Man/Sha Legends

Greatest Story Never Told

This story remains unfinished
as do all the best tales told.
Yet I must warn you
it has a happy ending,
not dystopian,
although not a finished
political utopia,
Ever After LoveLife.

Where this story begins
remains a mystery,
like a definition for “Tao”
more obscure than refining Yang
with Yin sublime co-relationship,

Which is, and is not,
equivalent with white and black,
and all curious colors in-between
masculine and feminist,
left-brain dominant strength
and right-brain prominent flow;
liberties egalitarian and freedoms interdependent,
powers and passions,
climates and cultures,
natures and nurtures
secular and sacred,
ego- and eco-systemic
wealth as health,
love as life…

I believe
somehow
this unfinished end
revisits our Green Sanctuary origins,
Earth as Eden,
Humane life as divine love
where Gaia danced with interior/exterior humane voices
long before humanity was a tremor in Her womb
of left-brain dominant verbal becoming retold history.

Whether such a vast stage of DNA origin,
hoary with memoried and imagined Time,
affluently historical
and effluently cultural,
this is,
or hopes to one day become,
The Greatest Story Not Ever Told,
if only because we have been so Business As Usual
win-losing recycling spirals
conjoining Alphas and Omegas,
great transitional beginnings
with endings not yet visible,
or even vicariously heard,

Not ever completing
all Win/Win interdependent co-relationships
TaoTime invites
offers
with compassion,
gratitude,
curious courage,
transparent vulnerability.

But, you were asking about New London
in particular place and time,
a Connecticut town of about 30,000,
home of the Coast Guard
and Pfizer
and a Unitarian-Universalist Center
everybody knows as All Souls
and most every multicultural body repeats
their logo,
“Where all Souls are welcome.”

Strangely enough
I think the GrantWriter
was from out of town,
without any long-term relationships in New London
government
or business
or our eclectic religious sector.

The GrantWriter:

Such profound disconnection
feels uncomfortable
discomforting
not comfitting
inappropriate
for growing deep and wide compassion roots.

So, I did what I do,
I wrote an unfinishable proposal
about how to grow a resiliently healthy love life
in and with and for New London,
about why we each and all need a new win/win cooperative theory
and practice
for regenerative climate development;
so also against degenerative overheated
and frozen anti-health development.

Too much of my own learning experience
emphasized the sterile science
and dyspeptic un-communioned arts
of grief about lose/lose monoculturing climate terror trends,

So what would the opposite polycultural outcomes
of such environmental disaster feel like?
Look like?
Taste like?
Sound like?

How would we reattach to sacred gratitude
as a win/win species?
Now living in side-by-side autocratic/democratic silo communities
wrestling with win/lose economic capital-hoarding competition models
for natural and spiritual and financial survival.

Where are our active gratitude models
for win/win healthy wealth optimization?

One day
listening to Pamela Sparr,
not New London talent,
but encountered in an All Souls reading circle book,
Justice On Earth,
we cooperatively evolved five steps
Out of Our Silos and Selves:

1) Propose a bolder win/win,
left/right,
ego/eco-balancing
prophetic resilient image
of a mutually compassionate ecopolitics.

2) Develop communally incarnated courage
multicultural curiosity
capacity to listen
naturally left and spiritually right
ego-eco-theo-logically taoistic nutritional.

3) Look for win/win gratitude experiences
outside our side by side religious sanctuaries
and inside organic health farms
of resiliently ego-masculine
resonantly eco-feminist communication.

4) Engage with radical outdoor Earth voices
for interdependent co-passion
building up and out
and down and in
multicultural communion.

5) Increase win/win
polycultural gratitude
for health/wealth inspired
co-refining secular/sacred experience
of cognitive/emotive
culture/climate transformation.

 

Note:  First in a series of integral win/win cooperative health system proposals.

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View from a Sanctuary

He retired to his sanctuary
on the Eastern shore of the Thames River
three years ago,
an often frustrated permaculture organizer
for building cooperative social health
by creatively communicating climate wealth
growing ZeroZone positive multicultural tao-energy.

This proves reclusively frustrating
in large part because non-taoist neighbors and family
are unfamiliar with his iconic language
and green cooperative health faith
in democratic natural/spiritual
absence of violent communication
and perfect vacuum of conspiracy theory prejudice.

His RightBrain eco-centrism
LeftBrain deductive/inductive bicameral integrity search,
His bilateral historic future synergy,
trilateral energy dynamics,
quad-lateral nutrition cycles
playing virtuous WinWin health games
more than vicious WinLose capitalistic
dualistic WinLose ZeroSum theories
growing internal spirit against external nature,
personal against political,
ego against eco-therapeutic competitions
which could become cooperative constituents
with secular/sacred longings for love
as red sky morning warnings
greet coral sky dusk.

Love growing boisterously loud
contagious
courageous
curious grace
meeting hearts this day bilateral
greeting hearts this night bicameral
dreaming meeting hearts tomorrow multilateral
beating integrity hearts bicameral
this tomorrow’s integral night
absorbing ultra-violet sight.

His new home lies on the Thames River
flowing between Norwich,
former blue heron sanctuary
giving life and feeding Old Green EarthTribes
watering downriver to reforest New London’s community gardens,
cooperative artisans,
green motherland trusters,
Black ProLives Matter Allies,
United MultiCultural Green Ethicists,
coastal bands,
liturgical dancers,
fire-circle story-tellers and peace activists,
restorative EarthJustice advocates.

He has been humbled by crippling Norwich need
for more nutritious green blue heron spaces
and street entertainers
gardeners repurposing public spaces
dancing nutritional arts
and ecovillage well-schooled sciences

And has experienced rebirth
in New London green parties
hosting organic legions of multicultural youth leaders
struggling with recreating non-violent communications
supporting a cooperative casino potlatch economy
re-investing in Thames River CoOperative Enterprises.

