Thursday, January 29, 2009

the painted desert

We'd arranged to take a small vacation after our initial move, something I thought necessary for my mental health and to assist in the transition from back there to over there. M is happily capivated by her grandparents so we took off on a mini road trip to a national park in the middle of the desert.  We've been here for three days now and today is the first connection I've been able to muster, neither cell or wireless seems to work anywhere else for miles on end. So it's been a good break, spending evenings in a tiny cabin and days running through the desert, hiking 5-6 miles a day broken up in thirds as we go from one place to another.  I've forgotten how big desert sky can be.

It's quiet here, and while it's as far away as possible from the climate we are heading to it's the entrance to the isolation and full bodied nature of our future.  Folks here are friendly, everyone is happy to talk a bit and upon hearing our story seem to feel required to buy us a beer.  I never realized how the first question you hear on the road is where are you from, and for the first time it gives us pause because we can say where we've been but right now we've got neither home or job, none of the usual trappings that define us and for a moment it's disconcerting more often to them. 

The strangeness of that doesn't escape me but at the same time it's the beginning of an adventure, one with nothing recognizable and everything a bit hard to figure out.  We wandered a ghost town today, one that has been abandoned for 100 years and while the structures were somewhat defineable the utter lack of life struck me most. Under the ground were perhaps broken tops and buttons and coins and maybe even bones, lives that lived rough and hot and one day packed up and disappeared with only the shells remaining.

I can't access my reader and probably can't for a few days more, so I'm curious as to what I am missing and of course wanting to make sure you know I am not ignoring you, just unable to find a way to get the wild west and the age of technology to collide. 

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Monday, January 26, 2009

tick tock

It's hard to explain, not having a home. We are safe of course, all of our belongings tucked into my parent's garage and the three of us in one room.  Living out of bags is kind of like being on vacation, that's nothing new.  Not having to go back to work, well that one I can sort of comprehend, the reality of it not quite hitting me as hard as it should.  

But not going back, that one is hardest.  Turning your brain away from what you know and the direction you look when remembering where you are from.  The in between of feeling like you are on vacation and waiting for the next chapter to begin.  The quiet knowing that you don't know anything at all.

We've made lists.  We've packed and repacked.  We are trying to control what we can in the face of the futile reminder that we have no idea what we are doing and that extra box of bandaids won't fix it anyways.  

I'm not able to get around as much as I'd like right now, access is limited and so is privacy.  I am routineless and nervous but overall feeling okay.  Somewhere inside of that I know it's bullshit, because I don't really see how I can not be imploding and am fairly sure it's on a timer somewhere, ticking it's way to the surface.  I'm keeping watch though, for now I'll keep on keeping watch.

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Saturday, January 24, 2009

going

Tonight we locked the door for the last time on the only house I've ever mothered in, the only place my child knows, the place where we lived and laughed and cried and slept for the past five years and drove off into the rainy night with all of our earthly belongings in the back of the car.

It's on, this thing. We've tied up loose ends and sold all our stuff and said our goodbyes and had one last beer. Our friends were fantastic, so many folks came by and took a plate or a book or a microwave or even our half eaten food. Between them and seven trips to goodwill we somehow managed to make it all work an hour before our deadline came due. We three drove on into the night until we couldn't stand it any longer and stopped in a roadside motel, almost uncaring what the room looks like as long as it's cheap. I cried as we left town, the finality of our journey both calming and unsettling, a girl can only take so much leaving until she falls to her knees to and from grace.

My child, she sleeps and we sit talking aimlessly, exhausted. Spent from the goodbyes, from the community we are leaving, from the journey we are embarking, the unknowing is exhilarating and disconcerting all at once. We'll spend a few weeks in So Cal and then head further south, crossing borders and customs and will watch everything we know fly out the window behind us, hopefully freeing up space in our souls so we can drink the new in.

The officiality of today hasn't left me, there is no turning back and thankfully I don't want to, at least not yet. I ache from my ankles to my skull, eight hours of packing and repacking can do that to a girl and yet it's a good kind of ache, the one that says we've worked hard to get to here and everything so far has fallen blessedly into place.

