label – “led” for the fvp
That’s not a tree
that’s me waiting at
the bus stop
to the airport
to return back home to
California. On the third connecting bus, a man
with knife gets in my way and
hangs over drunk ; he brings danger
to the bus scene , and everybody but his friend seems to
relish – yum! I’m hungry in it!
on – the – bus,
but I’m not including myself
in this. His friend asks me
“where I was born” – I say loud, “where was I born?!?”
like a not quite excla-m-ation.
ex – claim – nation!
“I don’t know I fell
from the sky!”
but he’s nice, other-wise.
The Spirit Work Out Updated Movement
Short List as of 08.21.15
This list consists of mostly hand-focused movement.
1. Mixing the cauldron with each hand
2. Fanned hand over your face with each hand
3. one finger circle-ing, (any finger) all over body image
4. toe scrunches, as are done in any, relaxation wake up, technique but with your finger also
5. scrunch ball to fan each hand with repetition a few times, only (only with each hand as feels comfortable; if dominant hand is the only one that is comfortable with this movement; use dominant hand only)
6. toes or tip of shoes against the ground with each foot if possible. If can’t do this with each foot … then do the next movement, instead:
7. Fingertips to each leg or even arm, like petting your pet or an animal, but at an angle
8. hand wash with both hands; hands to face
9. one hand mixing over other hand; modified cauldron movement
10. open/close gauge with hands
The Four Interviews: Instead of an interview, another personal experience.
Upon somebody’s suggestion, I must share this personal anecdote about my only time on pilgrimage.
It has been my experience in life; that sometimes children of others, since I have none of my own; cling to me in way that is not always appropriate. I won’t say that I hate children, but since pilgrimage, it has turned into something close to hatred.
Here’s why: While I was on-pilgrimage, I was in shelters with mothers, specifically; on the women’s side with women, who had children. There is nothing that I’ve done, to pull people’s children away from them. But I’m just or at least was one of those people, as mentioned, that children just run up to; and sometimes cling to; and ask for me to take care of them.
Often the mothers in shelters I was in with, were, but not always: former criminals, prostitutes, and/or reported by social welfare type systems for abuse. This made things even more complicated, for me; since I’m not generally or at least prior-to pilgrimage; used to interacting in a close familial setting relationship, with this part of the American Population.
In one shelter, there were a group of kids, who kept asking to use my phone, and for money, and for me to watch them. Their mother rarely said anything, and I wasn’t sure what to do. I let them use my phone, and watched them in front of her, and in front of the staff; and in front of other shelter residents. But her kids kept hitting me, and asked to use my phone so much that I couldn’t use it. She would see them hitting me, and would send more of her kids my way. It was disturbing. But I still didn’t know what to do. Eventually that group left that shelter.
In another shelter; a woman had one of her children with her, a young son. He would run up to me, and jump up on my lap. He started to call me “mom” in front of her, and she started to get really angry. I was just uncomfortable; I hadn’t done for him anything particularly “motherly,” in my opionion; other than of course not toss him off my lap, when he jumped onto to it. She, his mother, started yelling at me repeatedly calling me horrific names; and putting down my intelligence; after he had started to, and whenever he called me “mom.” Sometimes we would return to the shelter at similar times; and he would wave to me, when he was with his mother, and say “hi mom.” I was never really sure how to respond. And her first response was always something like, “What! Did you he just call you mom, again?” And I was always like, “no or I’m not sure…” because honestly I’m still not sure; for all I know he could have been saying “ma’am.” I only think this because at another shelter, one of the kids, called me “miss;” so I figured it might be some other title with a “m” at the beginning.
Then, matters became worse, when his mother started dating one of my friends from another city; a city that was walking distance, from where we were staying. That friend of mine, came to our shelter, and started staying on the men’s side. It made things very complicated, because he started to involve me in their relationship drama; and told me about how he viewed her as being a terrible mother. I stayed out of it: their relationship and its drama, but it only ignited her fury toward me; because he would often ask to use my phone to talk with her; since she and I were on the same shelter side. I never said “no,” to her and him using my phone; and it forced me into contact with her and her kid, even more so. Though eventually the situation ended, with him moving out, and her moving to another shelter; and we ended on good terms. It was such a strange situation; that her kid had been calling me “mom” for months, and that because of this I had to be repeatedly insulted by her. Though she did eventually apologize to me for her repeated insults; I felt her apologies, perceptions, and even her relationships were not my business. Though (and again), she and I ended on good terms, because she nearly begged me for this; I distanced myself from my former friend who she temporarily dated; despite the fact that I had been friends with him, way before I had ever met her.
