Guest Post: What are you doing today?

Authors: Vanessa German November 3rd, 2008. Walking my dog this morning, I sensed a sizzle of excitement on the block, in the neighborhood awash with green and blue and window and front lawn signs proclaiming, as though against all odds: Barack Obama for President! And there were no shootings this weekend. And no one was evicted, and the front curb trash awaiting pick up had not sloshed over into the streets. And the young men on their way to the bus stop smiled this morning; the promise and the dream is tangible. The neighbor kids did not miss the bus. The sun rose awash in glory against a cloudless blue horizon. There is no thing we can not do, when we join together to do it. Did you see that Van Jones’s book is STILL on the New York Times bestseller list? Have you seen this spectacle of spirit, innovation and courage? Have you read this good Green work? I use to have a much harder time having Green conversations with my people on the block. It use to be all struggle and resistance; “this is not who I am, who we are, the only Green I am interested is the green of rolls or weed, can I smoke it, stack it, or pass it off as respect? No? then move on…” You see what I am saying? And now here we are, vanguards at the turn of a new time, and my people on the block are eager… it is in the air, in their eyes alight with a new shine… I would tell you if it was not so, but it is tangible. Sure as the street is the street and the sun is the sun, eyes are opening and minds are venturing forth in new directions. Like the other day, I get a call from these two dudes who stopped by our Day of Action booth, not knowing about this thing: a Green Job, delightfully disconnected from care or responsibility for the earth, passing by, and then stopped by me, or one of our other energized volunteers, and something connected with them; this notion of dignity, and worth, work and joy in responsibility. I would tell you if it was not so. And I get a call, and they want to know; what is next? Where can we go? What can we do? We need this work now. And I must tell them that the now work, is the work of knowing, and sharing, and pressing forth on those who make decisions on our behalf. The Now work, is the courageous work of being the change that you want to be; take care of your children, bring them fruit, dance with them, and walk with them around the neighborhood Door knock for Obama. Be your own brand of fearless-ness, be tender and forgiving with yourself. It does not seem like the wall street crisis has hit our neighborhood. People here have always been their own brand of wealthy and their own manner of poor. But there is a new wave of sweetness walking up the street, I am telling you. No one was killed this weekend. Tomorrow is election day. The world is changing and we are key holders, dream movers and the field planters. Today I commit to love my neighbor as myself, I commit to work hard, in what ways of working I’ll be working. I commit to be that which I seek to see. One breath at a time. What are you doing today? Vanessa German is a multidisciplinary artist based in Pittsburgh, Pa. Land of Steel Mills and bridges and art.

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