CRAN Credits, Lauren’s Wrap-UP & Getting Our Story Straight

One week ago, Parvati and I landed back in Berkeley, safe and sound.  And all week it’s been that fun mental game of, where were we one week ago??

Riding beneath the Big, Big Sky

Riding beneath the Big, Big Sky

 

Oh right!  The giant fields…or the great expression on the cow’s faces….

 

Outta my way, I've been wrestling wind allll day!

Outta my way, I’ve been wrestling wind allll day!

 

 

 

 

 

or the smell of the alfalfa…or the morning air right after the rain in Halsey…

 

Are we there yet?

Are we there yet?

 

And then two days ago, I smiled remembering those of you I had the great pleasure of actually SEEING at the finish line and celebrations!

After a week of iceberg lettuce, Tom met me with spinach and arugula.  He's dreamy that way

After a week of iceberg lettuce, Tom met me with spinach and arugula. He’s dreamy that way

This message is for all of you.  Your support, offered in many ways, has been a source of encouragement, reassurance, and inspiration. The CRAN Credit reel (below) includes each one of you.  I hope you’ll take a few minutes to review the list for two reasons:

1) to acknowledge that you played a part in this ride, a carefully, creatively designed action to increase awareness, focus attention and empower humans to act on behalf of life and creation, and

2) to celebrate our success!  In a little over two months, we raised nearly 10k.  It’s true!  The fundraising thermometer on my Climate Ride page is hovering just under $10,000.  This didn’t happen because large funders or private companies stepped-in (not that that would be a bad thing); it happened because so, so many of you gave what you could…which, together, becomes a LOT!

At the end of my Finish Line presentation and Q&A last week, the final question was perhaps the best one, and for me, the most difficult.  It came from the back of the room, from a face I couldn’t see, and the voice asked, “What will you do now?”

P1080039

By Day Four, I’d begun fantasizing about Iowa, then Illinois…Indiana….

For a few days, already, I’d been cogitating on this.  After acting on a dream, planning the ride, raising the funds, executing the logistics and pedaling the 485 miles, what would I do now?   After a long moment of silence I said, “I will keep doing what I’m doing, sometimes not very well, but I will keep doing it…and I hope we can do it together.”  I was referencing the three practices I’d mentioned in my presentation; the same three I’m going to re-cap now, in my final CRAN message, to be sure we’re getting our story straight.

Let’s remember: the story we’ve been hearing, that we need to, “save the planet,” is a flawed story. Our hope now is to tend and tell the NEW story.  The new story is that we need to save LIFE (ours and the miraculous, interdependence we share with all the species and earth’s resources).  Here are three practices that I believe can help us tend our story:

 

Build Intimacy.  Start where it's simple...let it ripple from there

Build Intimacy. Start where it’s simple…let it ripple from there

 

 

Practice One: This is a Love story! 

Build Intimacy.  An age-old human story involves fences and defining each side.  In the saving life story, we’re all living and we need to have conversations about the universality of this.  Perhaps this is best done by talking about the beings we love (pets, land, grandchildren, trees, and so on), and then working to care for and preserve them.

 

Parts of the new story aren't glamorous.  They're necessary, though, and require our patience

Parts of the new story aren’t glamorous. They’re necessary, though, and require our patience

 

 

 

Practice Two: We’re ALL protagonists in this story. 

Begin Again.  Tell it Like it Is.  The familiar story is about an economy built on More, Growth, and Obsilescent.  This story is NOT about recycling.  Driving a Prius is NOT enough, and neither is riding a bike.   The new story needs us to talk about what trying something unfamiliar feels like.  Can we tolerate uncertainty together?  Can we explore a new definition for “growth?” The new story is about implementing safer, saner ways of consuming what we need without hurting ourselves and future generations.

 

 

 

 

Practice Three: Play.  Use your voice.  Express Yourself

Our new story is rooted in Regenerative Humility.  With care and practice, and support from our communities, we can source from a place that’s regenerative — I call it God.  In this place, I put less of my interest on changing the world, and more attention on how the world changes me.

