A Machine Called Love

My body is a machine/
Built to force so much compassion and love and kindness into the world/that human life has no choice but to thrive and flourish.
[Poem by Mark Baumer-Day 28/Second Crossing of America]

Mark wrote this and recited it on his video from Day 28, the day following the Trump victory. He was in Shartlesville, Pennsylvania. On both sides of the road were farms and fields where peas had been harvested earlier in the fall. Mark is shrouded in his green rain poncho, as the day was rainy and probably cold.

On a rainy day in November, 63 days before he was to be killed, Mark speaks about human-induced climate change, how it’s causing typhoons and droughts. He indicts the American way of life, talks about ways that we can mitigate our personal contribution to global warming and climate change. He mentions that “one of the easiest things you can do to help the environment is stop eating animal products…you can do that today…you could have a huge impact if you just stopped eating meat.” Continue reading

Our Critical Nature

There’s apparently something comforting in lobbing criticism at others. This seems obvious because everywhere you turn, someone is carping at someone else’s lack of competence—at least that’s the way it appears. It’s easier to do that than look at your own ugly mug in the mirror, and write down your personal laundry list of foibles.

On Sunday, Boston Globe staff writer, Sara Schweitzer, profiled another New England mill town’s post-industrial attempts at reinvention, focusing on Franklin, New Hampshire. I was envious of Schweitzer, as she was given double the word count I had to tell my Biddeford story the week before; just one of the perks of being a staff writer, versus freelancing.

Franklin on the mapSchweitzer’s article was excellent, and her focus on an entrepreneur/developer, Todd Workman, and his struggles and challenges in this small city smack dab in the center of the Granite State highlighted the difficulties inherent in bringing back forgotten places like Franklin. The story gathered a number of important threads in this narrative focused on economic development in rural America.

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