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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

exactly

Courtesy of the ever righteous Her Bad Mother. Enjoy!





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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

today is a beautiful day

During the glorious Inauguration this AM:

M: Mama, that's Barack!
Me: Yes baby. Today's the day. He's finally our president.
M: Why are you crying?
Me: Because today is a great day. Today is the first time a man who isn't white is President.
M: All the other Presidents were white?
Me: Yep
M: Well that's just silly. 
Me: Yes baby. It is.  And that's why I'm crying.  Because it's been so silly for so long and now anything is possible.  It's possible because of him and because of everyone who has come before.
M: Like maybe I can be President one day.
Me: Yes baby.  Yes you can.






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Monday, January 19, 2009

today

I submit to you that if a man has not discovered something that he will die for, he isn't fit to live.  Dr. Martin Luther King
The tough mind is sharp and penetrating, breaking through the crust of legends and myths and sifting the true from the false. The tough-minded individual is astute and discerning. He has a strong austere quality that makes for firmness of purpose and solidness of commitment.

Who doubts that this toughness is one of man's greatest needs? Rarely do we find men who willingly engage in hard, solid thinking. There is an almost universal quest for easy answers and half-baked solutions. Nothing pains some people more than having to think
. -
Dr. Martin Luther King



In the end, that's what this election is about. Do we participate in a politics of cynicism or a politics of hope? I'm not talking about blind optimism here... No, I'm talking about something more substantial. It's the hope of slaves sitting around a fire singing freedom songs; the hope of immigrants setting out for distant shores; the hope of a young naval lieutenant bravely patrolling the Mekong Delta; the hope of a millworker's son who dares to defy the odds; the hope of a skinny kid with a funny name who believes that America has a place for him, too. The audacity of hope! - President Elect Barack Hussein Obama

There is not a liberal America and a conservative America — there is the United States of America. There is not a Black America and a White America and Latino America and Asian America — there's the United States of America. - President Elect Barack Hussein Obama

Here's to that man.  Here's to all of us.  Yes we can.  Yes we did. 

Yes we will.



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Sunday, January 18, 2009

flight

I know what you are thinking.  Girl's unemployed now.  She should have all the time in the world for blogging activities.  It's funny how untrue that is. Emptying one's entire house borders on the insane, no matter that each obstacle on the list continues to find resolution.  Take yesterday's garage sale for example.  I'm sitting on the lawn on top of my child's bed.  Folks want to buy the bed and that's good.  But for some reason I can't get up.  M brings me a cookie, she's tireless like that, she's always trying to make her own nickel off of the garage salers and usually they are suckers for her but I'm not paying. I bought the damn cookies after all. So I got off the bed and helped load it into someone's truck.  

Last night my friends took me out for a rousing dinner filled with fancy drinks.  After my second pear infused mojito I veered into maudlin.  There are no pear infused mojitos in the jungle.  Not yet anyways.

For the first time in my adult life I am unemployed. In fact, no one in my house is employed unless you count the cookie sales.  You guys are the one constant.  I'm not saying that to you know, pressure you.  I'm just saying it because it's true.  Tuesday I sell my car, Wednesday means the rest of our furniture heads out the door and off to a family who has finally found a place to live after a long time.  That part feels good. But still.  

All in all it's rather surreal.  I came home Friday boohooing like a baby. I kept crying all night. But that night I had a dream, a dream I've never had before.  In my dream I was flying and once I figured out how to do it I couldn't believe how fast I could go.


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Friday, January 16, 2009

my last waltz

I've been saying so many goodbyes this week. Today is my final day in the most important work I've ever done and that I've ever loved, where for more than a decade I've had the pleasure of exercising my passion every single day. The place where I cut my teeth, where I stumbled, I cried and I laughed and where I finally learned to fly.

Saying I'm emotional is an understatement at best. While I knew this day was coming, I had no idea how hard it would be, to look those I love in the eye and hug them one last time. To hear one last story of hope, one last walk across the floor, one last time through the line. To hear words from those who mean so much, of remembrances, of hope, of sadness and loss.

