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Rasta Forum Archives => Rasta Forum Archives 2008 => Topic started by: surfmon_I on October 29, 2008, 10:34:21 AM

Title: surfmon goes to Washington
Post by: surfmon_I on October 29, 2008, 10:34:21 AM
 Greeting Beloved Sistren and Bredren.
Thought I would share a trip with the I dem.  I think of it as a means to sharpen writing skills and share a story.

  Recently our family traveled by train from Vermont to Washington DC to spend a few days in the United States capitol with our two girls, Grandmother and nephew.  Granmere and nephew were to return to Europe at the visits end and we to our Green Mountians, back to school and work, setteling in for the approach of winter.
  It is only when one removes themselves from daily routine that we get the chance to explore and practice the person we have become in our home environment among a completely new and different world.  It would be both a pleasure and an honor if I could share the experience and thoughts that crossed I mind as we spent these four days together among so many.
  As it is with any trip, we begin with the preperations at home.  Tickets, reservations and guide book in hand, we clean the house and close the door on the familiar, stepping our first step to a journy into the unknown and unfamiliar.  Each with a case of what we think we may need, we proceed to the train station sitting on old straight~backed hard wood benches in the quaint and dated station.  It was cold that day and we welcomed the warmth as nephew and I took out the ukuleles and strummed softly while we waited.  The gils wandered about looking and playing in the single floor station house.  It is amazing how punctual the trains run.  Not like the airport at all in this manner or the or the fact that there is such wonderful freedom of movement, one feels the means of travel from a different era. The train arrived at the station on time and in a short while, we we on our way for the 11 hour journey.
  We were thankful for the leg room and ease of movement.  As the train made its way to NYC it picked up more and more passengers of all types, pointing out how very remotely we live.  I am always excited to go to a city, for it is like going back to a world I was born into,the Bronx, and memories come back of childhood encounters, smells and faces taht take on a new meaning in a different time.  We are a few days away from a Major change in this Country, and I was curious what vibe we would encounter in this new city at the center of the Nations Political machine.  When we finally arrived at Penn Station, most people got off but it filled up just as fast.  Seeing the signs for the Long Island Railroad, I thought of my family out on the Island but knew we were on our own journey, and they in their own world...and we were on our way again.
  Washington DC was the last stop for the train and we disembarked into Union Station, a Gran terminal of vaulting arches highlighted in gold trim and recessed pannels. The vastness of the terminal is impressive and one is taken instantly into a era of past days where train travel was the norm.  it is still visible in the architecture and ornamental railings.  we quickly exited the station opting to take a cab to the hotel, leaving the negotiation of the Metro for daylight hours.  A city is a city, and a hotel, a hotel just like any other, so no surprise when we opened the door to our no smoking room to smell, yep, cigarette smoke.  It was pretty strong too, and it is always amusing to us how the girls react to the smells of the city by covering their faces and making sounds like UGGGG!PEWWWWWW! :[  . We were tired and slept well.
  Day two began with breakfast in the small cramped room with not enough seats for the people staying at this "Quality Inn".  Hotels are very expensive, especially in DC, but we got an affordable rate.  There were many types of people staying at the hotel and smiles are an easy currancy.W e began our trek to the Metro alongside a major highway during rush hour.  I was happy I brought my hat, it not only serves to cover, but it was cold and windy that first day.  Normally when with the family I do not wear this hat as it is for work and the wife does not think hats sit well on I head, but it is really the only indication of Rasta that one would see.  I was eger to meet anyone wearing the colors. As we walked in our new surroundings, trying to focus the girls to city life and traffic hazzards, we arrived at the ticket machine after only minor wandering in the wrong direction.  We were aided by the man in the booth as to the operation of the machine we would need to use for the next couple days.  Soon we were on the platform, waiting for the next train,post rush hour rate, and on into the city.
  I am always facinated by city life, and Washington seemed rich in the essence of this.  I noticed many African Americans wearing dreads, but they seemed tended to, more fashion then natural.  Still, I remained optomistic that surely I would meet and see what I sought, the culture being so vastly different from the small wooded mountian area where we live in the northeast.