This WiseElder hears his River flowing land-trust neighbor
refer to herself
in ultra-violet starlit language
transporting Old Green EarthTribe’s Main Street
for historically cooperative constitutions
incorporating permaculturing development
of polycultural songs
sung by polypathic tidal waters
competing up and cooperating down

Reflecting crystal star light
throughout effluent non-violent nights
remembering
reweaving
dancing sunlight therapeutic days
when love beats love,
beauty meets beauty,
trust invites trust,
faith predicts faith,
hope omits fear.

This Green EarthTribe River feels familiar
growing up in an extended farm family
still pushing and pulling out WiseElders
exploring cooperative ecopolitical climates
restoring peaceful organic forests
tree-lined nutritional MainStreet Rivers
surrounded by surprisingly self-managed meadows,
healthy ego ecosystems
inhabited by wealthy cooperative EarthTribe memories
transubstantiating constitutional healthy non-violent communions
indigenous with colonial
wildly democratic and yet conservatively explosive

Evolution glowing in a revolutionary erection.

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Peace Not Mentioned

I was listening to our Commissioner
of Economic and Community Development
speak of how happy she is
our State and Federal tax revenues
now subsidize two,
possibly even three, submarines
per year
rather than the mere one per year
of the bad old unemployment days.

Her enthusiasm
continued over growth in military manufacturing
of fission and ballistic pathological outcomes
like huge hauling helicopter contracts

And all types of war mongering
and war supportive
nurturing assets,
arms racist buildups
providing three thousand new jobs
in Connecticut.

Admittedly jobs at perpetual risk
of costing three hundred thousand or more
loss of lives
of limbs
loss of organic livelihood networks
for restoring therapeutic multicultural health,

Loss of trees
and plants,
Loss of healthy soil
and water
and air.

This potential liability side
she did not mention
nor was it clear,
from tone and rhythms
of BusinessAsUsual voice
if she could even see
and hear such cooperative economic dissonance
with infusing love
of public health service reality.

She did not mention
any growth in natural LEED construction
for affordably resilient community housing.

She certainly omitted growth
of community college training
for natural built construction
of and by,
for and with,
cooperative self-help empowerment
builders becoming proud co-housing
nature-spirit goodfaith residents
growing shared organic
community developing
gardens.

She did not mention
thousands of new jobs opening up
to build bicycle lanes,
woodchip and bark trails
connecting GREEN EcoSchools
to goodfaith communit centers
perennial gardens
grazing greens
cooperative Commons
permaculture designed municipal parks
hosting outdoor classes
connecting
PositivEnergy CoOperatively Owned Democracy
incoming investment
for restoring climate therapeutic
Continuous Quality Improvement
public and private
secular and sacred
healthy wealth outcomes.

I suppose because growth in these sectors
is not newsworthy in Connecticut;
These cooperatively-owned differences
between mere public service non-profit sectors
and public nutritional empowerment models
toward WinWin ecopolitically fusing health-wealth outcomes

Replacing all those unnecessary
loud and stinky
helicopters
and ballistic-disempowering submarines.

The happier her competitive WinLose bubble glowed
as she enthused on and on
about manufactured growth
the sadder I became
about her ballistically manufactured tumor,
her absence of WinWin health service humor.

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GREENing Our Neighborhood

Permaculturists,
like Taoists
and Buddhists
and Hindus, etc.
Consider neighbors
extended and respected family,
ZeroZone Kin,
regardless of zone status
near or far,
regardless of species,
regardless of living
or gone
or not yet arrived.

Dear Neighbors,

I make no proud claims
of embracing a GREEN lifestyle,
making green integrity choices,
No claims of wise and sacred ecology
or even GREEN party membership.

Yet,
as a Permaculture Designer
and as a hopefully therapeutic
more than helplessly threatening parent
of hurt children
becoming young adults
in a growing climate of pathology,
Earth GREENS
(great rational ecological-economic news services)
are among my healthier aspirations.

Permaculture Opera
speaks part of my journey
from our urban capital
often slighting our polluted Connecticut River
living water artery
of enculturing history

To this neighborhood
where the Yantic
and Shetucket Rivers
of Norwich
become one in the misnomered Thames River
whose mouth speaks of New London
where once fished Iroquois
Pequots
Mashantuckets…
blue herons,
dolphins,
bears,
eagles..

I am interested in where these Rivers
speak from and for,
and where they are heading
and learn to listen on their banks
for their best resiliently ballasting interests
in where we have gone
and come from,
time’s nurturing ebb and co-arising flow,
and where humane nature
is healthy v pathology going,
regenerative v degenerative
cooperation v too competitive
WinWin v WinLose.

Perhaps some day in Norwich
and New London
and Groton
we may go and come back again by water taxis,
bicycle rickshaws
and tricycle grocery carts,
horses with and without buggies.

Bike and pedestrian only lanes
and downtown blocks
connecting GREEN EcoSchools
with organic community gardens
built by PositivEnergy Cooperatives
with co-invested political and economic nutritional leaders
who graduated from local EcoSchools
appropriate to Norwich’s diverse
historical
health faces:

As Original river forest habitat
GREEN nature-spirit built environments
will allow,

As meadow greened and gardened,
grazed and harvested
as in our colonial era,

As Civil GREEN Rights and Elitist Wrongs
underground our freedom railroad
and civil war volunteerism
would expect respect
with cooperative gratitude,

As we restore our national health identity
after AntiGREENing of Vietnam
and MiddleEast
and Korea
and…

So this copy of Permaculture Opera
is my signed gift to you,
inviting you to share this journey
if you neighborly will.

And, if you read
and care to speak further
about these pieces
or about a neighborhood
Permaculture Design Cooperative
or about restoring a therapeutic
Norwich ClimateHealth Cooperative
composed of those still in PositivEnergy Democracy School
and those who have grown out
long enough to know
we cannot continue
with NON-GREEN
BusinessAsUsual,

Here’s my email address,
my http://www.gdill52.com blogsite,
open to comments
WinWin dialogue,
cooperative skill development.