Tomorrow brings uncertainty. A colossal move, a journey across the miles and straight inside my heart. But today I grieve for what I am leaving. My first home, my first acceptance, my first fight. I will never forget.

I will carry your stories with me forever. All of the nights and cold and heat and huddled masses, I will carry you with me wherever I go. And I am so very richly blessed for being a small part of something so magical for so long. I've walked with heroes.

I will still see you, nameless in the streets, I will see you and I will learn your names.

I've walked with heroes.

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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

don't touch my bags if you please Mr. Customs Man

I'm more excited than anything, a girl with a backpack and a grin, twittering foolishly about mounties and humming Oh Canada in my head. I skip over to Immigration, knowing Tanis
is right around the corner. I gleefully hand over my passport and then things take a turn for the worse.

Mountie #1: What is the nature of your visit?
Me: Visiting a friend.
Him: How much did you pay for your ticket?
Me: Um? Well. I think it was around $XXX. I had to change the flight, I was sick, see and...
Him: Who are you visiting in Canada?
Me: Tanis. (Shit. I. Can't. Remember. Her. Last. Name.)
Him: Where does she live?
Me: Canada?
Him: How do you know her?
Me: Um, well we both blog (eyebrows raise) and we became friends.
Him: Over the internet?
Me: Well, yes but it's not as weird as it sounds.
Him: What do you do for a living?
Me: I work in non profit.
Him: What was the temperature when you left the USA?
Me: Seriously? Um, 45 degrees? Shit. If I get it wrong, do I go home?
Him: Why are you only here for 24 hours? That doesn't make any sense.
Him: Picks up the phone. Mutters. Hangs Up. Mountie #2 arrives. You need to step over here please. Mountie #2 leads me into a side room. With a door. Fuck.

Mountie #2 hands me off to Mountie #3. I note she's wearing a kevlar vest and has a gun. What about all that peacekeeping business? She takes my passport and starts typing, typing, typing. I can't help but wonder what the hell she's saying. My heart is beating faster.

Her: What's the purpose of your visit?
Me: Visiting a friend.
Her: What's your friend's name?
Me: Tanis XXXXX. Whoot! I just remembered her last name!
Her: Where does she live?
Me: Shit. Um. Near the airport. I actually have no idea.
Her: What is your friend's address?
Me: I don't know.
Her: What is her birthdate?
Me: I don't know.
Her: How do you know her?
Me: Fabulous. Um, blogging? See, we are well, mommybloggers. She came to visit me, I am returning the favor, I can show you our blogs....
Her: That won't be necessary.
Me: She's waiting outside for me.
Her: That's not good enough.
Me: Shit. Even if she brought me a coat? I decide to leave that one alone.
Her: Why are you only here for 24 hours?  
Me: Well, that's all that I could work out, I had an earlier trip planned, but I got sick and had to reschedule.
Her: A lot of money for a short trip.
Me: When did Canada become my personal financial advisor? Um, she's worth it?
Her: Social Security #? I give it.
Her: Have you spent time in Georgia?
Me: No. When did Canada become my personal travel advisor? What does Georgia have to do with this?
Her: What are you planning on doing in Canada?
Me: Um, visit my friend? Didn't we already cover this? Is this a trick question?
Her: Where will you be staying?
Me: With her. But I'm not sure where that is. With rednecks? In the country? I can totally see how dumb this looks. I do. But here I am. I continue to keep my mouth shut.
She continues to type and type and type. I continue to marginally freak out.
Her: What do you do for work in California?
Me: I work in non profit. I work with homeless people.
Her: How do you do that?
Me: When did Canada become my vocational counselor? Um, shelter? Services?
Her: Do you have children?
Me: One.
Her: Who is watching your child while you are here?
Me: Her dad. When did Canada become my mother?
Her: You can proceed to customs.
The final Mountie took my bag apart. Thankfully I had very little inside. I am a bit shaky now and am finally released. I wobble out of the doors and see Tanis. Proceed to take back every nice thing I've ever said about Mounties and tell her I need a drink and quick.

