mousemusings...multimedia, music, progressive politics, video, web design and general rants
Human beings will be happier - not when they cure cancer or get to Mars or eliminate racial prejudice or flush Lake Erie but when they find ways to inhabit primitive communities again. That's my utopia.
~Kurt Vonnegut
Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Wooster Collective : A Celebration of Street Art

Check out the Wooster podcasts.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Wanting to be right here, right now.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Proud yet Painful

Sometimes it all comes crashing in. A phone call out of the blue looking for a childhood friend. Memories. A friendship that started at a very young age, best friends, interrupted.

I understand a lot now. I understand why I don't jump aboard to attack men bloggers for not linking to women bloggers and why it bothers me to see it happen. I understand more about my own process when it comes to breaking rules or not fully understanding social rules. Being able to answer the question Andy asked me years ago, "Why don't you have any close women friends?", is something I can do now.

Girls' cruelty can be deadly. No, it wasn't just playground antics. When the line that connected the two of us became a triangle, we all three moved into an apartment together. Until then it had been the closest of friendships. I took off to work out-of-town for awhile and while I was gone everything I owned was taken, our lease was broken, and they had both moved. Homeless again. I was 16. I have reason to suspect that my car was also stolen and rolled by at least one of the points on the triangle. I've seen it since then; In a group of three women, there is really only room for two.

Oddly enough I found Sex, Lies and Conversation; Why Is It So Hard for Men and Women to Talk to Each Other? after following the search term 'rules of friendship' found in my referrer logs. It was written in 1990, but I sense it is timeless.

Men have always been good to me, my closest friends. I think I communicate more in the male realm. After reading the above article I know I don't fit in the woman's mold. No, I don't fit with men entirely either, but I can understand their little blogging cliques. If they get too fraternal I just don't visit. Simple. Same thing in the physical world.

Sometimes I don't understand either sex. When my old friend called looking for my childhood best friend, his old girlfriend, it was a nice phone reunion, even though I couldn't help with her location. When he subsequently found her and wanted me to call her for him, I couldn't. I just couldn't. It's been a bit intense with him pressing, me resisting, finally ending with his writing and passing along my email address to her. He wasn't fully aware of what had happened to our friendship and I couldn't understand why he didn't feel comfortable calling her himself. Men!

Where do I go from here? Everything is so jumbled. She wrote to me. I wrote back. I feel too many emotions.

The girl who elbowed her way into our friendship and pushed me out, that third point in the triangle, died from an overdose leaving behind three kids.

My childhood best friend adopted and raised her two daughters.

I'm proud to know her.
I still feel the pain from years ago.
It's so twisted.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Monday, March 28, 2005

The Conceptual Age

A Whole New Summary has a lot of content posted about A Whole New Mind including links to reviews, excerpts and an audio interview with Daniel Pink.

I wrote a little about Pink's ideas earlier in The Sweet Revenge of Human Instinct which points to the Wired article.
Crossroads Dispatches has written a review and has a relevant quote on her page that I had to swipe..

The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.

- Albert Einstein

In her review she does lead me to believe that I probably shouldn't drop the math just yet. (not that I was thinking about it) but developing Pink's six essential abilities: Design, Story, Symphony, Empathy, Play and Meaning will be much easier and a whole lot more fun!
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

What Philosophy Do You Follow?

You scored as Existentialism. Your life is guided by the concept of Existentialism: You choose the meaning and purpose of your life.

“Man is condemned to be free; because once thrown into the world, he is responsible for everything he does.”

“It is up to you to give [life] a meaning.”

--Jean-Paul Sartre

“It is man's natural sickness to believe that he possesses the Truth.”

--Blaise Pascal

More info at Arocoun's Wikipedia User Page...







Justice (Fairness)


Strong Egoism








Divine Command


What philosophy do you follow? (v1.02)
created with
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Peace Not Poverty Write-In

Among some of the goodies I found at Mark Dilley's site was this:

To enable broad public witness to the Riverside event, one million committed Americans of conscience will create a written declaration to the nation using Synanim, the unique internet technology available through Faith Voices for the Common Good. The Write-In starts March 30, with registration at this site March 20-29.(Registration ends March 29 at 12pm) The written declaration that the process produces will be read by the leader it selects April 4 at the Riverside service.
The Peace Not Poverty Write-In uses an utterly new and exciting process called Synanim!

It is not just a petition, chat room or discussion forum. It is far more engaging and creative!

You offer your ideas in a small group of six to 10 people who share their ideas with you. Everyone is free to choose which ideas are best and to incorporate them. Over a series of steps, everyone creates their own statements, but using input from all.

That's all there is! It requires a two-hour commitment online.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Sunday, March 27, 2005

I Was Ready To Tell

I was ready to tell
the story of my life
but the ripple of tears
and the agony of my heart
wouldn't let me

i began to stutter
saying a word here and there
and all along i felt
as tender as a crystal
ready to be shattered

in this stormy sea
we call life
all the big ships
come apart
board by board

how can i survive
riding a lonely
little boat
with no oars
and no arms

my boat did finally break
by the waves
and i broke free
as i tied myself
to a single board

though the panic is gone
i am now offended
why should i be so helpless
rising with one wave
and falling with the next

i don't know
if i am
while i exist
but i know for sure
when i am
i am not
when i am not
then i am

now how can i be
a skeptic
about the
resurrection and
coming to life again

since in this world
i have many times
like my own imagination
died and
been born again

that is why
after a long agonizing life
as a hunter
i finally let go and got
hunted down and became free

