Saturday, October 27, 2007

Half-Sick of Shadows & Taking Action

I went to bed one evening and literally awoke with the following quote in my head:
"I am half-sick of shadows."

In my morning haze, as body and brain race to catch up to the start of day, I couldn't figure out where that line came from until I realized it was from Tennyson's poem, The Lady of Shalott. (Trust me, it's been many years since my college Victorian poetry class.)

It is a pivotal moment in the poem where immediately after the Lady of Shalott sees the knight, Lancelot and decides to break free from her closed world where she has only watched the outside world through the reflections of a mirror, never participating in real life only resigned to weaving a tapestry of what she sees in the mirror. Her decision to do so does not end well, but curse be damned- she had to take action and participate in reality.

Point is I woke with this quote which besides not recognizing it right away, I had no idea why it was relevant to my life, until a few days ago...

With all the outrage over the stray dog used as art, I set up an online fundraising page so that everyone could turn their outrage into real action to help strays in Central America: http://www.firstgiving.com/centralamericanstrays
There was a day when I had 5000 visits, if all those people donated $1, we would have already raised that amount to help The McKee Project, a nonprofit that works with strays in Latin America: http://www.mckeeproject.org/founders.htm
I have a few other ideas about putting together a fundraising event in NYC to raise money to benefit this charity and another charity that would help the poor in Nicaragua, though I've never put together an event before but it's like producing a photo shoot but on a much larger scale and a lot of begging for sponsors & donation which I have no qualms in doing so because it's for a great cause. Might be in over my head, but I have to try.

Anyway, besides this fundraising event idea, I had received a comment from Emma who had advocated compassion for all including the "artist" who used the stray dog as his "art". The comments were getting extremely nasty & ugly and I admit that I too wished ill to all those that did nothing to help the dog. I was thankful that Emma reminded me of compassion. I was led to her blog: Vincent's Left Ear where she inspired me with her compassion & dedication to rescue a dog who had crawled off to die. It was amazing and inspirational. I want to help Emma setup a shelter in Dharamsala to help strays. I have always given to a number of charities, but it is absolutely amazing when you can see the immediate effects of your donation because Emma is just starting out. You can donate on her page to bring immediate aid.

So the relevancy of the quote, "I am half-sick of shadows, said The Lady of Shalott.", cries out to me that it is was good for me to give to charity but that was easy & comfortable for me to do so- now I have to take the bigger step and do what I can to the fullest extent. I need to jump right in and do what I can to actively make a difference which means use my voice, my connections and raise as much money as I can to empower amazing people like Emma & The McKee Project to continue their inspirational work.

There was so much negative criticism from idiots in reference to my stray dog as art post, where people said what's the point of signing a petition or blogging about it and further accusations that we just sit behind our computers and do nothing- the point is that blogging brings awareness and which in turn starts a movement which starts the winds of change. It also connected me to someone halfway across the world who inspired me to want to do more.

Okay, enough proselytizing- this week, I went to produce shopping at The Greenmarket at Union Square. I need to work on buying from local NY farms & organic, so a quick subway ride downtown with three tote bags in hand- veggie shopping I go.

Goose neck gourds- strange...

I'm such the city-girl, I had no idea that this is how brussel sprouts grow- on a stalk!

Alien-looking Romanesco cauliflower...

Gorgeous heirlooms...

Local flowers in season...

Amazing eucalyptus...

Here's my stash of collard greens, giant bunch of carrots, sun-gold cherry tomatoes (they taste like candy), brussel sprouts, big tomatoes and a bevy of apples (two giant green Mutsu/Crispin, four Golden Supremes- so pretty with that slight blush and my new favorite- Honeycrisps, which are the crispest, yummiest apples ever and only in season now!).

From my goodies, I made spicy pasta with collard greens, tomatoes & some Lightlife sausage:

an Asian inspired carrot slaw of apple cider vingar & liquid aminos, crushed peanuts & carrots (I do not have a mandolin, so the potato peeler had to do...):

Brussel sprouts with garlic, lemon & spelt breadcrumbs...

Marinated tempeh with onions & red pepper...

All served with a side of quinoa/flaxseed oil and a big dollop of siracha hot sauce...

There was also a shoot this week, I stopped by to visit with an ulterior motive- yummy cupcakes around the corner from the studio...

Yumminess in LES (Lower East Side)...

Babycakes, vegan bakery...

Rushed home to have this treat- glass of soymilk, little brownies & cupcakes (lemon, carrot, vanilla and chocolate) and no, I didn't gobble down the entire plate...

Just a closeup of yummy, moist cupcakey goodness:

We still haven't gotten to trap Jack, but hope to get to do so this week. Here are some pics, he looks a little better and he even cleaned himself in front of us which is a good sign!


