It was 1968 when my boyfriend and I moved from San Diego, CA. to Houston, Texas. The Vietnam war was at ti's deadliest, Dr. King had just been assassinated, Bobby Kennedy murdered, gone...there was a presidential election looming. Segregationist George Wallace was a leading candidate. There were riots and protests everywhere....for a black man, or a hippie, Houston was not the most welcoming place...but we, my boyfriend and me, were young, dumb, and sort of brave white kids on a mission to make a difference.
There were flyers up all over the city of a generic hippie couple with the words Wanted Dead or Alive...I watched the Democratic convention in Chicago on TV and felt fear and disbelief...they were beating people who looked just like me.
....Black men were being shot at an alarming rate by the Houston Police and by the Texas Rangers...these men were accused of trying to run, but there would be powder burns on their backs.....there was a lot of fear that because of what happened to Dr. King there would be riots like the one in Watts in 1965. City leaders were trying to keep a lid on things...the city sort of vibrated with tension. And so many sirens all the time...
I got a job as a cocktail waitress a few nights a week......I only had to be 18 to work at a club. I didn't serve alcohol, everyone brought their own and I would bring them ''set ups''.
The job was mostly easy and my days were free. I decided I wanted to help register black voters and I was able to find a connection to make it possible. I had a meeting with a minister from a black church...he interviewed me and made a point of letting me know that he couldn't promise that everything would be ok...that I would be ok...My duties would be help people fill out the forms correctly. I took the ''job'' and three mornings a week my boyfriend would drive me to Ward 4 or 6, I don't remember which now. We would arrive in our tiny car which was painted with big red, blue, yellow and pink flowers, and looked like a dozen clowns should pile out when the doors opened.....so conspicuous we were....and he'd leave me there...It was a sort of secret place, the little house...the summer too hot with emotion, too dangerous to put out a sign saying REGISTER HERE!!! .....There were no lines...people would sort slip in and out all day...in small groups or alone.... and we'd do the paper work.... tension was high...we registered a lot of first time voters of all ages in those few weeks.
That summer I also volunteered for Operation Bread Basket. I volunteered to spend time with a child from one of the Wards a few times a week.....My child, and little friend was Oshee...she was four years old and black as the night. She lived with her mother and 5 brothers and sisters in 3 rooms...she had never played in a bubble bath or eaten an egg. She'd never swam in a swimming pool either and when I let her swim at our apartment complex the other renters called management...no black kids allowed.....I was more than a little stunned....our neighbors seemed like nice people. I wondered then, and still do, what they feared from a 4 year old?
One sunny afternoon Oshee and I decided to walk to the store about 3 blocks away. I'd walked it many time, but this time it was different. In a matter of minutes white men in pickup trucks where calling me a nigger lover...whore, slut...screaming these words at us as they drove by...let me tell you, this hippie girl started shaking in her sandals.....I don't think Oshee had any clue what the words meant that were being hurled at us but she felt my fear, and she could feel their hate......and she held my hand a little tighter, and we both walked a little faster...I didn't know rather to turn around and go back, or be brave and move forward. We went forward, I had promised her a coloring book and crayons.....but I was afraid...really afraid....We never took a walk together again...sigh...I had never felt such intense hatred projected onto me......but I imagine she had.
I often wonder if my time with her was good or not, what impact it had, if any......I wonder with racism still alive and well in this country if she was able to leave that Ward and never look back...I wonder if she has a good life...I wonder if she votes.
I heard a blip on youtube from some Fox commentators the other day. They were talking, and laughing, about the 102 year old woman who had to stand in line for hours to vote in our last national election. They joked...and they wondered out loud what the big deal was?...they asked what else a 102 year old woman had to do besides wait? And I wondered when voter suppression will end in this land of the free and equal....
"We are all creation makers and a new world is awaiting creation..."
Hallie Austen Iglehart
Does this resonate...?
“A new consciousness and a totally new morality are necessary to bring about a radical change in the present culture and social structure. This is obvious, yet the Left and the Right and the revolutionary seem to disregard it. Any dogma, any formula, any ideology is part of the old consciousness; they are the fabrications of thought whose activity is fragmentation - the Left, the Right, the centre. This activity will inevitably lead to bloodshed of the Right or of the Left or to totalitarianism. This is what is going on around us. One sees the necessity of social, economic, and moral change but the response is from the old consciousness, thought being the principal actor. The mess, the confusion, and the misery that human beings have got into are within the area of the old consciousness, and without changing that profoundly,every human activity- political, economic or religious- will only bring us to the destruction of each other and of the earth.”
You can't copy anybody and end up with anything. If you copy, it means you're working without any real feeling....Billie Holiday from The 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women...a portable mentor.....
May my feet rest firmly on the ground May my head touch the sky May I see clearly May I have the capacity to listen May I be free to touch May my words be true May my heart and mind be open May my hands be empty to fill the need May my arms be open to others May my gifts be reveled to me So I may return that which has been given Completing the great circle. ~the therma collective
I'm a mixed media fiber artists...A lifetime ago I attended a Goddess Doll Workshop given by jasa Johnson..the experience changed my life. It is there thatI met my muse...the Goddess Nu Kua. Her myth is that she created the world but was all alone with the beauty of it. So she created human spirits to keep her company and share in the magic. In my life she has provided me with endless inspiration to create the divine feminine in the form of what I call Spirit Figures..When she came into my life everything about my journey changed...
The Spirit Figures I create with her guidance feel as though they have more than just form...they have spirit. They have found homes all over the world...what a gift for me...xo
Loving-Kindness as Thought is Tranquility. Loving-Kindness as Speech is Softness. Loving-Kindness as Activity is Altruism. Loving-Kindness as Practice is Peace.
....thank you Sue
In the works....
In the works......Spirit Mask Workshop....june 20, 21....two half days. If you're interested send me email and I'll give you the details....firstname.lastname@example.org
from past workshops....
Dear Julie! The pleasure was definitely all mine!!! I love what we created and the time spent with the nice women and YOU!!! I named my doll "Avia". She is proudly hanging with all of yours in my living room. I thought you would like to know that I have started 3 more. I have "Mother Nature" ready to get a body, a cat (who's head is a bit large and heavy?? ack! and a small face, yet to be determined. I bought decorative pieces and fabrics based on "feeling" as I shop along. I feel as if you have opened a whole new world to me, and for that I thank and bless you, my friend! I am amazed at my own ability to restrain myself and not feel "rushed" to completion on these soft sculptures. I like to let them make their own "evolution" of sorts. I usually feel a sense of urgency to get things done quickly, to see it done, but not with these. Thank you for your generosity of spirit and love. I love you and your beautiful soul. Hugs, Lisa
Well no wonder I was drawn to it - I've been calling Celtic energy to myself for several years now! :-)
I loved the workshop, being surrounded by women's energy, tapping into creative energy, and just giving myself a day to be free. And, I love my doll! She has an honored place in my home.
Thank you so much for sharing your creative inspiration with us!
Peace and blessings, Alcia
I loved the "entire" day. Good play, good times, good food, great company! My "goddess" is wonderful. It's amazing how everyone created their own "person" - THANK YOU!!!
My friends Ellen, Laurel and Alisha also had a great day. Can't wait for your mask workshop!!
Even if you are on the right track, you will get run over if you just sit there. Will Rogers
Buddha said, "What you are is what you have been, what you will be is what you do now." Padmasambhava said, "If you want to know your past life, look into your present condition; if you want to know your future life, look at your present actions." ....from the Tibetan Book of Living and Dying