~Rumi, ghazal number 1419,
translated April 17, 1991,
by Nader Khalili
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Bob's Solar Project

If you've been waiting for some pics and progress he has both. Check it out.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Friday, March 25, 2005

The Hitchhikers Guide to the Revolution

People tell me it is really dangerous picking up hitchhikers. But I find it is a way I keep my instincts alive. I train myself to know what is dangerous and what is not. I used to be really good at knowing. I got caught up in the corporate world and lost much of my instincts. That happens when you are told everyday that you know nothing and you should not speak, and they work you so hard you can't feel anything anymore. A couple of years ago the whole thing came apart. I lost my job, my house, my family and my community. I was really disoriented. I lost my place in the world. I lived in my truck. I had to travel a lot to have work and so I started picking up hitchhikers again. At first it was just women. Because I am a woman and I wanted to be safe. But later I got better at reading people. Also "magical" things begin happening.

... ) This was the way that America talked to each other until the war ended. We were diverse people talking one on one in a non-adversarial way for the most part. We listened to each other. [ read it all ]
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Reframing Reminder

Reckless, Irresponsible, Extreme, Radical

"In creating this frame, there’s a few terms progressives should not use: conservative and neoconservative. For many Americans, the word “conservative” has positive connotations beyond politics and in their own lives. A majority of Americans are conservative or cautious with their money and with the decisions they make about their children’s health and education. Being conservative implies saving something, thinking ahead, being safe, showing good judgment. “Neoconservative” doesn’t mean a damn thing to anyone living outside of the Beltway or not heavily involved in politics. By using these words, we either reinforce a positive framework for Republicans, or use language that is—at best—benign, because nobody knows what it means.

"That’s why the progressive community must stop using either of these words to describe the Republican leadership and their agenda. So what specific phrase should we use instead? What phrase can we use to brand the Republican leadership and force them in the box we define? How about simply, “the reckless right wing of the Republican Party?”

"With a label like this, we begin to drive a wedge deeper in the GOP, dividing those who follow right-wing radicals from those who are increasingly uncomfortable with their party’s leadership."
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Intercepted Transmission

T. Casey Brennen
Frankenhead! April Fool's Day, 2005!
John Sinclair & Live Music at 555 Gallery/Studios

4884 Grand River Avenue Detroit, Michigan 48208
corner of Grand River / Warren - Phone: (313) 894-4202

The above promo came to me via an Intercepted Transmission that is going to take weeks for me to decipher and will be worth every minute spent! A highly recommended diversion.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

celebrating the spring that just isn't here yet


walking off the weight of winter
salt melting
into wounded concrete
rough, unmended
remnants of storms
cast in limestone

frigid winds
beneath shadows of two-lips
a dusted red breast
of song

glistening facets
of color
spring from
smoke drenched clouds,
a prismatic dance

warmed soil displays
volcanic art
sculpted by earthworms
and flowering ants

molten life blood
erupts into
weightless playtime

~cyndy 3/2000
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Why I wrote a "A New American Lexicon"

Luntz propagates and Mark Maynard highlights a few of the more fertile phrases. Be sure to also follow his link to digby where you can watch how the seeds of propagation are spread through college radicals.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Saturday, March 19, 2005

The Winter of Listening

No one but me by the fire,
my hands burning
red in the palms while
the night wind carries
everything away outside.

All this petty worry
while the great cloak
of the sky grows dark
and intense
round every living thing.

What is precious
inside us does not
care to be known
by the mind
in ways that diminish
its presence.

What we strive for
in perfection
is not what turns us
into the lit angel
we desire,

what disturbs
and then nourishes
has everything
we need.

What we hate
in ourselves
is what we cannot know
in ourselves but
what is true to the pattern
does not need
to be explained.

Inside everyone
is a great shout of joy
waiting to be born.

Even with the summer
so far off
I feel it grown in me
now and ready
to arrive in the world.

All those years
listening to those
who had
nothing to say.

All those years
how everything
has its own voice
to make
itself heard.

All those years
how easily
you can belong
to everything
simply by listening.

And the slow
of remembering
how everything
is born from
an opposite
and miraculous

Silence and winter
has led me to that

So let this winter
of listening
be enough
for the new life
I must call my own.
~David Whyte

posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

"When your eyes are tired
the world is tired also.

When your vision has gone
no part of the world can find you.

Time to go into the dark
where the night has eyes
to recognize its own.

There you can be sure
you are not beyond love...

Sometimes it takes darkness and the sweet
confinement of your aloneness
to learn

anything or anyone
that does not bring you alive
is too small for you.

~David Whyte, from "Sweet Darkness"
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Friday, March 18, 2005

Listening through Mindfulness

De-Clutter Your Mind Through Mindfulness

In his latest book, Coming to Our Senses, Kabat- Zinn describes it as: "A love affair with what is most fundamental in life, with what is so, with what we might call truth, which for me includes beauty, the unknown and the possible, how things actually are in this very moment."

-- Remind yourself that time is a product of thought. Minutes and hours are a convention with no absolute meaning, in the words of Einstein. You are only on a treadmill if you choose to be.

-- Avoid unsatisfying moments ruminating about the past or worrying about the future. Only reminisce about the past or plan for the future when you do it with awareness. Otherwise, focus on what you are doing and "time will disappear".

-- Spend time meditating, even if it's only one minute in every hour.

-- Simplify your life. Prioritise and give up activities low down the list and spend that time in silence, in non-doing.

-- Slow down the sense of time passing by taking note of ordinary experiences as though they were milestones. Remember how long it can seem to spend a day spent in a foreign city, where every new experience is novel and an adventure.