Speak with me,
invite me to listen
to what we might do better
together
than side-by-side
apart.

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Talking Mirrors

I’m a fairly active charter member
of Connecticut’s Medical Marijuana Program,
qualifying because I’m also one of the oldest HIV+ survivors in the U.S.

In fact,
not a single cell within my entire organism
would have been brought to you without the miracles of chemistry.
So blame Big Pharma,
you would not be the first
but you might be the last.
You never know,
you could get lucky.
Find a bottom-line its all about me corporation
prepared to listen to people
as if we might become reasonable advocates for healthier climates,
rather than mere consumers of pathological therapies.

Anyway, I’ve been sick off and on,
mostly on,
since the beginning of November
so I’ve also been pretty much stoned.

Unfortunately, or fortunately, I’m not sure
Probably both.
I’m also probably the oldest HIV+ Taoist survivor
and Taoists always have to pretend both sides of the mirror
might have worthwhile reflective potential.
WuWei quasi-fortunately,
rather than being too sick with respiratory issues to get stoned,
I’m too stoned to remember I’m sick.

Despite being retired,
I don’t have time to be sick anyway,
in large part because my youngest of four kids
is a girl with wicked Oppositional Defiant Disorder;
a label she defies.
Not because she’s opposed to labels,
but because she thinks she is perfectly ordered
as the rest of us losers might better get with her program.

She likes PresidentElect Trump
because he looks and sounds familiar,
as prehensile grabby economic and political leaders
were meant to be.

For my young teenage daughter,
ODD is not a disorder,
it is a religion
into which she was baptized
by Fetal Alcohol Full Immersion
at a fairly first trimester young embryonic age.

From her I have learned
there fortunately is no wimpy God,
but we do have one hell of a fire-breathing feminist Goddess
when we refuse to help her clean her nightmare
she calls a bedroom.

I tried to point out the inconsistency
of supporting a PresidentElect
who also refuses to help us clean our planet,
but this, apparently, is the voice of a wimpy God
who does not,
or should not,
keep on talking to the Fire Goddess hand.

This morning I was helping her get ready for school,
combing out her spiky hair.
She’s part AfricanAmerican porcupine.
We were standing in front of a large wood-framed, beveled mirror
that looks, perhaps only because I’m stoned,
like something out of Snow White
associated with her StepMom,
the witchy queen with Oppositional Defiant Disorder.

My daughter loves Snow White,
probably because she bossed around the seven dwarfs
in their own home,
(a politically incorrect position I do not recommend you ever even think of trying to get away with)
and forced them to listen to her own crappy music preferences
at a full amphitheater range of ear-splitting volume.

Be that as it too loudly may,
I asked her if she ever talks to her mirror,
asking, Who is the fairest of them all?

Yes.

And, does the mirror talk back?

Yes. It says,
You need to clean your room!

That’s strange.
My mirror has been saying the same thing
ever since early November.

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Dillen’s Continuing DMV Adventures

I wrote a sad but true urban legend called “Dillen and the DMV” last week.
Here follows an update.

Background Review:

One of my health care employees, Dillen, has wicked ADD, borderline intelligence, not qualifying for disability supports, which are few
and those few minimal at best anyway,
but also challenged by things like getting to work on the right day at the right time,
challenged by processing verbal communications,
whether written or spoken more slowly than Business As Usual pace and pattern would permit,
challenged with struggles to establish and maintain healthy positive social relationships,
much more challenged by intimacy,
so often settling for companionship that does not foster mutually therapeutic co-mentoring,
challenged by his felt urgency for speed while driving,
challenged by States Attorneys who persuade him it’s OK to accept guilty as charged
for driving 45 in a 35 mph zone on his way to work,
never mind that so were all the cars in front of and behind him,
not to worry that this will inevitably result in a 3-month suspension of his license
because he can get a Work Permit,
except, oops,
never mind,
the DMV will not give Work Permits to suspended drivers
with more than three moving violations,
encouraged by State Prosecutors to go right ahead,
send in that Work Permit application
with his $100 nonrefundable fee
because the DMV is really all about punishing DUIs,
of which Dillen has none
because he doesn’t drink
because, in part, he knows it is bad for his mental health,
especially his chronic issues with depression.

In “Dillen and the DMV” I write to the DMV Commissioner,
the Chief States Attorney, and the Attorney General
about this series of unfortunate events.

Update:

I hear back from the DMV.
This letter patiently reviews Dillen’s multiple infractions.
Two involve having others in his car with marijuana or concomitant paraphernalia,
(why not just “supplies” or “equipment”?)

“Marge, did you order the paraphernalia for the copier machine yet?”
Word choices in the public sector often distract me.

but Dillen was not charged with driving stoned,
because he wasn’t.
He was the designated driver for his “friends”
who did not have their Medical Marijuana cards on them.

Then there was the time he might have been going 35 or 40 and hit black ice,
totaled his car
which ended upside down,
for which the local police felt they must issue some form of moving violation,
after all, we do have those towing charges
and the need for all those emergency folks to stand out in the freezing ice storm,
and there are these two drug-related violations on his driving record
so he was probably stoned anyway, right?

And then there was this time,
when Dillen was pulled over
ostensibly for speeding,
but really this was about driving on a suspended license
without a Work Permit
which he didn’t have because
(1) DMV didn’t have a current address to send him his notice,
so he didn’t know he was driving on a suspended license, and
(2) no one had told him,
including the Police Officer who pulled him over,
there is this Work Permit thing
which would have covered his butt
on this particular adventure in high speed suburban crime.

