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On Friday night I attend a talk by Andrea Smith who spoke about the racism that exists in North America around the Violence against Native Women and the struggle of indigenous peoples.

Andrea Smith is a Cherokee feminist and anti-violence activist who is the the  co-founder for INCITE! An aloquint speaker i found that I was really drawn into the points that she made around systemic racism that exists in our North American culture around peoples of colour.

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A city of ghosts
Poverty dripping from buildings…
With bordered windows, silent streets, and meandering men.

A desperation for change – for newnesss –
The rich have diserted
Fled for suburbs, fled for gates & locks
The rest have stayed… have stayed…

And yet.
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I’m in the process of writing more reflections but for now I’ll post the two blogs that I wrote for work…

Conference Day 2

Workshop: Technologies of Collaboration and Cooperation

The sea

Full of emotions
Moments of anger, stillness, soothing, and caressing…
Emotions.

It’s heard so many truths,
Felt so many things,
A keeper of keep sakes,
Never to be revealed to anyone but itself.

Headlands creating great divide…
Between the fury and force
Of the sea and source.

Exposing moments of intensity,
Exposing moments of beauty.

I open my heart
To this memory, this land, this place.

Being part of the pack-down crew at Peats Ridge music festival has a lot more work involved then one would imagine. A lot more than I had imagined.
The idea behind this New Years festival is to be sustainable while providing art, music, and workshops. As they’re website states, “a major part of the Peats Ridge experience is finding out how to live more sustainably, and therefore reduce our impact on the beautiful Glenworth Valley, and the planet as a whole.”
One way in which this is achieved is by composting all the food waste – minus meat – in massive built up compost bins created by yours truly. During the day we separated the paper material like cups, plates, and cutlery from the food waste that were all deposited into the compost bins. The paper material is then shredded (including waste boxes laying around the festival) and is used as a layer between the compost. It’s a great way to ensure that a mix of green and browns is evenly distributed to the compost. It’s also an amazing way to divert such a large quantity of food waste that is left around after 5000 people eat at a festival. Go team compost!
Some festivals take on the approach of providing plastic plates which can be obtained by putting down a $10 deposit (way beyond the actual cost of the plate) and then after you finish eating your grub you return it – for a $10 refund – to be washed and reused. A rad solution to reducing waste and reducing emissions to create paper products.It’s something that a festival like Peats Ridge might consider to help reduce their extended carbon imprint.
I think it would be a hard balance
Later in the day we were asked to go help out at a massive dumpster behind the vendors tents whom had long packed up their things and left. We were asked to go through and sort out the organic material to be used in the compost.
Did they expect that vendors at the festival would act in such disconnected fashion to the festival? What lye before us was a massive mound of corn, 10 KG bag of uncooked beans, uncooked Turkish bread, a box of Ginger, and heaps more. Around the campsites there were mounds of waste generated from teh 3-day festival by attendies.
I believe that festivals like this have a shining opportunity to educate businesses and attendies on concepts around sustainability. Someone mentioned handing out a pamplet to attendies that come to educate them about not polluting waterways, taking their rubbish, and tips and facts about other things they waste.

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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“No man is an island, entire to itself…
Any man’s death diminishes me
Because I am involved in mankind…
And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;
It tolls for thee.”
– John Donnne, 1624

This quote from John Donne makes me realise a lot about my life. Where I’ve come and where I’ve been.

A great deal of my twenties was spent trying to prove to myself that I was an independent male. Converge with social western norms that dictated that in order to be attractive and strong one must be really REALLY super independent. To be independent meant that you had to be a strong as bricks. This meant that you were to not rely on other people, not ask for help, not talk to people about your problems, and certaintly not show any level of weakness. Being strong and independent meant that you should have your own house, spend time in that house, and be super SUPER successful.

It kinda makes me sad.

When I came to Australia I spent a great deal of time travelling on my own and yet interacting and trying to find community along my journey. I found myself surround by good community, beautiful people, and heaps of loving friends (close and far) all while trying to find some grounding and my true centre. (Note: To me finding my true centre is heaps different then attempting to being independent. Finding your centre is more about being strong/solid in your boundaries, thoughts, and open to growth. But not shutting out other things as independence can).

I strive to feel centred in my decisions and thoughts and follow my heart whether the decisions I make are good or bad I know there’s a reason they are happening. It’s a different approach to that of independence that benchmarks your success based on pay raises, how successful you are, and heaps of other unimportant things. I means seriously if something bad does happen due to climate change it’s what we have inside, what we have built around us, and what skills we know that are going to make us sink or swim. Read the rest of this entry »

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

[I know I haven’t posted for what seems like decades and yes I still am wanting to write. This one is kinda important more to help a friend out so if you know peeps interested please pass this along she could use the interest, love, involvement and people going to the festival xo]

Festival

Do you like French music? Do you want to head to a festival that plays French music! Have a look at the video here about an upcoming amazing festival that you should check out www.youtube.com/watch?v=iyrP1avfp3k.

Mark those dates down!

February 15th, 2008: Help out the festival and enjoy beautiful music
What: Fund raising for Le Chic Frog Festival
Where: Glass House Hotel
What’s going down: Music, DJs, etc…
Do you want to  perform: Contact Antoine (antoinedamery@hotmail.com) – or if you know someone who might be interested!

March 1st and 2nd, 2008: A French weekend not to forget
What: Le Chic Frog Festival
Where: Moonambel (http://www.lechicfrogfestival.com/index2.php?lang=US&page=33)
Details: It’s going to be an amazing 2 day festival full of French music, short films, food, wine, and street performances!
Tix: Can be purchased at www.greentix.com.au

March 11th, 2008: An added performance
What: Cecile Corbel, French singer
Where: Performing at the Northcote Social Club
Details: Check out Cecile Corbel at www.myspace.com/cecilecorbel.
Tix: Can be purchasd at www.northcotesocialclub.com.

Please forward this email to anyone you think would be interested!

“So tell me about your project”

Things are explained…

“And what do you think you could do at our festival…”

Things are suggested….

I leave with this feeling in my chest. Is that fear? Are we making the wrong choice? An old story once told to me from a wise womyn repeats in my head, “We confuse fear with excitement all the time when our stomach feels upset…you have to find what it really means to you.”

Gulp which is it.

Wow this project is really happening isn’t it. Holy crap this is rad.