The REALLY BIG experiment!

1:36 AM (3 hours ago)

This really is a great experiment, the more I think about it, the more I love it. The methodology is fairly sound. I mean – I don’t really want anything, I just want to see what will happen.

It seems like a fair question.

This could be a fascinating investigation into economic and sociological effects of re-distribution of wealth through the focus of small amounts to a single source that acts as a triage unit…

…People can observe the outcomes, well-documented and with full-disclosure of the funds usage…

I really want to see the ladies at the church down the street be able to sing more freely and to be able to do the hard work that they do…sustaining the people that are being forgotten…the work of healing hearts is hard.

The women in these churches are some of the most sensible and kind I have ever met.

I would love to be able to surprise people.

Nothing would make me happier than to give people a little of what they need when they least expect it.

Yes, it is all about the power of bewilderment to make us re-believe that anything is possible.

I remember seeing the Publisher’s Clearing House ads on t.v. when I was a kid. The door opens. The check is huge. The woman is exalted.

I always wanted to be the one handing over the check. “Good Morning! This is Your Lucky Day!”

Except luck doesn’t have a darn thing to do with it.

You just have to have a keen eye and an open heart.

I want to be Robin Hood, except I will ask nicely and hopefully people will give willingly.

Just because they want to see what happens.

I would love to be surprised.

Really. It is definitely possible.

I find these clouds to be surprising. What do you think?

Well – it has been a truly fascinating evening…

The kids are spending the night with my folks in preparation for Bele Cher with Yours Truly (who is already taking deep, cleansing breaths) tomorrow…and to give me a chance to put the finishing touches on the groundwork for the big launch.

I had to come by the house to pick up a stuffed rhino toy for the boy and a “medium” stuffed animal for the girl. Turning up the side street, I noted a Thin Black Man carrying a brown sack emerging from the dark side of the neighbors’ house.

I pulled to a stop. “Can I help you?” I asked the man.

“Nah, nah – I was just seein’ if Robb was home.”

“Well, his car’s right there.” I nodded to the car parked further up the block.

Suddenly, I had a great idea
– – –

…totally out of nowhere, I found myself putting the car in park, leaning on the edge of the window and saying,

“Hey? Can I ask you somethin’?”

“Yeah, yeah.”

…and so I began explaining about weblogs and small books and, “so…see there is this thing called Kickstarter and artists can get their projects back by contributions as low as a buck and…” I noticed that the guy actually seemed sort of interested. “Well, I’m getting ready to start this project ’cause – did you know that they are going to have RLC in uniforms and no other city schools have to wear ’em?”

“Whhhhaaaattt!? Really?!”

(He actually seemed concerned.)

He was one of those Black men that life has dulled to an indeterminate age…young in stature and style, in a way – but old as hell in the face and in the teeth and in the eyes…

He had a clean cap and well-kept dreads and the sunken cheeks of crack cocaine. He didn’t seem high in that way, and he perhaps doesn’t even use anymore – some addicts never get their whole face back…no matter how long it’s been.

“You don’t have the internet at home, do you?”

I had the impression that home may be variable.

“Nah…”

“That’s okay – that’s actually good, see…’cause I need someone to be talkin’ to the folks who are out walkin’ around. Man, see – there are a lot of people who are out there…and nobody hears them.”

(Pause: people are arguing down on the sidewalk. I can’t stand that. It is disruptive and sad to hear this ugly part of their story. Hopefully some small grace will find them tonight.)

Anyway: “Let me pull in the drive, I’ll write it down for you.”

I pulled in a welcomed my new friend, my neighbor’s ex-coworker, Smokey (his proclaimed name) into the sanctity of my driveway.

All the sudden he was offering me a beer and I was refusing and it was okay and we started talking about people and stories and brains and time well spent and how sadly little the world has changed for so many people…I told him how smart I am and he told me he had been in prison and dealt drugs.

I found myself saying, “I’ll sit out in the field and if you walk by and I’m out there, please come sit and talk to me. I like you. I will never know what it is like to be a Black Man in Prison and I really think we need to think about how many Black Men are in prison and…” I looked at Smokey, “I think we need to remember that all those people were little tiny kids at some point and some person – it might not have been their mother -“

“Or their father,” Smokey interjected, “but it was somebody, somebody who loved them…”

“And they looked at this little person and wanted only for them to be safe and happy and well and good.”

I guess a moth landed in my hair because he reached up and brushed it off and I barely noticed until he said, “Oh! I’m sorry! I didn’t mean to…”

“Huh? Oh, that’s okay. I didn’t even notice,” I paused. “That’s odd. That sort of thing usually freaks me out.”