The rest of the weekend was absolutely fantastic. Tanis took me the biggest mall in the world, I kid you not, this mall has a water park, a casino, roller coasters, a skating rink, miniature golf and sea lions. And Bingo and bungee jumping. There was a dragon too. Plus all the stores malls are supposed to have. I mean, it was a freaking sideshow of American Capitalism overspilling into our northern lands and corrupting them forever. Or it was a mall. Either way, it scared me. A lot.

We went to a (really terrible) movie about some weird demon kid but we talked so loud we got in trouble and I thought I might have to get into a fight with some Canadian tweens. Fearing our safety, she took me home, where I promptly proceeded to fall in love. Fric and Frac are my new favorite children. They are beautiful and adorable and clever and precious and they bake really good cookies. And then there was Boo. Now that's a dude you can drink with. And he's really cute too. I tried to convince them to let me sleep in their room but Tanis wouldn't have any of it. She's all talk, that one. So much for redneckery. 

So instead we stayed up late and talked and laughed and in the morning my two new favorite children were even more adorable and Boo cooked a delicious breakfast and it was time to go home way too soon and thankfully I left before I had the chance to become "A Real Canadian" something I totally would have done just to prove I was tough enough to be "A Real Canadian" and as long as it didn't involve Mounties because I'm so over those dudes now.

I was sort of expecting to be arrested upon arrival at the airport but thankfully I got to go through Homeland Security instead of Canadian immigration and I will never, not ever talk shit about them again because on the way back it was all smiles and Welcome Home and Did You Have a Nice Time and I was all what the hell's up with Canada anyways and they were all yeah who knows those cats are way too uptight up here and with that I was on my way back home. Too short and perfect all at once.




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Monday, January 12, 2009

December Just Posts

buttondec2008
How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard. ~ Annie

As I sit down to write my last introduction to the Just Posts I can't help but reflect back on how it all began. Two years ago many of us held a wedding, a marriage that promised to promote justice and truth as evidenced through all of you and your work to memorialize the just and the unjust around the world.

For two years we cobbled together these lists, some months short and some months long. We came together and talked about what we were doing and also what we could do together. We raised money for organizations in different parts of the world. We made volunteerism a priority, we gave our time and our money and most of all we wrote. And in between I fell in love with all of you, you turned the lights on in dusty places and showed me that the world is better than I sometimes think and together we can do more.

As Mad and I shared earlier we've enjoyed an offline discourse over the years not only about Just Posts but also how we've been influenced by others and each other's thoughts. We posed a question about pragmatism versus a heart of gold, the latter being Mad's term more than mine, I prefer to think of it as simply saying yes. So instead of changing my spots I'll end this journey the way I started, by continuing to donate because I'm asked.

This month I've become a new supporter of Ekukhanyeni, a charity where our other Just Post sister volunteers and whose Founder has been struggling to raise enough resources to meet the demand. Let me tell you a little bit about them and I hope you'll click over and see the many things they are doing to make their community and the lives of impoverished children healthier and happier.

Ekukhanyeni - Home of Light and Hope - is a non-governmental, not-for-profit organization that focuses on community upliftment in two poverty stricken informal settlements close to Johannesburg. In partnership with the local communities, this project supports some 600 vulnerable children by creating self-sustaining communities through its green and holistic design approach to community development.

I promise if you go visit you'll see why Helena gives of her time and why it matters that they are able to continue. We were happy to support them this month and only wish we could have done more. 


The decision to pass off the Just Posts was not an easy one, Mad and I have been back and forth mistresses to the 10th of every month for two years now, and Su for a year or more. It's become so ingrained that I can't quite imagine a month without it, so words won't do justice to the joy I feel in knowing that the Just Posts will continue and in very good hands. We are honored to pass of the hosting of the Just Post Community to Alejna at Collecting Tokens and Holly at Cold Spaghetti, two long time and ongoing participants and true souls, these two women graciously offered to pick up where we leave off, ensuring the Just Posts will continue to have a home. Thank you both. Thank you both so much.

