Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Who is Your Candidate?

This website http://www.wqad.com/Global/link.asp?L=259460 hosts a quick, informative exercise created by Public Radio to impartially determine which candidate most supports your personal views. Answer 11 questions. Click the "find your candidate" button. (oh, did I mention its fun?)

Waiting on the World to Change; Use Your Art

I wrestle with my mind every time I hear John Mayers 'Waiting on the World to Change'. There are few songs which activate me as this one does. It angers me. This amazing artist is singing about 'waiting' until someone steps up to create the change we want. 'we don't have the means to rise above and beat it... 'hard to be persistent when we're standing at a distance... 'if we had the power... Yet his music impacts the world. The actions he took to become the great artist he is has NOTHING to do with waiting for anything to change. I've watched people step over a person, unconscious, on the streets of New York. Watched a huge guy beating his woman in a subway until I jumped on him, and then others joined me. What about Voting? Giving your goods to a charity rather than trashing them? Turning the lights off when leaving the house (can anyone, at this point in history, deny global warming?) If we are passive with things which matter right before our eyes, then how will we have the integrity, or the velocity to act when it truly matters? How can a generation of 'waiters' end a war? Feed a nation? The 'Waiting on the World to Change' video shows graffiti artists working. Whether you like or believe in the art form of graffiti is not the point-these folks are DOING something to affect their world...expressing themselves; creating! Not sitting on the couch in front of the tube, deadening their minds with the opinions of others. They aren't dazing around doing nothing as the song suggests. Who is going to step up to change my life/my world but me? Our position in the universe is What We Make It. I dig this artist like crazy, and I hope his next song speaks of action. Whatever pulls his heart, demands his mind; I want John Mayer's next song to be about greatness--the kind that got him where he is. And inspiring us to act on our own greatness. Lil slice o' Mandela would be nice.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Killing in Excess; Override Your Crocodile Brain

It is hard for me to leave Africa. Africa is home to my humanity. I feel it in my bones. Being on Safari reminds me how so many of us live in our reptilian brain. As the crocodile who kills. There is no thought. No emotion. No judgment or right and wrong. It’s just what he does. It’s his life. And yet we humans have Choice. To consciously override our reptilian-survival-brain into a place of Conscious Choice. Overriding fear so we don’t have to keep killing. Why, then, do so few people make the effort? And keep killing in excess like the crocodile? (Our souls, our dreams or each other.) Problem is, we do Feel about it; have consciousness around it, because our thought process is more complex. So there is really, no excuse for the human. Except for lack of Self-Motivated Choice. I wish everyone could see hundreds of wildebeest and zebra cross a crocodile river. See the babies swim back and forth, looking for the mother which has just been snapped out of life by the great and powerful jaws of a 4 meter crocodile. And the baby bleeting, crying out for its mother. Swimming through the peril back to the other side to find her. And perhaps back once again. Calling. Looking. And then finally left by the herd to lie in wait for her, expecting her to come up from the depths of water to feed it and protect. I learned early on about this waiting. Waiting for her to reemerge from the depths to feed and protect me. Maybe that's why I'm stripped raw when I see an event such as this. The gift I was given around my mothers death was a Consciousness around 'taking care of each other'. I tithe 10% of my income to worthy causes. I urge you to give what you can, of time and/or money, to an efficient, meaningful charity which pulls your heart. I'll be listing 10 on my website soon which I have researched and truly believe in. My Human Consciousness allows me to know that this is the Strong and Good thing to do. Let me know how I can support you in giving of your heart to something you believe in. And any commissions that come to me through this blog, mention 'Africa' and receive 10% off your commissioned portrait price. Blessings and Love, Robbi Firestone

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Out of Africa; Into the Garden of Eden

Having just returned from a 2 week Safari in the Masi Mara, Kenya and Londolozi, South Africa, I am overcome with visual contrast of returning to the Pacific Northwest. The silent density of grays surround me in my return to the deep fog of Washington State. The color palette of life here is far from warm. It feels quiet, but not serene. In Africa, where colors are sharpened with saturating, inspiring light, the people and animals are stroked with such detail I feel enlightened again. Where fushia bougainvillea pour from the gates of the poorest neighbors, and the Masai people travel across the horizon weaving red trails across the golden land with their vibrant tribal dress. Black rhinos disappear in sways of tall grass and crocodiles sharp disappear before my eyes; the light allows nothing to be hidden. But the cleverness of evolution defeats the light as a giant black rhino disappears before my eyes into 10 feet of brush.... Nowhere is more evident that these animals are designed perfectly in their evolution...Africa not only pounds the heart in my chest, but enlivened my soul, blessing my eyes with the wonders of color and light, and mystery. At Dave Varty's glorious Londolozi Camp, in depth of nightfall we sat in open jeeps, 20 feet from five full maned, adult lion brothers who roared their presence to the stars. (Imagine dancing in front of a booming speaker; how it pounds through your skin; removing your brain, deep into your belly. This 'depth' of sound comes from the throat of a lion roaring. Now imagine 5 lions, in chorus to brother 6. Pavarotti would be astounded.) We witnessed leopards mating, continuously through the night. We saw seven 'crossings' of wildebeest and zebra surging through rapid river, to get to the 'grass is greener on the other side'. Crocodiles took many. Babies were brave to cross twice seeking mothers. Zebras brayed and risked their lives-leaping in dangerous waters edge- to demonstrate to families following which cliff steep path to climb safely. People who 'prayed for a kill' were very few within minutes. Water buffalo came to our tent-step, elephant bulls 'arm wrestled' clacking tusks and trumpeting challenge. One elephant stood on 'tip-toe' to reach delicious branches high above. 'Out of Africa' cannot begin to tell the story of the real place that is home to us all. The migration at Masi Mara showed me that Eden must have been there- right there- as minions of steinbok and waterbuck, warthog, elephant, kudu, topi, birds of every color, zebra, wildebeest and lions fat with feed all stood together, Peacefully, in one plain as far as my eye could see. I now believe in that epic, legendary place that was known as the Garden of Eden. Blessings, Robbi