Concordia

Guille and I are in a small hotel room in Concordia, Entre Rios, Argentina, after a torrential nighttime downpour — not sure if we can travel on to Mercedes today.

Well, we made it to Mercedes and the Hotel El Sol, then took a bus to the shrine for Gauchito Gil. He was a cowboy who stole from the rich and gave to the poor. The rich killed him for it and he became a local saint as a result.

We returned to Mercedes in time for a free theater production of Quijote and a quick dinner afterwards. Guille and I raced each other through the main town square on our way back to the hotel.

Urinetown

Jack and I went to see a production by the American Conservatory Theatre of the play “Urinetown” which was quite good. The scene of the play is an allegorical town called Urinetown where a private company owns the rights to the public amenities, i.e. the bathrooms, of the town. The law prohibits relieving oneself anywhere except at one of these public amenities, so when the charges for using the facilities become onerous, a revolutionary movement takes hold.

Our tickets for the production benefited an organization called Center for Policy Analysis on Trade and Health (CPATH), which struggles to prevent water system privatization. We joined the CPATH staff for dinner beforehand at a pleasant Indian restaurant with an indoor fountain called Mela Tandoori Kitchen.

Visiting Seattle: Family, Longhairs, “Hair,” and Boom

I’ve been visiting Seattle since Wednesday and will return home tomorrow.

I got to meet my two new baby nephews, born within a week of each other to my sister Jen and my sister-in-law Erika. Their names are Zach and Sam.

I’ve started up picture galleries for myself and some of my family members:

http://www.willdoherty.org/gallery/albums.php

http://www.alexbenton.org/gallery/albums.php

http://www.zachbenton.org/gallery/albums.php

http://www.samdoherty.org/gallery/albums.php

http://www.erikawalther.org/gallery/albums.php

http://www.rickdoh.org/gallery/albums.php

Hopefully, the rest of the family will start posting pictures too!

We had a good time celebrating Dan’s birthday and I had a pleasant lunch with my mother. I’ve been staying at my father’s place and he and I are planning to have lunch with my brother today, after which I’ll probably head over to the house where the rest of the family lives in the evening.

In addition to visiting my family, I met up with a bunch of queer longhairs here in Seattle. In addition to great meals at varioous restaurants and some bar hopping, we attended a great production of the play “Hair” at the 5th Street Theatre. I was crying throughout the performance of what is now a theatre classic. It seems particularly apropos in this time of U.S. interventions abroad, although parts of the play definitely are dated to the 60s era.

Thanks to Mike, Herb, and J. Steve for organizing a fabulous weekend of longhair events! It was good to meet Bryan from near Vancouver and to see Seattlite David Kerlick as well as Drake from Bend, O’er Again. :-)

I got a chance to meet a faerie named Boom in person… it was fun to get to know him better.

Cob on His Way

Cob left this morning to stay with Wolfie at Chaos house for another day before heading up to Wolf Creek to prepare for the faerie gathering there.

We had a good visit, at times a bit melodramatic, yet overall very enjoyable.

This morning before breakfast, we hung the second mask he gave me in the stairway mask gallery at my place. It’s a wonderful devil mask. I hope to create a theatrical production that can make use of that mask and the fire mask he also gave me. He’s trying to persuade me to take his puppet theater for the cost of materials, but I don’t see how we could transport it from Seattle to San Francisco. I’m surprised he doesn’t want to keep it around in case he gets the urge to do more puppeteering!

Last evening, we drank a Dutch chocolate liqueur called Vermeer and sang while both playing the piano together. I learned some Irish airs.

Earlier in the day we met in Berkeley and tried to walk to have a drink at the Starry Plough, but unfortunately it was closed when we arrived.

Cob has opened himself up to new forms of intimacy while with me, which was quite interesting and exciting. He’s growing in a lot of ways. I look forward to hanging out with him again soon.

Pagan Peace Surprise

Update: About 60 pagans and friends gathered in San Francisco’s Union Square today to wage peace and amplify love. Participants cast a circle, invoked the directions, and spoke from the heart about why the war in Iraq cannot be alllowed to happen. They handed out flyers and leaflets to passersby, some of whom joined the circle, and chalked a large circle and peace, spiral, and yin-yang symbols on the pavement, then filled them in with colored sand. Some local students who had walked out from their high school joined the circle. After channeling energy to wage peace and prevent war, they opened the circle and sang while sweeping up the sand to bring it to the ocean. “Ish ka la ma bood le la. La la e la. The ocean refuses no river, no river. The ocean refuses no river, no river.”

See pics on Indymedia at:
http://sf.indymedia.org/news/2003/03/1580064.php
——-
Today we’re doing a Pagan Peace Surprise as part of the March 5 Moratorium activities to wage page against a war in Iraq.

Monday evening I went to Black Cat house for the first time to help organize the Pagan Peace Surprise. It was about seven women, a faerie named Cougar who came because of a notice I forwarded to the local faerie email list, and myself.
We decided the action will include casting a circle and perhaps a spiral dance and that we will mark the directions using chalk symbols that we will fill in with colored sand.

One of the women organizers was Starhawk, who lives in that house. I admire Starhawk immensely for her politics and her writing integrating politics and spirituality, so it felt really good to have time to get to know her better.

I told her about the ballot propositions for participatory budget and for secession of San Francisco and she seemed interested, providing a suggestion about how to locate an attorney who might be familiar with the ballot process in San Francisco.

Everyone is marvelling about the fact that 11 million people protested against the war on Feb 15-16. It may be the largest protest ever from the human race. And yet the senseless bombing of Iraqi civilians may happen nonetheless. Let’s hope not. Perhaps this is just the tip of the iceberg with a major shift in global politics and economy about to take place. Let’s hope so. May that shift be toward empowerment of those who are disempowered and about dimishing inequalities of wealth and poverty while respecting the dignity and human rights of everyone. Peace now!