Posts from the ‘The Core’ Category

My Sidewalk Friend


Monday, November 26, 2018: Earlier this morning on my walk, I run into an elder woman I’ve seen twice before, her skin is the color of perfectly browned drop biscuit peaks, and her face is mapped with lines that tell the story of her life to anyone willing to stop and silently listen, read.

Each time, our paths cross in roughly the same spot, in front of a newly planned community a five minute walk from my house. Every time we meet, she has stepped down off the sidewalk to give deference to me. Me! Lowly whippersnapper by comparison and yet. The second time I stopped and chatted, she has virtually no English but I learned she’s from India. This morning, same thing:  as we approach each other she steps down into the street fingering her prayer beads, her thick-soled sneakers and cable knit sweater an anachronism against the long black dress and striped apron she wears.

I stop again. Clasp my hands together as if in prayer and bow my head to her. She does the same. And then I step aside gesturing to her with both hands toward the sidewalk. She hesitates, her smile widening before she steps up onto the sidewalk, still fingering her beads, and walks on.

What is the prayer she utters walking down this suburban street in Northern California?  Who is her family? Maybe a son or daughter bought one of the developer houses and moved her from her home in India? Does she have grands who don’t really understand grandma but are being taught to respect her and her deeply ensconced ways. The ones that caused her involuntary muscles to guide or down off the sidewalk when anyone else passes.

I walk on, not surprised by the tears in my throat which moved me to share this with you.

Oddly enough,
a few minutes later, after spending the rest of my walk dictating this text, our paths cross again—and again in front of the developer houses.  And this time I step down before she can. She smiles, steps down, too, so we briefly have dueling deference until she finally steps back up. I join her and we pantomime another conversation. She says again “India”  and “no English” . I point to her prayer beads, indicating how beautiful they are. With their hands clasped she points up to the sky. Then she taps her knee and I tap my knee and we agree that walking is good for us. We part ways.

This time I don’t have tears stuck in my throat only a small prayer that I could speak her language/dialect so that next time we could actually chat.

#1 From the Archives: Women’s March on D.C. ~ January 21, 2017

Post #1 of 7 this week Celebrating 7 Years…

For reasons I have yet to understand this was my all time most viewed post in the history of this blog. Delivered mind-blowing stats last January: the busiest day had over 1,200 views (unheard of for me!). Didn’t make it to the March but played a small roll in getting the word out. And yet, here we are almost a year later and in many ways the social-political situation in this country is going backwards

As we approach the mid-term elections, let’s keep the train moving for Democrats: canvassing, phone banking, texting, talking, tabling, wearing buttons, registering to vote and rallying to TAKE BACK CONGRESS —and remember this quote:

Freedom is never really won, you earn it and win it in every generation.
— Coretta Scott King

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Think your vote doesn’t count? THINK AGAIN.

Breaks my heart to hear young folk say they don’t vote because their vote doesn’t matter. How did we get THIS far off course from the work of the Freedom Riders of the 1960s? College students and teenagers lead that Movement—risking their lives against police with billy clubs, cattle prods and water hoses to make their voices heard. Did you know that teens as young as 12 and 13 wrote their last will and testament on the eve of protests? THAT is why your vote matters in 2018. Click through to my blog and share the post: a whole heap of young folk need to see it…

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Millennials—VOTE 2018: Herzig Video to share

Lucky for us, Mark Herzig has produced several quality voting videos aimed at various demographics for us to share widely on social media. Born in Pasadena, California, Mark made an early commitment to the fine arts, studying painting and printmaking, before surrendering to filmmaking in 1980. Based in San Francisco.

I will share a Herzig video a day all week—and you can find all of them and more on his website:

Van Jones ~ Plain Truth and Direct Action


Jan. 26, 2017, Mill Valley, CA
I was lucky enough to be in the audience last Thursday, Jan. 26th, when Van Jones spoke at the Mill Valley Rec Center. Jones is a personable, humble dynamo—not so impressed with himself that he couldn’t be giddy and lose his mind when Oprah called him in his hotel room recently. He told me I had a wonderful last name, I told him I’m sure we’re cousins—feels like he could be that handsome cousin all the girl cousins have a crush on and the boy cousins want to be. Read more…

All Things are Linked

In the 1960s  this Buddhist Monk from Vietnam, Thich Nhat Hanh, persuaded MLK to publicly oppose the Vietnam War.

In the 1960s, this Vietnamese Buddhist monk, Thich Nhat Hanh, persuaded Martin Luther King, Jr. to publicly oppose the Vietnam War.

As I wrote this post, my heart reached out to the families in Newtown, Conn., steeped in grief and looking for their next steps. May they soon find that—even in suffering— peace is every step…

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