-- Savour the present. Acknowledge that you are not "going" anywhere, that the future will not be any more pleasant or rich. It will be another easily missed moment.

posted by Cyndy | link |   | |


The little child whispered, "God, speak to me." And a meadowlark sang. But the child did not hear. So the child yelled, "God, speak to me!" And the thunder rolled across the sky. But the child did not listen. The child looked around and said, "God let me see you." And a star shone brightly

But the child did not notice. And the child shouted, "God show me a miracle!" And a life was born. But the child did not know. So the child cried out in despair, "Touch me God, and let me know you are here!" Whereupon God reached down And touched the child. But the child brushed the butterfly away and walked away unknowingly.

Take time to listen. Often times, the things we seek are right underneath our noses. Don't miss out on your blessing because it isn't packaged the way that you expect.

posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Request for Reporter and Random Reads

From Corpus Callosum:

I got the following e-mail from the Union of Concerned Scientists.
I will not be able to go to the meeting, but I would appreciate it if one or more bloggers in the Ann Arbor area could go and report on it.

Roundtable on Scientific Integrity in Public Policy Making
Sponsored by the Union of Concerned Scientists and the University of Michigan Science, Technology, and Society Program.

Date and time: March 21, 2005 (Monday), 4-6 pm
Location: International Institute, 1636 SSWB (corner of South University and East University)
Anyone?? I won't be able to go either.


I had to play earlier, hence the Hare Daemon below, a humourous, probably inaccurate portrayal, but the distraction was appreciated. The links I'm including in this post don't bode well for any sense of tranquility. I think I'll play some more tomorrow. No matter how much I want to bury my head this week I can't.

Rigorous Intuition asks "How high's the water, Mama?" a distressing inspiration. Thanks to Rajiv for the pointer.

Will Pitt with The Darkness Drops Again... and that was just yesterday.

The New PC Crybaby Conservatives by Russell Jacoby in The Nation

Wolfowitz Nomination Shocks, Worries Europeans as it should everyone.

Good News About the Economy, Democracy? In what year?

Outscourcing Innovation...And Everything Else
America's Has-Been Economy by Paul Craig Roberts

The US is No Longer the Land of Dreams by Mathilde Soyer

Democracy Dying behind closed doors by Jack Lessenberry


A tree too has body and spirit; even rocks which appear to be dead contain their spirit. There is no dichotomy, no dualism, no separation between matter and spirit.

The problem is not matter but materialism. Similarly there is no problem with spirit, but spiritualism is problematic. The moment we encapsulate an idea or a thought into an 'ism' we lay the foundations of dualistic thought. The universe is uni-verse, one song, one poem, one verse.

...] Even if there were no problem of global warming, of resource shortage, of pollution and waste we would still need to choose a more simple lifestyle which is conducive to and congruent with spirituality, because a simple lifestyle, a lifestyle uncluttered with the burden of unnecessary possessions, is the lifestyle which can offer the opportunity to explore the universe of the imagination and to find boundless joy in that universe.


I do want to pass along the names of the 43 Representatives who voted against another $81.4 billion for continued US occupation in Iraq. Thank them.

Abercrombie (D-HI), Baldwin (D-MN), Blumenauer (D-OR), Capuano (D-MA), Clay (D-MO), Coble (R-NC), Danny Davis (D-IL), Duncan (R-TN), Farr (D-CA), Filner (D-CA), Frank (D-MA), Grijalva (D-AZ), Hastings (D-FL), Hinchey (D-NY), Holt (D-NJ), Jackson-Lee (D-TX), Kucinich (D-OH), Lee (D-CA), Lewis (D-GA), Maloney (D-NY), Markey (D-MA), McCollum (D-MN), McDermott (D-WA), McGovern (D-MA), McKinney (D-GA), Meehan (D-MA), George Miller (D-CA), Owens (D-NY), Pallone (D-NJ), Paul (R-TX), Payne (D-NJ), Rangel (D-NY), Sanders (I-VT), Schakowsky (D-IL), Serrano (D-NY), Stark (D-CA), Thompson (D-CA), Tierney (D-MA), Towns (D-NY), Velázquez (D-NY), Waters (D-CA), Weiner (D-NY) and Woolsey (D-CA).
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Flattering but...unshakable tranquility??

Stop laughing Andy.
via VirusHead and Etherealgirl, two wonderful new additions to my sidebar.

Hare Daemon
Your HARE DAEMON represents your passive,
kindhearted, and honorable nature. Though you
are occasionally shy with new people, friends
admire your unshakable tranquility, even in the
face of chaos.

What Animal Would Your Daemon Settle As?
brought to you by Quizilla
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Wednesday, March 16, 2005


I wrote the following in my comments a few days ago and just felt like pulling it out to remind myself:

'no matter what happens, you will survive it until you don't. You don't have to welcome or appreciate it, but you have to live with it until either you change it or it changes you.'
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Senate Votes to Open Alaskan Oil Drilling

The 19-million-acre refuge was set aside for protection by President Eisenhower in 1960, but Congress in 1980 said its 1.5 million acre coastal plain could be opened to oil development if Congress specifically authorizes it.
and they have
thanks to sustainablog for the bad news.

UPDATE: This is who and how they voted
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

I Know I'm Crazy When...

I get this headline in my inbox and I can't stop laughing.
Bush to Recommend Wolfowitz for World Bank
"Bush told a news conference that Wolfowitz, now Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's top deputy, was "a compassionate, decent man who will do a fine job at the World Bank. That's why I put him up."
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

How much can we slash before we bleed to death?

