Heads-up San Mateo Residents: Justice Action Mondays, Flash Advocacy – Stand Up for Planet Earth

Rev. Benjamin Meyers, Minister, Unitarian Universalists of San Mateo

It’s Earth Week! This week, clean energy legislation is being introduced in Congress and “marches for science” are happening all over the world. For this Justice Action Monday (JAM) Rev. Ben Meyers and the members of the Unitarian Universalists of San Mateo (UUSM) invite neighbors in North Central San Mateo to stand up for environmental justice and sustainability. We’ll take five actions, from writing postcards to Congress and social media activism to lobbying companies to ban plastic packaging. We’ll also be offering training for those who’d like to co-facilitate future JAM sessions. Let us speak up together for our beautiful planet this Monday (April 24th) from 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. at …

Unitarian Universalists of San Mateo, 300 E. Santa Inez Ave., San Mateo, Ca  94401, 650 342-5946  Office Hours:  Tu-Fri 10-5

“Love is active, not passive. It is our love for one another, for Mother Earth, for our fellow creatures that compels us to act on their behalf.” Laurence Overmire, The One Idea That Saves The World: A Call to Conscience and A Call to Action

CLIMATE CHANGE & STORYTELLING with Judith Black

Storyteller Judith Black

Storyteller Judith Black

We’re getting ready to hit the publish button on this month’s issue of  The BeZine in a few hours. The theme this month is Environment/Environmental Justice. Here, our friend Judith Black helps us to warm up with her TED-X video on StoryTelling and Climate Change organized by the storytelling community.

JUDITH BLACK (Storytelling: A Window on to the World
A Mirror into the Heart) is a professional storyteller, story maker, and teacher/coach with an international following. Originally trained at Wheelock College as an early childhood educator, Judith leapt from the classroom to the stage after training at London’s Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts. Ultimately she bound these two passions with storytelling and for thirty-five years has been using story to motivate, humanize, entertain, and teach. She is the winner of many awards in her field.

If you are reading this in an email, you’ll likely need to link through to view the video.

© portrait, Judith Black

the smell of wood, the scorch of fire, a poem … and Your Wednesday Writing Prompt

stumpsthis rough-barked sequoia stump, sitting in majesty
in its coastal home, victim of wildfire, burned down
to its gnarly roots, its nicks, holes and char, eons
of scars, life seemingly cut off, goddess snake alive
inside the concentric circles, the smell of wood and
scorch of fire, at the verge of our infinity, in its truth ~

pristine

rugged

pulsing

haunted by the geometry of limbs, the calculus of green,
the algebraic eloquence of a world within a world  ~

So present.

So essential.

So primal.

it sings to itself in the marrow of our bones

– Jamie Dedes

WRITING PROMPT

In preparation for The BeZine 100,000 Poets (and Friends) for Change

Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016

Theme: Environment/Environmental Injustice

This poem was originally written in 2014 for Wilderness Week. There were then and are now a number of fires raging in the western United States. Wildfires are a natural occurrence but since the 1980s they’ve been increasing due to human-caused climate change. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists . . .

Wildfires in the western United States have been . . . occurring nearly four times more often, burning more than six times the land area, and lasting almost five times as long (comparisons are between 1970-1986 and 1986-2003) ….. many of the areas that have seen these increases—such as Yosemite National Park and the Northern Rockies—are protected from or relatively unaffected by human land-use and behaviors. This suggests that climate change is a major factor driving the increase in wildfires.” MORE

We tend to look at these fires in terms of the expense incurred fighting them and the cost of lives, homes, habitat, wild life and so forth. However, there’s one consideration we may forget: Nature teaches us, comforts us, feeds us and is the ebb and flow of our spiritual and physical lives. The loss – the environmental injustice – is profound on more than a material level. This is what the smell of wood, the scorch of fire seeks to illustrate. “Nature” is who we are. Nature is us.

Write a poem or creative nonfiction piece on what the natural environment means to you and perhaps the sense of loss you feel as you note plants, animals, insects and wilderness that you’ve seen damaged or destroyed by climate, industry, overpopulation and whatever else has effected the area in which you live.

© 2014, poem, Jamie Dedes, All rights reservedPhoto credit ~Bay Nature.org: “The Bay Nature Institute, based in Berkeley, California, is dedicated to educating the people of the San Francisco Bay Area about, and celebrating the beauty of, the surrounding natural world. We do so with the aim of inspiring residents to explore and preserve the diverse and unique natural heritage of the region, and of nurturing productive relationships among the many organizations and individuals working towards these same goals.” Read more HERE.

You are invited to join The Bardo Group Beguines at The BeZine blog on Saturday, September 24 for 100,000 Poets (and friends) for Change.  Below is a list of more features to provide you with information. We hope you’ll join us.

RELATED:

SAVE THE DATE: 100,000 Poets for Change act in global solidarity on September 24, 2016

100TPC2014Logo

100TAC100TMC

AN ANNOUNCEMENT FROM 100TPC COFOUNDER, MICHAEL ROTHENBERG: “On September 24, 2016 poets, musicians and artists around the world will be organizing poetry readings, parades, gallery exhibitions, music and dance performances focused on issues of peace, justice, and sustainability. This important annual global act of solidarity is the core activity of 100 Thousand Poets for Change, a non-profit organization.

100 Thousand Poets for Change offers an opportunity for a peaceful global discussion of issues such as war, global warming, poverty, racism, gender inequality, homelessness, gun violence, police brutality, lack of affordable medical care, censorship, and animal cruelty. Individual organizers are free to choose the specific topic and focus of their local event. If you are interested in participating in this global action please post sign up HERE.”

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100TCP - 2016

THE BARDO GROUP BEGUINES will host a virtual 100TPC event on September 24 with American-Israeli poet, Michael Dickel (Fragments of Michael Dickel) as Master of Ceremonies. Between Michael and me the event will run from morning in Israel to midnight in California.  You can share your work through Mr. Linky (instruction will be provided) or in the comments section of the blog post that day at The BeZine where you can also enjoy the work of other artist activists.

Work may include anything on topic: poetry, essay, short fiction, video (music, mime, dance, dramatic monolgue), art and photography and so forth.  The topic we’ve chosen this year – selected by Rev. Terri Stewart (Beguine Again founder) – and supported by our core team of poets, writers, story-tellers, artists and photographers, musicians and clerics is ENVIRONMENT and ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE.

This event is open to everyone wherever you are in the world and makes possible participation even if there is no street event happening in your area or if you are homebound. We hope you’ll join us.  Soon after the event, we’ll collect everything into one commemorative page. This is tradition. Commenorative pages from prior years can be accessed at The BeZine through its blog roll. All work will be also be archived at Stanford University, Stanford, CA.

Please feel free to share this post widely. Thank you!