Old Cedar

If you have not befriended a tree, go out and find one to sit with.

Old Cedar knows why growing into the wind is certainly no solution. It tried to once, and proof of the attempt lingers in the twisted gray trunk below a shock of green on branches curved by the forceful old north wind.

~from Moon Tide:  Cape Cod Poems

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Old Cedar

The last time I visited my favorite tree on Cape Cod was in January, about six weeks before COVID put a temporary stop to travel home.

Old Cedar lives on a quiet stretch of shore between the marsh and the ocean near a tidal creek and not far from a friend’s boathouse. I like to sit at the base of the tree and survey my kingdom.

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The view from Old Cedar

If you have not befriended a tree, go out and find one to sit with. The world is full of wise old trees.

The green leaves at the top of Old Cedar are gone now, and as the ocean claims it from below, there is not much left, really. It is becoming the skeleton of a tree, the very memory of a tree.

I found two feathers stuck fast into the Old Cedar’s tangled branches the last time I visited, so I suspect I am not the only one. Maybe trees have some memory of their ancient sacred role in pagan belief, and maybe that adds to what they can teach us now.

As the world changes around me, I think about Old Cedar, and how it chose to grow with the wind instead of against it, how its roots have held it tight for so long, and how in the near future it must inevitably be swept out to sea to make room for whatever new thing comes next.

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The poem Old Cedar can be found In Moon Tide from Sea Crow Press.

Protest Art 2020

Art influences politics as surely as politics influence art.

Art influences politics as surely as politics influence art.

Protest art is sweeping the country as new artistic forms capture the instability of the moment and call for change.

Unrest and mass protest are producing striking images to express the tragedy and hope of this unprecedented moment. Visual art, photography, street art, and dance are erupting as spontaneous forms of powerful expression.

Caught between a global pandemic and the struggle for human rights, contemporary protest art is an expression of the pain of the past and present with hope for the future.

These are the most striking images I could find online, compiled here to let the pictures do the talking. I have given credit with links where I could find it. If you can add to the credits, please do so in the comments.

There is tragedy here, and hope. I’m rooting for hope.

Ballerinas Kennedy George, 14, and Ava Holloway, 14, pose in front of a monument of Confederate general Robert E. Lee after Virginia Governor Ralph Northam ordered its removal after widespread civil unrest following the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd, in Richmond, Va., on June 5.
WASHINGTON, DC – JUNE 05: People walk down 16th street after volunteers, with permission from the city, painted “Black Lives Matter” on the street near the White House on June 05, 2020 in Washington, DC. After seven days of protests in DC over the death of George Floyd, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser has renamed that section of 16th street “Black Lives Matter Plaza”. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)
Image:
Diamond Lee of Washington, helps her son Jaylen, 4, look at signs hanging on a police fence at 16th and H Street, on June 9, 2020, near the White House.Jacquelyn Martin / AP

Signs and artwork cover a fence outside the White House.

A view of Jose Castro’s recent Black Lives Matter mural—with a portrait of George Floyd at center—located at the entryway to the Fox Theatre in Redwood City. (Photo by Karla Kane)

BANSKY from The Art of Protest Gallery
George Floyd - minneapolis, usa, uk, germany, spain
A mural dedicated to George Floyd and many others who have been killed by law enforcement in Minneapolis. Credit: Munshots on Unsplash

Heroic minimum wage earners, part of a series by Edith Vonnegut
Artist illustration inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, George Floyd's murder and protests
Fourteen California artists react to the killing of George Floyd, protests over police brutality and the issue of race in today’s America. From the LA Times.

Listen, Read, Become a Better Ally

Be a better ally. What to read, where to donate, how to protest.

This is the moment to amplify and understand black voices.

We need to ask the hard questions and have the hard conversations about race and privilege.

We need to educate ourselves to be the best possible allies so we can do our best to help make a better world.

What to read, where to donate, how to protest.

This blog is a round-up of resources from around the internet to help you become a better ally.

The Merriam Webster dictionary defines ally as ‘one that is associated with another as a helpera person or group that provides assistance and support in an ongoing effort, activity, or struggle.’

Click on the links below to explore these resources.

The historic reality of the situation.

A selection of anti-racist books.




It’s never to soon to talk to the kids.

kids books about race

From Elle Magazine: 30+ Books To Educate Kids And Teens About Race
It’s never too early to talk to your kids about race. These books are a great place to start.

The Anti-Racist Reading List.

Follow on Instagram, make a donation.

Boston-area bookstores are sharing anti-racist reading lists. Here’s what’s on them.

Anti-Racist Resources from Greater Good

In response to the killing of unarmed black people by police, we gathered Greater Good pieces that explore our potential to reduce prejudice in society and in ourselves.

BY GREATER GOOD | JUNE 3, 2020

For centuries, African Americans and other communities of color have been subject to this physical and structural violence, denied their humanity and often their basic right to exist. That’s why we are gathering Greater Good pieces that explore our potential to reduce bias and contribute to racial justice. The science we cover reveals the considerable psychological and structural challenges we are up against. But it also gives hope that another world is possible.

You can read our latest coverage on racismdiversity, and bridging differences—or start with the key articles below. We’ll continue to update this page with resources for individuals, parents, and educators.

Click to jump to a section:

–The psychological roots of racism
–How to overcome bias in yourself
–Confronting racism
–Reducing bias in criminal justice
–Building bridges
–Resources for parents
–Resources for educators
–More anti-racism resources

The psychological roots of racism

How to overcome bias in yourself

Confronting racism

Reducing bias in criminal justice

Building bridges

Resources for parents

Resources for educators

More anti-racism resources

  • Our Mental Health Minute: A video series created by psychologists Riana Anderson and Shawn Jones to provide mental health resources for the black community.
  • Campaign Zero: Research to identify effective solutions to end police violence, provide technical assistance to organizers leading police accountability campaigns, and support the development of model legislation and advocacy to end police violence nationwide.
  • The Association of Black Psychologists: An organization seeking the liberation of the African Mind, empowerment of the African Character, and enlivenment and illumination of the African Spirit.
  • NAACP Coronavirus Resources: A wide-ranging list of pandemic resources for the black community from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
  • Black Lives Matter: A global organization that campaigns against violence and systemic racism toward black people.
  • Othering & Belonging Institute: Brings together researchers, organizers, stakeholders, communicators, and policymakers to identify and eliminate the barriers to an inclusive, just, and sustainable society in order to create transformative change.
  • The Equal Justice Initiative: Committed to ending mass incarceration and excessive punishment in the United States, to challenging racial and economic injustice, and to protecting basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American society.
  • Official George Floyd Memorial Fund: Fund established to assist the children and other family members of George Floyd as they seek justice.
  • Official Justice for Breonna Taylor Memorial Fund: Fund established to support the friends and family members of Breonna Taylor as they seek justice for her murder.
  • Anti-racism resources for white people: A compilation of books, podcasts, articles, and other media to help white people, particularly parents, better understand racism, their own role in it, and what they can do to help dismantle it

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How to Protest Safely: What to Bring, What to Do, and What to Avoid

If you’re planning on hitting the streets, here’s what you need to know.

Activists march along Whitehall while holding placards during the George Floyd demonstration.