The Bush budget slashes health professions training (including nurse training) from $447 million this year to $160 million in fiscal 2006, a cut of 64 percent.
see more slashing
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Peak Oil Presentation in the US Congress

This is a must read

Very comprehensive. There is much much more than the excerpt I'm providing. Remember, this was presented to Congress. They need to be questioned and held accountable, now.
Dragging feet or pretending there is no problem isn't going to fly.

Conservative Congressman Roscoe Bartlett, Chairman of the Projection Forces Subcommittee of the Armed Services Committee, gave an hour long presentation on Peak Oil to the US Congress on Monday. This is the full transcript.
They hope to get ahold of the graphs used by Mr. Bartlett and will update this article to include them if they come to hand.

What now? Where do we go now? One observer, Matt Savinar, who has thoroughly researched the options, and this is not the most optimistic assessment, by the way, but may be somewhat realistic, he starts out by saying, Dear Readers, civilization as we know it is coming to an end soon. I hope not. This is not the wacky proclamation of a doomsday cult, apocalypse Bible sect or conspiracy theory society. Rather, it is a scientific conclusion of the best-paid, most widely respected geologists, physicists and investment bankers in the world. These are rational, professional, conservative individuals who are absolutely terrified by the phenomenon known as global peak oil.

Why should they be terrified? Why should they be terrified just because we have reached the peak of oil production? Last year, China used about 30 percent more oil. India now is demanding more oil. As a matter of fact, China now is the second largest importer of oil in the world. They have passed Japan. When you look at how important oil is to our economy, you can understand the big concern if, in fact, we cannot produce oil any faster than we are producing it now and there are increasing demands, as there will be, for oil. In our country, for instance, we have a debt that we must service. It will be essentially impossible to service that debt if our economy does not continue to grow. So there are enormous potential consequences, which is why he says that these people are absolutely terrified by the phenomenon known as peak oil.

If you're interested in more peak oil articles you can check out my peak oil links where they have finally surpassed the number of links I had saved in the politics category. I think that's a good sign.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Monday, March 14, 2005

SXSW Music, Ann Arbor Film Festival

If I were at SXSW the rest of this week you could find me here at La Zona Rosa listening to Mary Gauthier, see post below Elvis Costello and the Imposters, Robyn Hitchcock, John Cale.... more...but I'm not, so you won't... and I'll just have to settle for the BBC online schedule unless I happen to be at the Ann Arbor Film Festival

Oh, I disabled my blogroll because blogrolling seems to be asleep and the page wasn't loading. I'll check it again later, though I won't say how much later.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Listening to

Mary Gauthier
Mercy Now

Wrenching. Beautiful.
It tears me up, as did reading her bio.
Clicking on the television pic at the link will give you the video.

It can take a lifetime to write even one line like those that thread through Mercy Now. For Gauthier, that life began in a kind of prison, in which conformity was the lock in the door and each house was as much a cell as any box of steel and stone.

"I was adopted when I was about a year old. My adopted parents tried, but their marriage was doomed. They ended up like zombies. Music saved my life.

"It was the only thing I could relate to back in Baton Rouge [Louisiana]. I looked around me and I couldn't relate to my family. I couldn't relate to the neighborhood. I couldn't relate to the people I went to school with hardly at all. I felt like an alien. But I found songs that spoke to me."

But Bob Dylan, John Prine, Jim Morrison, Patti Smith, Neil Young and the others who caught her ear couldn't save her. Maybe their songs made her even more restless, for they were "truth tellers," as she sees it, and truth only put the lies in a brighter light.

At fifteen she stole her parents' car. "I had no idea where I was going," she remembers. "I just knew that if I stayed my life would be in danger — not that somebody was going to kill me, but I felt like I was dying.

"Somewhere along the way I figured out that the most intimate part of me is the most universal part of me. I've figured out that the artist's job is to reveal that universal human experience. There's got to be a way to go inside and pull out the bigger truth and use it as a mirror in which other people can see themselves."

"I realized that something has to happen when I write — a physiological reaction. If it raises the hair on my arms and puts goose bumps there, I know I've nailed it."

UPDATE: NPR interview

Share it. Touch someone.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Clones Can't Think Critically or Creatively

The Corpus Callosum writes about our Nation of Clones
He observes:
Foreign policy, health, environmentalism, and education seem to have dropped off the national radar. Does anyone know, for example, that a UN committee just recommended a resolution to ban human cloning?

Then he points to cuts in testing of student knowledge in Illinois: more links on his page Illinois students no longer have to take substantive writing exams or tests measuring their knowledge of fundamental principles of U.S. government and history
"the skills required for critical thinking are not a priority for this government. Nor, apparently, is knowledge of government or history. I actually did not realize that before now, NCLB does not require testing about government."

"After all, if the People know something about government and history, they might be able to criticize the government. Can't have that, can we? Let's force them to spend all their resources learning stuff that does not contribute to informed political discourse."

Good questions, good observations, directly related to Estimated Prophet's entry on critical thinking and the willingness of Americans to drink the Kool-Aid. I think our lack of critical thinking skills has been in development for quite some time and we are seeing the effects of it. Unless the basis of what is considered 'education' changes, we will continue to see this and worse, especially when coupled with religious influence such as creationism now storming our public school systems.

