Left Coast

Flying east over the rocky mountains from LA. I’ll be home in NYC shortly. I wonder what it must have been like traversing the rockies for the first time. What an unsermountable obstical with no knowledge about what one would find on the other side.

I’ve been on the left coast for almost a month. Seems like days. Time is so compressed. It’s been nearly six months since things changed.

I was flown out to participate in Occupy Manifest. Landed in San Fran drove to the north, a retreat some place in the hills. Monica is our coach (teacher?) some of the take aways…

  • deep listening, look for inner wisdom. Basically shut up and listen to people.
  • find the intention behind the complaint. When someone bitches, look past the surface to what they are really caring about.
  • bring all stakeholders to the table

It was an interesting time. One moment really stood out to me. The 40 or so people there had to present their projects, we were going to take 3 minutes and present to the whole group. However right before we were going to begin people begain requesting that we do break out groups, some didn’t want to go infront of the whole group. The ensueing confusion wasted so much time. We couldn’t organize ourself to get into three groups, I lost it, or as they say I was “triggered”.

The frustration was super intense, something I’ve felt before but not for some time. I’ve kept myself pretty cool. I used to really get upset (normally when I was alone).

It was something to do with a sinking feeling that these people who I was there with, and to some extent, all people were or are incapable of doing anything. I guess that’s something that I fear: that I can’t make it happen, or wrose that other people can’t make it happen either. That we are all just so many layers of bullshit and that this toil is for nothing. Worse yet that this toil isn’t really toil, only a sort of half ass toil to make myself feel good about myself. In a word: ‘doubt‘.

We left in a van headed for Oakland. John Freeze was driving us around after we dropped the majority of passangers at the airport. I met John early on in Liberty Plaza. He always struck me as good intentioned, maybe a little too concerned about fairness and process. He has been houseless for a few years now. He showed us the UC Berkly campus, the free park where you can yell at Hate man, the strip where we can find the anarchist book store.

After we dropped off the van we hiked to a friend’s squat for a quick smoke. Then we hiked south to Occupy Oakland where we ran into a native man promoting “fuck the police” marches.

I wonder what it would be like to be harrased by the state on a regular basis.

The occupation was sparce and fairly sad. We spoke to two drunk gentalmen about Anon’s plans to destroy the banks by committing massive fraud.

Andrew M agreed to put us up. He and his wife were very good to us. Us being Devin, Matt, and myself.

We stayed with Andrew for a few days. Visited NoiseBridge, an anarchistic hackerspace in SF where we met Rachael the anarco-punk fashion designer who works on Occupy SF’s web site.

Later we went to a small gathering of people who were listening to the tech people from SF. Including Magie from occupy design, along with Yas the second thrid of the SF web team along with Rachael and Jennie who we’ll meet later.

I came down with some kind of sickness, I think that was due to smoking too many cigs.

Later, at some point we met the Oakland web team. They had never worked with the SF team. Good, fine people. I don’t know what to do with the contacts, I guess that some day one of us will call on the other and we will know each other. So simple it is to trust. Simpler still when you have nothing to hide.

In oakland we met people at an eco village type place that built and repaired bikes. The sustainability road show bus was there, parked. They were bottling home brew when we arived. We were given a ride on a dule incumbent electric bike, that thig could cruise.

I’ve been hitting so many peaks on this trip. Seeing the excitement, talent, and skills of all these people inspires me to no end.

We drove down highway 1. Stopped in Santa Cruze for lunch on the pier.

We arrived in Ventura that night. The woman who’s home we stayed at was quite a character. She was smart, strong, and didn’t take bullshit. I’m very attracted to woman who don’t take shit and talk straight. I slept in a bunk bed that night. She is involved with “move to amend” to remove corporate personhood.

The we were in LA.

That’s where I met Forest and found the Odd fellows lodge where Mike, Andrew, and Tad hold down shop. 18,000 square feet legal occupation.

There was too much talk. I wish we had done something. I fear that I am not capable, then get frastrated when others don’t. Should I let go and step up? You’ll never learn until you fail.

We met with JB of Occupy First, a up and coming credit union in Irvine. There was an occupation there as well, we would visit it later.

Later we drove down to San Diego. On our way we stopped in long beach and ate a fancy dinner with Devin’s mother and Lisa, who happend to be the main fund raiser for Occupy Manifest. Forest, Devin, Matt, and I yammered on all night.

When we arived in SD we stayed with Jennie. Smart, beautiful, and completely in line with our intentions. I fell in love with ease. She is going to SF to start a work co-op with “next edgers” (a group of people on the next edge).

Nuclear power, naval bases, vapid empty city, homeless tent communities in the shadow. Our world is sick and it is dying.

No wonder there is no push to heal it. We smoke bongs and sit out on mission beach. Why would anyone give this up? Even if you have to commute 4 hours a day to work, at least you have all the beach and bongs over the weekend.

We return. Stop through Irvine and find the camp. Young kids smoking dope, drunks, and those who have no home to speak of. Some rich kids living off parent’s money. They spoke of actions, fights with the police, and how it was a victory. I wonder about how much of a victory any of it is… The other guys find Dave, a master craftsman, they take him out to dinner and buy him a track phone. We’ll get you in the space soon.

Occupy Venice, however, we find some intention. Mike, a real life Odd fellow. Wes, the lead generation sales person. Wes is quite a guy, he is down. A bright light amoung the darkness of men who have lost their souls.

The sun is setting over Kansas City.

Devin’s father gave us a lecture about eating right, treating out bodies right. That healing starts with the self.

I’ve been struggling with occupy and let myself go. I’ve gained 20 pounds and let my bike and life rust shut. It’s clear that I must do. Enough talk.





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