Monday, September 11, 2006

OKAY SO I'M ACTUALLY HOME.

So I'm home. I know I didn't mention it. Having some serious post-partum with the raft and life on the river. Here's a pic I took of the story booth Todd and I made with Callie and David Ellis to do our oral history project in. That part was amazing. When I put my 2900 pictures on my computer and go through them I'll do a long post about how I just lived on a raft made of trash that we made for 6 weeks. For now, here's our booth. And there's always our blog. Oh. And also, today is September 11, the 5th anniversary. A lot of people have asked me about the political meaning of the trip, or if there was any political significance. I've been the first to say that it was perhaps a little bit of pre-figurative politics, or "being the change you want to see," but it was a world I might like to live in for a while, but would never preach as a sustainable solution for others. It was an experiment in sustainable technology--wind turbines and biodiesel, creating 1 bag of trash per week for 30 people, composting, dumpstering food and all that. But come on! Seriously! I don't think people with kids or people without the resources and luxuries we had to go into this trip would have been able to pick up and jump on the river so easily. That kind of cultural imperialism is silly as hell. But here's what the trip did do. I live in a world where I work in an office, in midtown, where I struggle to pay rent and spend so much money on food and rent because I work hard and I don't have time to cook and I want to live closer to work so I pay more rent, and I cool off by blowing money on beer or whatever I blow money on to reward myself for working so hard and it's one big vicious cycle. Argh! Stopping the cycle and running off to learn how to build things and live off of dumpsters and good will wrought by inspiration was pretty fucking inspiring. Making a giant floating sculpture--a 110 foot raft made out of garbage--was pretty amazing. And how will I ever be able to imagine a life I want to live if I never take a moment to step outside of the one I live in for fear of not having enough money to get off this hamster-wheel? How can we ever make big changes if we can't imagine what the outcomes and goals ought to look like? I'm not advocating an end to the hard political work so many of us are doing, but I am advocating for more inspiration and joy. The corporate model of working and living, participating willfully in an economic system that has only profit by any means necessary at its bottom line, is at best unhealthy. How can we live like this? It is not sustainable if we are to imagine a world with less injustice gnashing its teeth and striking dull blows moment by moment. There's more to say about poverty and shame and change, but I feel so inspired by the trip and doing what we did, what a lot of folks are still doing out on the Miss Rockaway. So today, five years ago this city groaned and grieved and I saw things I will never ever forget; people watching loved ones die, a sense of fear anywhere we went, the most open-hearted sense of human kindness I have ever witnessed. My friend Jordan stretched all these brown paper rolls on Union Square and people wrote all kinds of things, sometimes leaking their hearts onto the paper. What a privilege it is for us not to have bombings and fear of war at home be a daily reality for us. That day launched us into five years of uncontrollable war, a maniac president and a complete sense of powerlessness over the actions of the government. What despair and resistance that has caused. Today I feel somewhat renewed, like my brain is exploring its capacity to be inspired again even though it's hard to be back. Maybe doing something wild that only creates beauty has practical effects.

2 Comments:

Anonymous christian said...

looks awesome, and you lived!

9/11/2006 11:44:00 PM  
Blogger antlered girl said...

dear anonymous,
thanks for your inquiry about the oral history project i did this summer. it went really well and i collected the most humbling, incredible stories, amazing beyond my wildest dreams along with my partner. many of the stories were told in this nice booth that 2 nice friends drew on and todd and i cut out and painted. now the project is being continued by the collective. i hope your own obsession with stardom and my blog still allows you the space to appreciate the booth for what it is beyond the name recognition you are so drawn to. the community of folks around the boat project don't need you and the incredible folks who told us their stories in that booth don't need you either. maybe you should chill with your internet trolling and make something nice like we did.
good luck,
antlers

9/15/2006 11:28:00 AM  

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