Jon Kabat-Zinn suggests that the cultivation of the "inner technologies" may be more useful than any external technology designed to better our lives. "By intentionally cultivating these "inner technologies,' we develop the capacity of the human mind for individual and collective creativity and wisdom and healing." Excerpt from "The Contemplative Mind in Society,"

Cultivating inner technologies is what I've been calling "Listening to ourselves", a huge element of critical thinking. Intuition is a language not necessarily comprised of words, but created by the brain and the body to help us gain insight into and understanding of our past and to help provide solutions for the future. Intuition relies on critical thinking, otherwise it can be confused with knee-jerk emotion. I have to wonder if the degradation of critical thinking skills have contributed to the loss of intuitive skills. The ease of ready-made answers and time constraints don't allow for going below the surface toward that inner voice.

Change is needed. I recently attended a creativity/breakthrough thinking class, mostly business related, though I wanted to take away insights that would help me find that elusive personal 'snap'. I don't quite have my personal snap yet but I did come away with a resource that I'm fascinated with. Robert E. Quinn and Kim Cameron, professors at U-M developed a business model called the Competing Values Model. I really don't care too much how it applies to business at the moment, but, just by the name, can you see where I'm going when I relate it to society, politics and education in the US?

Researching a bit after the class I found that Robert Quinn has written a few books. While browsing in a bookstore the other day I found Change the World How Ordinary People Can Accomplish Extraordinary Results, encompassing eight 'seed thoughts' which comprise his Advanced Change Theory (ACT).

1. An Invitation to Transformation
2. Envision the Productive Community
3. First Look Within
4. Embrace the Hypocritical Self
5. Transcend Fear
6. Embody a Vision of the Common Good
7. Disturb the System
8. Surrender to the Emergent Process
9. Entice Through Moral Power

The promotional release for the book states: "In this empowering book, Robert E. Quinn, author of the highly successful and influential Deep Change, gives readers the courage to use personal transformation to positively impact their home life, work life, and communities – to be what he refers to as “inner-directed and outer-focused.” We are all potential change agents, but most of us are trapped by the belief that we as individuals cannot make a difference.
Following his advice, each of us can access and apply the power that lies within us in ways that will change our world for the better."

To apply just a small portion of his ideas to critical thinking and education, I found an article from from ENC Online, a K-12 math and science teacher center utilizing some of his ideas.

Dreaming All That We Might Realize

Quinn expresses it this way: "Our greatest joy no matter what our role comes from creating. In that process people become aware that they are able to do things they once thought were impossible. They have empowered themselves, which in turn empowers those with whom they interact" (Sparks, 2001b, p. 50).

As you create new possibilities for your students, it is our intention that the information provided here stimulates your intellect, provides practical strategies for improvement, and nurtures your belief in the capacity of all students and staff members to learn and perform at high levels. That is our aspiration and the standard of success against which our efforts must be judged.

I also found the interview that the above article references. Change: It's a matter of life or slow death from the National Staff Development Council Journal of Staff Development, Fall 2001 I'm offering small excerpts but I urge you to read it all.

...) I am very taken by the concept of positive deviance. Deviance is generally viewed as a bad thing. But on one end of the curve, we find deviance in the form of excellence, the very behavior we want to promote. Systems don’t like either positive or negative deviance, though, and are designed to crush both. So if we take risks to be excellent, the system will push back.

Richard Pascale in Surfing the Edge of Chaos (Crown Business, 2000) describes positive deviance as it is practiced by Save the Children in poor villages in Vietnam. Rather than simply throwing resources at the problem, which will later be withdrawn, after which the situation will return to normal, Save the Children went into villages in Vietnam where many, but not all, children were starving. They engaged the villagers in studying the situation and identifying the positive deviants who were also poor but had healthy children. Then the villagers showed one another how this was done. Save the Children was amplifying positive deviance. So now when people say something can’t be done, I ask for examples of positive deviance. But people are often uncomfortable with these notions because they suggest that we all have the potential to do things that many claim are impossible.

To tie all of this together, if we are not growing, we are dying. And if we are growing and pushing the edges of the system, we will meet great resistance. And yet it is possible for us to be positive deviants, and positive deviants change the world. There are documented cases of this phenomenon in education just as there are in other fields.

...) Start a social movement

JSD:In Change the World you wrote, "In over 25 years of working on issues of organizational change, I have come to the conclusion that most important changes require the creation of a social movement. It is, in fact, more accurate to say that change is a social movement. The first step in creating a social movement is having a single actor who asks questions: What is the right thing to do? What result do I want? How do I behave in a more authentic way?"

Quinn: That’s a very important concept. People who have internalized the normal, hierarchical model believe that their job is to preserve equilibrium. Martin Luther King Jr. and Gandhi were deviants who fostered social movements.

Superintendents and principals can only bring about transformational change if they lead a social movement. By social movement, I mean a change in culture. It always begins with a few and moves to the many. Every major organizational change requires a social movement. Show me a superintendent who has transformed her school system or a principal who has transformed his school, and I’ll show you someone who led a social movement, because they had to attract all the resistant teachers out of their shells into a new script.

The answers to the questions you just read can lead school administrators to recognize that they can no longer live with the results they are seeing and to acknowledge that they are prepared to do whatever’s necessary to create something far better. Then they learn their way forward to do whatever is necessary.

...) Creativity is joy

JSD:Moral authority certainly comes through in your writing, as does the importance of being creative. "We all want to experience ourselves as a creative force," you wrote in Change the World. "That’s when we are most influential and happy." I assume that this applies to all educators and that the creative process lies outside a formulaic process.