I considered this for a moment. “I’m not scared of you at all.”

Smokey’s face went slack and beautiful and I said, “Hey! Lemme see your ears!”

He hardly even questioned it and held up his lighter and, sure enough: connected.

(search this blog: connected earlobes)

“I’ve got to get these stuffed animals. Thank you, Smokey. I feel like I’ve made a friend…I don’t have a lot of friends.”

“Me neither. I’m a loner.”

“Well, damn – I picked the wrong person to get word out to the people that I am a good person…seriously though, tell people if they have a problem with me, talk to me about it. If they want something, ask. Seriously, I have nothing to lose.”

“I’ll put the good word out there. I might come give you 2 dollars. My two dollars might be a little jumpstart for you. Who knows, the Lord works in mysterious ways…”

(I willed myself not to correct him, “Um, it’s actually KICKstart.”) “Yup, it sure does.”

We shook hands again and I said, “Hey, Smokey?”

“You get what I’m saying don’t you?”

He looked like it was sort of a “Yeah, I get it!” question and then said, inevitably enough, “Yeah. Yeah, I get it!”

“Well, Smokey. You might be way smarter than you ever gave yourself credit for, ’cause most people act like they don’t understand 1/2 of what I’m saying.”

Only now, a couple hours and several other extremely INTERESTING interactions involving me Bele Cher foot-traffic and running down Haywood and Hilliard in pursuit of (rare-in-Asheville) particularly large groups of young African-Americans.

Only one young man slowed down enough to listen; I think he was just being polite. He was nice, wide-eyed and light-skinned and absolutely stunning in his in-between-ness; He wore a grey polo – he walked slower than his friends and actually seemed 1/2 curious…

Who was this mysterious, tattooed white woman running after him and his friends, her ridiculous flipflops flipflopping hard across the pavement?

Clearly, the young man had an inquisitive mind. Ha!

Thinking back to my extremely strange and somewhat impulsive interactions this evening, I am reminded how tiring it is to talk to people and how frickin’ HILARIOUS I am. Seriously, I crack myself up. I am in debt to The Health Adventure for teaching me how to just be brave and say what needs to be said.

Running down sidewalks and asking questions and explaining in as neutral a way as possible, “You know, I’m just wondering if anyone knows about this or is talking about it?” – well, it’s nothing compared to talking about testicular cancer with 8th graders.

Reactions:

Large Crowd #2:

Nobody slowed or stopped…there was some giggling from the girls. That’s okay.

Patient Young Man in Grey: “I’ve never even heard of Randolph.” But, he listened with the measured skepticism of the relatively well-educated middle class and when I explained to him that I didn’t think it was okay to have a school full of poor black kids in uniforms, he said: “Well, that’s Asheville.”

“But that’s not okay. It’s not. People need to be talking.”

Asheville is a small enough town. How can we all be so frickin’ distractedly clueless? I mean, the situation for Poor Black Kids (i.e. African American youth whose lives are heavily impacted by the effects of generational poverty and the immobility of economic and educational oppression. BlahblahSocioeconomic Status)

The situation for huge segments of the youth population here is fairly dismal.

Pass or fail, it seems.

People have to be talking about this. Maybe I am just missing it. I will need to get in touch with a couple of folks to see what might be happening as far as a proactive dialog concerning whether or not uniforming kids at a school with a distinct and homogeneous population is even legal, re: Plessy vs. Ferguson.

Group One:

Sole Young Woman with Huge Group of Men ranging in age from 3 to early twenties, seemed nice – kind of inclined to the eye-rollingness that signals White Activist Fatigue…it was okay, I acknowledged her expression and shrugged a little.

Tall young man, exagerratingn shaking his fist in the air: “I think it’s BOGUS!”

I looked a him straight-faced and said: “Yeah, it is. Please talk to people about it. Really. People need to be talking.”

Young man with eyes like a damn baby deer simply looked at me, his face closed and faltering open only the tiniest bit when I looked at him dead on and smiled a small smile that I hoped would communicate:

“I know you get what I’m saying. It is why your face is closed. It’s okay to pretend like you think I am just some kooky white lady – I am – but, you get what I’m saying.”

When I looked back at the crowd, tall young man was looking back at me…1/2 What The F* and 1/2 Respect.

I mean, really…total bewilderment.

I smiled at him and hoped that maybe the he and the deer-eyed boy would talk later, about how maybe what that weird lady was saying is a little weird.

What am doing? You may be wondering?