Uhm, it’s so odd to be put in a shelter situation with families, and be put down by them, even if they apologize. I feel like, it’s pressing on personal freedom to an extent that nobody would want to endure. It really demonstrated to me a lens of seeing into what people are really like in shelters. I wish it were the case that being in that situation, made all of us more grateful; but mostly I just saw terrible behavior, especially in one-state. Some of the things people in shelters said to me for no apparent reason, are things that I will remember for the rest of my life; in their level of abuse and just an attempt to step on somebody.
The Four Interviews: Pilgrimage Ow Line
A non-interview Personal Experience
by goura fotadar
Circa January 2014
In Knoxville, TN, I arrived while on-pilgrimage at a bus station; very early in the morning. I planned only to stay in Knoxville for a day, and visit some local places, and interview some local people; or at least speak with them, you know, just about any old thing. I had enough sponsorship to get there, frequent a few places; and also get on the bus.
However, the bus I came in on got to Knoxville, very early. Like around 5 am or something; it was still dark outside, and nothing was open. Also, I was like above exhausted. At that point in time, my cellphone … I didn’t yet have a free state phone for the income-less or something of that type of necessary accessory for that type living; and my phone from before home-out pilgrimage was still with paid minutes. In other and more clear words, I had a phone that was in service, something that I didn’t always have on-pilgrimage. The reason I mention this is obviously for safety purpose. Travelling without a phone, in the way that I did, almost proved to be dangerous. Fortunately though when you don’t have a phone, most local businesses will let you use theirs. I only mention this because there is so much going-on when you’re travelling sometimes on foot on-pilgrimage; that it always helps to have a rough idea of how you might be able to legally help yourself in a tough situation. I believe I’ve already written “stuff” about this.
But now the point I’m at: when I was in Knoxville, sleeping on a chair in the lighted bus station, waiting for the city to open: I was asleep, and all of sudden, because I don’t know how long I’d been there asleep; but it was almost or was light outside; and I woke up to a guy sitting next to me groping me, and a guy right in front of me, staring at me. I jerked awake, and when I opened my eyes glancing at them; the people groping at and staring at me; noticing what they were doing in the vision sense; I also looked around and saw the bus station attendant behind the desk, watching the whole scene. Wow, I wondered. I realize bus stations aren’t sleeping spots for those without shelter, but … I also don’t expect to be groped as others watch, and by strangers, and as I sleep.
When I jerked awake, they started insulting me. Then they started asking me out, and asking to use my things. The two of them. Though it was light outside, I didn’t quite feel safe leaving yet. When I tried to leave the station, they started following me. I talked to them but minimally, and I was trying to leave. Then one of them as I finally did leave the station got randomly picked up by a car. It seemed sort of unbelievable, since he hadn’t made a phone call to get picked up or anything. Especially the location where he was picked up. It was a random spot down the street from the station, where I had been walking, and he had been following me to. I was trying to get downtown. The other one, started following me further, and told me that I was naive. Finally when I approached downtown, where there were more people, the guy that had not been picked up, left from following behind me.
I went on with my day, and met some people around that area. I tried to seek sponsorship then, because now I feared that I might not have enough money for bus fare; since I had bought some food and refreshments having gotten hungry; at a local cafe. Unfortunately, there was no place to get sponsored from; unless, the local people that I met, told me; unless, I waited a night. I didn’t want to do that so I hoped I had enough left for fare now.
Being homeless, I find out now is not the same thing as having your shelter threatened.
The worst thing about being homeless is not the fact that you are at a shelter, which is hard enough as it is;
but to repeatedly be told that you are going to be without shelter soon. I’m not sure why we have this shelter system in our society, and it is really hard on people who are homeless; whoever they are. At least I can say that it was really hard on me. And since I currently stay with my family, and live without an income; it is still really hard on me. They are continuously threatening me for not doing enough work, and then threatening me for doing work. Often yelling about how my work is pointless or something much worse. It’s a very odd situation to be in. In some sense, I never left my first pilgrimage; and in another, I wonder if I will ever.
When I returned to the bus station, later in the evening, and was waiting to get on a bus; out of Knoxville. I started doing some research on bus fare, and found that if I purchased the on-line rate; I had enough to get further, and not so otherwise. However, I only had cash. The online system seemed to require a card, and that was not an option for me … (on-pilgrimage; I had to be sponsored everywhere I went, and didn’t have any monetary security system of my own other than of course sponsorship.)