  Walking the "Mall" in Washington DC is a long trek.  From the Capitol building to the Washington Monument to Lincon's Memorial all the way to Arlington National Cemetery (and back) huge colonaded buildings and Museums line the corridor.  Steeped in History, Art and tourists, I was thankful we chose "off season" to visit. I think when anyone visits some place different, we imagine what it would be like to live there.  Observing workers and attitudes, interacting and reacting to the ever changing environment, we can see what it may do to a person in their eyes.  I must say that we had a wonderful experience with all the people we encountered and engaged.  I suppose it may be in the respect one may show in the way they approach being in anothers city, picking up trash, teaching the children of the tings that surround them as they plod thru, getting tired of walking, giving spare change and the occasional dollar to those in need, that we managed to have such a great experience in a city which has the Higest crime rate in the States (or so I am told).
  I am not sure how much of this the I want to read, or how in detail to go or how much will fit in a thread, I have never really written like this for anyone else. I will reflect on the lessons and expectations and try to condense them.  As Bredren Nepsis shared the story of St. Mary of Egypt, he needed to up the thread, but I will post it here and add to it later if that is ok.
  Many Thanks for taking the time to read this recounting of such a rich experience.  More to come.
Title: Re: surfmon goes to Washington
Post by: moses on October 29, 2008, 12:21:16 PM
Greetings of Love brethren steve...

Reading all of this is like Iman have been with you all around the trip... Thanks for sharing ur trip memories and life.

Will love to hear more of ur trip, Iman had never been to Washington DC so me see it thru the I's eyes. bless

JAH love
Title: Re: surfmon goes to Washington
Post by: NyaInIJahLove on October 30, 2008, 06:56:33 AM
Blessed Love I Irie Bredren
I am enjoying the tour with the I's and happy to catch up wid cha both !!!!!
I too am just back from first time away from i village in 7 yrs
without I family tho (although I found a bigger one)
have just been on Merrijibah Island also known as Stradbroke Island performing at a ONEJAHFUL reggae festival
we did manage to have our vibes filmed and as we were the first reggae band of the three day festival and as I was singing with I elder 63 yr old LoversRootsRockReggae foremost QUeen of Aus reggae Jima King
I felt absolute honour n awe at the blessings to be able to add I energies
so much love dreadlocks goodvibes dolphinswhales crucial vibes all types beach jamming everyting nice
anyways, not to HIGH jack da thread wid I story
Itinue on I brudda Surfmon
love yah vibes as always
and I ave recently met a crucial Ras Sis on line who resides in Washington, another awesome Trini Empress
by the name of Hailemah Solomon Timeless
moreLove iverytime I bredren n Sistren
your foreva in Jahlove Nyah I
Title: Re: surfmon goes to Washington
Post by: surfmon_I on November 01, 2008, 01:02:12 PM
Many Thanks Moses and Nyah for the Loveful support.  I am working on more of this story now and have come to the point that all the thoughts which come to I from I are a Ivolution and there is a lesson to be learned .   It is like a story book time for InI .  All the stories we have read, been told and absorb reach us all in differing ways.  I am very cautious of prattling on too much of I own perspective, and try to encourage this method of expression. 
  I am happy that it has value to others and acts as an exercise for I to try not and veer off point  (too far), so lost I can get in the side paths that the main point stands a chance of being lost.  Such is the instantaneous way of fluidity from moment to moment.   
Posted on: November 01, 2008, 12:08:09 PM
~~~and more, 
  We began our tour at the domed Capitol buiding, a masssive gleeming white structure which was being worked on and the towering steps that Senators and Congress members walk up to get to work.  We snapped some pictures at the foot of the building where there are a collection of bronze monuments to the Civil War and a large field of water contained in a knee high wall.  Active scenes of battle, with coldness being the dominant theme, I am struck with that so much of this nations history is steeped in the conquoring of other peoples all in the name of freedom.  It is an irony that I see and feel very day.  The suffering of these people and the animals caught in conflict is broad and obvious in the bronze moment.  I focused ,instead, on the four Majestic Lions which guarded the site at the four corners. In many ways I see Iverthing through the lens of Rastafari.  At the core of who IandI is, we are one and I want to see how many act and feel this way as we meet.  I supposed this is expectation #1.