However, this letter from the DMV Director of Programs leaves out some details,
as does my summary.
Then the Program Director reassures Dillen and I of her concern for Dillen’s mess,
which someone else might have called unemployment
and yet another round of couch-surfing homelessness,
but CT’s pesky State Statutes wouldn’t allow her to refund his application fee,
and, besides,
the application form says right on there that it won’t be refunded
even if the application is rejected

Apparently for reasons that remain in the shadow of the public eye.
My two page letter was too subtle for government comprehension
of our own collective abuse and neglect.
She confirms the DMV does have explicit standards for rejecting applications,
including more than three moving violations,
but fails to apologize for designing her Program’s communication plan
to be sure that disproportionately young urban minority low-income males
with mental health and self-medication issues
would be fleeced of their last $100
ripped out of their hungry pockets
to apply for a Work or Education Permit
that State Statutes prohibit her,
so sadly,
from handing out like mother’s milk to a starving baby.

She also does not speculate about why State Prosecutors Dillen has met
are all apparently unaware of stipulated public, but effectively private, criteria for rejecting
pricey applications.

She also fails to mention what she might do to correct this situation
of not providing transparent public information
in a way that allows respected residents of the State of CT
to make a fully informed decision about wasting their money
by further investing in the future miserable outcomes
of shoddy DMV Programs.

She also does not explain where we,
the tax-payers of CT,
were when concerns about the need for job security,
especially for those in hard-to-employ populations,
where we were when needs for food and housing,
healthy wants for continuing education and training,
including the need for continuing education and training,
including the need for reasonable transportation,
even in the winter,
where we all were when these were not being weighted sufficiently against risks,
allowing licensed drivers with complex histories
to continue on their journey
the best they can.

Personally, I know Dillen responds much better to a warm hug,
a patient smile,
and expressed appreciation for continuing to improve,
and encouragement to continue with work
and sticking with a healthy daily routine,
which does not include speeding,
even if everyone around him is racing to nowhere good.

Yesterday I was mesmerized for several hours by a TV series
“Underground”
about the Railroad prior to the U.S. Civil War.
A champion anti-slavery attorney
confesses to his Northern wife,
as a younger attorney he used to settle estates,
including estates of slave-holders,
which sometimes led to the awkwardness of arranging for resale of people,
families,
often resulting in the tearing of children from their mothers’ arms,
and other similar heinous crimes against nature
and mental health.

For some reason
I kept thinking about that clerk at DMV,
reading Work Permit applications,
after depositing the enclosed nonrefundable $100,
looking at the high security publicly invisible list of reasons not to help
depressed people living mostly in their cars
have a modestly better chance at life,
as if what is a right for him or her
on his or her way to work and home again,
is a too luxurious privilege for a fragile at-risk criminal population,
enslaved by their need to self-propel their freedom futures.

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Shoveling I-Cycles

He said he planned to freeze to death.

Did he mean to have his body frozen?
Stored to hatch again later,
leftovers out of time’s deep freezer of waiting.

No, not that.
He responds with undeniable dismissal,
this would not be his investment in future plans.

I hope and believe that I will choose
when to freeze my death.

I remember his hope
stepping out into Connecticut’s perfect nor’eastern,
stern at onslaught,
like pilgrims and nearby islands of granite
states and histories,
but then dragging more gracefully out
into lacey fluff
floating toward quintessential kitschey views
framed from inside
by silent flickering orange light
of coal black constitutional wood stove
New England casual propriety,
radiating dry welcome warmth,
but with appropriate restraint,
while I remember to step
onto my snow covered front porch,
evenly blanketed front to back,
as if devoid of shingled Cape Cod roof.

This would be a good New Connected way too die.
Shoveling snow in paradise
evening’s post-storm quiet,
waiting for far off snow blowers
to finally rest.

Without anger or disappointment.
How could we become a better time and place
to re-enter timeless freedom of empathic light?
Fearless deep enriching flight
into nesting night
of death’s diastatic elational surprise,
floating out as in
to continue WinWin play
as recreating love-life
by day
and regenerating CoLover’s Love of love ourselves
each climaxing full-moon night,
speaking trough nor’easter’ wind
of light redemption
and bright winged mythic co-reception.

If I were of his fearless content mind
to fade in frosty sublime light,
now would be my time
to threshold off
into enculturing adventures
of co-relational Earthen Love,
holding off my WinWin Climax re-transformation
until this night’s threshold,
freezing away from carnating restraint
of graceless angry fear of lively shadows
and losing ego’s permacultured golden age
to flow into disincarnate freedom
full as loving tic elating grace,
recomposing Earth’s Tribal Golden Embryo,
a grand transitional opera
in four snow-bound limbs
of crystal-frosted dancing light
elating pure true resonance.

He planned to freeze his death
to love Earth’s Paradise,
echoing co-radical Presence.

My warmth becomes distracting
to this Bodhisattva Revolution
into cosmic-conscious decomposition
of Gaia’s delicious musical comedy
sung full-timed operatic pretension
until cold brings time’s threshold
storm inviting steadier-state contemplation,
love Beloved freezing Presence,
free at last to climax multicultural Elation.

Funny, now, to remember
his pre-climatic drama,
requiring death
to embrace love’s timelessly available freedom,
when each breath grows sacrament
baptizing love’s diastatic promise,
then purging Passion Stories back out
to feed Earth’s ravenous trees of upside-down wisdom.

It’s all so intensely rich and deep,
frosty,
shoveling snow,
remembering a friend
who chose to freeze his living
to enjoy a dancing Full Moon dying
to become his already present EcoArising Presence.

CoMessiah breathing in Connecticut’s normative normal
natural business
nor’eastern Paradise Transition,
shoveling deeply within
newly laid embryonic blanketing womb
tomb.

I hope our kids won’t worry or ever fear
that we’ve chosen frozen to death out here
over all our over-heated operatic flame
of life in quiet reConnecting home.

He said he planned to freeze to death
to sit with passionate Earth’s Tribe,
co-rising Time’s elating love,
CoPresent.

Even so,
I hope he misses me
as I miss him.

