchin up.

Thetis Lake

I left Vancouver a few days later and headed straight for Victoria, Recylistas, beers with Trianne & Jen, Thetis swims, and just some nice hanging out in that rad town/city/villa. I spent a nice afternoon chillin with Trianne having lunch (preventing her from working more like it) at Recylistas. Then a ride down to Thetis lake and a dip in my undies was a perfect way to finish my Victoria tour.

Then I was off to bust a move with Wheats up at Linnaea farms on Cortes Island. It was nice to see Farmer Wheatcroft in her element and share food with her from the beautiful garden she is building. Folks when I tell you that girl is going places with her skills (skills to pay the bills) I’m not kidding. It was pretty nice to spend time chillin out on Cortes, visiting more of the island I hadn’t seen the last time, and seeing everything from different eyes from the last time I was there.

I think the downtime I had on the island gave me a good perspective of how much I love Canada. How special it is to me, that if I could have bottled the smell of pine for my trip I would have, and that I think there are amazing people there (Canada) as there are her in OZ. Not to say that this new phase back in Australia is a wrong choice just a different one. I think it’s special to know how precious a place like Canada is to me. Makes me realize that as a society the sooner we stop to realize that it is special, we want it there for our children, our children’s children, and beyond that we might stop and think about ways we can conserve water, drive less, use more efficient light bulbs, recycle, share ideas with each other, buy local, and generally just care more about community building.

For those that I didn’t get to see I still love you. Drop me a line I’d love to hear how you are doing!

xoxo

PS – Mal thanks for making my last day nice and enjoyable too. It was nice to catchup before you headed back to Ottawa and me OZ.

Smelt Bay

 

MoiWho would have thought I would have fallen in love with this city. I suppose a lot has to do with it’s small town feeling (small communities), the people, the environment, how easy it is to get into the bush so quickly, and did I mention the people? I’ve been lucky to really get involved with some amazing people in the community and last Friday was my final bye-bye dinner filled with some high emotions, good memories, and plenty of beautiful people. Adious Ella, Amy, Hannah, Maurice, Kaitlin, JP, Becs, Jen, Aline, Andrew, Gavin, Dylan, Fuji, Tash, & any other crew I left out.

My aunt has been a huge rock the entire time I spent here off and on. Always giving me love, food, and a place to sleep when I needed it. And my cousin Andrew has been a rad friend to have around, watch movies with, chat, and ride in the rain with.

Thanks to the Hershler (sorry Laen if I messed your name up) I was able to yet again do a “Last Will and Testiment” and it was received with some good laughs, smiles, and tears (held back by me of course). I probably should have taken some pictures along the way but I was more in the moment and enjoying each and everyone as much as I could.

Ella

I think among a bunch of my friends (some of which I’ll see at SoS or perhaps back in Canada) the hardest to let go will be Ella. Oh yes some of you have heard about her. The beautiful womyn that I met here in the last month and have been chillin with. She’s got a beautiful mind, spirit, and heart that one. But then when we started hanging out we both knew that this was going to happen. Funny how that actually doesn’t make the situation any easier. Nor does it leaving all your established friends either?

You’re probably wondering why I actually like such a huge city? Mmm you never feel like your in it. The amount of activisty / community things going on is huge and I just happened to find a group that I really fit with. Plus the music, lifestyle, culture, and all the rest is bumpin.

So with all that in mind Sydney, friends, community, and Ella I say … “Catch you around..I’ll be back..or you’ll be in my land soon enough.” Here’s shedding a tear for you.

Love

Shane

Jamie & RomanToday I felt that it was appropriate to pay some respects and hi-fi’s to a special friend of mine whom is embarking on an amazing journey.

Jamie Liewaluzny (Liew+Zackaluzny=Liewaluzny – haa haa) has decided to take the degree that she trained so hard to obtain (law degree), jump on a plane, and head to Sierra Leone.

So why is that such an amazing feat you ask? Umm well Jamie (on the right of this picture) is heading to Sierra Leone to work on the defense case of one individual being tried at the Special Court that the United Nations and Sierra Leone have established. The conflicts that have plagued this country are extensive and tragic. This country is still not a really nice place to visit because of all the unrest that is plaguing these people.

As Jamie indicated to me it’s something that she feels strongly about and it doesn’t “matter who I represent because everyone deserves a fair trail.” She’s right everyone does and needless to say I think your great for believing that Jamie. I think that just taking the time out from her regular job in the Ottawa judicial system where she works for a judge to dedicate a few months on this project is really amazing.

If your history about Sierra Leone is rusty you should really have a look at the latest movie about this tragic history called Blood Diamonds (or here for official web addy). Apparently, this movie is a real eye-opener to the conditions in Sierra Leone and give one perspective of the situation that people faced. It’s tragic to know that something that we deem precious and special such as a diamond could really fuel and encourage such violence and despair in people.

To many people, diamonds symbolize love, happiness or wealth. However, for many others, they mean conflict, misery and poverty. In some African countries, such as the Democratic Republic of Congo, profits from the unregulated diamond trade are used to fund armed conflicts. As a result, tens of thousands of civilians have over the past years been killed or tortured and millions have been displaced. ” – Amnesty International report on the situation.

It’s beautiful to be inspired by so many amazing people around me and to you Jamie I say thanks and cheers! May your travels find you beautiful things and lots of learning.

Hugs

Shane

I decided it was best to rest and take some time out for my leg (which appears to be slowly healing and yet yesterday’s hitchin kinda flared things up a bit but I’ll survive).

Regardless, my time at Rongo Backpackers (Rongo meaning peace in Maori) and the idea behind this is to establish a beautiful artistic community with lots of great ideas including a permaculture farm, more building expansion, and the development of a bigger community. So far they are off to a really great start in this chilled out environment. I think anyone coming off the Heaphy Track would be silly to not stay here for a few days and see what they have to offer honestly.

I managed to spend a bit of time getting to know the woofers and the collective owners of this project (well some at least) and it was worth it. The Rongo backpackers has been focussed on making their hostel as sustainable as they can afford to (read: the more money they make the more they invest in environmental projects to reduce their carbon footprint). Roll the list…

  • They have some pretty amazing things setup such as a huge rain barrel in the backyard that feeds the shower water (possibly the toilets as well). This is the first time that I’ve run across a hostel like this and it makes me pretty happy to have a staggered shower with reused rain water (YAH)!
  • All the water for the showers is heated with solar heating on the roof. I was totally giddy when Paul took me around to show me the heaters. Two different panels were used to heat all the water used by everyone (sizeable hostel really) staying at Rongo. I’ve seen this once before at a sustainable eco-lodge up in northern Alberta called Aurum Lodge (beautiful place to stay too)
  • Composting – This included raw food for the garden and cooked food for local pigs *being a vegan I’d rather see the food go towards something then be chucked out*

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