Competing Values...clones or creative critical thinkers? Who decides?

posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Friday, March 11, 2005

I Love it When a Plan Comes Together

I like watching too.
Bob's Solar Project
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

It's Time to Dance

The music is written in the links below...
Morgaine has written a four part article titled "How to Talk to a Christian". There is background information ranging from complicity on the part of the media to an overview of the reptilian, mammalian and neocortex functions of the brain and the mastery of manipulation used in the propaganda we are fed. She also touches on Kohlberg's stages of moral reasoning which is something I plan to write a bit more about in the future because it's related to 'listening to yourself'. I don't necessarily think that all she has written can be entirely attributed to Christianity, or to the radical right wing, but rather to a larger part of the society in the US because of a lack of Critical Thinking Skills that Estimated Prophet covered indepth yesterday.

"Our collective will as a nation is being steered by kneejerk emotions, not critically considered fact. Patriotism and loyalty to the leader and his minions is posited as being a good citizen, a member in good standing of the group. A comfortable follower of the dominant mode of "thought"- which requires no individual thought. Individual autonomy and authority is given up to conform, fit in, be welcomed into the fold. At what cost?"
All individual passion leads to the suppression of all critical judgment with regard to the object of that passion. Beyond that, in the collective passion created by propaganda, critical judgment disappears altogether, for in no way can there ever be collective critical judgment.

Another article I found where Morgaine especially shines is with her Crash course in the Christian Supremacist Movement I have written many entries related to the Dominion Theology Movement, also calling themselves 'New Traditionalists" but Morgaine gathered together a lot of info into one tidy eye-opening reference.

Understanding the underlying thought processes does not equate to productive discourse. Because of my crazy schedule, I was sleeping last evening and missed a discussion I would have loved to have been a part of where they were discussing, in part, the Frank Luntz playbook. I have great intentions but Thursdays are killer days for me and my pillow seems to win.

I do get some sense that people are pulling their heads out of 'wherever they've been' because ludicrous policy is beginning to directly affect them personally.
I have very little faith that the opposition party is going to be effective because they can't seem to get it together. They are too busy pandering, posturing, and pissing away their votes in favor of corporate interests and have forgotten any sense of moral reasoning. Why would people opt to vote for them? Take a good look Debbie Stabenow, and others like you, because the ice underneath you is very thin.

This all comes back to the beginning of the dance and the straw man. If people are ripe for change but lack the critical thinking skills to connect the dots and are doubly confused because propaganda and religion have skewed and warped the dance floor and because the Democrats are ineffective wimps stepping all over themselves, the question remains, who starts the music, what do we play, and how loud does it need to be?
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Local Labor Actions

I noticed some union picketing going on by Arborland mall yesterday, and today, in addition, a few guys with signs in front of the VA Hospital. I had stopped and asked the guys yesterday what was going on and promised to spread the word, but unfortunately I couldn't find anything about it via Google News.

The ones at Arborland are Local 252 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) whose website above kind of explains what's going on: Potbelly Sandwich and another restaurant (whose name I forget) are using non-union workers to build their new Arborland locations. I'm not sure if the guys picketing the VA are with LU 252 or not (and I don't think the website has been updated lately).

Anyway, for those of you living around here, pay heed to their boycotts and give thanks to those stores who did use IBEW folk. Oh, and give the fellas a honk!
posted by Andy | link |   | |

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Follow Your Bliss

"Poets are those who have made a profession and a lifestyle of being in touch with their bliss... Follow your bliss and don't be afraid, and doors will open where you didn't know they'd be. Always go where you want to go -- where your body and soul want to go. When you have the feeling then stay with it, don't let anyone throw you off."
~Joseph Campbell
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Women Have to Wonder

I shouldn't write anymore entries about listening because as Doug rightly points out, even when a man is listening, he’s gonna get it wrong.

Doug also points to what should become the blog post of the year, written by a woman, that certain men should be listening to, but are instead, probably too busy protecting and pointing to precious extensions of themselves to take the time. Be forewarned men, you wonder why He never got enough? Power putrefies.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Bush, God and the Media

... the administration's public communications contained four characteristics simultaneously rooted in religious fundamentalism while offering political capital:

* Simplistic, black-and-white conceptions of the political landscape, most notably good vs. evil and security vs. peril.
* Calls for immediate action on administration policies as a necessary part of the nation's "calling" and "mission" against terrorism.
* Declarations about the will of God for America and for the spread of U.S. conceptions of freedom and liberty.
* Claims that dissent from the administration is unpatriotic and a threat to the nation and globe.

In combination, these characteristics have transformed Bush's "Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists" policy to "Either you are with us, or you are against God." To the great misfortune of American democracy and the global public, such a view looks, sounds and feels remarkably similar to that of the terrorists it is fighting.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Monday, March 07, 2005

Forbidden Perfection

It was almost two years ago when I first read his poetry. I don't think he ever put much poetry up on his old site, but that particular poem, Forbidden Poetry, really shook me so I copied it and posted it on my site. I never forgot. It wasn't long after that when he closed his old site. When he came back very recently with Name This Thing I wasn't sure if he would be writing much poetry. He has been. I reminded him of Forbidden Poetry and he has now written some notes explaining it, along with the poem. If I ever felt even a twinge of guilt for posting his poem, ( no, I didn't because I made sure to give credit to his pseudonym, which was all I knew at the time) he clarifies his creative commons intentions.

Below is another piece by Sean Hurley.
I have never seen an image of poetry described with such perfection.

Prologue (a translation)

Poetry is an erotic art —
its rhythms
are the rhythms
of sex — playing —
its words
are etched with semen
with sweat
with catches of breath
its meanderings
are a lover’s arms
its punctuation
bites on the neck
its messages
in the silence
the scream.

