Miami Dispatch: 11/16

The Joy of Work

| November 2003

MIAMI -- Today is the big press conference at the convergence center, and I wake up in a high state of anxiety about the plants and the permaculture installation, and what might have happened to them over my day away. I grab a bowl of cereal and run over there. Tim is already there, planting some of the small trees and tropical plants that Suzy brought into our sheet mulch. We'd wanted a second load of compost but Suzy hadn't been able to get it on Saturday, so we make do with what we have. I plant the big box with some cucumber seedlings and basil, and someone makes very cute pink signs on sticks that say what we've planted. It all looks pretty good by the time the media arrive.

Lots of media turn out for the press conference. Tim and Eileen take over being our spokespeople for the permaculture. I've already done more than enough media interviews for this mobilization. Lola and I are due to do a nonviolent direct action training which begins while the media are still here. We have about 10 people -- most of the people here this early have already had training. The convergence center is noisy and the media are still roaming around, but we find out who in the group does not want to be photographed, and begin with practice in grounding, staying calm and focused, learning to expand our vision and keep our attention wide and sharp. Of everything we do in training, this simple beginning work of attention and awareness is what has kept me alive in many tight situations. And it has profoundly changed my way of being in the world. Being by nature an intuitive, spacey, somewhat oblivious person, the sort who can easily walk into lampposts, I've had to consciously practice the discipline of awareness, of being present in physical reality, to learn to walk around in the forest instead of in a story in my head about me walking in the forest, or a long tirade about how so-and-so has pissed me off, or a long to-do list of all the tasks I have waiting. The more present I am, the more interesting and beautiful everything is.

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