Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Australian Sojourn – May 2016

Part 7: Exeter

I continue this evening my series of posts documenting my recent visit to Australia by sharing a few photos and commentary from my time in the Southern Highlands village of Exeter. (To start at the beginning of this series, click here.)

Exeter is located 50km northwest of Goulburn, the rural city where I lived and taught for six years before relocating the the U.S. in 1994, and where I visited prior to my brief stay in Exeter at the home of my good friend Kerry, who lives on a small acreage just outside the village.

In the photo above I'm with Kerry (center) and her sister Sandra on the afternoon of Wednesday, May 19. We're at the Exeter General Store which, as you can see, has an extensive lending library of books. Along with a cup of coffee, I'm enjoying a vanilla milkshake – a favorite drink of mine from my childhood, and one which I only ever indulge in when visiting Australia. Why? Because you just can't beat an Aussie vanilla milkshake!

Above, left and below: On Thursday, May 20 Kerry and I watched the sunrise from a lookout in Morton National Park.

Exeter, like many of the towns and villages of the Southern Highlands, is perched atop a line of spectacular escarpments which forms the western edge of Morton National Park. The park extends eastwards, almost to the coast and the seaside towns of Jervis Bay and Ulladalla.

One of many interesting places in the area is the Sunnataram Forest Monastery, which I visited with Kerry on a previous visit. For images of the monastery, click here.

Above and below: This beautiful tree, located on Kerry's farm in Exeter, is believed to pre-date Australia's colonial era.

Above and below: On the platform of Exeter railway station – Thursday, May 20, 2016.

Originally called Badgery’s Siding when it opened in 1878, the station at Exeter is unique in that it's the only one in Australia built on the curve of a railway track.

From Exeter I traveled by train to Sydney where I caught the Northern XPT to Wauchope, the closest town with a railway station to Port Macquarie, where my parents live.

Right: As I was leaving Sydney on the train I snapped a photo of the house where my father lived with his Aunt Phyllis in the 1940s. (For a picture of my Dad and Aunty Phyllis from that time, click here.)

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Exeter (2008)
Southern Highlands (2007)
Goulburn Revisited (2006)
Australian Sojourn, May 2016: Part 1 – Maroubra
Australian Sojourn, May 2016: Part 2 – Morpeth
Australian Sojourn, May 2016: Part 3 – Melbourne
Australian Sojourn, May 2016: Part 4 – Hanging Rock
Australian Sojourn, May 2016: Part 5 – Albury
Australian Sojourn, May 2016: Part 6 – Goulburn

Images: Michael J. Bayly and Kerry Dyer.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Standing Together

"It's Not for Sale" by Ricardo Levins Morales.

A big part of my prayer life involves envisioning and praying for the paradigm shift in human consciousness which I believe the Sacred Presence (or "God") is calling humanity to embody. It's a shift – a movement, a journey – from greed and violence to justice and peace, from apathy to compassion, from mindless consumption to sustainability, from fear to love. I realize, of course, that this shift in consciousness has to begin with me. After all, as Gandhi once said: "If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. . . . We need not wait to see what others do."*

With all of this in mind I have to say I've been watching with great interest and hope the growing movement opposing the Dakota Access oil pipeline (part of the Bakken pipeline project) near the Standing Rock Sioux reservation in North Dakota. I see this movement as an embodiment of the paradigm shift that so many of us long to see realized.

Above: Native Americans protest the Dakota Access oil pipeline on August 12, 2016. (New York Times/Daniella Zalcman and AP Photo/James MacPherson)

Right: Jon Don Ilone Reed, an Army veteran and member of South Dakota's Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, poses for a photo at the Dakota Access oil pipeline protest on Thursday, August 25, 2016. (AP Photo/James MacPherson)

Above: The front lines of protesters blocking the Dakota Access pipeline – August 2016. (Photo: Desiree Kane)

The thousands who have gathered at Standing Rock to protect the water and the land have formed a community known as Sacred Stone Spirit Camp. Following is a message from Rainbow Hunting Wolf, one of the community members.