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Terror Asylum

On another Thames River,
with steady rural New England flow
toward Long Island’s warming Sound
then on and out toward whispering drowned memories
of Atlantis,
slumbering on eastern bank,
surrounded by Pequot Elder spirit grounds,
ruined medicine’s monolithic altars
worshiping insanely labyrinthine proportion,
crumbling mental-physical stately asylum carcasses,
sagging with trembling memories
of cultural inability
to remember empathic presence,
basic nature’s noticing of potentially present voices
speaking through cracked window and door frames,
peeling exterior landscapes,
collapsed roofs with rotten root foundations,
mumbly murmuring memories
of past river fogged-in days
and nights of terrorism,
ruled by despots of exegetical sanity
applauding wild bacchanal voices
jumping into tidal swollen,
then shrunken,
yet steady and wise-stately,
reasonable flow away out
toward wilder presence downstream
outstraining severed screams
of inpolitic madness.

Intended to grow up a school for sanity,
collaterally invested dust and decay emerged a prison
of abuse and neglect,
oppressively irrational exculturation.

Wild voices dismembering
loving presence of person,
too entrapped by past terrors,
chronic, climatic, psychotic prison
for muttering conversations between Ego’s Anger voice
berating left-handed fear of Fear ambivalence,
quivering recrimination reiterating through dungeon drugged nights,
layering medicated mindless attendance
over basic neural noticing,
thereby inducting rot
briefly intuiting tender absence of co-mentored narrow path
toward polypathic enculturation,
hiding in a forest
of cracked and crumbling drives and walkways,
seductive viral toxic infestation
of history weeded over.

On this other Thames
visitors violate serene gloom of despair,
turning our backs to return to safer grounds,
no less trespassing wilderness
but more profane,
slinking down an overcrowded river
of ubiquitous investment
in tumble-down sane urbanity.

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ReGenesis Vocation

In memory of Kathleen Brennan, Hartford, CT

This is my farewell, never goodbye; the one I might have said had I been more honest with myself about losing you, more generously inviting conversation about what we learned from, and loved within, each other. I so wish I could redeem our last time alone on your beach by imagining what I could have said, and what you might have said to me.

Your radiant light lives on in my daily memory, your immense smile, red-cheeked belly laugh, your compassion for those we have too easily left out and behind, discarded like baby carrots thinned and nakedly wilting in early spring because we intentionally planted our seeds for over-population.

I learned to see your maternal rhythms and resonant care as a sublimely natural liturgy of humane song and dance, graceful flow and mindful heart beat movement, pace, silence, peace, protest, witness, embrace, loving kindness.

To this day, twenty years later, I both long for your return and belong to our continuing incarnation, informing through your regenerative intimacy.

I am dedicating this ReGenesis Project to your memory. My heart learned the love as nutrition part from you. And, I sense you already apprehend, in some eternal intuitive way, that I’m still working on the faith and willingness parts emerging for our permacultural adventure opera.

 

ReGenesis Project

Mission Statement

ReGenesis Project’s vocational purpose is to develop optimal natural systemic improvement for Self, Other, and Earth Care by inviting mindfulness as permacultural therapeutic orthopraxis.

Vision Statement

ReGenesis Projects cooperatively design, live, and sustain a global Climax Community multisystemic polyculture.

Each individual self-identifies as a potentially thriving ReGenesis Project.

Each cooperative community and enterprise adapts, evolves, and resolves Optimal Continuous Quality Improvement (OCQI) Permacultural Design and Development standards, policies, procedures, economies, interdependent relationships of solidarity, and self-governing structures of mutual mentoring subsidiarity to sustain Earth’s full diversity of life for at least 7 generations.

 

Permacultural Therapeutic Orthopraxis: living fully, loving healthy enculturation, with cooperative and regenerative intent.

Enculturation: diastatic, ionically balanced (“climaxed”) yeast, or manna, or way, or truth, or life, or Tao, or synergy; entirely your choice of synonyms.

 

Dearest Gerald Oliver

Thanks so much for your kind and generous thoughts and wishes.

You continue to sound like a young adult version of Oliver Twist to me.

You believe we must find a way to accomplish anything, if we would just imagine in a richer way.

You uncover advantages in incubating a marginalized orphan-parasite with Poor Farm credentials.

You too seldom hesitate to ask for even more, but in an endearingly dense polypathic way.

K. B.

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CT-ReGenesis Network: Reconnecting People, Place, and Planet

TO:

  • Habitat for Humanity Bridgeport, Cromwell, Danbury, Hartford, New Haven, New London, Salisbury, Waterbury, Willimantic (HfH)
  • Connecticut Council for Interreligious Understanding (CCIU)
  • Connecticut Food System Alliance (CFSA)
  • Melville Charitable Trust (MCT)

 

FROM: CT-ReGenesis Cooperative Network Developers

 

6/25/2014

 

At the deepest level, there is no giver, no gift, and no recipient…only the universe rearranging itself.

Jon Kabat-Zinn

 

CT-ReGenesis Project’s proposed mission is to rearrange our State more nutritiously and equitably; one home, one neighborhood, one cooperative moment in time.

 

We believe Habitat for Humanity, the Food Alliance, Council for Interreligious Understanding, and the Melville Charitable Trust already participate in this mission, as do we all. Some more intentionally; some less so.

 

This communication will introduce each of us to the others, within a proposal to design a cooperative network together. This cooperative project might have the potential to significantly expand how we define optimally supportive housing and homes, nutrition, and healthy well-being.

 

A summary outline of our initial infrastructure might be pictured as a tree with two balancing main branches, each reseeding the soil of future generations:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Habitat-9 CT Chapters/6 ReStores                         Council for Interreligious Understanding

Restoring materials, homes, neighborhoods               Restoring people and communities

Formation of renewed places: hope                            Formation of young people: faith

 

 

 

Food System Alliance

Restoring well-being, nutrition, health

Formation of healthy CQI[1] systems, individual and corporate

Melville Charitable Trust

Restoring supportive homes/environments

CQI supportive habitat development for optimal sustainability of at-risk people

Root system leading to a support network of CT social investors/philanthropists/public-sector investments

 

 

Who is in this CT-ReGenesis Network?

