Congratulations to President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden on an historic re-election victory! It's thanks to the millions of voices of hope and reason - that proved stronger than corporate cash and extremists' fears - that our country can move forward.
On Election Day Tuesday, let's not turn back time. We can't afford to have corporations buying public office and favoring profit for the few over fairness for all. We can't tolerate a rapidly-widening gap between the haves and the have-nots. Our Constitution affirms that "all men are created equal."
Let's not return to the days when women were considered second-class citizens and men were always boss. Let's not return to the days when women had limited reproductive choices and men controlled the purse strings. Let's not fall back to the days where affordable health care, freedom of choice and civil rights were legislated by rich white men and the lobbyists who financed them.
Let's not go back to the days when multi-national corporations tried to stifle unions and undermine workers' rights. Let's never return to the Robber Baron days when arrogant rich men lived by one set of rules for themselves and another for everyone else. Let's dismiss the days when politicians carelessly eroded our environmental protections, while refusing to address the massive elephant-in-the-room: climate change. Let's not return to the days when bigotry and racism; poverty and limited access to education and opportunity encouraged resentment between us. We are a nation of immigrants: more alike than we are different.
"The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them."- Albert Einstein (1879-1955)
Setbacks from fighting two foreign wars - and the subsequent drain of blood and treasure - have hindered our growth. Too-big-to-fail investment banks have manipulated the economy and derailed the mortgage industry. To prosper, we deserve better than the outdated, unworkable, unrealistic policies of corporate raider Mitt Romney and his obstructionist "Party of No." Every major economist in America - including Joseph Stiglitz and Paul Krugman - has attacked Romney's constantly-shifting positions on how to revive the economy. Romney offers only empty talking points and platitudes, but he is dangerously malleable.
Mitt Romney has spent the entire presidential campaign trying to hide under a cloak of
secrecy. He has avoided press interviews; refused to release his tax returns; failed to offer any real solutions to stimulating the economy or creating jobs and repeatedly lied about Ohio auto worker jobs being sent to China. He's barely mentioned the present war in Afghanistan or our troops serving there, yet he's found time to threaten war with Iran. Romney's lack of diplomacy has offended even our closest allies, while his ignorance about foreign policy and cultural differences could spell dire consequences for the United States.
Romney also has promised to dismantle our country's universal health care system - initiated by President Obama and similar to the one Romney himself championed when governor of Massachusetts - and cut Medicare for seniors and Medicaid benefits for the poor. He's vowed to pull funding for Planned Parenthood's important women's health programs and abolish or undercut FEMA, forcing individual states in the midst of natural disasters such as Superstorm Sandy to rescue themselves!
On Tuesday, please cast your ballot for President Barack Obama, a thinking president who has the knowledge, ideas and empathy to address challenges facing all Americans, not just the privileged few. He advocates policies that unite us, not divide us; policies that celebrate the hope and promise and principles of equality on which our nation was founded. President Obama advocates action that will carry us forward as a stronger nation. United we stand.
Images of 1930s WPA-funded artist murals, Coit Tower, San Francisco by Tara Bradford.
Years ago along the blogging trail, I discovered Christina Rosalie's beautiful writing via her initial blog My Topography. Christina's honest and raw appraisals of the challenges of sustaining creativity - while juggling raising children, working and studying for a post-graduate degree - resonated with readers.
Christina's poetic turn-of-phrase in describing even the simplest events is elevating and inspiring. Compelling illustrations and photographs also are strong components woven through the tapestry of her work.
Christina has a rare gift for finding magic in ordinary moments.Her new book A Field Guide to Now: Notes on Mindfulness and Life in the Present Tense is a bold call to action. For all those too busy or distracted to notice creative instincts begging to emerge, A Field Guide to Now is for you. Christina's thoughtful essays and evocative illustrations help shine a light on how to celebrate passion and ideas and fulfill your promise.
"I want you to know that this is the way things almost always begin: innocuous and small; a note jotted down on a napkin; a phrase that circles in your head for days; a feeling you cannot ignore. This is when you must pay attention. This is when you must do whatever you can to begin."
In this post, Christina kindly shares some thoughts on her creative process:
"I was inspired to write A Field Guide To Now because I could feel how, in the midst of uncertainty, the
only thing that was for sure was the moment at hand. I was also navigating life
with a newborn and a four-year-old—and found myself amidst all the restlessness and repetitiveness and
busyness that that entails, often just trying to live out the day to be done
with it. The book began then as a question: what might happen if I showed up
for my life with intention, arriving in the present tense with wholehearted wonder
and attention and focus?
"It is my hope that this book is both an invitation for readers to do the same—and
also proof, that this work of artful intention and mindful focus, beginning
with the ordinary moment at hand, can be a springboard for creativity and
Photo by Thea Coughlin.
"The best part of the process? Starting the
book---and finishing it. Really. It felt rather epic to have an inkling of an
idea—and to leap towards the unknown with it clutched to my heart like a
parachute. I guess I expected that it would unfold and hold the weight of my
dream, but I had never done anything so big before, so I wasn’t entirely sure.
"The truth is, I am someone who has always
learned through doing—and in many ways I really did leap into the process of
writing (and illustrating) this book without any idea what I was doing. It was
helpful that my editor, Mary Noris, pushed for a proposal that became a roadmap
for what I would write. Though the book evolved so much from what I originally
proposed, as I found what I needed to say and my voice emerged from within the
"I think the best thing about the process was
that the answers emerged from the act of living the questions: from being in
the moment, asking, observing, doing and taking note.
"The worst part? Finishing it. When the book
was the inkling of a dream on Kickstarter, I didn’t have any idea that I’d be
in graduate school when I would actually write it. But there I was, in the
summer semester between my first and second year of an MFA program in Emerging
Media, writing a book, while also learning to program Flash, edit videos and
create digital stories, but there I was—with two young boys under foot as well.
"I couldn’t have done it without my husband, who is the most wonderful co-pilot.
Every weekend and every spare hour was spent writing that summer and I was so
utterly exhausted when I finished and shipped the manuscript off, that it
didn’t set in for several months after that I’d actually gone and lived one of
my biggest dreams and written a book."
Books in Christina's studio.
You can order your own copy of A Field Guide to Nowhere, here, here or here. It is published by Skirt!, an imprint of Globe Pequot Press.
The book's appealing combination of wonderful writing and original illustrations make it an uplifting read and indeed, an encouraging field guide to help bring your own dreams and purpose to the forefront.
Author photograph by Thea Coughlin. All other photographs except where indicated are by Christina Rosalie.
Christina Rosalie is a writer, mixed-media artist and
creative consultant whose award winning work and been featured in print and
online. Most recently she has written for Kinfolk, Milk and Ink and the Los
Angeles Review. Her mixed media artwork has been included in shows at
Burlington City Arts gallery and SEBA gallery. Christina has an MFA in Emergent
Media from Champlain College and lives with her husband and sons at the end of
a long dirt road in northern Vermont. You can find her online at
christinarosalie.com where she writes about the art of living intentionally
and the hilarity and wonder that results from the convergence of
curiosity, creativity and life with little boys.