Important Message from Sacred Stone Spirit Camp,
Standing Rock, North Dakota
August 26, 2016

There is a lot of misleading information going out about what is going on here. This information will hurt us more than help us. The media is saying things such as we are hostile, making pipe bombs, shooting laser beams in the sky at the feds while [they're] flying by. They are saying that the police have cut off our food supply and water supply. That they have cut off our communication and blocked us in here like prisoners, etc. These things are not true. It is propaganda that is being put out there to raise tension and hostility. They want tension and hostility here so that they have a reason to try and stop us. The more people feed into this propaganda the more power they are giving to those against us, the harder they are making it for us. Not to mention that this misleading info will start attracting the wrong kind of energy here, hostile energy, which gives them reason to take action upon us.

My name is Rainbow Hunting Wolf. I am here at the Sacred Stone camp typing this message. There are over 80 Nations here as well as many other cultures, and more are coming. We have tons of water, food, and supplies, literally. There is one road block five miles north of us. The police are not allowing people to come in from the north except for residents. There is no problem going north though. We just take a different route to get back to camp if coming from Bismark. There are no cops here and no hostility of any kind. There are no weapons and no drugs or alcohol. A verizon tower is being put up so we have better cell reception and satellite internet is coming so we can get the proper info out.

We have a lot of support here. This is a very peaceful gathering. This has become a very beautiful thing. A village has formed here. There are many Nations here that were at one time enemies. Now these nations unite to stand together in solidarity to protect the water, the land, and our future generations. We are in celebration for the unification that is happening here. For this we have already won. We come together in prayer to protect these lands and our future generations. Unification through prayer is our most powerful weapon, it's all we need to win this battle. So this is what is going on here, prayer and celebration. For those who come here please be conscious of your actions and intentions for being here.

We do not need a violent battle, this is a peaceful battle. What we do here goes into this water here and spreads the energy we project throughout the lands and into the earth. The people who live here will still be here after we leave. They will have to deal with the repercussions of our actions here. We ask for all who have their focus here to be in your heart, to be in peace, to come join us if you can. If not then pray with us from where you are, from all four directions. Please understand that this is not just about this pipeline. This is happening all over the world and is destroying our water and the only land that our children will inherit. If the water dies, we all die. It is poisoning us mentally, spiritually, and physically. This is about our children and our future generations. This is about them having a solid foundation to grow from and a healthy future, or any future for that matter. We are all of water. We are all connected through water. Water is life and is the most powerful and humble element we have. The water is putting a call out for help and is currently bringing us together. That is how powerful it is. So please celebrate and pray with us where ever you are and help us protect all of our children's future as they are depending on us. We are here to protect our children, your children, all children.

May we all stand together in solidarity through prayer.

Please spread this message as far as you can. Thank you. Much Love.

Aho Mitakuye Oyasin

How You Can Help

1. Donate items from the Sacred Stone Camp Supply List.

2. Call the White House – (202) 456-1111. Tell President Obama to rescind the Army Corps of Engineers' Permit for the Dakota Access Pipeline.

3. Contribute to the Sacred Stone Camp Legal Defense Fund

4. Contribute to the Sacred Stone Camp GoFundMe Account.

5. Call the Army Corps of Engineers and demand that they reverse the permit – (202) 761-5903.

6. You can sign the petition to the White House to Stop DAPL

7. Call the executives of the companies that are building the pipeline:

Lee Hanse
Executive Vice President
Energy Transfer Partners, L.P.
800 E Sonterra Blvd #400
San Antonio, Texas 78258
Telephone: (210) 403-6455

Glenn Emery
Vice President
Energy Transfer Partners, L.P.
800 E Sonterra Blvd #400
San Antonio, Texas 78258
Telephone: (210) 403-6762

Michael (Cliff) Waters
Lead Analyst
Energy Transfer Partners, L.P.
1300 Main St.
Houston, Texas 77002
Telephone: (713) 989-2404

"All We Want Is Clean Water" by Marty Two Bull.

This past weekend I had the honor of meeting Buffy Sainte-Marie and seeing her perform with her band twice in concert – in Minneapolis on Friday, August 26 and in Bayfield, WI on Saturday, August 27. Her set included "No No Keshagesh," a powerful track from her 2008 album Running for the Drum.

"Keshagesh" is a Cree word that means "greedy guts." "It’s what you call a little puppy who eats his own and then wants everybody else’s,” says Buffy. In "No No Keshagesh" the term is used as a metaphor for corporate greed, and the song is all about opposing such greed and its destructive impact on the environment. Mister Greed, I think your time has come / We're gonna sing it and pray it and live it and say it / Singing: No, No Keshagesh you can’t do that no more . . .