And here are a few pics of things that I love about NYC...
Lions & choir boys singing as Columbus looks on:
Art driving past us on 6th avenue- a piece from Richard Serra on it's way somewhere...

And finally, how Booboo relaxes at the end of a long post- laying out on the couch with the latest issue of VegNews.
I am thankful for everything that I have been given.

12 comments:

stonielove said...

what a powerful post! i'm terribly sorry to hear that there were people out there who took time to send you negative comments about such an important issue you raised (which, i just read - it broke my heart!). i am inspired how well you took them and focused on the positive, though.

i enjoyed all the photos you posted, and it's wonderful that you are so thankful :)

VeggieGirl said...

my goodness, vko, you never cease to amaze me with your powerful messages, posts, and stories - you truly are an inspiration, and don't EVER let anyone (especially negative commenters) tell you otherwise!!

I hope Jack will be okay!! And on a happier note, those cupcakes look divine - you SHOULD have eaten everything on that plate, haha.

by the way, I read your comment on my blog - the plate is NOT from the vegan dish set, but oh well, haha. oh and it's green, not blue :0)

The Little Vegan said...

I was in NYC this past week for two days with my dad, and I saw the same choir statues!

You're so lucky to live in New York; hopefully I will have more than two days next time I go there and I can meet up with you!!!

Those cupcakes look divine.

Good luck with your fundraiser; I, too, am in the process of starting a fundraiser to raise money and awareness for those who can't defend themselves (I'll be posting on my blog about our first fund-raising event hopefully sometime later this year).

the little one said...

Very sorry to hear you had negative commenters on the starving dog posts. That is pretty surprising. I think you're right - blogging is doing something. (plus, you're obviously doing much more.)

Jack - so glad he's looking better! He's very lucky to have you looking out for him.

Farmers' Markets - love 'em!

Thanks for the great post.

Pink Theory said...

vko, you are simply an amazing person! I wish you success on your fundraiser. Had you not blogged about the starving dog, I would not have learned about the situation so I definitely think blogging brings awareness. I was able to send that story to several of my friends who also wouldn't have known otherwise. I'm sorry that you had to deal with negativity about it.

The produce pictures are beautiful and all your food looks mouthwatering. I have never cooked with brussel sprouts before, but your dish makes me want to. And I'm completely jealous about the vegan cupcakes!

Also, nice to see an update about Jack...he's such a cutie. As is your Booboo all spread out and chillin! :-)

Village Vegan said...

I for one just want to tell you again how inspiring I find all your efforts for animal protection. I'm sure that if you were to organize some sort of fund raising event it would be terrific.

Your produce looks so good. Mmm. I miss the NYC Greenmarkets :-( That spicy pasta looks especially tasty right now...I just might have to try to duplicate it.

I guess the Richard Serra exhibit at the MOMA must be over...but it's cool you saw his work driving down the street. Such a NYC moment.

Ashasarala said...

I admire you so much! It's people like you, with your heart and mindset, that really keep this crazy world from crumbling!

I really love that quote. The story reminds me of the Mists of Avalon a little bit- one of my favourite stories.

It's definitely a strong idea to live by.

Thank you for inspiring me. I'm so happy I found your blog!

reiskeks said...

About the donation widget - could you use the widget the charity in Dharamsala has for themselves? It allows credit card AND PayPal, for all those, who could possibly give the 1 dollar, but never can have a credit card... The are millions of people who cannot ever have a credit card, but PayPal is available even for people with debts or students or living on social welfare...

bazu said...

I'm actually amazed at the power that blogging has- to raise awareness, create community, spread information, and cultivate compassion. Don't ever let people tell you that you're not doing enough, because those are the types of haters who are doing even less. Your awareness raising, fundraising, and now plans for another fundraiser are inspirational, and as you said, are having real material effects in real life. Don't let anyone detract you from your mission, I know that we and the animals thank you.

And thank you for the greenmarket and NYC photos- you know those always bring a smile to my face. I've never been to Babycakes!

Have a great week, and hope to see you soon! *hugs*

urban vegan said...

You're such a good soul--you're living the change you want to see in the world. And actions make change, not words.

Bless you, VKO, and all the animals out there who do not have a voice. Thank you for speaking up for them.

Please let me know if you need anny help whatsoever.

XO

laura jesser said...

Blogging is an amazing tool and being active raises awareness and helps spur others on toward action... so I am thankful that you have found yourself "half-sick of shadows." You really have a way of bringing light to the most poignant, heart-wrenching issues, and I admire you for that.

It's funny, but I just recently read that poem--and that is the quote that has stuck in my mind. So moving...

Melody Polakow said...

Oh Bobo... you look so incredibly happy and relaxed.

Looks like you are winning the kitty in...

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...