So with that I'll end my current role with the Just Posts but you won't get rid of me so easily. I'll keep my seat at the table by writing and reading and sharing what I find. But until then I'll be seeing you, whether here or south of the border, the world will always feel smaller because of all of you. I truly love each of your beautiful open hearts, as evidenced yet again by our Farewell Posts, many of you heard our call and wrote and donated and shared how you support others around the world. We may not always share the same formula but it's clear we come from the same place. Each of your gifts matters so much to me, I read them some in tears and others with a grin, because you proved once more how much it matters, how much it means to give goodness and justice a place to sit.

Thank you for teaching me, for inspiring me, for moving me, and for challenging me to do more.

The December Just Posts
Alejna at Collecting Tokens with Coventry Carol
Atherton Bartleby with I think I hate you
Cecilieaux with Cut off Israel now!, It's a Madoff, Madoff, Madoff, Madoff world,
Liberal, Conservative, Democrat, Republican, Green and Why Conservatism Was Always Doomed
Country Girl with This is a Great idea
De with Mini Rant
Defiant muse with harm here is harm there
Em at Social Justice Soapbox with Resolutions for a New Year
Erika with A Day without a gay (or making an actual impact)
girlgriot with Small World...Small City...Small Minds and Not Making People Invisible
Holly with Twelve STIs of Christmas
Jozet with "Redistribute the Wealth" My Hot Green Butt
Paul Newnham with The Day After International Day and Letter to the PM
Rebecca with Big Box vs Buy Local and Small is Beautiful and Affordable
Zoom at Knitnut with Bank Street Bully

The Just Post Brides Farewell Posts
Alejna with Better for me than a scone and a latte
Bon with At epiphany
Emily with Doin' it all for my babies
Holly with Example is not the main thing in influencing others it is the only thing
Jen (ponderosa) with Fare Thee Well
Kate at Peripheral Vision with Doing More
Magpie with A Just Post Call for Help
Mary G with Resolution in 2009
Metro Mama with An Ongoing Offering


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Friday, January 09, 2009

going to redneck country

I'm off to see her tomorrow, she who keeps taunting me with visions of frozen toes and mysteriously disappearing Mounties. Did you know that Canada supposedly has the best beer? But I think she means Moosehead and I don't have the heart to tell her that really isn't very good beer. Also, I hear it's cold up there but I figure people up north just like throwing the word minus and wind chill in front of numbers to scare us. I mean, do thermometers even work going backwards? And maybe the wind just needs to calm down. Is wind more nervous in Canada? I hear there are cheap prescriptions up there, maybe free health care and the wind should talk.

Oh, and I lost my only coat in Oregon last weekend. Do they hand them out for free in up there? They should. Free beer too.

It's a short trip but I'm bringing a big bag, I figure I'll covertly take a bunch of her stuff and then auction it off online and fund my trip to the jungle. Who's in? Anything in particular you are looking for? Just don't get your hopes up, I'm not sharing the Mounties.

Get ready, Canada. I'm coming and I'm serious about the beer. Calm down already. Can I borrow a coat?

Today is the last day to send me your Just Posts for December, all you have to do is share writing from you or others you appreciate about social issues to me at girlplustwo(at)yahoodotcom. It's also not too late to send us original just post hosts off right - all you have to do is read this and write a post about who and how you support philanthropy in your world. We hope you join us. The Roundtable will be up on Monday.


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Wednesday, January 07, 2009

words

I keep wanting to write about the conflict in Gaza. I keep wanting to but I can't.

And then I read this. I am glad others are able to find the words.

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Tuesday, January 06, 2009

wherever we go you can come too

Oregon is so beautiful.  Being there this weekend in the freezing cold surrounded by forest and old friends, surprise visitors and even my brother.  The kids played and we cooked and we drank and we stayed up late and we laughed.  Oh, how we laughed.  It's easy to forget this kind of laughter, the kind that comes when you are with old friends, even if nothing important is said it all seems to matter.  

Each night at dinner one of our hosts put little cards under each plate and would call on us at random, playing Oz or maybe the guy from Love Connection.  All of the questions turned into a roundtable, each of us jumping in to answer someone else's until it was hard to hear each other speak. Some of the questions caused an avalanche of memories, each spilling onto the table and causing faraway looks and reminders of when. 