Buffy dedicated her performance of "No No Keshagesh" to all who are gathered at Standing Rock to oppose the Dakota Access pipeline.

I never saw so many business suits
Never knew a dollar sign could look so cute
Never knew a junkie with a money jones
They singing Who’s sellin’ Park Place?
Who’s buying Boardwalk?

These old men they make their dirty deals
Go in the back room and see what they can steal
Talk about your beautiful for spacious skies
It’s about uranium; it’s about the water rights

Got Mother Nature on a luncheon plate
They carve her up and call it real estate
Want all the resources and all of the land
They make a war over it; blow things up for it

The reservation out at Poverty Row
There’s something cooking and the lights are low
Somebody trying to save our mother earth
I’m gonna help ’em to save it
and sing it and pray it, singing . . .

No no Keshagesh, you can’t do that no more!

Old Columbus he was looking good
When he got lost in our neighborhood
Garden of Eden right before his eyes
Now it’s all spyware;
now it’s all income tax

Old Brother Midas looking hungry today
What he can’t buy he’ll get some other way
Send in the troopers in the natives resist
Old, old story boys; that’s how ya do it, boys

Look at these people, Lord, they’re on a roll
Got to have it all; got to have complete control
Want all the resources and all of the land
They break the law for it;
blow things up for it

While all our champions are off in the war
Their final rip-off here at home is on
Mister Greed, I think your time has come
We're gonna sing it and pray it
and live it and say it, singing . . .

No no Keshagesh, you can’t do that no more!

NEXT: Standing in Prayer and Solidarity
with the Water Protectors of Standing Rock

Related Off-site Links:
After 525 Years, It’s Time to Actually Listen to Native Americans – Bill McKibben (Grist, August 22, 2016).
Standing Rock: River of Support Pours in from Indian Nations and Researchers – Brenda Norrell (Censored News, August 22, 2016).
Three Reasons the Standing Rock Sioux Can Stop the Dakota Access Pipeline – Mark Trahant (Yes! Magazine, August 22, 2016).
Occupying the Prairie: Tensions Rise as Tribes Move to Block a Pipeline – Jack Healy (The New York Times, August 23, 2016).
In Effort to Kill Pipeline, Groups Call Directly on Obama to Oppose Permits – Nadia Prupis (Common Dreams, August 25, 2016).
Faces of the North Dakota Pipeline Protest: "Sacred Land is Who We Are" – Josué Rivas (The Guardian, August 25, 2016).
North Dakota Oil Pipeline Protesters Stand Their Ground: "This is Sacred Land" – Nicky Woolf (The Guardian, August 29, 2016).
Army Corps of Engineers Confirms Native Protesters Are Right – There Is No Written Easement for Dakota Access Pipeline – Jeremiah Jones (Counter Current News, August 29, 2016).
National Lawyers Guild Statement of Solidarity with Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Against Dakota Access Pipeline – National Lawyers Guild International Committee (August 29, 2016).
An Oil Pipeline and a River: What Would Sitting Bull Do? – Winona LaDuke (Yes! Magazine, August 29, 2016).
Totem Carries Unifying Spirit Into Protest Camp – Lauren Donovan (Bismarck Tribune, August 29, 2016).
Report: More Than Two Dozen Banks Financing Dakota Access PipelineDemocracy Now! (August 30, 2016).
We Are Not Protesters, We Are Protectors: Peace, Prayer, Love and War at Standing Rock – Malika Wilbur (Project 562, August 30, 2016).
Buffy Sainte-Marie on Life and Living in the Spirit – The Simon Ortiz and Labriola Center Lecture on Indigenous Land, Culture and Community (Arizona State University, Tempe Campus, October 10, 2013).

