WeStrive Chronicle

The Free Columbia Art Course: An Update by Laura Summer

As I look at the world today I have to ask myself not only what is needed, but what can I do? Who am I? I am a painter. I am a person who has some understanding of the importance of relating not only to the material world around me but of developing an appreciation for the interpenetration of the spiritual world in that material world. As a painter I transform substance, I take a pigment and paper and charcoal and ink and my understanding and my intention, and something is created.


 And so the question came to me when I finished my training in painting, how can I teach this approach of coming into relationship with our material/ spiritual world to others? Can I in some way help the world to wake up?

A Taste of Freedom by Ellie Garwood

A Taste of Freedom Photo from Positive News
by Ellie Garwood
Sep 21, 2010
Positive News Issue 65

Surplus fruit is being salvaged by a new and highly inventive sustainability project

To draw attention to the problem of food waste, sustainability campaigner Tristram Stuart recently fed 5,000 people for free, in London's Trafalgar Square, using only food destined for landfill. A year on, he has turned his hand to saving would-be waste fruit to promote sustainability and healthy eating in schools across the UK.

The project, called A Taste of Freedom, sees surplus fruit salvaged from farmers, packers, wholesalers and markets, turned into sorbets - 90% fruit and 100% sugar free. Tristram's team has even invented a unique ice-cream cone, also made entirely from dried fruit - all of which, of course, would otherwise have gone to landfill.

  Read more »

The Gold Within: Sounds for the Future in Auroville, India

If architecture is frozen music, then music is architecture in movement.. I see a city of sound that keeps transforming itself.. A city in which we live and which we keep building, every day anew.

From this perspective, I try to envisage which kind of buildings, cities, skyscrapers and cathedrals Aurovilians are creating through their expressions in music. I think for instance of the latest performance of the Auroville Choir around the New Year. Adult members of the Choir, along with the Children's Choir, and musicians of the Auroville Orchestra which worked together for the very first time, had been very creative during the many months of rehearsal and particularly during the various performances they gave of their 'New Year's Music 2000'. The result was a rich and complex ensemble of structures emerging, creating an ever changing city through which it was a breathtaking pleasure to walk. Read more »

Digital Diplomacy By Jesse Lichtenstein

It was a Wednesday night in San Francisco’s SoMa neighborhood, and Jared Cohen, the youngest member of the State Department’s policy planning staff, and Alec Ross, the first senior adviser for innovation to the secretary of state, were taking their tweeting very seriously. Cohen had spent the day in transit from D.C.; Ross hadn’t eaten anything besides a morning muffin. Yet they were in the mood to share, and dinner could wait. It wasn’t every day they got to tweet about visiting the headquarters of Twitter.

“Exactly 140 characters,” Cohen said.

“What a ninja you are,” Ross said.

  Read more »

Introduction: Beyond War and Peace by Adam Kahane

Our two most common ways of trying to address our toughest social challenges are the extreme ones: aggressive war and  submissive peace. Neither of these ways works. We can try, using our guns or money or votes, to push through what we want, regardless of what others want—but inevitably the others push back. Or we can try not to push anything on anyone—but that leaves our situation just as it is. These extreme ways are extremely common, on all scales. One
on one, we can be pushy or confl ict averse. At work, we can be bossy or “go along to get along.” In our communities, we can set things up so that they are the way we want them to be, or we can abdicate. In national aff airs, we can make deals to get our way, or we can let others have their way. In international relations—whether the challenge is climate change or trade rules or peace in the Middle East—we can try to impose our solutions on everyone else, or we can negotiate endlessly. Read more »

Fencing Israel: Terrorism, wilderness, and the Israeli security wall by Haim Watzman

Published in the March/April 2008 issue of Orion magazine.

Map: Mike Reagan

Photographs: Daniel Blatt

TRAFFIC IS SNARLED throughout Jerusalem. Today is Israel’s Memorial Day, a time of mourning that, at nightfall, will segue into the celebrations of Independence Day. What is a cause for celebration for Israelis, however, is a black day for Palestinians. They call Israel’s birth the Nakba, or Catastrophe, an event marking the loss of their land to the Jews and the transformation of many Palestinians into indigent refugees. Nearly sixty years later, the two people are still at war, with the land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea caught in the middle. The land at stake is not large, but it is varied—from the rolling green hills of the Galilee in the north to the majestic, barren wadis of the Negev in the south. Read more »

Featured Blogs

LesQuestes's picture

Tonight....In Me Lives the Dual

Tonight, there is so much to say. There is so much bubbling inside of me that I do not know even where to begin. So, I begin with my present state: I sit beneath a glowing yellow light with the trickling sounds of piano music pulsating to the constant chirping of the crickets all around outside. I can feel the vibrations from the crickets against my ear drums, and it's somehow comforting. A comfort I need right in this moment.


Every moment is a story that reflects the entire universe. I know this. So, tonight I think about all that lives inside of us: life, death, possibility, pain, sadness, weariness, undulations, opennings, contractions. Life is a journey made of glimpses, of moments, but they are sometimes strung so closely together that it's difficult to remember that it is a series of moments. And what moments.

  Read more »

LesQuestes's picture

That Essence, That Kernel....

I watched the film, 127 Hours, which portrays Aron Ralston's 2003 ordeal in Robbers Roost this evening with a friend. I was touched by the rawness of the story and the cinematography was even more surprised by how well it demonstrated a point I was making this evening on a panel discussion at Soltane on why people do what they do. When I was asked to describe what I do, I decided not to begin to list off the extensive array of projects, initiatives, groups I am involved in  and try to explain them, but, rather, to speak to the heart of how all of what I am doing makes sense to me, in my head and heart.

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jackmills's picture

wolf sonnet

My friend is dying of cancer; aren't we all
Though only some of us are diagnosed
The fear we drink from our impending fall
So good we often end up overdosed

And even if the doctor says you're clear
You really can't believe him anyway
Some forms are so agressive and severe Read more »

LesQuestes's picture

Today I Learned...To Re-learn Listening

I recently was asked to read Brenda Ueland's The Art of Listening. In fact, I was asked twice to read this article for very different reasons, and so, of course, I did. I sat down, dutifully prepared to highlight this and tag that so that I would have my responses in order, and I was amazed to recognize that I haven't really been listening at all lately. Imagine my surprise, but more than that, my feeling of guilt. For me, it became abundantly clear that listening has as much to do with presencing as anything. And I came to recognize that while I was engaged, I was also disconnected enough from that with which I was engaged that whole segments of what people said, whether in front of me in person or on the phone or there bouncing before me on my screen via Skype, went in one ear, potentially, and absolutely, out the other. Read more »

tinairobin's picture

when I was younger, I didn't know where to put my energy and now there is just so much to do !

Now first of all, I don't really have the time to write this blog, right?

I have to rewrite the Articles of Association at our school, organise an information night, write a business plan, get my teacher registration, get my work permit, and I still haven't made it to the Ministry of education to get approval to import our container duty free. Read more »

Matt P's picture

Striving Towards Collaborative Community

What I see in the young people around me, is a desire for belonging and a desire to connect, but no direction of where to find a physical space that meets such needs. Read more »

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