Climate talks while pedaling through the sandhills.  Unforgettable

Climate talks while pedaling through the sandhills. Unforgettable

 

On day three of my CRAN, I had the rare gift of riding 50 miles with another cyclist (I saw 5 total!).  When I told him why I was riding, his words about our situation were, “There is no hope.”  Perhaps he’s right.  The Western Shelf of Antarctica is falling to sea and new fires are burning every day in the Southwest.  Nevertheless, Regenerative Humility keeps me curious.  It frees me to move and act without the guarantee of success.

 

 

 

 

There's No Place Like Home (and I don't mean Kansas)

There’s No Place Like Home  — and I don’t mean Kansas.  That, Silly, would be CRAK!

Friends!  We are mammals, human mammals that create.  Our life depends on it.  WHAT we create is part of the story we’re reconstructing.  I have no clue how this story ends; what I do know is that our next chapter is happening and it needs each one of our co-creative acts to set the story back on course.   Thanks for sharing your voice and support!!!  And speaking of support, this is it!

My Last Call for CRAN donations.  Do I Hear 10k???  You can make a secure online donation NOW by clicking on the ‘Support Me’ button, on my Climate Ride website page. You’ll automatically receive an acknowledgment and I will be notified by email of your support. Thank you for your help!

 

CRAN CREDITS:

Acupuncture, Massage & Bodywork Miracles

Laura, Gonzalo, Sylvia, Bruce & Barb

Above & Beyond acts of Cheerleading

Amy & Ellie (card & artwork), Cathleen (traveling from Toronto), Heather (faithful FB & blog commenting), Jules & Sukha (text photos), Ed (phone call), CR (good luck bracelet), Phil & Annette (CRAN mala beads), Lane (traveling from KC)

Bike Case & Bike Rack

Kevin W and the Geggs Family

Bike Maintenance & Safety Check

Paul at Polkadot Bicycles

Donations over $150

A surprisingly, wonderful number of you

Donations of every amount, given with appreciation

So, SO many of you

Finish Line Celebration Event

Betsy, Laurel, Kim, Robyn, & the Zanders

Helmet Cam

Margo D

Lodging & Accommodations

Tom P

Pace-setter, Equipment Consult, Bike Fit, & Luvvvv

Valentino P

Prayers and Good Thoughts, Blog Readers & FB followers

More of you than I even know, and thank you so very much

Press Release & CRAN Promotion

D2 Infinity, Kim, Betsy, Robyn & Nick

Route Mapping

Barb B

Support and Gear (SAG) Master & Photography

Laurel VH-P (da mama) & Misty (da car)

 

 

 

Deflecting the Arrow, Shooting our Feet

If it doesn’t help me love you, it can’t possibly be true.

–         Kurt Johnson

 

I have no patience for those who use our desperate situation as an excuse for inaction…  The use of this excuse to justify inaction reveals nothing more nor less than an incapacity to love. 

–         Derrick Jensen

 

Let me say that the true revolutionary is guided by a great feeling of love.

–         Che Guevara

I’ve just returned from a trip for work — a trip that took me through several airports in my journey across the country and back.  What I love most about journeys like this is how immediately I’m called to attend to the “largeness” of our existence — walking through an airport, taking a cab through new-to-me city streets, observing the pacing and perceived busyness of people everywhere, engaging with life.  These things fill me with curiosity and remind me that there is so much I do not know (and long to know).  Furthermore, there is so much I take for granted in my highly-routinized life happening in the relatively (righteously?) small world of Berkeley.