  The Water in the pond was jumping as the wind whipped the surface, and the theme of this morning would be to keep in the Sunshine.  Moments of calm heated our bodies, and we began the long walk down the mall corridor with the towering obelisk which is the Washington Monument. I had ourr youngest daughter stand with her hand outstretched and flat to make one of those playful pictures that seem like she is holding the structure in her hand. Later, she would pinch the top of the Capitol building in the same manner from the opposite end.  We stopped for a rest on the benches that line the rectangular pedestian walk way, sitting in the sun watching joggers in shorts on this chilly morning.  Guide book in hand, we identified the building and spoke of their functions, Art and the building of the Capitol. Figuring out how and what we would see.
  Reaching the Monument, I spoke of the similarity in asperations of societies errection of such structures, Egyptian comes to mind first, and also other in Ethiopia, even thought of the Tower of Bable ~ society reaching upward to unite heaven and Earth in a human construction.  We would be able to climb to the top of it, such as the Statue of Libery, World Trade Center Towers (in past) or the Empire State Building. We chose to keep walking.  There was one picture I snapped worth mentioning.  It was after we walked around the obelisk and looked back, standing next to an old knarled tree, I took a shot of the tower half lit up in sparkling white marble, the other half in the shade.  At the base, a ring of American flags ridgid in the stiff breeze and brilliant in crisp colors.
  The next attraction on our walk is the WWII memorial and reflecting pond. There was a ceremony of old vetrans, mostly in wheelchairs, gathered for the cameras while a soldier played the long solomn notes of Taps. It is hard to describe the conflicting feelings I have regarding this war.  In many ways, the men and women that serve their country and willingly put their lives on the line must be appriciated and honored.  But along with this is the obviousness that we, as a people, still find a way to fight instead of peace.  The countless lives lost, and still more lives affected is just beyond comprhension. To think any one Nation prideful enough to subject another to desrtuction only points to the baseness of what we as Humans are, not the Lofty goals and Inspirational statements that are carved in stone at the entry of ALL these buildings. Seemingly arrogant declarations that THIS Democracy will live for ever.  I think that this may only be true if we welcome ALL peoples, and are a part of collective effort to obliterate tyranny wherever it may rear its repulsive head.
  Walking along the reflecting pool, long and wide, which leads us to the Lincon Memorial these thoughts seep into our mood.  The children getting tired, but still able to go on because their ages are, 16, 13, 11.  Our minds tell us we are tired well before our bodies actually begin to feel it, we press onward the short distance to the Memorial that is stamped into the back of every penny minted.  At the base of this Greek style Temple, the well worn step are made of marble from Vermont.  Actually, Most of the marble we see in Washinton DC is marble mined and shipped from our home State far to the North.  The treads are actually cupped from the multitude of feet that have shuffled up this short mountian which memorializes this President which abolished slavery and was assasinated after the polarizing Civil War which tore this country in half.  Nephew asked why Washington was not memorialized in stead of Lincon, and I answered because this was a man with a much different purpose that the General who lead the Break from Brittish Monarchy rule in this newly founded country which displaced it's Native Americans both deceptively and brutally.  Lincon had the loftier vision that if all men are created equally, then slavery should not exsist.  It is a principal we are still trying to see to reality as the middle class shrinks and division pushes people to the fringes of society.
  Behind the Lincon Memorial is a long rectangular plaza, almost equal to the reflecting pond which is in front.  It is the site of the famous gaterings of people protesting and speeches given to a staggering number of supporters of past and present.  Beyond that is Arlington National Cemetery, but we had traveled enough for today, so we turned back and walked along the opposite side thru the Korean War Memorial.  These are lone figures of impressionist sculpture of life sized soldiers walking spread out on patrol.  As if frozen in time, dressed in their gear, we somberly walk next to them and onward to the National Air and Space Museum.  Along the way, we passed the Smithsonian Museum which is such a large collection of exhibits, it warrents a day unto itself.