UPDATES: What's Happening in Standing Rock? – Mark Sundeen (Outside, September 2, 2016).
A Test of U.S. Climate Leadership Will Be How We Treat the Standing Rock Sioux – Mark Trahant (Yes!, September 2, 2016).
Clashes Between Guards and Native Americans in North Dakota Over Pipeline – Talal Ansari (BuzzFeed News, September 1, 2016).
Dakota Access Pipeline Company Attacks Protesters with Dogs and Mace – Nadia Prupis (Common Dreams, September 4, 2016).
Oil Company Takes Dozers on 20-Mile Detour to "Deliberately Destroy" Ancient Native American Sites – Claire Bernish (The Free Thought Project, September 6, 2016).
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Condemns Destruction and Desecration of Burial Grounds by Energy Transfer PartnersIndian Country Today (September 4, 2016).
Protesters Start Preparing for Winter – Alicia Ewen (My ND Now, September 5, 2016).
New Investigation Names Wall Street Banks Behind $3.8 Billion Dakota Access PipelineDemocracy Now! (September 6, 2016).
Who's Investing in the Dakota Access Pipeline? Meet the Banks Financing Attacks on ProtestersDemocracy Now! (September 6, 2016).
Moments After Judge Denies DAPL Injunction, Federal Agencies Intervene – Valerie Taliman (Indian Country Today, September 9, 2016).
After Protests, U.S. Halts North Dakota Pipeline Near Tribal Lands – Ruthy Munoz and Dave Thompson (Reuters, September 9, 2016).
A Victory for Standing Rock Sioux – Timothy Bertrand (Reverb Press, September 9, 2016).
Joint Statement from the Department of Justice, the Department of the Army and the Department of the Interior Regarding Standing Rock Sioux Tribe v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – U.S. Department of Justice (September 9, 2016).
Obama Pipeline Plot Twist is Not a Victory – and Could Erase the Struggle – Kelly Hayes (Yes!, September 10, 2016).
From 280 Tribes, a Protest on the PlainsThe New York Times, September 11, 2016).
The North Dakota Pipeline Fight is Not Really About Environmental Risks But About Environmental Justice – Dan Vergano (BuzzFeed, September 12, 2016).
Standing Rock Protests: This is Only the Beginning – Rebecca Solnit (The Guardian, September 12, 2016).
The $3.7-billion Pipeline That Became a Rallying Cry for Tribes Across America – William Yardley (The Los Angeles Times, September 13, 2016).
At Standing Rock, Protest Camp Becomes a Movement – Dan Gunderson (MPR News, September 14, 2016).
At Standing Rock, a Sense of Purpose: “This Is How We Should Be Living” – Sarah van Gelder (Yes!, September 14, 2016).
Why the Dakota Access Pipeline Fight May Be a Turning Point in U.S. Environmental Politics – Ron Meador (MinnPost, September 16, 2016).
Victory for Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Over Dakota Access Pipeline Case – Doug Williams (Outdoor Revival, April 11, 2020).

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Quote of the Day – August 19, 2016
Threshold Musings
Something to Think About – October 13, 2015
Words of Wisdom on Indigenous Peoples Day
Buffy Sainte-Marie: Singing It and Praying It; Living It and Saying It
Buffy Sainte-Marie and That "Human-Being Magic"
A Spirit of Defiance
The "Fool Soldiers" of the Lakota
Visions of Crazy Horse
Something to Think About – April 22, 2014
"Something Sacred Dwells There"

* In relation to Gandhi's quote, Brian Morton wrote the following in an August 29, 2011 New York Times article:

Perhaps you’ve noticed a bumper sticker that purports to quote him: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” When you first come across it, this does sound like something Gandhi would have said. But when you think about it a little, it starts to sound more like ... a bumper sticker. Displayed brightly on the back of a Prius, it suggests that your responsibilities begin and end with your own behavior. It’s apolitical, and a little smug.

Sure enough, it turns out there is no reliable documentary evidence for the quotation. The closest verifiable remark we have from Gandhi is this: “If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. ... We need not wait to see what others do.”

Here, Gandhi is telling us that personal and social transformation go hand in hand, but there is no suggestion in his words that personal transformation is enough. In fact, for Gandhi, the struggle to bring about a better world involved not only stringent self-denial and rigorous adherence to the philosophy of nonviolence; it also involved a steady awareness that one person, alone, can’t change anything, an awareness that unjust authority can be overturned only by great numbers of people working together with discipline and persistence.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

"Window, Mind, Thought, Air and Love"

Sohrab Sepehri's Raptuous Thoughts on Life

. . . I want nothing more than an apple
and the scent of chamomile.
Nothing more than a mirror and my dear other.
I would never laugh at the child when his balloon bursts.
It doesn't bother me when philosophers split the moon in half.
I remember the fluttering of quail wings,
the color of the crane's long belly, the little goat's footprints.
I know where the rhubarb grows,
when starlings migrate, when partridges sing,
to where falcons fly.
I know what the moon means,
in the dream of the desert,
muttering in its sleep.
I understand the language of ripe berries
bursting in the mouth of the climaxing lovers.