It was a good weekend.  Good for the soul.  Fuel for the journey.  More and more now I know we'll need it, these connections and also ways to say goodbye.  Everyone promises they'll visit and we hope they mean it because our door will always be open and cold beers will be waiting in the fridge. 

I've learned the hard way this week that staying connected is more than just words.  In the process of downsizing my life I reached out to a few folks I've lost touch with, only to find out one of them has died.  More than died, really.  He killed himself a few months after we last spoke and a few years ago now.  I only learned of it this weekend and I can't help but wonder what those last days were like for him and if he was lonely in the end.  I can't help but think of how brave I thought he was, a counterrevolutionary in his own right, on horseback and across borders and yet in the end none of that matters, it's what remains that keeps us and how we choose to live.  

Don't forget to send me your Just Posts by Friday and if you are so inclined, read my previous post and join us there too.

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Sunday, January 04, 2009

behind the scenes of the Just Posts

The January Just Posts, the last anniversary gift of my social justice marriage to Mad are on the horizon. And while we've got some exciting news to unveil on the 12th, we thought we'd seize the opportunity to give you a glimpse of what has gone on behind the scenes over these past two years. The following string of emails starts in early November and ends in mid-December.

Jen: am probably getting ahead of myself but I can't help it. There's an organization in South Africa that Helena is involved with that needs our help and I was thinking of doing a call to action to raise some money. But if you aren't down with this I can do it on my own and tie it into the JPs in the piece that I write. i realize i'm getting all renegade and don't want to speak for both of us. but damn, they are only asking for $1.71 per kid to ensure they each have what they need for Xmas.

Mad:
Jen, I appreciate your enthusiasm but I can't do this. I just can't. I am so swamped with work, volunteer and home projects right now that I am hardly reading anyone's blogs at all. I don't feel comfortable asking people for money at the best of times but given how bad a blog a citizen I've been these last few months, I feel especially uncomfortable about it all right now. Besides, such a call to action requires a commitment to blogging that I have lost. I can scarce muster the energy for a post or two a week. To be on the ball enough--in December no less--for a joint fundraiser? Nuh uh. I also can't see myself asking people for money during a recession at Christmas. That's all there is to it.

Jen: I understand. I do. It's totally fine. Sorry to barrage you with this. I can do it and not make it an official part of the JPs. I know the recession is scary. It's terrifying me in particular for poor people. Non profits are closing programs even as more people are in need. We've seen many NEW faces needing help every month. Every month. New. It's staggering.
I love you. Sorry for being pushy. I mean it.


THREE WEEK TIME LAPSE

Jen: The activist side of me says we can get one more community fundraising project done with our last hurrah. sorry i can't help myself. but we could. don't kick me.

Mad: Here are my thoughts on community fundraising: When we did the Just Post fundraiser in June 2007, I gave $100 to the small community fundraising project you advocated. (I think I gave some to it and some to Stephen Lewis, I can't remember exactly.) As far as the Stephen Lewis foundation goes, that org is not a one-off for me. I will continue to give to it over the years for a whole host of reasons most of which have to do with social justice but some of which are more practical, like getting a tax receipt and knowing that I can always find out its profile as a charitable org.

The group you advocated was a one-off donation for me. B/c it's an American org, I can't budget my giving b/c it is always contingent upon the value of my dollar. I get no tax receipt to help maximize my gift, and it's not as easy to keep track of the organization. The problem with one-off gifts, though, is that the organization in question never believes any gift is a one-off. In the year and a half since I gave to said organization, I have received numerous funding requests from them. Each one has spent at least $2 American in postage--not to mention the costs of printing promotional material and photographs. This organization may have heart but it is not very well run administratively: just last week I received, all on the same day, 4 identical, huge envelopes promoting their Christmas campaign. The cost in postage alone was more than $14 US. By now, they have spent as much, if not more, than my original gift simply trying to woo me back. This breaks my heart b/c it feels as if I simply threw my money out the window when I could have invested it more wisely closer to home.