  The Air and Space museum id something anyone could marvel at.  The facination with flight is something we can all imagine looking at the freedom of birds soaring above us with their delicate bodies and the view they must have, I think it has always been a fascination of humankind.  Of course, along side this lofty aspiration, as always, we find War.  The fighter jets along side the Apollo capsules.  The moon rocks gathered along side the missiles.  Curious this depiction of dreams and nightmares. Everyone scattered and were it not for the technological convienience of cell phones, it would of been the lost calls over the intercome speakers as in the days of I youth.  Everyone was a bit hurting in the hips from all the walking, we rested in a IMAX movie briefly where we saw the "Cosmic Collision".  A 360 degree dipiction of how this earth and our moon along with the scientific explanation of how it all came to coalesce.  Immediately, I thought of the ageless confliction with religion.
  To sooth ourselves we made our final stop at the Botanic Garden.  A beautiful place of vaulting glass walls and misting apperatus, we entered the warm environment and immediately stripped our outr layers of clothing off.  The day had been chilly and we welcomed the smells of Earth and Plants coexsisting in this hidden building.  I say hidden because the walss and all space is covered with plant life of rare sorts.  The sound of water filled the air along with Classical music, the girls said they would love to live right in there.  We saw and smelled many plants, but none were more powerful than the Plumeria.  A flower grown in abundance and ease in the Hawaiian islands, it istantly took wife and I back to our home on Kauai where we had many of these trees.  The building was closing just as we finished our tour, and we went to get something to eat across the street at Union Station, which is close to the Capitol building, where we started our day.
  Inside Union Station, which I have discribed already, there is a mall of a more typical type.  Shops line a upper and lower corridor, and we realized that it was difficult to find anything healthy to eat in Washington.  Really, there were no grocery stores, no natural food stores and even back at the Air and Space museum, the only food available was McDonalds.  we do not eat this type of food, so we has shakes and fries, but the distinction stood out that at least where we had traveled today, the water was chloronated and there was not much healthy choice of food to eat.  it was in this mall at Union Station that I saw the first person wearing the colors. A bredren with his hood pulled up walking solitary among so many fashion dreads.  I wondered why it was like this here, not more Rasta, but really, is the city a place for Rastafari?.  realizing the expectation earlier in the day, as we walked to the Hotel along side the busy commuters going home, I spoke with GranMere of this observation.  Perhaps tomorrow .
Title: Re: surfmon goes to Washington
Post by: Wahine on November 03, 2008, 04:05:14 AM
Wonderful to hear of your travel Surfmon.
There is nothing quite like leaving your safe surroundings for a foreign world! Believe me! I couldn't believe the way of the world when i first set foot in Los Angeles. I am definately not used to seeing people carrying guns and the monumental amount of people in one place! Fortunately the first people i ran into were very helpful and directed me where i needed to go. I have to admit that i don't think i would be in to much of a hurry to travel to Los Angeles again! Miami was okay but i never left the airport. Fort Worth was cold but people were friendly. So many flights to get from here to there! But so worth it! What an experiene!
Trinidad was amazing and sort of more like what i am used to. You know the crazy thing...Sistah Nyah lives in the next closest Island to me. I really should pack backpack and go visit! It's only a few hours away!
But so wonderful to hear of your experiences. Maybe next time i decide to get out of my comfort zone i may even brave the States again! I am hoping to visit Sis Vee in Canada next year which means either stopping in Los Angeles or San Francisco.
Perhaps we could start a central travel topic so all can share of their amazing journeys in life so others can be inspired.
Title: Re: surfmon goes to Washington
Post by: natty threads on November 03, 2008, 04:28:56 AM
Wow, surfmon.

Thank-you for sharing.

Much of the imagery in the capital relates to symbolism popular to express Roman domination. (Richard Maybury's Ancient Rome and How It Affects You Today is a quick read on the ideas and how they are expressed in the US's official architecture)


Your vibe-o-meter is well-tuned and functioning correctly.

Bless up!
Title: Re: surfmon goes to Washington
Post by: surfmon_I on November 03, 2008, 12:42:53 PM
Many Thanks Sistren, it is both a pleasure and honor. 
  Wahine~I was able to contact SistahVee, but the headset mic was not working.  How frantic I was to try and make it work, but her Sweet voice went unanswered.  We must get a new one and try again. Please keep us posted.