 

We are an informal cluster of individuals, three of whom are currently working part-time to propose that the four organizations (counting HfH chapters as representative of one international organization) could form a Core Network Team:

 

Mary Millican is a parent, former special needs school administrator, former owner of vintage retail enterprises, estate staging and closure experienced, master gardener, avid recycler. She wants to help Habitat ReStores, and other non-profit materials recyclers discuss how they might optimize their individual effectiveness for clients while minimizing transportation and acquisition expenses through cooperative networking and resource sharing.

 

Janet Tanner is a real estate agent with ReMax, an international brokerage firm. Her eco-justice and social justice experience includes advocacy for affordable housing, Habitat volunteer, horrible gardener and cook, shops at thrift stores because it is the logical thing to do, parent of a fully employed ADHD young adult. She wants to help people who are selling their houses get rid of their unwanted resources as generously, efficiently, and cost-effectively as possible, recycling goods into a cooperative distribution network where each item will return highest and best use where it is most needed in the local community. Habitat ReStores would be ideal organizing anchors for local gathering and distribution networks.

 

Gerald Dillenbeck, M. Div., MPA in Community Development, Permaculture Designer with special interest in the economics of ecological and nutritional development for at-risk populations. Interreligious EcoMinistry Chaplain at the Sustainable Farm School. He is a Taoist Christian, more or less; Ph.D. candidate in Holistic Teleology, occasionally; dissertation research is relevant to the mission of the proposed CT-Restore Cooperative Network. He is a former Habitat Board member (New Haven, in the 90s), sometimes a not-so-great community gardener, and vegetarian cook, member of the Order of Universal Interfaith, former President of the CT Housing Coalition, former grants administrator for Covenant to Care for Children, which, among other things, distributes clothes, and sometimes nutrients, through a network of faith communities, to at-risk kids throughout Connecticut.

 

Jerry (seldom “Gerald”) would like to help form religious and secular youth leadership teams to discuss and grow toward CQI standards for optimal nutrition, home environments, and sustainable vocations in a globally “rearranging” self-awareness. This requires formational environments mindful of the diverse and mutual well-being of all individuals, and all species. His favorite story is Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who, “A person’s a person. No matter how small.”

 

 

Readers are encouraged to first look at the section pertaining to your own organization. If that makes sense, then reading the other sections should begin to articulate how the Core-4 could fuse high CQI eco-equity and nutritional outcomes throughout Connecticut.

 

 

CT-ReGenesis Network’s potential value for HfH and ReStores: Two Scenarios

 

First Scenario

 

Each Habitat ReStore is loaded with great resources including many that have filtered through various Youth Transition Teams, sometimes as community improvement volunteer projects that have led to establishing entrepreneurial cooperative enterprises, vocations, and guild associations. The Americorps/VISTA programmatic platform has been tailored to support challenged young adults move into sustainable Transition Team vocations.

  • Full kitchen sets
  • Bath fixtures
  • Good reconditioned appliances [entrepreneurial venture of a Youth Transition Team]
  • Furnishings, including refinished/painted by a Transition Team(s)
  • Interior décor
  • Window treatments
  • Organic compost [entrepreneurial Transition Team]
  • Mulch [Transition Team entrepreneurial opportunity]
  • Gardening equipment
  • Seeds and plants, seasonal [Transition Team organized and produced]
  • Fencing
  • Bicycles [Transition Team refurbished], urban cargo-bikes

 

Most of the more established real estate agents in Connecticut are supporting the ReStore Cooperative Network’s expenses to pick up their property sellers’ unwanted items prior to closing, then distribute those goods where they will return the highest value. This follows the CQI value template for greatest effectiveness in response to trauma, potential pathology, lack of well-being, with least overall resource loss. Resource investments include living-wage time invested by cooperative worker-owners, and energy/nutrient depletion.

 

Also available at the ReStores, or other neighborhood/community center space, are Restoration Incubators for homeschool education, training, recreation, and vocational development space. These Centers are home to the HfH, Food, and Housing AmeriCorps/Vista youth leadership and internship programs, and may provide after-school Deep Learning activities available from the Sustainable Farm School, Gaia University, etc. AmeriCorps stipends are initially paid through a Melville Foundation grant, and eventually through ReStore sales and cooperative exchanges within the Network.

 

Additional classes, cooperative employment, activities that might emerge from these Incubators, depending on local interest and needs:

  • staging services for real estate sales,
  • solar and wind energy production,
  • Community Farm Association transactions, food banks,
  • designing organic, edible landscapes and gardens, and installation support services,
  • mural design teams,
  • cooperative stores and exchange centers for clothing, toys, books, tools, seeds, organic fertilizers, mulch,
  • child and elder care,
  • tax assistance,
  • classes in nonviolent communication, writing, entrepreneurial development, natural construction and crafts, permaculture design, interfaith dialogue, cooking, preserving, yoga, Tai Chi, meditation,
  • support for the formation of residential cooperatives, partnering indigenous tenants in multis with property owners looking for a buyer.

 

Second Scenario

 

Each Habitat homeowner receives a broader scope of services, as needed and welcomed.

  • Recycled, natural and low carbon-footprint building materials and  systems design;
  • Optimized functional, aesthetic, and ecological site planning and landscape design;
  • Access to cooperative-subsidized alternative energy [a potential Transition Team enterprise];
  • Green/natural/recycled/refinished/repurposed furnishings and interior design, new homes fully staged in consultation with homeowners [Transition Team enterprise];
  • Edible landscape design, including organic gardening, on site, or within a nearby community garden setting [Transition Team enterprise];
  • Full garden-to-table-to-compost nutritional loop support system—implementation and/or maintenance, as needed and wanted [Transition Team service];
  • Functional bicycles/tricycles, cargo pedal systems, possibly battery-fueled vehicles eventually [Transition Team services and/or entrepreneurial enterprise];
  • Access to organic CFA cooperative;
  • Access to treadmills, exercise bikes, aerobic equipment connected to electric meters [Transition Team enterprise];
  • Solar panels, wind/water turbine energy production system on site as feasible [Transition Team enterprise].

