activism

Fireflies and Sparklers

The first lightning bugs I saw this year were just before the Solstice. I love seeing them flash by now, conjuring memories of childhood and chasing (and sometimes catching) them in the yard with my brother and our cousins. They remind me of happy, sweaty nights running around outside, of mosquito bites and popsicles, of box fans in the windows. Those flashes of light remind me, too, of the sparklers that come with the 4th of July--a holiday that is rushing at us, and will arrive in the middle of next week.

 "Soaring" An original mixed-media collage on watercolor paper, comes matted and framed. $64

"Soaring" An original mixed-media collage on watercolor paper, comes matted and framed. $64

This time of year is a good one to remember how our country became independent, and how it's up to all of us to protect our independence. It's a good time of year for sparklers (if you like them - I . . . like seeing them, but won't handle them), for paying attention to safety rules when it comes to fireworks, and to celebrating with patriotic music and red, white & blue decor. It's a good time for hotdogs and burgers, for clambakes and corn on the cob, for fresh watermelon (hopefully without seeds, though I remember with fondness my grandfather teaching us how to spit them off the porch), and for popsicles. It's a good time for "Stars and Stripes Forever", whether you sing about web-footed friends or not, and for the 1812 Overture (because CANNONS!, though the song was written in 1880 to commemorate the Russians beating back Napoléon back in 1812), and for ooh-ing and ahh-ing with neighbors when your town does its firework display.

And it's a good time to spend a day clearing out your cupboards to get rid of expired food (throw it out!) and stuff you really don't want anymore (donate it to a local food pantry- just because it's warm doesn't mean that everyone has access to food; this is especially true for families who relied on free breakfast and lunch during the school year and now have to figure things out seven days a week instead of just on the weekend, and for seniors who sometimes don't have the same programs available to them during the summer months to help them with food security). Because independence is great, and Independence Day can be awesome, but remembering that we're all inter-dependent is still a good thing, and helping your neighbors (even if you don't know them, really) is a good way to celebrate our interdependence, and to help them feel they're still independent.

Support Clean Ocean Action's efforts to stop offshore drilling

Most of you know that I live in southern New Jersey. I live about an hour from the coast, so Morris and I get to the beach a few times each year. The beach is beautiful, but if new proposed regulations are allowed to go through, offshore drilling will change the view forever.

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HORRIFYING, isn't it?

The above image came from Clean Ocean Action, an organization dedicated to keeping the New Jersey shore clean. They are currently fighting proposed federal regulations that would open the New Jersey coast to offshore drilling. 

If that organization sounds vaguely familiar to you, it may be because I mentioned them last fall, when I announced a series of acrylic ink pieces I'd made. I've sold three of the original seven, and each sale ($48 each) has contributed $12 to Clean Ocean Action to help them with their cause. 

The four remaining pieces are below, so if one of them "belongs" to you, I will be very happy to mail it to you and pass a donation along to Clean Ocean Action. Meanwhile, whether you are in NJ or elsewhere, know that these proposed regulations involve sea coasts throughout the country (with the apparent exception of Florida due to a personal favor to the governor), so if you don't want to see oil derricks, perhaps consider checking out the information at Clean Ocean Action and leaving a comment before the March 9th deadline.

If you are interested in any of the above pieces, please let me know and I will be happy to get it in the mail to you (and to turn over $12 per piece to Clean Ocean Action).