?

Log in

Previous 10

Jan. 2nd, 2017

Spectrum cone

the fire next time

There's an old Black-American spiritual song that goes, in part:

"God gave Noah the rainbow sign:
No more water, the fire next time!"

IMG_3726 (4).JPG

About this time through her first year, Ki's grandparents gifted her with an electric blanket.

We might be nine years out from that day, but Evergreen weather endures: the low temp here on campus in two nights will be 19 degrees F, that's about minus 7 degrees C. Certainly teeth-chattering weather, when you add in the wind slicing through the dead trees.

At the time, I offered to buy her a second blanket to make sure she could be keeping herself warm enough (having been raised in the desert climates of Israel, after all.) She turned me down, preferring to use the money for other things...

The photo you're looking at is a close-up of my host family's fireplace at work, their home is about four miles from campus and they love to keep their fire going all night (and day, too.) Ki would note the fact that it's taken at one-hundredth of a second, to show the stop-action on the flame details as they grow. Also, that Brad uses the modern equivalent of Ki's Canon SLR Digital Rebel XTi. She made her final photo studies with this cam, on campus and downtown.

So this is a great warmy way to celebrate the new year. Real flames and preserved flames. On 30 April of this year she will be 28.

And more productive than ever.

Dec. 29th, 2016

Cosmopolitan

Evergreen and Chanoeka Sameach

At Evergreen, everything is quite quiet, we're in the middle of midwinter break, Fall quarter is done and Winter quarter does not start until January 9.

In the Hebrew calendar, the celebration of Hanukkah this year of 5777 is observed as a festival of lights, one taper is lighted each of eight days beginning on December 24 at sundown. This year, it happened to coincide precisely with the Christmas Eve observance, December 24, in the Western Christian year 2016.

"Chanoeka Sameach", of the title entry, is how you say that in Dutch.

Tonight is December 29: at sundown the sixth day of Chanoeka 5777 is observed with the lighting of the sixth candle in the menorah row. The Christian holy day of the celebration of the birth of Jesus of Nazareth was completed four days ago, and thousands of people are now preparing for New Year's Eve, December 31, 2016.

Hanukkah celebrations end with the end of eight days of observances at sundown, January 1, 2017.

On Ki's turf, there are rows of about a dozen trees on two sides of Red Square alongside the library and the Student Activities Building. They've been lighted with gold garlands since before exams, along walkways Ki often used going back and forth to her dorm. IMG_3522 (2KH).JPG

One of the things my cam caught (better than my eye) were splashes of blue color from a light definitely not restricted to any holiday season, unfortunately. This one is right at the edge of the main entrance to the library, it's switched on 24/7 and available for anyone in desperate need, and there are many of these scattered around campus, since the buildings and dorms are surrounded by dense forests.

Ki never journaled about using one of them, but we know she spent many nights wandering forest trails; and, she talked with me f2f about intervening to stop any assaults she might happen upon. IMG_3528 (2KH}.JPG

Such are the worlds we live in: faith, resurrection, eternal life and light, living and existing there amidst shade and deep shadows and darknesses.

In fact, some would point out that it's impossible to discern light of any kind except for its contrast against darkness.

Both are core aspects of our lives.

As they were, and are, of Kiota's.

<=> <=> <=> <=> <=>

Peace and quiet solitude and joy in this season
(and all of them) :: :: from your co-Mods.

Dec. 14th, 2016

Rose petals

they just don't get it

Ki wrote that "they just don't get it" in her LJ as she witnessed well-dressed businessmen calling out to the homeless in doorways that they should stop being lazy and just go get a job, here in downtown Olympia. Among the last photos she shared with us were portraits of those homeless. That was nine winters ago now, the persons have changed, the doorways have not.

Well, I'm at least a temporary visitor in that world, last night there were 23 men in the room next to me sleeping on mats. I'm in the Medical Section of our local Salvation Army shelter, lucky enough to be assigned a bed. While all kinds of social service agencies try to find me a more permanent place to live. Along with my own efforts.

Amazed to find the range of birthdates on the sign-in sheets last night: homeless, all the way from 22 to 65-and-a-half years of age.

I think it really is quite hard for anyone who has not spent months (or years) in the homeless world to comprehend with their hearts (more than just their heads) just what that life means, day-to-day. That goes for legions of social workers with letters after their names who are great at shuffling papers and big flops at dealing with people.

And from Ki's perspective as an Evergreen first-year student: sure she had a "home", it was her tiny room in an dorm-apartment on campus, barely big enough to hold the two of us. Her family home was not there, it was half the world away in Israel, and her boyfriend's family home almost as far away in Breda, Holland.

