“Just one more thing…”

Wren on June 24th, 2011

Farewell, Peter Falk! I should screen The Princess Bride tonight…

Peter Falk

September 16, 1927 – June 23, 2011

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The Revolution Will Not Be Televised

You will not be able to stay home, brother.
You will not be able to plug in, turn on and cop out.
You will not be able to lose yourself on skag and skip,
Skip out for beer during commercials,
Because the revolution will not be televised.

The revolution will not be televised.
The revolution will not be brought to you by Xerox
In 4 parts without commercial interruptions.
The revolution will not show you pictures of Nixon
blowing a bugle and leading a charge by John
Mitchell, General Abrams and Spiro Agnew to eat
hog maws confiscated from a Harlem sanctuary.
The revolution will not be televised.

The revolution will not be brought to you by the
Schaefer Award Theatre and will not star Natalie
Woods and Steve McQueen or Bullwinkle and Julia.
The revolution will not give your mouth sex appeal.
The revolution will not get rid of the nubs.
The revolution will not make you look five pounds
thinner, because the revolution will not be televised, Brother.

There will be no pictures of you and Willie May
pushing that shopping cart down the block on the dead run,
or trying to slide that color television into a stolen ambulance.
NBC will not be able predict the winner at 8:32
or report from 29 districts.
The revolution will not be televised.

There will be no pictures of pigs shooting down
brothers in the instant replay.
There will be no pictures of pigs shooting down
brothers in the instant replay.
There will be no pictures of Whitney Young being
run out of Harlem on a rail with a brand new process.
There will be no slow motion or still life of Roy
Wilkens strolling through Watts in a Red, Black and
Green liberation jumpsuit that he had been saving
For just the proper occasion.

Green Acres, The Beverly Hillbillies, and Hooterville
Junction will no longer be so damned relevant, and
women will not care if Dick finally gets down with
Jane on Search for Tomorrow because Black people
will be in the street looking for a brighter day.
The revolution will not be televised.

There will be no highlights on the eleven o’clock
news and no pictures of hairy armed women
liberationists and Jackie Onassis blowing her nose.
The theme song will not be written by Jim Webb,
Francis Scott Key, nor sung by Glen Campbell, Tom
Jones, Johnny Cash, Englebert Humperdink, or the Rare Earth.
The revolution will not be televised.

The revolution will not be right back after a message
bbout a white tornado, white lightning, or white people.
You will not have to worry about a dove in your
bedroom, a tiger in your tank, or the giant in your toilet bowl.
The revolution will not go better with Coke.
The revolution will not fight the germs that may cause bad breath.
The revolution will put you in the driver’s seat.

The revolution will not be televised, will not be televised,
will not be televised, will not be televised.
The revolution will be no re-run brothers;
The revolution will be live.


Protected: The Captive Fire

Wren on April 19th, 2010

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Depression–Reach in from the Outside

Wren on February 28th, 2010

I just read online that the death of singer Marie Osmond’s son Michael Blosil was a suicide. This comes on the heels of the suicide of Andrew Koenig, son of Star Trek actor Walter Koenig. Andrew’s body was found in a Vancouver park on February 25, 2010. He’d been missing since Valentine’s Day. I find myself wondering if Blosil was inspired to act on his depression because another celebrity’s offspring did–a copycat.

Heathcote Community, where I live, recently endured a traumatic event, in which a person living here made a half-hearted suicide attempt. Clearly in this case, we could all tell it was a cry for help, not a serious try. And we directed the person into counseling. I was inspired to start a discussion with long-time members of several Communities about how we support each other through tough times and mental illness, and how much an Intentional Community can handle.

Suicide in Community is rare, but it does happen. Depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues in Community probably parallel the general public. Intentional Community is not Utopia, and although we form close relationships, Community can also be isolating, especially in rural settings. And when we arrive in Community, we bring our chemical makeup and all our baggage with us.

