When water is cut off: from Cochabamba to Detroit, by way of my bathroom

Spring water catch box

In the mid-1990s, the water services of Cochabamba, a town in Bolivia, were taken over by the subsidiary of a trans-national corporation, Bechdel. Water bills rose at an astounding rate, and people were charged even for collecting rainwater from their own roofs.The people revolted.Despite pressure from both private and public security services, the people of Cochabamba won through in 1995, and made a declaration -- reiterating, in more earth-centred language, the UN's declaration of … [Read more...]

Amsterdam

Image of an Amsterdam canal From Wikipedia. Click for original.

This is my second trip to the Netherlands in just over a month. I sit outside smoking an American Spirit cigarette and contemplating the energy here. Water. Flow. Movement, but not necessarily to anywhere or from anywhere.Crossing the street is terrifying at times. I step away from the safety of the sidewalk into the bike zone, hoping that a fast moving cyclist doesn't appear out of no where to bowl me over. I reach the car zone and fast-walk across the lane before I reach the tram tracks. … [Read more...]

Clutha

Clutha

When I'm here in Glasgow, I attend an open public circle at each of the major holidays. At each ritual, the name Clutha is invoked, spoken of as the Spirit of this Place, but for some reason, it that name had never quite settled into my bones before. At our Spring Equinox ritual, the name echoed in my soul in a new way. It reverberated in my mind as I left the park where we meet. It wound its way through me over the rest of the afternoon. I have no idea why I hadn't looked up the name before, or … [Read more...]

Lessons from the river

River Clyde, Glasgow, Scotland

I spent most of my young life living near the ocean. I could never imagine what it was like for people who never saw a beach in their lives, or who called the banks of a large lake "the beach". To me, the idea that a place where the waves weren't large enough to surf could be called a beach seemed silly, wrong headed, even. I grew up taking great comfort from the smell of the sea, the blanket of fog in the morning and evening, and the sounds of the waves. So, when I was 29 and found myself far … [Read more...]


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