 

In addition to these two scenarios, HfH relationships with constituent faith communities may be enriched with enhanced youth ministry connectivity and a broader band of useful volunteer skill sets, more inclusive of all ages and genders.

 

 

CT-ReGenesis  significant values for the CT Council for Interreligious Understanding (CCIU)

 

This opportunity framework is somewhat the mutually symbiotic reverse of the Habitat possible futures scenarios.

 

Adolescence through young adulthood is the stage we are increasingly losing kids from intentional faith communities, and other formational systems, such as schools. Perhaps even more true in a globally interfacing culture, young adults are discovering their life journeys informed by the “Religious Commons,” what is held as sacred by all faith traditions, including those that have become secularized, like science, the arts, humanities.

 

Resilient, “deep learning” development systems help us understand ourselves and mature most effectively in an intentionally diverse environment, with others we may primordially see as not like me. Deviant frames of reference, appreciatively facilitated, become richly valued diversity for better understanding the range of assets, resources, and nutrients in Universe. Cultural strengths and challenges inform each other through the individual’s original lens of meaning and value. This seems to be true in all regenerative economies, whether they are pedagogical, spiritual, financial, communication, ecological, or possibly even genetic information systems.

 

CT-ReGenesis is informed by a combined economic, ecological, and social justice agenda long familiar to the religious sector. Faith community participation in this cooperative network may increase interreligious opportunities for dialogue, understanding, and cooperative neighborhood improvement projects. Those with skills and interests in alternative energy, new economics, eco-justice, international justice dialogue and discernment, gardening and agriculture, nutrition and food preparation, therapeutic and nutritional education, permaculture design, holistic therapies and medicines, planning and design, nonviolent communication and living, group facilitation, compassionate therapy, are a rich source for mentoring, team leaders, and skill-shares.

 

Faith community members may want to consider stronger nutritional and environmental standards for their own properties. For example, more edible plants and less grass, buying into an alternative energy cooperative, harvesting solar and/or wind power on-site, group purchases of local CFA contracts, investing in local cooperatives, organic farms, and intentional communities, responding to local needs for more affordable and sustainable habitats.

 

Faith communities may come to think of their HfH affiliate as the local religious sector’s incubator for housing, economic and nutritional and vocational development, and neighborhood improvement partnerships. Individuals may discover that their religious tradition is more dynamic and compelling within a more inclusive polyculture. If participation in this cooperative network transforms Habitat’s Restores into incubators, participation by CCIU may transform this platform for mutual understanding into more of a positive teleological laboratory. CT-ReGenesis network developers may want to consider the Interfaith Youth Core (www.ifyc.org) as a rich resource for linking youth ministry to interreligious understanding and housing/human/environmental service projects. There is also a federal initiative for interreligious cooperation and community service that may be useful for drawing higher profile momentum.

 

 

Regenerative Nutrients for the CT Food System Alliance

 

Food systems are nutrient systems. Food, power, medicine, health are words that have been closely associated with each other since early symbolic communication, and these are all about nutritional flow. The Permaculture Design principle of greatest effect with least effort is all about optimizing the improvement of quality, measured in nutrients, energy, vigor, thriving, rather than the lower qualitative standard of survival of the fittest. Regenerative evolution of nutritional flow aspires to abundance, resilience, healthy sustainability far into our future. The evolution of nutrient systems becomes revolutionary as our focus moves from survival toward global thriving.

 

Thich Nhat Hanh understands communication as a type of nutrition. What we sensorily absorb from our environment, whether through taste, sight, insight, or hearing, lies on a spectrum from abundantly nutritious to offensively toxic, even poisonous in sufficient amounts. Substances, sounds, views, fragrances, feelings, ideas, informationthat we are drawn to because they enrich our selves, and our Universe, are nutritious; those we avoid have proven to be toxic.

 

Both science and religions agree that our neural and nutritional systems evolved through natural systems experience, following natural principles of thermodynamic balance and development, regardless of the polynomial, polycultural, paradigmatic, or power/energy frame through which we have learned to comprehend Universe. Our most permanently-encultured (PermaCultured) frames, or narrative strings, extend back through our proto-history toward an even more Primal Root in the form of shared RNA Codex.  RNA-coded nutrient-fed-and-yielding development systems define the form and function of all living cells. In a sense, natural sciences recognize RNA as our universal progenitor of life, and each neural/nutrient system is an articulation of that global, natural, and primal plasmatic river. Our neural systems thrive with natural nutrition abundance, and avoid dissonant, toxic, anomalous, and entropic dissonance patterns (negative deviance, in Group, BioEvolutionary, and Cognitive Dissonance Theories).

 

Forming a newly-activated intentionally designed polyculture with affordable housing developers, neighborhood organizations, interreligious intentional communities, and post-millennial young leaders, heads of young families, populations at-risk of homelessness and poor nutrition, promises greatest inclusive effectiveness, with least redundancy of organizational and program-delivery expense. Strategies that are more academic and school-based tend to be less effective and well-sustained at the family level because these are not responsive to the specific situations of each household.  Program delivery limited to school-based participation seldom engage at-risk parents in the sustained and holistic way that would be most helpful for family well-being and health, including mental and economic health.

 

Organic carrots, even habitually devoured, will only go so far in meeting the full nutritional needs of a family living in a chronically stressed environment.  On the other hand, a family suffering from PTSD eating organic carrots will probably do better than the neighbor devouring the equivalent weight of quick-fix toxins and sugars.