Life, that pleasant chore,
has wings and feathers wide as Death
and launches itself skyward searching for love.
Life should not be unmoving in our mind
like a jar on the habit-shelf,
just another little task on the list of things to do.

Life is like the hand that aches
to pluck June's not yet ripe figs.
Like a sycamore refracted in the fly's myriad eyes.
It is a bat flying in the dark,
the migrating bird's strange directional instinct.
Life is like a train blowing its whistle
in the daydreams of the lonely tunnel-bridge.
Like from the airplane's windows
it is a distant garden seen.
Newspaper coverage of a rocket launching spaceward.
An astronaut finally stepping down onto the lonely moon,
smelling flowers of a distant planet.

Life is like washing a dish.
Like finding silver coins shining in the gutter.

Life is the square root of the mirror.
Flower raised to the power of eternity.
Earth multiplied by our heartbeats.
The simple geometry of breath.

Wherever I am, let me be there.
The sky is mine.
Window, mind, thought, air and love,
this earth, this life are mine.

Sohrab Sepehri
Excerpted from "Water's Footfall"
as published in The Oasis of Now:
Selected Poems of Sohrab Sepehri

(translated from the Persian by Kazim Ali
and Mohammad Jafar Mahallati)
pp. 21-22

Write Kazim Ali and Mohammad Jafar Mahallati in the introduction to The Oasis of Now: Selected Poems of Sohrab Sepehri:

Sohrab Sepehri (1928-1980) was trained as a painter. He traveled frequently around the world, including to East Asia, Europe, and the United States. In 1964 and 1965 he took a long trip through China and Japan, learning about Buddhism while studying woodworkng and painting. On his way back to Iran he stopped in India for several months. Upon his return home he wrote a rapturous poem called "Water's Footfall," a "lyric-epic" that shows marks of the influence of Islam and Sufi philosophy in addition to the Buddhist and Hindu philosophies and beliefs Sepehri was exposed to during his journey.

Sepehri is at home in the natural world, the phenomenological world that exists, and his God is neither bodiless nor remote, but incarnate in every piece of matter and as close as the nearest living thing. This experience of rapture floods the long prose lines of "Water's Footfall," which begins in a poetic autobiography recounting the death of the poet's father, his experience dealing with grief and doubt, and then growing up and leaving home: "I saw a man down at heels / going door to door asking for canary songs, / I saw a street sweeper praying, pressing his forehead on a melon rind."

This conflation of ordinary things, discarded things, with the spiritual and divine seems to suffuse the poem. . . . But here, the regular institutions of knowledge do not suffice. If Sepehri seems Sufi in inclination, it is the Sufism of Rabi'a, a faith of pure devotion that appeals. The institutions of learning and fixity and religious dogma the poet can do without.

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Don't Go Back to Sleep
In the Dance of Light, Eyes of Fiery Passion
The Source is Within You
Called to the Field of Compassion
Michael Morwood on the Divine Presence
The Impossible Desire of Pier Paolo Pasolini
A Return to the Spirit
Sufism: Way of Love, Tradition of Enlightenment, and Antidote to Fanaticism
Sufism: A Call to Awaken
As the Last Walls Dissolve . . . Everything is Possible
Clarity, Hope, and Courage
"Joined at the Heart": Robert Thompson on Christianity and Sufism

Images: Subject and photographer unknown.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Quote of the Day

[T]here must be space for everyone, especially those who have been hurt, excluded or alienated, be they abuse victims, survivors, divorcees, gays, lesbians, women, disaffected members. The church will be less than what Christ intends it to be when issues of inclusion and equality are not fully addressed.

. . . I am guided [in all of this] by the radical vision of Christ [and am] committed to mak[ing] the church [one] where there is less an experience of exclusion but more an encounter of radical love, inclusiveness and solidarity.