I think it's a stretch for us to conclude Ki thought herself homeless, but she certainly felt more and more alone, dissociated from the world in general (she told us that, using exactly that word dissociated, and "I don't feel like I'm really here..."). I think that part of her artistic excellence was to express their hopelessness and despair, and humanity, as something shared by assault victims, in her case children, expressing it as her wish "to illustrate human rights violations in Cambodia", "to help kids who're like I was, living on the streets, thinking there's no way in the world that anyone loves them..." and to do this by making videotapes and volunteering in an orphanage in Southeast Asia that summer.

As someone with a personal history of a tortured path, she understood completely. With her heart.

<=> <=> <=> <=> <=>

I've been up and down these hills these two months, through the forests, to campus, back to downtown, reverse. There is a lot of spirituality here that speaks to me, embodiments in the undergrowths and overgrowths. Were you here, it would to you too.

There's much that is the same here, after April 2008, and much that's different, these years later. In an hour, going on a photoshoot outside the libe, will post pics next time.

Blessings Be from Brad/Silverplate88 === Memorial Journal Co-Mod with Otter

Nov. 23rd, 2016

Autumn Whisperings

another part of the forest

There will be photos to post soonish... but we've seen an entirely different dimension to the rainforest, other than a looming immensity of dark solitude and isolation and decay. It happened that one afternoon coming out of campus on the Evergreen bus, the sun broke through before sunset and filtered through the trees and the silver fog. The moss growing on some of the dead branches glowed with reflected light and the effects were magickal, like airbrush, actually filled with the lumens of decay on one hand, new growth on the other.

Did Ki not see anything like this?

Well, my view is that, of course she did, but it didn't register with what she was able to see.

Here in America, tomorrow is the celebration of Thanksgiving Day, when the original English settlers on the East Coast (in the 1620's) had completely failed at growing their own food and the Native Americans (already here) saved their lives by feeding them so they would not die of starvation. What this means at Evergreen is that the entire campus is locked up, the library simply does not function at all... the only buildings open are the dorms, for the kids who choose / are forced / to stay here on campus for the break of one week. Then classes resume with a vengeance, only a couple weeks or so till the end of Fall Quarter, with exams coming and faculty evaluations to see if they are happy with your progress.

Over these holiday breaks, Ki stayed in her room for some of the time, Christmas was one because her mom's family is Gentile and Ki is Jewish ("The Jews are my people") where Chanoeka Sameach is celebrated at her home in Efrata, not the Western Christian Nativity. We Gmailed one another over some of these days.

This is really a countryside full of beauty, and I'm very well aware that this is from the POV of Ki's mentor, not from her own POV, as she was living through all the peer pressures of being a first-year student on the other side of the world from home.

The icon on this entry is from Autumn Whisperlings, a fave of hers, and this all is really encapsulated in the free verse accompanying the image (which you can look up via Google or follow Enayla on Deviant Art) :: :: are the decay / deaths impacting you more powerfully than the rebirths, two seasons away in the future ... or is it the other way around? Perhaps both ways at different times?

I'm personally thankful that I was brought into Ki's life for the time that I was, and to honor the blessings of her continuing presences. Timelessly.

Seasons are circular and years have no meaning, that's not how she counts anymore.

:Blessings Be from Brad / Silverplate88 co-Mod with Otter

Oct. 30th, 2016

Rain

woods in the rain in the woods

IMG_3011 (2) (KiLJ).JPG

This is a photo from inside the Parks and Rec Building, downtown Oly. After six days of darkness and rain, we liked the sun peeking out into the meeting area... From outside to in, what you're looking through is sideways afternoon sun, then thin clouds, then two glass panels, then a dispersion shade covering the whole setup. The shade is somewhat stained, thus the freaky non-reflection streaks.

Posting here right now from inside the computer lab in the College Library at Evergreen, near the same location we sat side by side and posted online to one another at the same time and did net stuff, during our week in April 2008. It's all redesigned and modified now, she'd not recognize it.

When I can, will add more photos of the whole world out here, the impression is that the college has been carved out of the Pacific Northwest Rainforest. It's really a wilderness, lots of evergreens but lots of other trees too, with foliage accents, it all looks untracked and uncharted.

And private, very private. Isolated. A long 25-minute bus ride up here, starting out from downtown and going beside some really expansive scenery of broad estuary harbor-waters, powercraft and sailboat moorings and the Cascade Mountains, topped with snow, off in the far distance... before entering a kind of wasteland, full of promise and aloneness / loneliness.

In her public LJ she never talked about this, her grandparents visited her by plane and car, the three times before when I'd been here, for me it was cabs and airport vans all the way, you just do not get the same feeling. It's an emotional feeling pattern surrounding you, going lots deeper than a collection of trees.