 

Youth EcoMinistry settings are also ideal opportunities for all of us to teach each other about our growing awareness that nutrition v. toxin is a range of resource variables that crosses all sensory receptors, from touch through sight. Both positive and negative deviance information travels across all natural systems and paradigms, sometimes enriching, sometimes decaying, adding further dissonance, sometimes adding great beauty and grace and feeling to a growing global comprehension of our nutritional vocation to be sure every individual’s health and energy developmental needs are met. Nutrition optimization is healthy self-care (greatest effect) and dissonance prevention (least resistance).

 

 

Regenerating CT’s Optimally Supportive Habitat with the Melville Charitable Trust

 

What is the use of a house if you haven’t got a tolerable planet to put it on?

Henry David Thoreau

 

Community and Economic Developers, and Permaculture Designers, come to the topic of nutrition from an unusual position, especially if they have watched and listened to the nutritional flow of our global wealth evaporate.  While research funders are finding significant productive value in cooperative-learning structures, philanthropists are finding the competitive grants economy unsuitable for encouraging cooperation and networking. This dissonance becomes more urgent as social investors of good will are confronted by the viral growth of the non-profit sector, each becoming increasingly skilled as a special interest lobby for its exclusive domain, territory, and mission.

 

Adding considerable climatic cacophony to the evaporative trend of philanthropic dollars: When investment markets do poorly, the suffering of competing worthy missions raises to a higher pitch. Generous social investors’ wealth deposits shrink, and calcify, deplete, and become of incrementally less functional value in the face of further climatic change. The nutritional power of the grants and research economy wanes as need becomes more acute, critical, dissonant, chaotic, moving toward despair. The nutritional wealth of our communities ebbs as our communication resonantly echoes and flows with the discord of not enough, and exclusion, and not in my backyard.

 

Diverse theories and practices of systemic change frequently note that enduring transformation is more likely in the presence of both (a) a compassionate sense of urgency, and (b) an inclusively mindful intention to develop resilient cooperative relationships. The greatest compassionate effect, in the face of increasingly critical global suffering, is to be and do the opposite of what is least mindful, most exclusionary and competitive—creating a vacuum of subcultural, exclusionary, chauvinism. Housing is the Answer! when our questions are provincial, rather than mindful of whole household-systems analysis.

 

Solving the problem of homelessness, especially through diverse forms of Supportive Housing was a strategic choice at a time when the philanthropic sector was investing in food and nutrition, but not so much in shelter. The scandal of people without shelter in the midst of affluence appalled the Trust’s Founders. This combination of urgent compassion and holistically mindful strategy has superlatively served the MCT in achieving remarkable socioeconomic influence for a more inclusively equitable society.

 

This cooperatively intended proposal celebrates a watershed moment in the possibilities for achieving realistic CQI outcomes for eco-justice and for humanity, for inclusively restoring people in a place of increasing climatic vulnerability.

 

Until recently, social investors have been offered opportunities to invest in prevention of loss strategies or more urgent intervention to remediate critical losses already incurred. Supportive Housing has usually been an intervention tool, while affordable housing projects, more broadly argue that local access to affordability helps prevent homelessness, as well as having other well-being benefits.

 

Based on the symbiotic principles of Permaculture Design and Buckminster Fuller’s Theory of Regenerativity, the CT-ReGenesis Cooperative Network seeks a more inclusive regeneration strategy. Restoring value in people, places, materials, thoughts, actions, words intends to prevent decay of our commonly held values (air, water, soil, nutrients, communication, information, beauty, gratitude, love, mindfulness, equity, integrity), one moment at a time heuristically assumed as an eternal positive teleological place. Somewhere within our network of diverse repurposing, we can help each other find our most mutually confluent home and purpose, if we choose cooperative rather than the more competitive side-by-sideness of walled missions designed to support institutional survival more than shared vocational purpose.

 

Restoration intervenes at the first identified risk of loss and disvalue, minimizes loss by identifying highest potential purpose through existing relationships, reorientation, reuse with least economic and ecological cost to our present and future. This seems like an appropriate metric for Continuous Quality Improvement within any system, set, or universe.

 

Cooperative polycultures are more productive of positive resources, nutrients, information, more resilient, easily and inexpensively maintained, resistant to dissonance and disease, mutually enriching, mutually grateful for nutritious diversity, than the competitive economies of scarcity in monocultural self-preoccupied identities.

 

A pre-development grant to mutually design the CT-Restore Network from three individuals to four, and more, cooperative, mutually-investing, organizations would be helpful. More significant in the larger picture, perhaps the MCT could invite other New England/New York social investors to discuss and discern the possibilities for supporting cooperative enterprises informed by regenerative values, intent, and practice. Our path is recycling; our goal is profoundly deep socio-ecological regeneration.

 

It would be extremely helpful if the MCT Executive Director and/or Trustees could collaborate on a media plan for this project and the ecology of cooperative economics, social investment, and philanthropy that forms this cooperative project’s theoretical infrastructure. This might conceivably be of interest not only to the CT Council for Philanthropy, but also communication outlets beyond Connecticut.

 

Our philanthropic foundational question becomes “If we are not 100% invested in cooperative and community-based regenerative initiatives, then on what basis would we expect highest CQI sustainable return on our investments? Is it ethical, is it morally appropriate to the needs and expectations of future generations and species, to settle for anything less than our 100% commitment to a regeneratively equitable and inclusive economy and ecology; bringing us the biggest bang for least bucks?

 

At the end of the day, each era, each project, we are each and all recycled nature, restoring our pilgrimage home, where past greets future, with gratitude for what we have started, and what may further evolve from our own endings.

 

[1] The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in response to ongoing social investment optimization objectives, to achieve both sustainable positive outcomes AND cost effectiveness, has led an initiative for program design and reporting metrics that meet Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) standards. The long-term comparative trend analysis by the Tellus Institute (www.tellus.org) defines a constellation of global economic, political, and ecological values that project optimized long-term viability outcomes through the year 2100. They call their highest performing algorithm the “Great Transition.” This CT-ReGenesis proposal heuristically assumes that Tellus Institute trend analysis is appropriately responsive to social investor’s urgent search for CQI program design and reporting standards.

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