Sunday, January 15, 2012

Words of wisdom from David McReynolds

I met David McReynolds through my dear friend Anne Slavitt (see "Opus for Anne") and am proud to call him a friend. David is a lifelong radical political activist involved in the non-violent revolutions. (He also ran for NYS Senate and for POTUS in the 2000 Presidential Elections.)

A very busy man with many astonishing connections, an amazing email list and an energy that keeps plowing on. 

David's response to my request for "wisdom"
".....I'm so far behind in getting things done at the moment that I feel out of words of wisdom..... Just keep on trucking! Aim to get one thing a day done."

David McReynolds, War Resister, New York 2009
with his childhood animals and his cat Shanti.
Photo © Ellen Wallenstein 2011
"Respecting My Elders"

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Fund-Raising: A Challenge

This is the first time i’ve tried something like this - to raise money. “Crowd-sourcing" they call it- a little bit from a lot of people. I’ve come to some conclusions:

1. It’s Hard Work. First of all figuring out who you know and how to ask nicely. Making, condensing and organizing lists of all the people I have ever had an email correspondence with. It does take a Village.

2. Asking for money. The hardest thing to do. Difficult for anyone but probably harder for an Artist: it brings up all sorts of self-doubts, even with the hubris of “I-Must-Create-This-And-The-World-Needs-To-See-It.”

3. Time constraints. Ostensibly short, 90 days is a long time to angst. In the first few days and weeks my good/best friends and buddies pledged their support for my project... I so appreciate that. Then, not much.

4. Three months is actually a long period of time, day-to-day, to worry. It is good to have everything in place (see #1) and a schedule. My friend Lisa, who successfully funded a project on Kickstarter (and for a lot less than I am asking for) told me she didn’t sleep for 90 days. I’m sleeping, but not soundly.

5. My holiday from teaching, a blessed month, would have been a lot more relaxing if I had had less to worry about.

6. Despite all of the above, I do believe “Respecting My Elders” is a project worthy of support and attention and that I will somehow be able to collect all the funds requested. Part of the anxiety stems from the fact that if I don’t raise all the money I won’t get any of it, and will have to start again. But at least it won’t be from Square One.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year

To be focused, to finish one thing before I start another, to take time and be present in every moment- what the Buddhists call being mindful.
Here's to 2012 , all possibilities exist right now.