Monday, November 29, 2004

Met last night with the consulting team

that now makes up my public life so-to-speak. We're submitting a grant that will enable us to create a youth-oriented program component related to the upcoming Centennial year. It's disappointing to see how low on the city's priority list is this 100 year celebration. The opportunities it provides as a marketing tool are being squandered, or so it seems. The city's preoccupation with the mounting financial crises and job losses that resulted in huge cutbacks in city services has cut into all attempts to embrace this important benchmark in urban life.

The mayor has formed a committee to do the planning (two months before the onset), and I'm not on it. Put out enough hints that I'd love to be, but am of the growing opinion that the things I'd like to contribute may be better served by being handled independent of other efforts.

This morning a call came from the park superintendent asking if I'd be willing to appear before the city council tomorrow night at their regular meeting -- to promote a series of public meetings being held this week in the region. They will be the next in the master planning process that will complete the Rosie the Riveter Historical National Park over the next decade. I will do this as a volunteer (having completed my contract with the NPS).

The next few months will involve working with others to bring to life our youth program; will meet (at her invitation) with the Executive Director of the Main Street Initiative to talk about her organization's role in the Centennial (she's been named to the mayor's committee), and about my visions for an Arts & Entertainment District in the old downtown. That's been lying dormant for a while now, and it pleases me to have that dream being revived by others.

It appears that -- despite the disintegration of the nation as I would wish it to be -- life does go on. I'm less frightened of approaching fascism (yes!), and strangely enough -- am beginning to watch for the signs of the pendulum beginning to return to a new place of temporary rest on the Left. With the government in the hands of extremists and with the fate of our future now lying far beyond our city boundaries, pulling back feels right and wise. My life won't last long enough for there to be any impact from my efforts in the short term. That's freeing, actually. I'm free to skip the long term goals and leave the global stuff to others.

So I'll join with others in rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic -- and remind myself that the whole of life and the new directions of change are made up of those tiny atoms of dailyness lived out by billions of folks just like me.

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