Unfortunately, for me, fate and my decision process had something much worse in store for me; but at least survivable. One of the guys that had been following and staring at me earlier, re-appeared just as I was trying to figure out what to do about fare. Stupid me, I spoke outloud so that he could hear, and he offered me an exchange for ticket fare. It’s not illegal as it might sound; but I’m still not sure why I believed him. Everything was terrible right then, I was stranded somewhat in a bus station, because I chose to eat a meal, and couldn’t procure sponsorship that would get me out of there; plus I only had a small amount of cash left, something like $20. I think really I left the station and accepted his option of his friend who is a woman accepting cash from me, and using her card to pay for the ticket which cost something like $12 in the on-line fare system; because I was more concerned that he would not leave me alone that night if I had to wait there, (until I got sponsorship). I think the ticket price not online was something like $28, and it was not going to get me very far. (Had I not eaten, I would have had enough.)
It was very worrisome, I felt like there was a greater power at work, and I wondered how he knew when I’d be back at the station; and that I’d be worried about fare; like this was the most opportune time for him to get me under his wing, so that he could attack me.
I guess as I walked out of the station with him, I knew that something bad could happen to me; but I thought it was worth a try to get a bus ticket out of there. I literally spotted nobody at the station, that I could approach for help. I walked out with him for self-protection as odd as that sounds; this way, I thought, quickly; he would leave me alone, and stop following me; it was greatly noticeable to me that he had invested now close to 15 hours or so, in following me, in Knoxville near the bus station; and until now with minimal contact from me; and I also did it out of desperation, the bus station wasn’t giving me the safest vibe, and I just did not want to wait there overnight, even if I could have.
When I got outside, the woman his friend he introduced me to, I shook her hand, but now can’t remember her name. She was in her car, and she had a child in the backseat. It was a very odd situation that had only gotten seemingly more dangerous and stranger. I wondered how I would get out of it. But first I continued on with my plan, and the offer to exchange cash for a charge on her card; i.e., a bus ticket that I couldn’t afford without the online: card-needing fare, price.
I handed her more than the cost of the ticket, and at that moment, I looked down at my suitcase. I did this because he seemed to be about to put it in the backseat. I never agreed to go with them anywhere. So of course, this was something that alerted me to what could were their dangerous plans for me. As I did this, the guy that led me to the car with his “friend”, grabbed my wallet out of my hand: it had in it my driver’s license, social security card, and even I think, birth certificate; among other things, such as, a triple a(aa) card, etc.
He said as he grabbed the wallet out of my hand, “Bitch! get away from my car.”
(I’ve since fictionalized a version of this actual happening.)
He also shoved me really hard, and I fell onto the ground. When I got up, I shrieked in his face. He was physically taken aback for what seemed like a moment. He then got into the passenger seat, and they drove away, (with the child in the backseat), and all of my identification (in my wallet), and now with him. (It was essentially a travel wallet.) The woman, and child gawked at me, as she drove them away. The way that she pulled of that parking lot, and how I was backed up into it;
this is a parking lot associated and almost right next to the bus station, made me think that she was considering hitting me with her car. She nearly did, but just as she did I back jumped onto a fence of wire right behind me. It sounds like a scene from a movie, but it was my real life. I knew then they wouldn’t come back for me, ever. I guess I couldn’t tell you this if you were a cop, but I just know; they’d be gone forever from my life forever. How odd, because I don’t know any of these people, in fact; that was the first and only time I have ever seen them.
Immediately after, as they drove away; I tried to get the license plate of the car; I wanted to photograph it with my phone, but wasn’t quick enough to do so. I remembered something about the guy that robbed me, (with assistance); that he had mentioned to have just gotten out of jail that same day. I however when I heard this in passing, didn’t know how true it was. A lot of times, in shelters; though this wasn’t one, people would tell me that they were criminals, and sometimes I think it was true; but other times, I wasn’t so sure. Also he had been following me since so early that morning, he would have had to get out before the morning hit. So again, I wasn’t sure how true it was. But I called the police because of being robbed, and filed a report; right outside the bus station. Since I had been robbed I didn’t even have the cash that I had before, and of course I had no identification. So just as I had finished filing the police report, a guy stood outside of the bus station; asked me about my robbery, and handed me $40; more than enough to get on the bus; and to another better part of Tennessee. After I paid for my ticket, I started reporting all of my identification by using the internet access on my phone; and I reported it as being stolen, online. I got immediate email notification that the identification had been reported as missing to for example the Social Security Bureau, the California Department of Motor Vehicles, etc.
It was crazy. Crazier still on another part of my pilgrimage, when things had been more settled in terms of travel, was that my phone got stolen, by another guy following for this time two day; I’ll have to tell more of that story later. But with gone were all of my pictures (almost all of them), of my pilgrimage.