Sadly, I’ve met many seekers of Community who believe living in a tribal, cooperative setting will somehow change this for them, and it won’t. Mental health is personal growth work that must be done by each of us, whether we live in Community or not. In our IC’s, we can ask for support. And each IC has to determine whether it can be a container for what a member needs.

As that ongoing discussion evolves, I find myself realizing that, although I may not be able to dissuade a friend from suicide, if s/he is determined, I can reach out and check in regularly with the people in my life, let them hear from me that I care about them, encourage them to avail themselves of professional help and offer the support I can handle.

This is a little personal. If you search back over the HCD posts, you’ll see a period from September 19, 2009 to January 3, 2010 when I didn’t post. I was in a deep depression. My tendency was to isolate but my friends intervened, inviting me out, getting me traveling and working, telling me how they felt about me, and of course, listening to me whine. If you read posts from January, as I started to write again, you can get a sense that I was pulling myself out. I have also tended to give a clue that I’m down on my Facebook profile. When I replace the profile picture of me with the one of the lonely folding chair in the woods, it’s bad.

But not everyone sends signals. I don’t want to set myself up to believe that I’m going to cure every friend of depression by engaging them. The person who seriously wants to die will succeed, I imagine. But if I reach out, I might learn a friend’s folding-chair-in-the-woods signals.

Celebrity suicides are often followed by a rash of copycats. As these headlines crest and fade, who do you know who’s dealing with depression, anxiety or other stress? I invite you to reach out and make yourself available. Know your limits, of course, and urge her/him to get more experienced help if you’re in over your head. I feel like this post is so Pollyanna, and doesn’t take into account the subtleties of every situation. But I don’t care. Pick up the phone and check in.

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From Wren: I’m already way overbooked the weekend of this event, otherwise I’d love to attend this. Heathcote Community has been discussing issues like this as our membership ages. I know of friends at Common Ground Community in Virginia who have buried loved ones in a green way on their land. I forward this information from an email in the hope this post makes it to people who can attend.—WT

Learn how to care for your departed loved ones without the services of a funeral director.

  • how a home vigil can bring meaning, dignity, and healing at the time of a loved one’s passing
  • legal rights and responsibilities at the time of death
  • how to wash, prepare, and “lay out” the body for up to a 3-day vigil at home
  • how to work with a funeral director to get only the services you need
  • how to transport the body to a gravesite or crematorium
  • “green” burial options
  • integrating home funeral care with your religious or spiritual beliefs

This workshop will be taught by Elizabeth Knox, founder of Crossings: Caring for Our Own at Death, a home funeral and green burial resource center in Washington, D.C.

Crossings is dedicated to renewing simplicity and sanctity to death care, and teaching those who wish to know, that home funeral care is completely legal and neither dangerous nor difficult.  Death is inevitable and, like birth, is a passage to be honored. There is a movement nationwide to support people in coming to terms with the death of a loved one and finding meaningful ways to honor the person and the community. In many ways, it is a return to an age-old tradition when death care was a family and community event.


March 19th – 7pm – 9pm

March 20th – full day, 8:45am – 5pm

Where: 420 Dodon Rd. Davidsonville, Maryland 21035


$150, or $100 for students –

$75 deposit payable to “Crossings” due at time of registration

Cost includes workshop, Crossings resource guide, lunch, and snacks


Romey Pittman, romeypittman@verizon.net or 410-798-6759



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Former Maryland poet laureate Lucille Clifton has died. This poem seems a perfect way to pause and raise my tea mug to her. I met her briefly in Columbia, Maryland and I was moved, not just by her poetry and narrative style, but by the use of Lucille’s dramatic training in her delivery of each poem. I picture her bringing this one up from the belly:

won’t you celebrate with me

won’t you celebrate with me
what i have shaped into
a kind of life? i had no model.
born in babylon
both nonwhite and woman
what did i see to be except myself?
i made it up
here on this bridge between
starshine and clay,
my one hand holding tight
my one hand; come celebrate
with me that everyday
something has tried to kill me
and has failed.

–Lucille Clifton

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