Ki is totally focused on getting her equipment ready to prepare filming homeless interviews downtown, at least one time she does it all night; she comes back to the dorm on the bus through the morning gloom to start editing. So prob she paid no attention to what was out the window. I'm sure it made a subconscious impression, though.

Trees uprooting and falling where they lie, not all the way down, sometimes, just rotting propped against another tree... very dense.

She photoed some --- when there was light -- which are right outside the footpath to her dorm. Probably this afternoon too, nine years later.

This certainly is a whole new dimension to Ki, surely so much of what she saw every night matched the loneliness and solitude she felt... since she arranged her schedule each day so her classes were in the evening, she could stay up, go in and out all night, away from her roomies, away from anyone, then come back and sleep in the daytime or simply shut herself away for as long as she wanted.

Nobody is here now who was here in the Class of 2011 that Fall and Spring. (Just instructors/lifers.) FirstYears today won't graduate till Spring 2020.

So everybody now here --- --- --- is different?

Maybe not.

Look closer.

:Blessings Be from Brad/Silverplate88 co-Mod with Otter

Oct. 24th, 2016

Rotterdam HS

timetraveling by bus, with companions

The URL for one of Ki's last posted photos, The Man on The Bus:

http://kiota.deviantart.com/art/the-man-on-the-bus-82215172

I wrote a brief current comment in her dArt journal.

Interesting timetraveling in dArt calendars, too; the anna-rosenfeld professional gallery shows her "away 446 weeks" and her kiota gallery clock has apparently reset itself, there the clock now reads "away 3 days". Hmmmm!!!

Busing it up to campus rather than cabbing it (as I did in 2008), you get an impression of how much of Olympia The City stretches out west of the city center... this whole area looks like it's been built into a forest with most of the forest still very much there, it's so pervasive and surrounding you at every turn, houses set into the trees, little shops in lots of places, a couple malls. As you start climbing the hill, lots of great views of the fishing boats and pleasure sailboats and motorcraft moored in the harbor. Roads leading to Evergreen dorms come up long before you get to the campus centre. Sometimes it is only the road, the bus, and the forest on each side. It certainly is a vivid reality of Ki's world.

You can disappear completely into the woods, 24/7, your choice, hers is to go at night, where each tree is welcoming and darkly soothing and safely protects you from the whole rest of the world.

I have not yet gotten down to the Pacific Ocean from campus, I understand there is a trail or three, iffy for a wheelchair even though I would be pushing it and not sitting in it. Will see about that later.

Evergreen might be connected to the world through its myriad servers and workstations, but it is very much a green cocoon. The trees are both newly born, alive, maturing, declining, falling and rotting where they fell.. Ki is very receptive to all of this, and it's giving me (and you) lots more insight into her special world outside her room.

Blessings Be from Brad/ Silverplate88

Oct. 21st, 2016

Olympus Sureshot

act two

We're here. Last move for Brad, ever. It is act two because one of the missions in replanting here is to continue what work we can for the homeless of Olympia. To do that best, you have to become one of them.

It's a different camera angle from those available to Ki, but to remember, the last photos she published on Deviant Art in April 2008 were those she took of the city homeless and their pets and their attitudes, which come through as positive. Even today, more than eight years later, when you look at her photo essays, just as she did then, while choosing and posting them to share with us.

Positive attitudes, yes. Not surprising at all because they were reflecting Ki's own attitude.

In this shadow-world there's a boatload of determination to fight against the REALLY inept social bureaucracy which says they try to help you --- while empty beds stay empty in shelters and brothers and sisters get drenched in the rain.

Right now, tonight.

Ki railed at the visitors who came by to lecture. These lecturers had cars, money, jobs, safe places to sleep and plenty of opportunity. The lecturers berated the homeless to "go get a job" "get off drugs" "stop being so lazy" etc. etc.

She mourned "They just don't get it."

Separation gets us nowhere. Us against them. Separation from her college community peers, whether imaginary, or real, or both, is one of the big reasons Ki is not here anymore. She did NOT separate from any of us, in those last hours.

With each of us, on our own personal paths, her spirit is continuing to companion us, and we can choose to keep her work going, in whatever way or ways are given to us. A big way, of course, are the ways we might be able to work on our own demons who damage us.

Ki had been given a videocam, the same night she got it she took it downtown into the homeless community, and walked about among them, filming interviews which she told me were "very strong", and she had begun to start editing them on her computer.

There is plenty left to do.

Blessings Be from Brad / Silverplate88 co-Mod with Otter

Oct. 9th, 2016

kiotaweapon 1 pen

whatever the hell I want

Brad writes: when you see the stars, you are looking upward into history. (What I meant recognizes the fact that the light we see coming from a star has originated so far away that it has taken years, even centuries, to travel here before we see it; we are seeing starlight that really started its journey a very long time ago, before our actual lifetimes, in many cases.

