Friday, March 4, 2011


Solidarity.  It's a word I first became aware of with Lech Walesa and his union movement in Poland.  An electrician and union activist, he went on to challenge the Soviet block and win the Nobel Prize as well as become president.  Solidarity is what brought together all the nurses, teachers, firemen, and public workers to protest the Wisconsin governor's plan to cut their collective bargaining rights.  And it's what brought about protests around the country in their support.
    It's not what African oil workers are experiencing in Libya as they are scapegoated by the Gaddafi government and the anti-government protesters alike. 
    And on a less dramatic note, it's not what I found in my workplace as a couple of teachers pressured admin to change classes around at my expense.  How far are you willing to go for your self interests?  At the expense of others?  I discovered sadly that is the enviornment I work in. 
     And spring is almost, the key word is almost, here.  I just received some pictures of one of my favorite places, the Priorat in its moment of glory with almond trees in bloom.  When I lived in Spain, I walked in the groves of pink and white flowers and believed there was a god or goddess, a divinity that brought such beauty.

Almond Spring

For just 2 weeks
of the year,
or earlier now,
with just the precise
rise of degree,
one tree sends
the message,
passing from grove
to grove.
I burst into flower.
Blossoms, white and pink
scatter below
and float high above.
The black of my trunk,
dances beneath.
Molecules of heavy scent
honey sweet,
draw bees and bugs and birds
through me.


  1. Yes! solidarity it makes the only difference in between self interest and how far some people can go with it. Or prefer to feel empathy with the others keeping in mind that more happy people around you makes you feel happier as well.

  2. Yes, we are interdependent to an extent we don't realize.

  3. As you know, I feel sympathy for your situation having been there so often myself -- I can guess at the self-justification that went on among your colleagues, and share your distaste for institutional politics. But what is most potent and promising is that eternal springtime, represented in almond trees and your lovely poem. And the way freedom will assert itself, just as seeds push through the half-frozen earth to the sun.