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Beyond Respectful Tolerance to Celebratory Acceptance
Celebrating Our Sanctifying Truth
What the Vatican Can Learn from the X-Men
Jim Smith on the "Tears of Love and Faith" of LGBTI People and Their Families
LGBT Catholics to Pope Francis: Let Us "Work Together Towards Creating a Church Where All Families Know That We Are Truly Loved and Welcomed"
Celebrating the Presence of God Within All Families
"The Church is Better Because of the Presence of LGBT People"
Quote of the Day – August 19, 2015

Monday, August 22, 2016

Australian Sojourn – May 2016

Part 6: Goulburn

Since June I've been documenting my May 6-June 6 visit to Australia through a special series of Wild Reed posts. (To start at the beginning of this series, click here.)

Tonight's installment focuses on my time in Goulburn, New South Wales, a place that is considered Australia's oldest inland city . . . and the place where I lived and taught as a primary (or elementary) school teacher at Sts. Peter and Paul's Catholic School from 1988-1993.

While in Goulburn I stayed with my dear friends Cathy and Gerry (pictured with me above), their daughter Jacinta (whom I taught when she was in fourth grade in 1989), Jacinta's husband Antipas and their daughter Sophie.

Goulburn was and remains a very special place for me. In many ways I feel I came of age there. I'm also always humbled and touched by the warm welcome I receive from my many friends and former teaching colleagues and students every time I return – even after all these years since I lived there, and even when it's been (as in last year's visit) close to a decade since my last visit. I have discerned that if (or rather when) I return to live in Australia, it will most likely be in Goulburn, or somewhere close by, that I will make my home – in large part because it still feels like home, thanks to the many beautiful people there whom I'm honored to count as friends.

Left: With Gerry, Jacinta and Sophia – May 18, 2016.

Gerry had been a teacher with me at Sts. Peter and Paul, and his wife Cathy and I had studied together part-time at the Australian Catholic University in nearby Canberra in 1991-1992.

Above: Antipas and Sophia – May 19, 2016.

I taught two of Gerry and Cathy's three children, Jacinta and Bernard. Jacinta and her family are currently living in Goulburn after spending many years in Africa where Jacinta and her husband Antipas founded Suluhisho Trust, a non-profit organization that facilitates sustainable social and economic change within communities in Kenya.

Right: Gerry with his youngest son Joseph, a gifted musician, and granddaughter Sophia – May 18, 2016.

Above: My first home after graduating from college was the last little flat at the end of this row of flats in Church Street, Goulburn. I lived here for the first four years of my six years in Goulburn. My last two years were lived in a beautiful colonial-era stone cottage in Clifford Street (a picture of which can be viewed here).

Above: Goulburn's Big Merino!

For a century-and-a-half, Goulburn was one of the largest fine wool producing regions in Australia, so much so that it was dubbed the “Wool Capital.” The Big Merino, a popular tourist landmark, reflects this aspect of Goulburn’s history.

Fifteen metres high and eighteen metres long, the Big Merino is a three storey structure housing a gift and souvenir shop, an educational display depicting the history of wool growing and the wool industry in Australia, and a platform where visitors can peer through the giant ram's eyes!

Above and below: Scenes of Goulburn – May 16, 2016.

Above and below: Autumn in Goulburn is a particularly beautiful time of year.

Above and below: The Goulburn Wetlands project, which is working to convert an abandoned brick pit into public parkland and a natural storm-water treatment system by the restoring of the local wetland ecosystem. It's an inspiring project, to be sure.

On Wednesday, May 18 my friend Gerry and I drove to the nearby town of Crookwell, about 40 kilometres northwest of Goulburn. Here we visited the Lindner Sock Factory, where we caught up with a former student, Andy.

I was Andy's 5th grade teacher in 1992. The next year he asked me to be his Confirmation sponsor. I hadn't seen him in over 20 years until our May 18 visit to his family's sock-making factory and shop in Crookwell. It was great to catch up with him and his mum. . . . And, of course, I bought a couple of pairs of socks!

Above: With Andy – May 18, 2016.

Above: Later that evening I gathered with a number of my former teaching colleagues and friends for a lovely night out at a Goulburn restaurant.

Right: With Kathyand Marion.

Above (from left): Marion, me, Steve, Carmel, Gerry, and Michele.

Left: With Michele and Marion.

Above: Gerry, Jane, Marg, and Marion.