Sean Hurley
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

The Collective Interval

from The Gurdjieff Journal

We all speak, but from what angle? Questioning this when listening to ourselves or others might give us a new "outer-inner."

We live in an interval, A great collective interval. All the forms are cracking. Everything is loose, blurred, uncertain.

"There are periods in the life of humanity," says Gurdjieff, "which generally coincide with the beginning of the fall of cultures and civilizations, when men irretrievably lose their reason ... Such periods of mass madness, often coinciding with geological cataclysms, climatic changes, and similar phenomena of a planetary character, release a very great quantity of the matter of knowledge."

...) Balancing the world of our "outer life," that of our ordinary life in the world, with our "inner life" requires a lucidity and deft sensitivity that only presence can give. So little does the web of our outer life of family-relationships-job conform to our inner that often we live with a sense of compromise, resignation; and if we have touched that "something else" that Gurdjieff speaks of, perhaps even a sense of self-betrayal.

...) With experience, our attention may shift from the behavioral aspects of what we observe to the energy itself, its various qualities, tones, patterns of movement. The behavioral is still useful; it can alert us to the moment. But instead of stopping at this level of observation, we can go deeper into energy-experiencing. In doing so, we might begin to emphasize "seeing-feeling" less and "listening-feeling" more. As wonderful as "seeing" is, it can have a certain mental quality. Certainly it is not as subtle a sense as listening. Centered in listening, we are less bound to the object world. In listening, the division between what we have taken as our "outer" and "inner" worlds has no definitive demarcation. We hone our listening by simply listening without reference to object. In the fullness of the experiencing, we may come to quite subtle currents of vibration, audible included. Experiencing the whole of our vibration moves us to higher emotional qualities of feeling. The more inclusive, the wider and deeper will be our experiencing. Our conventional and restricted sense of "outer" and "inner" will be seen as being body-specific; that is, a reality of experiencing keyed to a definite vibratory body-world. [ more ]
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Listening to the Music Within

The most important thing I look for in a musician is whether he knows how to listen. ~Duke Ellington

I often equate listening to myself to listening to and playing music.
When musicians jam they feel it. They know how to listen, when to lead and when to follow. They tune, play and feel. There is a bridge to a common sound and they are in tune with each other. Listening is the biggest hurdle to being in tune with each other in life as it is in music.

My own thing is in my head. I hear sounds and if I don't get them together nobody else will. ~Jimi Hendrix

All of us play our own song and it's through our senses and the direct experience of our bodies where we feel the wisdom of our song. It's not the song, but the source of the song. We play from the inside out. When the mind becomes preoccupied with what the hand is doing, the music is muffled. Sometimes it's easiest to simply do without thinking. Thinking has already preceeded doing, you are flying by instinct now.

Head = Intellect
Hand = Instinct
Heart = Intuition
(I'll get back to the above concepts another day)

The sensual is the source. It isn't the words you're really listening to when you listen to yourself, they only guide you. Your bones have to understand. Play what you hear while hearing what you play. There is a tone, an inflection, and you'll know by feeling where to place the emphasis in a series of movements. You knew what to do by listening to the tone in your mother's voice when she called you, remember? Your bones understood too didn't they?

I've practiced on my tone for almost 50 years, and if I can't hear my tone, I can't play. If I can't play, then I won't get paid. If I don't get paid then I'll lose the house, you know? It's like a chain reaction. If I lose my tone, I can't fuck, can't make love, can't do nuthin'. I'll just walk into the ocean and die, if I lose my tone. ~Miles Davis

Delete needless notes. You're looking for the common sound.
When you play a bad note you'll know it. Your body will feel it. Learn from it. Fall like a cat. If you're in tune with others, they'll help carry the sound through.

Here are a few people I've been listening to:

Spiking creativity deserves a spike in traffic. Henry Baum of Ash Tree has posted an original mp3, Succeed or Fold, with promises of more on the way AND he found a publisher. His wife is in a PKD phase. Somehow that tells me the creativity from his corner will be riding high, clothed in uniqueness, for quite some time. Cool.

Sigh...and Harry... just what can I say about Harry? Demented? Perverse? Absolutely fun. I never know what I'll
find there; music, gorgeous fractals, poetry adapted to music and video, a naked males what? tied in what?? No, I don't always 'get it' and my head gets scratched often. Maybe that's why he calls his blog scratchings. Scroll carefully if you're at work.

Michigan Peaceworks Director Phillis Engelbert has an article in Common Dreams; Torture Endangers the Soul of Our Nation
On a recent, snowy afternoon I watched "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" with my son. Near the end of the film came a scene in which Harry learned that his godfather, wrongly accused of murder, had been captured by prison guards called "dementors." "Do you mean they're going to kill him?" Harry asked his friend Hermione. "No, it's worse, much worse," Hermione replied. "They're going to suck out his soul."

I pondered Hermione's conclusion and found myself in agreement - that losing one's soul would be a fate worse than death. After all, a person without a soul would be capable all sorts of heinous acts - for instance, torture. If one applies the same reasoning to a nation as to an individual, the implications are chilling.

Thanks to Bob for the link.

posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Relearning, How to Listen

A few days ago in the entry How Do I Do What I Do , I answered the question, "What is your 'secret to success'?" with a simple, "I listen to myself".

In the comments Kevin asked how one goes about relearning how to listen to themselves when the noise and time spent struggling to simply survive drowns out any inner dialogue.

It's been a little difficult for me to know how to answer, but I feel it's a very important question to address. There are many people who would like to relearn this skill and more I'm sure, who appreciate gentle reminders.

