Monday, October 31, 2011


My friend Stahsha and I were on the beach last night when nature showed her heart to us. She gifted a fiery sunset and sandpipers that danced with the subtle lapping waves:

Saturday, October 22, 2011

To Freak or Not to Freak, That is the Question.

Fear based cultures make me giggle, and on a recent flight I was reminded of the fear culture that I live in. Sometimes I forget.

The flight was happy and smooth. Time whizzed by as I read my new book.  Cotton ball clouds dotted the cerulean sky out the window.  

Landing was about 45 minutes out and the loud blaring, pinched nose tone of the captain cut the crisp stale air of the cabin. He said in an urgent voice, "We're going to hit medium to high turbulence in about five minutes. Please prepare!"

The collective pulse and breath of the air passengers quickened. The tension built around me--I could see stress on people's faces--yet I chose another path. I chose calm. I told myself that we would have a smooth flight, and that I would not allow my fear mind to prepare myself for turbulence that was not guaranteed to happen. 

Twenty minutes passed and nothing happened. Forty minutes passed, and still, nothing happened. We landed on the runway without experiencing any turbulence. The smooth flight that I prepared for played out. :-)

This is a microcosmic example of a collective bracing for the worst. But why bother, unless the worst happens? Yeah, it's good to buckle up, on an airplane, or in life. Yes, I tie my shoes so I don't trip when I walk down the street. But please everyone, don't freak out! What do we really need to fear?

(disclaimer-yes, I've been afraid of flying in the past, and a moment like this could have freaked me out too. Somehow, I've been able to get over it. I guess you could say it was a choice :-) 

Sunday, October 16, 2011

"I Am Not Moving"

This is a well done video short on what's happening with Occupy Wall Street and the overall picture of the world and the current state of global politics and injustice. It definitely brought a tear to my eye.

It makes me think of a conversation that I had with a stranger in a coffee shop recently. The stranger told me that he hates the government and the police and that he wants to leave the country because of them. He said he's a Republican.

I said how I'm inspired to see what's happening with Occupy Wall Street, and he said that they shouldn't be out there protesting and that they deserve to be beaten up and maced by the police. Are you as confused as me? Peaceful protest is our right as Americans, and how could this person--after stating his distaste for the government and police--say that people deserve to be beaten for sharing their voice. I find humans to be so confusing sometimes.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

End Chapter.

From my time in Timor-Leste

I just finished the initial edits on my homeless women veterans documentary. I'm relieved it's almost done, and I need a break so I can mentally recharge.

It's interesting. I keeping interviewing people who have survived different forms of trauma, over and over again, without even trying. I'm magnetized to this work.

Over the past 10 years I've interviewed and worked alongside...

War survivors in Afghanistan
Afghan and Tibetan Refugees
Genocide survivors in Cambodia
Genocide survivors in Timor-Leste
Homeless people on Skid Row
Homeless US veterans
Rape victims
Homeless Children in Cambodia

I love my work, and I've learned so much from it. I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world. It's humbled me and made me more appreciative of what I have. I'm curious to see where all of this work and all of these lessons learned will lead me to next. To be continued...

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Editing Has Begun...

I'm now editing my documentary on homeless women veterans. It's tough, sad & inspiring. The hard part about editing these stories is that a part of me lives the sadness & emotions every time I hear it. In editing, I have to listen to stories over and over again; these stories are all about rape, abuse and homelessness. The one thing that I've learned from this is that I'll never join the military. Well, ok... I've already known that much for quite some time, but these women's stories reinforce my feelings. Every woman I interviewed for this documentary was raped by male colleagues while serving in the US Military. I'm starting to wonder if there are any women who haven't been raped while serving. I'm sure they're out there, but I haven't met any of them yet.

I met some women veterans when I worked in the peace movement back in 06' & 07', and my experience was the same; every woman I met experienced rape in the military.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

From Balloon Fest, With Love!

I'm almost done with my work in New Mexico. Today is my last interview for my documentary. Luckily, the Albuquerque Balloon Festival started this morning and I got to check it out. This is one of the many things on my lifelong to-do list. Check! Done.

Oh, and while I'm at it...

I also got to visit Abiquiu, New Mexico where Georgia O'Keeffe once lived. I visited what she called The White Place, one of her favorite places to paint.

Here's my picture:

Here's Georgia's painting: