Wednesday, September 29, 2010


How long will it take me to walk across the United States all alone?

When the world caves in whatcha gonna do?

and how long would it take you to forget me? what about all of the pictures, where do they get filed?

How many times can the same idea be conveyed with words rearranged, thesaurus consulted, lick stamp stick send, repeat?

Live in the present? instant gratification?

Where does everything we learn go? What shelves do memories and words dwell on? does dewey have enough decimals for all of the times passed?

Books are a poor substitute for the human touch; can't we all have both?

Saturday, September 25, 2010


Today is Saturday, September 25th, the year 2010, and I can't remember the last time I won a raffle. Before sunday, that is, when I won a basket of goodies from the Meat House and a book about gardening anywhere! Winning the raffle was great, and the tour of Brookline's Edible Gardens was even better.

Bountiful Brookline, a one and a half year old non-profit organization working to create/improve a sustainable local food system in Brookline, put on this tour of 8 private and community gardens around town. It was incredible and inspiring to see the ways that people are growing food, especially so much of it in such small areas. For example one gentleman has, over the course of many years and with the help of jerry-rigged poles, ladders, and frames, coaxed grape vines up the outside front two stories of his house! Another lady used the shafts from her daughter's old crew oars to make 10 foot tall bean trellises. There is also a 200 foot commuter garden along a strip of fence (around 99 Kent Street, Brookline, Ma), which started as an art installation/beautification project last year. It is tended and watered by rotating volunteers, and signs encourage anyone passing by to take a tomato or a cucumber, as long as you leave some for the rest of us.

All these examples show how you can grow food pretty much anywhere with some love and dedication. Intensive cultivation, in terms of labor and natural inputs required, produces much bounty per unit of land (or porch, fence, house, etc.). Polyculture and polycropping of complementary species, basically mimicking nature in the diverse variety of her landscapes, is where it is at.

I just returned from a fundraiser for the very same organization that I mentioned above. As part of the 30th birthday of Whole Foods, we were collecting 5 bucks a head for a tasty lunch and recruiting support for BB. Also, if anyone can get to Whole Foods Brighton on October 13 5 percent of the store's total sales will go to Bountiful Brookline. Spread the word and shop for a good cause!

Life here at 12 Verndale Street is going well. The community we have created here is something very special, in my opinion, especially considering our collective lack of cooperative living experience (only one girl had previously lived in a coop house). There is always something going on, someone to share your daily highs and lows with, and something delicious on the stove or the countertop. I have said it before and I will say it again: I am happy here. It is an upgrade from my last living situation in so many ways, and I am so glad that we went through with this grand experiment. I will also remind any readers that they are welcome to visit us anytime, especially for a family dinner sunday-thursday.

sunday: 50 mile bike ride through Boston!

The free beer tasting at the Harpoon Brewery last friday was quite enjoyable, but getting there and back with Matty P was even more so. The beauty is in the process, the journey, and sometimes the event itself is just a room full of strangers scrobbling for free beer (myself included, of course).

On tuesday I had to report to the Brooke Courthouse in downtown Boston. I was there to pay a fine from last fall when I was cited for trespassing on the Boston Commons. We were sleeping out in tents to protest the fact that our homes and dorms were powered by dirty (coal-fired) electricity, but apparently the Police weren't sypmathetic to our cause. But the citation is now magically off my record! The magistrate who handled us informed us that we were lucky because homeless people get arrested for this sort of thing. Hooray for being a priviledged white kid!

Court is a somewhat scary place, though I must say my overall experience was expeditious. This was all I could ask for, especially after hearing stories of long days spent twidling thumbs on uncomfortable benches. Or maybe that is just how I picture court. It was very easy to tell the people who were at work from those who would have probably much rather spent their tuesday morning doing other things. Not to imply that all lawyers love going court; I'm pretty sure some of them do, but I really have no idea. I imagine it is a job like any other with good days and bad, eager and enthusiastic lawyers as well as feet-dragging apathetic lawyers.

I will leave you all with a passage, from Ecclesiastes 3, that my dear Mommy shared with me recently:

"To everything there is a season,
and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die;
A time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal;
A time to break down and a time to build up;
A time to weep and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and time to gather stones together;
A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing..."

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Stop Me if I Say Too Much

Tonight late I've been alone, and it's been going. Collaging on the scale of meters with thumbtacks. Representations, images, symbols, all past events, plenty memories,suspension indefinite.

Lights abound, the little fountain of rocks trying to keep pace. Do I need my fan tonight? The sideways deafening treescape ravenously illuminated two slumberfaces, thunderous call to rise and swing.

5 classes become four, one feels like more, hang the postcards outside your door.

Ease your mind, have a banana or two. Think through things, because you want to, always. Find a place where you can speak your mind, a community where you can live as one with yourself. Find the Fine Balance. Trust others, treat them kindly, for you will win more bees over with honey than vinegar.

Cooperate: learn from each other, and learn to work with each other. Exchange skills, recipes, tools, stories, lessons. scraps of life shared weave deep connections. Learn how to do more with less, how to save and invest, how to enjoy time away from screens.

Spend an hour looking at the faces of others, everyday. Discover the people around you and the world around you. Cherish it all, and guard it for all to come.

Nature's Repast: Histories of Food, Environment, and Society...HI 589. After the first day, it is already potential material for my 'best class at BU' award. The current leader is GE250 The Fate of Nations: Why Societies Succeed or Fail, from last fall...(if your class has a really cool name, it will be cool. It is BU law... But really, these two fit the formula.)

589 is an 11 or 12 person graduate seminar held weekly on Wednesday afternoons. We will first discuss and read environmental history, including the most excellent "Changes in the Land." This is Cronon's book, which, incidentally, I read in GE250, about the ecology of New England under the management of first Native Americans and then European colonists. Eventually we will talking about food as the apex of human and natural interactions, along with art and culture (and everything else?). It will be lots of reading and writing, but none of it will be busy work. Challenging, perhaps very challenging, it will indeed be.

-This is an excerpt from the song 'Jesus Christ' by Brand New:

"Jesus Christ, I'm not scared to die
But I'm a little bit scared of what comes after
Do I get the gold chariot
Or do I float through the ceiling

Or do I divide and pull apart
Because my bright is too slight to hold back all my dark
This ship went down in sight of land
And at the gates does Thomas ask to see my hands?

I know you're coming in the night like a thief
But I've had some time, O Lord, to hone my lying technique
I know you think that I'm someone you can trust
But I'm scared I'll get scared and I swear I'll try to nail you back up
So do you think that we could work out a sign
So I'll know it's you and that it's over so I won't even try
I know you're coming for the people like me
But we all got wood and nails
And we turn out hate in factories
We all got wood and nails
And we turn out hate in factories
We all got wood and nails
And we sleep inside of this machine."

ps-I am in a great mood because I found out the last important class for my major, which I have managed to save until this coming semester, will indeed be taught...there were a couple of panic days there!

Sunday, September 5, 2010


Home feels right, and this place feels like home. Community, love, safety, caring, judgement-free, open, aware, understanding, fun, communication, beauty as truth, truthful beauty, nurturing, cooperative. People working together to build a more meaningful place to live and work and enjoy ourselves. Bikes crawling up the front stairs, dashing metal valets ready and waiting to take you anywhere. Dancing dappled leaves of light play softly across my curtain, ushering me to restful sleep. Treasures awaiting discovery around every corner, conversations unwillingly cut short by life outside our bubble. Not just a place to escape to, but one that offers refuge and mediation for dealing with the world at large. Friday night games, saturday stuffed shells, sunday work on old bikes. Sharing is caring, and we can all help carry the load. Our own societal niche, like termites building a better hill.

Let me bold or I'm gonna be bold. Social experiment? Intentional community? Hippie commune? Maybe... call it what you will, but it has begun.