  Natty, I was out splitting HUGE stumps with wedge early this weekend, and was both short on story and time in the warmth of House.  Next weekend I should be finished with story and ont at 9am EST.
Title: Re: surfmon goes to Washington
Post by: paco on November 04, 2008, 04:35:13 AM

     such a wonderful story surfmon_I, i really injoy how u express urself bro. i am a grandfather and i also have a little 5 year old (dawta) that has never seen her dad drunk or loaded on drugs, thas important to me at this point in i life. so i injoy when u mention ur familia and the little ones. u sound like a fantastic dad !

Title: Re: surfmon goes to Washington
Post by: Wahine on November 05, 2008, 04:23:18 AM
I am so pleased you were able to get through and i know how much she would have wanted to talk to you! I will be speaking with her this weekend so will let her know that could get through. I will also keep you posted as to any developments. She phoned me a 6am the other morning and was very excited and vibrant. Sadly as it goes communicating is not always easy there!
Title: Re: surfmon goes to Washington
Post by: surfmon_I on November 05, 2008, 08:58:00 AM
  Many Humble Thanks, It has been a pleasure to put together these words which form a small snap shot of time and mind.  I am also Thankful for such a open and Loving fellowship, one in which the encouragement of finding self merges with respect of others views and together we find we are One.

  Our second day in Washington
 started after a solid nights sleep and the inability to access the cramped breakfast area.  Apparently today one needed the room keycard to enter along with ESP to know this for lack of a sign on the door.  The affect was people, one after another, try to get in and people eating, getting up to let them in.  This is exactly the type of inconsideration that is maddening, the lack of compassion at the expense of those willing to help because management wants to safeguard the food from homless entering and eating. As if it were a daily occurence with a steady stream of those in need passing the front desk to enter this cramped room to mingle with these tourists. 
  Walking along the noisy commuters on the Highway, today we entered a coffee shop and had a wholely different experience.  Smiles by the staff and friendly greeting and brief conversations came easily, and soon we were at the ticket machine once again to buy a full day pass for the Metro. Our legs were tired and we thought we could get to some places spread apart over some distance while resting a bit.  Emerging from the subterranian Metro tunnel, we heard the sounds of someone singing Stevie Wonder's "livin just enough for the city" and stepping into the Morning light I saw a Bredren with a Rasta hat set up and strumming by the Metro post that was also topped with the colors Green, Gold and Red.  What had started as a frustrating day was transformed withIn a short distance of time and travel to a completely different type of beginning.  It was amazingly warm compared to our trek yesterday, and we were going to the Spy Museum just across the street.
  Upon entering this museum, it was reflective and dark at the same time.  The children and I were to take part in an interactive "mission" while I wife and her Mother would walk through the exhibits while they waited for us.  We became part of team that was like an amusement park ride, being shuffled from set to set with tasks to perform and data to analyze to solve a situation that was staged.  Afterward, walking thru the museum, I was rushed because it took time to read the information at each exhibit, and everyone want to get going, so we went on to our next destination, Arlington National Cemetery.  This was an interesting choice for Nephew to choose, but using our Metro passes, we got on and off close to the White House so that we might have lunch and a look at the Home~to~be for President Obama and Family and then go tour the grounds of white headstones.  A cemetery is a strange place for a Rasta Bredren, Those having taken the Nazarite Vow, I couldnt imagine going to do what we were about to do.  But life is for the Living, and this detour was more a reflection of sheer numbers of people that participated in conflict.  We looked at the neat rows of stones symetrically set in peaceful order.  Names of families and symbols inscribed that hinted at affiliations with faith and orders.  We walked more than we thought we were going to, but it was a peaceful day and warm in its somber surrounding.  We mounted the hill where President John F. Kennedy, his wife and two small children are memorialized.  Just below and off to the side is his brother Robert Kennedy.