So -- fundraising. It is my fervent belief that if we are going to ask people for money, we should encourage them to pick an organization that they believe in and then ask them to take the leap to becoming an ongoing supporter. Who can't afford $10 or $20 a month deducted regularly from their account or put on their VISA? (I'm sure most of our readers do some form of this anyway.) This kind of giving is the only sure fire way to maximize the impact of the giving. If we were to ask that and then ask people to name the org and write a post about it, we could have a right proper send off next month WITH a lasting legacy. Just trying to be astute and not a killjoy. What think you?

Jen:You've nailed some of the principle laments of NPOs. We must keep asking. We ask and ask and ask and sometimes, yes, it costs more to ask than sometimes we receive. I suppose I'll forever fall into the camp of grassroots organizing. If it might cost $200 to house a child for a year in South Africa, then we can all give $10 and get it done without a major impact on any one person. Plus we collectively stood up against that issue.

And I suppose it frustrates me when folks say they have no money. They say they have no money in their nice car with their latte. They say they have no money as they buy four gifts instead of two. Some people really have no money, their budget keeps them housed and fed and that is literally and only all there is. I know this too.

People are dying every single day because we all have our heads up our asses in terms of resources distribution. We can't solve any of that b/c we get 30 people to give $5. I know this too.

One of the things that scares me a bit about our move is being broken hearted by new injustices of poverty in a 3rd world country. Sometimes I don't know how to manufacture my heart to beat any other way, I see the discrepancies and I literally feel I could go batshit crazy. I see my own hypocrisies and want to beat myself around the head. Last night I helped a mom w/ a four day old baby make a bed for herself on my concrete floor surrounded by 100 people from the streets. I had M with me so at first I think she thought I was staying there too. When I said to her that it was time to go she looked at me and said "you aren't staying?". So my 4-yr-old daughter asked if we could spend the night and yet I knew I would never, ever allow it and if I truly wanted to I could have let these people sleep at my house too. Instead her baby slept on the concrete floor wrapped in old blankets. He is four days into this world in the fucking united states of america. We drove home in a car with heat and had a snack with food from our fridge and went to bed in our home. He slept on the floor.

This work of mine has colored me. I like to think it's been for the best but i really do not know. You are balance. You can see the world in a way that I struggle to. It's more pragmatic. My way is an inconsistent albatross. It's a long way of saying I hear you. I do. And your way is a good way. Folks choose how they want if they want where they want and it's good.


Mad: Yes. Folks choose where they want to give BUT WE INSIST THAT THEIR GIFT BE SIGNIFICANT AND ONGOING. We can even recommend orgs that we believe in. It is the only way. What we should do, Jen, is post these email exchanges. Your heart and your dire f-ing reality vs my pragmatic head. We've walked a tightrope with this for two years straight. I think the Just Posts have been made better by the way we balance each other out. We have both changed considerably b/c of our conversations off-blog. Let's say goodbye by making those conversations, that struggle, public.

Jen: I'm in.

Dear Readers, What say you? Are you a pragmatist or a Heart of Gold? Or are you some other kind of hybrid altogether? Will you join us in becoming an ongoing financial supporter of a cause you believe in? Will you write about it on your blogs or in your tweets? Will you help to raise money AND the profile of organizations that desperately need aid?

And that's what we are asking for as our farewell gift. Send us your link by the 8th and we'll include it in our last Just Post Roundtable on the 12th. You can send your links to me at girlplustwo(at)yahooDOTcom.

Cross posted under Mad's hat.

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Thursday, January 01, 2009

almost famous

I'm so happy to share that I've been invited to blog about our move to the jungle at BlogHer over the coming months. I've been asked to write six posts and the first is up today. While some of you already know the story, I'd love it if you'd stop by and let me know you were there. You can find it here: How we decided to move to the jungle

Also, we are collecting posts for our upcoming (and the final hurrah for Mad, Su and I) Just Post Roundtable on Monday, January 12th (postponed due to the weekend). We can't have a proper send off without all of you, so please send me your posts for the month of December to girlplustwo(at)yahooDOTcom before the 8th. We have a goodbye favor to ask of you as well, stay tuned for my next post.

Happy New Year, All. Let's make it our best year yet.

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