Above: Joe with his kindergarten, first, second, third and fourth grade teachers! And as his mum Cathy says, "they all lived to tell the tale!"

Above: Sts. Peter and Paul's Primary School, where I taught from 1988 to 1992.

The place has changed a lot since my time there. In fact, neither of the two classrooms I taught in exist anymore. And the garden I and some of the students worked on at lunch times and after school to cultivate and maintain has sadly long been paved over.

For images of my teaching days at Sts. Peter and Paul's, click here and here.

Above: On the day I visited St. Peter and Paul's my friend Jane's birthday was being celebrated. Apart from Jane, the only other person still on the teaching staff since my time there is my friend Toni Gaye, seated second from right.

Above: Goulburn sunflower.

NEXT: Exeter

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Remnants of a Past Life (Part I)
Remnants of a Past Life (Part II)
The Australian Roots of My Progressive Catholicism
Goulburn Revisited (2006)
Goulburn Landmarks (2006)
Goulburn Reunion (2006)
Australian Sojourn, March 2015: Part 9 – Goulburn

Images: Michael J. Bayly.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Quote of the Day

The problem is with the pipeline: school to prison pipeline, oil and gas pipeline, and even, often, the leadership and philanthropy pipelines. ALL pipelines only work when both ends are consensual and the space between is short enough to stay in real relationship with everyone involved. Otherwise pipelines are streamlined ways of moving something without consent or full understanding, covertly, without the slow necessary and emergent steps of relationship and where power stays in the hands of those who created the pipeline, not with all of those who are impacted and involved. Those characteristics are one way of describing violence.

Susan Raffo
via Facebook
August 19, 2016

Related Off-site Links:
Dakota Pipeline Construction Halted Amid Ongoing "Defiance of Black Snake" – Deirdre Fulton (Common Dreams, August 19, 2016).
"We Are Protectors, Not Protesters": Why I'm Fighting the North Dakota Pipeline – Iyuskin American Horse (The Guardian, August 18, 2016).
 A Massive Oil Pipeline Is Being Built Across the Great Plains . . .  But Resistance is Rapidly Escalating – Zoë Carpenter (The Nation, August 16, 2016).
1,500 Join Standing Rock Oil Pipeline Protest – Amy Sisk (Prairie Public News, August 17, 2016).
Oglala Sioux Tribal Members Join Pipeline Protest – Associated Press via BlackHillsFox.com (August 15, 2016).
Pipeline Resistance Encampment Swells; Prepares for More ActionUnicorn Riot (August 14, 2016).
North Dakota’s Standing Rock Sioux Aren’t Backing Down to Oil Pipeline Developers – Sarah Aziza (Waging Nonviolence, August 12, 2016).
Dakota Access Pipeline: Three Federal Agencies Side With Standing Rock Sioux, Demand ReviewIndian Country (April 27, 2016).
What is the Bakken Pipeline?NoBakken.com (2016).
Four Stories of Indigenous Peoples’ Struggle for Climate Justice – Martin Vainstein (Greenpeace, August 8, 2016).
The Final Indian War in America About to Begin – Tom Giago (The Huffington Post, January 16, 2015).

UPDATES: Judge Denies Stay of Bakken Pipeline Construction; Landowners Seek IUB Emergency Halt – Rod Boshart (The Gazette, August 22, 2016).
Officials Pull Water Supply as Dakota Access Protest Swells in Number and Spirit – Lauren McCauley (Common Dreams, August 23, 2016).
Victory for Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Over Dakota Access Pipeline Case – Doug Williams (Outdoor Revival, April 11, 2020).

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Something to Think About – October 13, 2015
Words of Wisdom on Indigenous Peoples Day
Buffy Sainte-Marie: Singing It and Praying It; Living It and Saying It
Buffy Sainte-Marie and That "Human-Being Magic"
A Spirit of Defiance
Visions of Crazy Horse
Something to Think About – April 22, 2014
Threshold Musings
Quote of the Day – September 11, 2012

Image: "The Last Breath of the Black Snake" by Michael Horse. This image was requested by Winona LaDuke of Honor the Earth for the Cowboys & Indians Alliance's demonstration at the White House on April 22, 2014. It depicts cowboys and Native Americans fighting the Keystone XL Pipeline at the White House.