Thursday, March 8, it was a relief, yes relief, to exchange the phrase "International Women's Day" with a person or two in real life in the afternoon. That, of course, was the result of being with students at Portland State. More opps with young women and men at the Public Social University that evening.
What is it? The invention of Rozzell Medina and friends. He was the inspirational student instructor for "Street Art," the PSU Chiron class I took last year. When we entered Project Grow, the community gallery space where, everyone was busy making name tags (I still have glitter on my jeans), Ron surprised me by crafting his from colored pipe cleaners; mine, too linear. Crepe paper flowers, feathers were popular.
The evening's topic, ALIENATION & SUSTAINABILITY. Free, all ages invited. Small stations offered other activities--conversation with tea that was intriguing but I cannot recall, button-making, mysterious clay sculpting, and talk with the 15 or so people encountered.
Next, a big circle for exchange about what had brought us there--new to Portland, live in the neighborhood and interested in what goes on in this space, work alone/could use some interaction. Rozzell is on the right in the photo, on his left is an artist who'd been at the tea table.
A couple of exercises, guided imagery was my favorite, then we exchanged about the connection between the alienation we'd just revealed and sustainability. The latter is a very popular word and concept in Portland. Captured by architects and planners it has come to be over-used in ways that become less understandable to the general public. Planners and architiects have a talent for talking best to one another.
We sorted out that at its best, sustainability would be most useful to all of us if relating to others always had more emphasis. "Stewardship" and "design with nature" are used in the definition from the website at Washington State University. Some of us worry that relationships among ourselves, the social part of sustainability's three principles, get lost among the economic and environmental. [A PSU Business Admin student told Ron yesterday that his understanding of it is: we need to slow down all aspects of our lives--personal/political/business.]
We had to leave before the final excercise because I had minor surgery scheduled for early the next morning. Public Social U. was the perfect experience for the night before. Felt hopeful about the future for all of us. Drove home and saw my favorite, a full moon, from both sides of town