Ki writes: I study whatever the hell I want. (In April 2008, she was explaining Evergreen's educational system to another girl who wanted to come visit campus.)

Yesterday I did not have to look upward into history. I looked across the room at three Evergreen students, one of them Class of 2017 (therefore, a senior), whom I'm introducing as "Brenda" ---

IMG_2728 (S3) (2) (LJ).JPG

She told us that "I didn't know anything about Palestine or Israel before I started school here." She took history courses, she developed an interest in finding out about the human rights implications of the massive funding America gives Israel each year, and did a lot of extra reading, and ended up "studying Political Economy, with a special emphasis on the Middle East." This Spring Quarter she is interning at the Rachel Corrie Foundation, and after graduation intends to keep on working on human rights issues related to Palestine.

My point is that this is the heart of education and growth, both Ki and Brenda are dedicated to the rights of poor and oppressed people ("I want to document human rights issues in Cambodia", Ki wrote in January 2008 about her summer film project there, as part of an Evergreen course).

Brenda was a member of a panel (the other two are to Brenda's right and left) discussing Student Solidarities at Evergreen and what they are actively doing to promote social justice... lots more than just reading about it. Again, a parallel to Ki.

I am also volunteering at the Foundation, dealing with the same issues, it is one of the reasons I just moved out here from New England.

My whole idea of education is that it's for exploring, to move along a bridge that takes you from where you are now to ... (destination = your choice.) That's what Ki and I were doing when we visited on campus that last April. And eight and a half years later, that's what these students are doing now. And all of this is quite exciting.

It's far more than mental exercises or taking exams. It is adventure.

It's life.

:Blessings Be from Brad / co-Mod with Gothicotter

Oct. 6th, 2016

Rotterdam HS

it's day one all the time

Brad / Silverplate88 crossposting from my other J:

silverplate88.livejournal.com/135700.html

Blessings Be.

Sep. 29th, 2016

Eyes

You're in People's Lives For a Reason

Madelyn Gould is something called an Epidemiologic Psychiatrist at Columbia University here in the USA. She has spent the last 30 years researching depression to figure out ways to prevent suicide, which is "one of the most significant public health threats facing young people." Dr. Gould got one of her patients to agree to an interview in her office, with a NY Times reporter there also, who wrote the story (citation below.)

The client is a college junior who had dropped out of high school, survived depression and suicide ideation by rechanneling her energy into "drawing and taking photographs" instead of deciding to spend that energy ending her life by jumping off a bridge. She apparently did all of this on her own, without an active pdoc at the time.

She decided that she did not want her last emotion to be regret: "I learned that what happens in your mind at the point of death, that's your last thought. I've learned I can be OK with being miserable. I tell myself, OK I'm miserable, but I'm just going to wait... I decided instead that I'd rather make more art, learn more, be a part of something."

"And I realized you're in people's lives for a reason. They want you there. It's important to stay."

Dafna is the first name of Ki's therapist, Dafna shows up often in her original journal:

"I missed Dafna again today. And I don't care. I don't care if I never go to therapy again. Frankly I'm sick of it. Not been doing very well. Depressed. I've been involved in several ridiculous arguments/debates in the last few days and people's idiocy/amorality is really depressing... [Dafna] helps me sometimes, but for fuck's sake, four times a week, I don't need that anymore. I still have tons of issues but they're things I'm dealing with on my own and she isn't really helping with."

2006-09-21 (Ki used the same icon in her LJ entry; she is sixteen and in Israel, also a high-school dropout, now enrolled in a private Special Ed school for At-Risk kids, studying for entrance exams qualifying her to start a college career in America. Which she goes on to do.

Today the Fall Quarter at Evergreen is in full swing, freshperson classes for the 2020 graduates have started. When I move permanently to Olympia in four days, I will certainly meet students downtown, in addition to the graduates I already met last October 2015.

Ki's class was the Class of 2011.

The parallels caught my attention: one student was saved by her art, including photography; Ki was also into photography (had been for years) and was studying figure drawing in April 2008. Each overcame educational hurdles.

I think each one of us around Ki's table are --- and were --- in her life for a reason. And in one another's.

And we are all enriched as a result.

:Brad/Silverplate88... co-Mod

NYT ref is a story by Gabrielle Glaser, "Illuminating Suicide's Shadows", 8/21/2016
Helpful book: Kevin Hines writes Cracked not Broken: Surviving and Thriving
after a Suicide Attempt
. Hines is bipolar and did jump off the bridge, now has made a documentary film out next year.

Previous 10