I wonder about the people that robbed in Knoxville. I wonder if they often hang out at that bus station, which is one that has no security; when I was last there. I wonder if they hang around, and rob people; especially women, who pass through.
Updates / Pilgrimage Notes for The Fictional VolunTier Project
by Goura Fotadar
I haven’t had a chance to post on this blog;
because I’ve been working on a transcribing project, associated with a volunteer Project I work on; it is take-ing me forever. It has taken and is take-ing so much of my time;
that I’m even behind on some of my fiction; not to mention my other volunteer project-related work.
But it has also given me some time to reflect and re-organize this project, and I’m realizing for example The Write-Up of The Four Interviews is far from over. There are so many more people I want to interview. On top of that, I am feeling a little bit claustrophobic; having been back home for nearly a year now. So I have another planned pilgrimage, where I can actually not just have oral consents to interviews, but written consents to interviews. There are people I missed out on interviewing the first time (around).
But we’ll see what happens.
For example, I had a rough plan the first time (around).
If I go again, I’d like to have a more defined plan (This time around).
QUOTES From “AMERICA’S
WOMEN … ” BY GAIL COLLINS
” AMERICA’S WOMEN / WOMEN AND ABOLITION
(184 – 185)”
(1) from p. 184
“The overwhelming impression of the lives of most plantation wives is of isolation … Considering how fragile women were presumed to be, planters left them alone on remote farms among hundreds of slaves with stunning impunity.”
” WOMEN AND ABOLITION (187)”
(2) from p. 187
“Like many of her fellow Southerners, she disliked the institution yet wanted the service. But on the subject of sex, her intense feeling was uncomplicated. The most famous remark in her diaries was that every Southern lady ‘ tells you who is the father of all the mulatto children in everybody’s household, but those in her own she seems to think drop from the clouds, or pretends so to think. ‘ ”
The Hair on Ripping: They Are From Here / A Difficult Topic
by Goura Fotadar
I’ve been in academic-centered courses, where even in the Modern Day (as in now); people shirk the responsibility of speaking their views on this difficult topic. No matter how many representations I have read or Scene (not a typo.) of this / on this topic; I feel as though I will never know …
Personally, I think these quotes from this text, representing some, or a few of women’s perspectives; regarding this difficult topic, and also from the point of privilege, are those worthy of
For example, in the first quote, we hear about the difficulty of running a plantation for “wives” alone. But there is no seeming conscious acknowledgment of the bizarre existence of unemployed–employment and /or more severely put : slavery. The only acknowledgment that is demonstrated is something like a denial, if not in fact an actual denial; and is done so perhaps through the word “impunity,” at the end of the first quote. From this word’s use, it almost seems that women are used to escape at least the internal ramifications of, by men slave-owner-ship. But and because of this perhaps again, women are still involved in this topic.
The first quote describes the apparent concept of running & the experience of doing so, a plantation alone; an experience as for women /wives, and that this is one of gender inequality, or so it can be surmised. But the further-ing of inequality; i.e., slavery is
inequality : marriage to a plantation man and /or slave-owner; can mean in this case either the consent-to or forced into consent-to not just supporting, but also again furthering slavery; with the simultaneous, (and perhaps? potential), experience of aloneness in running a plantation with slaves; and in either (again), a forced consenting-to or an independent consenting of being, what might be called, the unjust employer and /or unjust boss of slaves.
For even a slaveowner and /or plantation “staff”
, who treats slaves
is still at least
something like an unjust employer and /or unjust boss:
From the second quote, we can hear again about the double-standards as they apply in this case to a woman of privilege; and
despite even the man / woman gender inequality. Here, there seems to be the enthusiasm of informing about the progeny of men / slave owners /plantation “staff,” outside of their marriages; and then the denial of this,
marriage; and despite her own enthusiasm, for this sort of information passing.
And now of course we are hit with many things; among them:
that many children
were born into this system of inequality
and injustice; and by fathers who may
The last line in the second quote, though
describing a convenient explanation; though certainly supernatural in analysis; whether meant this way or not; is that which describes these children;
as being from
think of birds
& other air
but of course
in “the clouds,” is a
suggested, but who knows,
if an accurate concept of
for those that
think with a supernatural bent; and then
the entire thing
difficult; because it is implied even if only initially
meant as a method of escaping, the: what-is
actually taking place; and in this case from a woman’s perspective, also:
that children at least
are but from
400 YEARS OF
DOLLS, DRUDGES, HELPMATES, AND HEROINES. (By)
Collins, Gail. First Edition. (2003.) HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.
New York: NY. ”