We are half way through the walk. We will walk another 15 miles today. I’m not looking forward to doing that with a blister on my foot, but Miriam has seemed to work miracles on other marcher’s feet. Prayers would be appreciated as well. If that doesn’t go well there is a vehicle that can carry marchers.
I was talking to Fintan, who recently graduated from Grinnell College. It was interesting to hear that he had taken a gap year (year not at the college) there and found it to be very valuable. This is quite a coincidence, because Scattergood Friends School and Farm has been contacted by Grinnell about being a place where several students could spend their gap year. I told him I had actually taken two gap years, when I was at the Friends Volunteer Service Mission before I went Indiana University for a degree in Respiratory Therapy.
Fintan created the video promoting the march this year, and the graphic for the march. He mentioned and many of his friends are having trouble finding meaningful work. At the same time, he is taking advantage of not being employed full time to work on creative projects. He says his parents would like him to find full time employment, but he is resisting that a little, wanting to protect time for creative work. He is working on a music video for a friend of his. Fintan lives in Brooklyn, New York. He and I agreed that rapidly developing changes forced on us by climate chaos will mean even the near future will be radically different than today.
Then I spent a delightful hour or so talking with Foxy Jackson. She had an abusive childhood. She grew up in a very diverse area in California and said she had never experienced racism until she moved to the Midwest. When she went into a restaurant, she was told they were full, when there was a room full of empty tables. Eventually she was told she could stay if she ate quickly. Another time she was entering a restaurant with her child as a white women was leaving. The women pushed her own children behind her, and told Foxy she needed to leave. When Foxy asked why, the women said she was scaring her children. Afterward she took her child to a park and explained what had happened was because of the wrong beliefs of the white woman, and that it was not anything about Foxy’s child.
Another story relates to bullying. When she noticed some kids bullying a gay kid, she intervened and asked what damage the gay boy was doing to them? The bullies said, “nothing”. Then she said he was minding his own business, and they (bullies) should mind theirs’s.
She said she didn’t often have much money. She does make some by selling jewelry she makes. Her mother once gave her some abalone that she could use to make jewelry to sell. Foxy made the jewelry but gave it all away. When on the phone here mother asked if she had sold any of the jewelry, yet, after a pause, her mother said “you gifted it, didn’t you?” She told me Alton Onefeather makes dreamcatchers to make money, but he, also, usually gifts them all away.
Foxy also told me about a book, The Tribe. Looking it up on line, I think this is the book: https://www.amazon.com/Tribe-Homecoming-Belonging-Sebastian-Junger-ebook/dp/B01BCJDSNI/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1536154493&sr=8-2&keywords=the+tribe
This book has a number of exercises to help people new to a diverse setting learn to know each other. One example included assigned seating to mix people/up, rather than the usually tendency of people of each culture creating their own group. Another example is for pairs of kids/adults to draw a picture of their partner. They then take turns introducing their partner to the group. When it came time for the group to break apart, they don’t want to leave their new friends.
She told me she and Alton, who is both marching with us and providing security, were going to be married in a couple of weeks. They are obviously in love with each other.
Well, we are getting ready to leave again. I have a feeling its going to take several weeks to catch up with these stories.
Here is the link to the online photos of the march. New photos are added each day.
Some more from yesterday’s trek.