Friday, June 25, 2010

quick letter to you

Dear Readers,
I've been really swamped. I've been to Kalamazoo, Lansing, Chicago, and Detroit (numerous times--Detroit) that is in the last 3 weeks.

The US Social Forum is in full swing and we've (as in AFSC-MI) have been participating. Did a workshop on prisoner advocacy on Wed, participated, but only half of it, in the prison justice PMA yesterday. And, today--well today is our big Retur.ning Cit.izens Family Reunion picnic down at the USSF on the Detroit river. We've been organizing it with a bunch of other organizations. It should be beautiful.

With all of this happening, my kk is still with child. She is getting to near half-way through. I cannot believe that soon and very soon we will be parenting a new little life. After the 20 week mark, I will have more detailed updates on what we are planning and doing regarding the preparation for birth.

And I have been gardening like mad.

Yesterday I got home from work around 6:45 and then worked compost and my gardens until 9:00. I cannot even begin to explain the joy that I feel in the physical exhaustion that accompanies laboring in the earth. And for those of you have not figured it out yet, I am really, really into all of this mass compost creation. So much so that I hand picked 3 large bags of clover and other greens from my yard to layer a new active compost pile the other day. Can you imagine having the opposite dilemma of the most common city compost problem which is not enough access to brown material? I have more than enough access to the browns--I need me some greens:)

Well, readers, I am soon to leave for Detroit to hopefully help kick off a super delightful picnic with the people.

Pics later and I do have another little comic to upload, just need to have the 10 minutes to scan it and post.

Be well,
the injector

Thursday, June 10, 2010

refueled smiles

Wow. What a week. I am on a train on my way home from Chicago--arrival time estimated at 11:30 EST. P and I headed there on Tuesday to mingle with our colleagues and talk about our work and learn and live a little. It was good.

Our Chicago office had a fundraiser last night that went really well and was inspirational because it was all about honoring young people working for social justice within AFSC--young high schoolers, young college kids, and young in-betweeners--between college or previous work and the rest of their lives.

Anyhow, our regional director is incredibly inspirational and he is so focused on the organizing work that we all do on the ground and the educational pieces of our work built into the fabric of our organizing; this focus really plays well off of our local work with people in prison in MI.

We work with so many young interns and volunteers. We rely on these full-of-energy, yet-to-be-jaded people to help us get through the thousands of letters and other correspondences that we receive each year from people in prison and their loved ones. I am so proud of these kids. Yes, I call them "kids" cause in some ways they are like our real kids. We've developed strong relationships with them and we learn so much about living from them, and they also learn so much about advocacy, and activism, and organizing.

For all of the stress that my work holds within the very nature of its reality; for all of the heartache that crosses our paths; for all of the abuse and harm that we are witness to on a daily basis; knowing that these young people are getting turned on to justice issues and knowing that they will carry what pieces of hope might still be cracking in dust balls from the sky into fertile somethings that will grow a different future--a future dedicated to compassion for all living things and for generations to come, well, all that knowing makes me smile and refuels me for the days ahead.

And, we happened to be in downtown chicago when the blackhawks won last night. kind of neat and surreal.

And, P, got to see the big city for the first time. Also, really neat.

So, to hope, I raise my invisible glass and to the next many weeks of work, I turn to the vapors of energy rising from the minds of those young ones in my life who will and are making a difference in the lives of countless others.