 

There is something else that happens, too.  Suspended between here and there (no longer in Berkeley and not yet at my final destination) I find myself quite suddenly on the see-saw I’ll call, Intimacy-or-Anonymity.  You know the one?  The Intimacy-or-Anonymity see-saw, for me, can be an ecstatic experience.  Really!  At it’s height, the playground ride tips me into gleeful appreciation (love, freely offered) for every being whirling by in the transitory nature of neither here-nor-there.  For a period of time we are, all of us, pilgrims held captive in suspended time.  All at once, departing and arriving, our wholly-unique stories propel us from one location to another.  We are the molecules moving and forming all of existence.

Seesaw.  Photo credit:hvms6math.atom5.com

Seesaw. Photo credit: hvms6math.atom5.com

And then, the see-saw swings back.  It sets me down in my plane seat, forcing me to choose whether to make eye-contact with the one sitting next to me…or not.  Maybe this person will be genuinely interested in an experience I have to share, or maybe we’ll be from the same town, or maybe (…c’mon, say it!) we’ll fall madly in love, or maybe we’ll discover in less than two sentences that we have nothing in common and no matter how many ways I convey with words, body language or otherwise, I will fail completely in my efforts to end all contact.  Never-you-fear, introverts!  In the talk or no-talk on airplanes debate, I have zero skin in the game.

 

40,000 feet above Alaska, (2007)

40,000 feet above Alaska, (2007)

 

The Intimacy-or-Anonymity see-saw can be illustrated nicely way up at 30,000     feet.  But truthfully, my skin is in a tougher game; the one down here in the weeds, with the people we know, the people we love, and the people we know we could know better.

 

This week, as St.Valentine visits mailboxes, candle-lit dining tables, chocolate shops and flower stands, I’m thinking too

of the Climate Rally that will happen in Washington, DC on Sunday.  I’m thinking of a friend from Montana, who last week told me about the people in her town who are relocating to South Dakota because the Keystone XL Pipeline is creating the jobs they’ve needed for the past 3 years.  I’m thinking of the 5,000 new cars arriving on the streets of China….every day.  5000, every day.  AND…I’m thinking about the jet-fueled flights I took last week, where I was offered countless

Utah Airport, Recycling (2007)

Utah Airport, Recycling (2007)

cups of beverages in single-use plastic cups, to say nothing of the sheets and towels and newspapers and coffee-makers made available to me  and the hundreds of others occupying the hundreds upon hundreds of hotel rooms just like mine.  AND  —  I know this is hard, but please keep reading — I’m recalling how many of us stared blankly at the countless television screens lining the airport terminals, as stories from far and wide invited us to consider our position on guns, women, trees, democracy…and how after a few minutes, most eyes returned to a hand-held device, clutching perhaps to some sense of intimacy in this vast ocean of anonymity.

And here’s the slippery part…with this subtle shift of our eyes, do we not also choose anonymity, brushing those gun-women-tree-democracy matters off to some other people — the ones more intimately involved?  (deep breath….)

 

 

Jose Fuster's Mosaic Masterpiece (Havana, 2008)

Jose Fuster’s Mosaic Masterpiece (Havana, 2008)

 

It’s Valentine’s Day.  I have read and re-read the quotes above; like Zen koans they’ve been circling through my mind: “What IS my capacity to love?”  “Is what I’m doing/thinking/feeling right now helping me love you?  And if not, can I make a different choice?”  “What is a true and loving choice?”

 

The Intimacy-or-Anonymity dance is a fun game to observe up in the clouds.  And on the ground, it requires our engagement.  In our homes, schools and offices, spiritual communities and neighborhood coffee shops, we can choose to grow our love….or not.  Seduced by an apparent bargain, distracted by a momentary ego-gain, gripped by a project deadline, allured by the reprieve of not-in-my-backyard, it is sooooooo easy to get caught up in the short-sightedness of no intimacy.  Fearing the impact of eye-contact and real encounters, we deflect Cupid’s arrow….only to shoot ourselves in the foot.

Love made Easy (Lane & Bryn, 2008)

Love made Easy (Lane & Bryn, 2008)

 

Start where you are.  Begin with the ones you love the most. Move toward those you want to love more.