Well, as a side project to funding my DIY book of excerpts re: bewilderment, 2009-2010 – I figured, hmmm?

Wouldn’t it be interesting to launch an impromptu experiment in social media pathways, underground capital and wealth redistribution?

I like that Kickstarter has such a flexible policy of usage. Very awesome tool in this day and age.

If my funding goal is reached, Kickstarter will receive 5 percent of the Successful Project’s revenues.

What if Everyone in the World Loved My Book Idea So Much That They Gave Me 2 Dollars?

What would I do?

I’d give a lot of it to Black Churches.

Seriously. If we want to see things get better – really, actually, better for real, actual people and real actual children and real actual mothers…

well, we will give as much as we can give to Black Churches. The amount that these organizations accomplish on so very little is absolutely AMAZING…puts me to shame…really, and I call myself prolific: Who have I fed this week, other than myself and my own?

And museums, I’d give a lot to some of the amazing museum programs that are – for all practical purposes – sustaining a sense of wonder in their communities…I think it’d be awesome if The Health Adventure had a mobile museum, biodiesel + solar cell double decker bus, sort of like the one that Ethos in Portland, Oregon uses to do music outreach.

How amazing would it be to have this awesome science bus that could travel around to neighborhoods that can’t afford museums and people could pay for the programs themselves, everyone could chip in a little and it would be fun.

At first it would probably be sort of weird…but, science and stories and art can tear down walls faster than they can be held in place.

Wouldn’t that be a fabulous thing to see? A Museum Bus.

There is SOOOOO much money being spent in the world on things that just aren’t as fun or as useful as a Museum Bus.

Or my book! Yes, please do fund my book. Visit my great youtube channel, faithandherghosts to check out additional promo video and ghosty captures, as well as project updates.

I wonder what would happen if everyone gave me 2 bucks? Would it even register in the economy as it is understood by stock analysts? I don’t understand how it could make that huge a difference. The 2 dollars that contribute to this experiment in DIY bookmaking will hardly be missed. Or will it? It seems to me that people spend at least 2 bucks a day on totally pointless stuff, like gum. What would happen if everyone put 2 bucks to a single source? How much would it add up to? What would happen?

Just so you know: I do have a sound financial advisor…a carried-over fringe benefit from The Health Adventure. Stephen Herbert, Edward Jones.

He is charming and British and quite patient. He has been most helpful with me in negotiating with my credit card people. I am still paying for diapers and tuitions and textbooks and boardbooks and endless parades of small shoes that hardly got worn. Credit companies pray on people who are just trying to make their way…to scrape by…

There are SO MANY SHOES in the world…how is it possible that some people don’t have shoes?

Speaking of shoes, I got this email from the mysterious el naturalista…

“Inspiration Sources” CONTEST RULES

To enter the contest all participants must first become fans of our Facebook page by clicking on the “Like” button at the top of the page, and upload a picture.

They must name the picture “Inspiration Sources”(title they want for their picture)*

The contest will take place from July 21 – August 4, 2010. All pictures submitted or votes after August the 4th, 2010 will not be valid.

The image with more “like” will be the winning picture.

The winner will be announced on August the 6th, 2010.

The winner will select a pair of men/female shoes (model and color) and a wallet from the Spring-Summer 2010 collection or from a previous collection, always subject to stock availability.

(search this blog: el naturalista) and I am so going to let them know that I have emailed them with links to how my silly green shoes inspire me…they look like garlic shoots and remind me of the young man who encouraged me to buy them. (RIP)

I rarely claim to deserve much, but really – you’d think they would have noticed the irony.

Maybe I’d be more noticeable in brightly colored boots, or booties of brushed silver canvas.

Ahem – shoes? Please.

I am So American.


Saturday July 24th, 2010
could be the day that changes it all. Or it could be just like any other Saturday.

I am sure it will be, if nothing else, interesting and beautiful in it’s own way.

Yes. I am truly bewildering at times.

but, I told you I’d be amazing….it just takes a while sometimes.

I think it is a great experiment. Ready. Set. Go.

Trust me. I just want to see more good in the world.

I don’t want to buy anything fancy…in fact, I don’t want to buy anything at all.

(possibly I am not American?)

Really. It seems like American Apparel and el naturalista and simple could keep me and the children well-clothed.

I don’t want to do anything much other than what I am doing now…trying to have fun and solve problems and stay interested in what happens to humanity…and, maybe make a couple of friends who let me be who I am and understand how I could enjoy hanging out with Smokey in the driveway way more than going to a gallery opening.

I don’t want to impress anyone. I just want to make it my own.

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