Tuesday, August 27, 2013

MLK: Dream Speech 50th Anniversary

I have nothing profound to add that others haven't phrased more eloquently on this historic occasion.

The image here is from the University of Chicago's Logan Art Center looking to the South side. I still have fond memories of living in Hyde Park during college, one of Chicago's few integrated neighborhoods...

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Illumination: I am Bradley Manning

Why am I showcasing this beautiful bloom on Franklinia alatamaha that we planted for a client this season? Because, in my mind, beauty and illumination are intertwined. This wonderful tree was named for Ben Franklin who embodied many of the early values of this country that are vital, in my opinion, to a functional Democracy. Transparency and debate are included in those values.

With that, I urge you to watch the video: "I am Bradley Manning." It's just a coincidence that I found about it today, the day after Manning's 35-year sentence and the day we learn that Manning's attorney says Manning wants to live the rest of his life as a woman, Chelsea. I can't imagine how hard it must be to live in society without the truth of what one feels is one's true gender. To me, that must be like trying to grow an authentic English Garden (that wants temperate, rainy, non-extreme conditions) in our Midwestern Prairie and Urban Soils.

Your thoughts?

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Enjoy These End of Summer Days...

You still have a few more days to enjoy the beach at the South Shore Cultural Center on the south side of Chicago. I took an out-of-town guest there yesterday when I pointed out the birds and the prairie and wetland habitat. Recently, we had a great tour there during a MELA program. I find it quite an amazing sign of the times that this lovely country-within-the-city spot is now accessible to all; it was restricted to African-Americans and Jews in the past during its incarnation as a country club.

Monday, August 12, 2013

The Mark of Humanity

What a great quote I heard on a BBC Radio interview today (12 August 2013). President Bill Clinton said this while in Tanzania: "I think that the true mark of humanity is being able to empathize with someone whose experience you don't share."
Photos: West Virginia House of Delegates in Charleston, WV and SSG Board Member with AFOPADI staff and participants at GoldCorp open pit Marlin goldmine in Guatemala.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Cloud View with Topography: WV

Thirty years ago, I drove through West Virginia en route to the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts (VCCA). Last week I was lucky enough to have a real visit in that mountainous state. With great natural beauty, poverty and extreme environmental degradation, WV reminded me of the NW Highlands in Guatemala where we at SSG work with AFOPADI. Details as time allows...