Apology to turnips (Disculpa a los nabos)

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The turnip is in his seat in Washington – sorry, I hereby apologize to all turnips, you are much healthier than that*.   Yes, I follow it all, and worry about my family and friends in the US.

What’s happening is both global and personal, there is no far-from-my-bed. It is hitting us all. My personal life this past month has been a reflection, and I took a step back from publishing my writing for a while. Somebody close to me is suffering with depression. It is difficult to see one you love struggle.  Part of the struggle seems to be not being able to create something new, because they are so stuck in the past. Or maybe fearing the future and falling back on the past.

La Palma and Tenerife export almost 400,000 tonnes of bananas annually***

Mom and I went on a vacation to La Palma, such a decadent European thing, vacation. She wanted to feel the sun; part of living in The Netherlands is that the days get very short in the winter and it’s pretty much crappy weather half the time. Though I read a book front-to-back, started translating a book, enjoyed yoga under the palm trees, the food and some sights, I do not play tourist very well for very long. I caught myself getting very judgmental with lazy sunbathing tourists and getting sucked into the wrongness of inequality in the world, stopped myself and said:  “No! Enough! Don’t go there.”

There are better things to do with this turnip’s energy. Time to pick up the thread of building community and continue. I revisited my Theme for 2017, which is Playful and Courageous Inquiry and Exploration. I set three goals: 1) live in community by August 2017 in Peru or Chile, 2) get certified in Permaculture Design, ha, yes, in Lima! and 3) do the Technology of Participation course with the Institute of Cultural Affairs.

I’ve made new connections this past month and followed up with some existing ones too. I had somebody offer me land for waaaaaay too much money… Lo siento, no soy rico. I started Spanish lessons, immersion: Melina sólo hablara inglés cuando realmento no entiendo.

On the plane ride back, I read most of the latest issue of Communities, the magazine from the Fellowship for Intentional Community. This issue’s topic is Social Permaculture and offers insightful information about how to deal with responsibility vs. power, upsets and communication, and the balancing act of facilitating community meetings. Much about that applies for interpersonal relationships, groups, and also between cultures. It helped me formulate the question in my mind: How do we embrace diversity and be accepting of other-thinking while maintaining our solid foundation of values?  I’ll be chewing a while – feel free to comment.

Then there is resistance. I don’t think it is futile. Part of figuring out what we are FOR is by figuring out what we are AGAINST, but let’s not get stuck there. We can turn to history and learn lessons – though what is written and shared is always from one particular point of view. Let’s just not get stuck on trying to fit what is happening now exactly with what happened before. Systems start, grow and fail. New ideas, new creation, a new myth for humanity are sorely needed. So please put your thinking caps on, find or start a discussion group, join a march, learn more about some topic that you care about. Think, write, discuss, draw, paint, perform, march, call your representative, be in action. The more, the better.

Oh, and cook a meal with turnips. They are really quite good with a little butter and nutmeg.

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* The turnip reference was from my Twitter friend Wendy Carson and blatantly stole it.

** source: https://sites.google.com/a/norman.k12.ok.us/lincoln-elementary-vegetable-garden/recipes/turnip

***source: http://www.foodswinesfromspain.com/spanishfoodwine/global/products-recipes/products/4575430.html

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