When someone stops paying attention to what is "in the news" they lose touch with a chunk of reality. For some of us it's an intentional refusal to acknowledge how things actually are in this moment. I'm doing that myself to some degree right now. I make it "someone else's problem" and try to forget my own reciprocity and interconnectedness by detaching myself. I am aware of my intentions because I'm listening to myself and I also know it's only a temporary break so I can regroup and take time to accomplish some personal goals without too much distraction. I could easily make 'not paying attention to the news' a habit were I not aware of my intentions. I would then have to relearn where all the good sources of news are.

Not paying attention to ourselves has become an ingrained habit of routinized thought patterns and relationships, and for some, religious indoctrination replaced attention very early on. All habits narrow our view and prevent growth, healing and understanding. To relearn how to listen to ourselves we need to learn again where the resources are and how to tap into them.

I replied to Kevin in the comments that I would try to poetically address this. The difficulty for me is knowing where to begin. Because I guide my own life with instinct and intuitiveness it is hard for me to understand exactly where the natural process got lost in other people. I don't want to assume or presume anything but I figure since I'm having to struggle and rely on instruction and help from others to achieve a modicum of proficiency where my weaknesses lie, perhaps I can give back by sharing my strengths.

I think the best place to begin relearning is with the basics. First is merely watching yourself; simple childlike observations, mental notes as you move throughout your day. It is not navel gazing, rather, it's an engaging, creative, highly sensual, nonjudgmental attentiveness that lives within every one of us. For example, today when you routinely take a drink of water, observe yourself drinking it. You are a sponge, absorb it. What are you drinking it out of? Is it cold? How does your body react to it? Are you standing or sitting? Does it make you think of anything in particular, a color, a texture, a song? Does it taste fresh or is it merely there to quench your thirst? Alert attention, mindfulness. Your daily struggle to survive just became a little less stressful and a little more enjoyable. It took no more time than drinking the water you were already drinking anyway.

"Intelligence is the door to freedom and alert attention is the mother of intelligence." Nisargadatta

In the recent past I've written a couple blog entries that are related, Listening to Ourselves, and Touching Ourselves, but I'm afraid I was a bit misunderstood. I've decided to take some time each day and write a some sort of reference, a poem, (original or not) a simple meditation or an inner resource intended to help reclaim the art of listening to ourselves through the attention of each moment that surrounds us in the sensual world we all inhabit and share. I'll try to remember to categorize entries of this type under 'listening' and will keep a link on the right sidebar for people who are interested but don't stop by here daily.

Life is a Dance
"All that is important is this one moment in movement. Make the moment vital and worth living. Do not let it slip away unnoticed and unlived."
Martha Graham

posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Remembering Dr. Suess

Searching deep in darkened places,
Reaching into vacant spaces,
I touch only shadow faces...
Where are you?
Empty caves in endless mountains,
Dusty dry, deserted fountains...
Pathless, groping, I move hoping
Where are you?
Past songless birds on leafless trees
Cross waveless oceans silent seas
Through fumbling nights that find no day,
I move and try to find my way
by Theodor Suess Geisel
who would have been 101 years old today
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

John Locke, Original Hipster

The Enlightenment roots of counterculture
by Nick Gillespie for Reason
In a country where one of the most popular genres of music is called “alternative,” the great refusenik Henry David Thoreau is a national icon, and acknowledged pot smokers have served as president (Bill Clinton) and speaker of the House (Newt Gingrich), would the last unabashedly mainstream American please turn off The Lawrence Welk Show? When the subversive has gone mainstream, does it make sense to talk about a “counterculture” anymore?

That’s one of the questions raised by Ken Goffman and Dan Joy’s enjoyably antic if slightly cracked Counterculture Through the Ages: From Abraham to Acid House (Villard). The book’s short and provocative answer is this: In a post-9/11 world, one in which religious and neo-Luddite fundamentalists at home and abroad seek to stymie individualism and technological advances, it’s more important than ever to understand and appreciate what might be called the countercultural imperative, whose chief characteristics are personal freedom and constant change.

Better known by his techno-hipster nom de revolution, R.U. Sirius, Goffman is in a particularly strong position to plumb the issue. As a co-founder of Mondo 2000, a magazine that, along with Wired, helped to define and mythologize digital culture in the 1990s, and as a collaborator with LSD guru Timothy Leary, Goffman is steeped in the history and practice of the individuals and groups that have long delighted in turning on, tuning in, dropping out, skewering the bourgeoisie, and otherwise monkeying around with convention. (Joy originated the book project and contributed at various stages, but the volume is primarily Goffman's, which is how I will refer to it.)[ read more ]
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Caught in the Act

"If I see that something needs to be done, I must move forward and do it, not hold part of myself back to see if the rest of me is going to succeed. Because the part of me that holds back is the part that has the power. If there is no separation between different parts of me, then all my strength will be in one place. In addition, there will be no commenting from the part of me that refuses to take any action."

"One of the things that is being engendered in me is a fuller trust in the universe that whatever I need will arrive. I may not always appreciate it if it is wearing a grim mask, but it is clear that whatever comes my way should be welcomed."
Toinette Lippe
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

One Day it all Disappears

the snowflake
he tried to hold
turned to water
beneath frozen candles

the dance
lost conveniently inside unopened mail
buried between years
where the cat with wax paper eyes
at emptiness
through windows of a pageless book
lost in a blizzard of words,
and melted into footprints for the sun to swallow

posted by Cyndy | link |   | |


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