  The Impact of these two men alone has been with I for a lifetime.  What they stood for, in many ways, we are realizing today as we have just elected our Nations first African American President. The Era in which they fought  for Civil Rights has now been brought to our Today.  It is this I was speaking of to the children as we stood by the uneven ground and the perpetual flame that marks the Presidents spot.  I was touched by the questions our youngest daughter warmly asked of him.  She sat on the ground where we were off to the side and I snapped a picture of her with her head on her closed hand, deeply thinking of the things I had told her of the works he had done and the impact he had on the Nation and the World.  Behind her pose, just off to the side, is the flame that is always burning.  At his brothers memorial, a reflecting pond and a simple stone mark the spot of a man who picked up the pieces after his brothers assisination, only to carry forth the torch a short distance further until his untimely demise at the hand of yet another assasin.  This, coupled with the loss of Rev. Doc. Martin Luther King, sent this country spinning into darkness for 40 years.
  As we left these sites and made our way down the hill, before we left, I had to go into the lobby of the main building to read the piece of the man who played Tapps at JFK funeral.  A solitary cracked note was the trademark of what was previously a perfect record for the man.  A cracked note that had taken a life of its own , marking the passing and the emotion of our loss.  We walked back to the Lincon Memorial and onward to the VeitNam War Memorial.  Inscribed upon these collection of Black Granite slabs that rise up as we descend  on the walkway along side, are the names of all who died in the military.  As I write these words, and think on what it means to visit a place dedicated to those that gave their lives, I think of the Unimaginable pain thses conflicts have caused.  So many of them.  Our fighting and glorification of violence.  It is a brave new world that we must support.  The kind in which we live by example for the young ones we are raising.  The kind in which fear takes a backseat to faith as to what we are to be.  To this point, emotion has been low, mostly in an observation mode, going from place to place.  But the tears welled up , and I saw the same reaction of I wife when we saw the telepohone book sized listing of names and their location on the Monument.  It is a book under a piece of plexi~glass (to protect from the rain) but the sheer size of it is cause for shudder.  So many people!.  Our eyes welled up for the senselessness of it all.
  We stopped at an outdoor park to have some rest and feed the squirrels.  We had planned on taking the Metro to save walking so much, but had covered quite a distance on foot anyway. It was getting late, and we walked into the city to have some dinner among the many places that were beginning to light up with evening traffic.  Afterward, we walked back to the Metro and then on to the Hotel.  All would sleep well as our bodies sought the rest it needed for our final day.
Title: Re: surfmon goes to Washington
Post by: UKBlaza on November 15, 2008, 07:19:00 AM
Many thanks for sharing your experiences of Washington DC with one and all Surfmon. Respect for taking the time out for all of we.

I have always lived in the city Surfmon. London is chaos most of the time. It doesn't sound as friendly as DC though. Over here, everyone is on a mission for money or something. I dare say that folks who visit London every now and then see it differently to I though. If you stay in a hotel, at least they will be friendly towards you, and then you have all of the sites to see so it will be a better vibe. You describe your home with much love yeah Surfmon and by the sounds of it, you are lucky to live somewhere so beautiful, out of the rat-race. Boy, I would like to have a proper winter with loads of snow. Sounds nice and peaceful.

Yeah, big up what you said about the War memorials and that. As you know, we have just had Armistice Day across the World. The USA Generals were sending men to their deaths right up to and beyond the Eleventh Hour. Over 4000 American soldiers were killed in the last week of fighting inthe Great War. It can't be allowed to happen again. We are told to remember the dead, which is true. The people back then also wanted us to always remember the sheer horror of that war so that it didn't happen again. The conditions that the soldiers had to endure on the Western Front while they were alive were absolutely horrendous. They should show that documentary narrated by Lawrence Olivier, The World At War, to teenage kids in school, it was made at a time when the world was in dire straits, big time, and they had just endured WW2 so the message is clear.

When you see what man can do when we put our minds to something, if we keep it positive, anything is achievable.

Peace and love

Title: Re: surfmon goes to Washington
Post by: surfmon_I on November 15, 2008, 11:16:51 AM
Greetings Idren, Many thanks Bredren Blaza~ but the I has put together some Powerful thoughts since joining us and it is much Appriciloved.  Also, in this time since last posting, I have been thinking of a way to finish this last day that is just to follow.  I man have to give thanks to Bredren Higginz, for his wording of  "democracy is blasphemy" has lead to a culminative look back and forward having had Obama elected since we have returned and the implications of we moving forward and having elections behind us now.
    We awoke on our last day in DC
familiar with the environment and comfortable knowing that we had made the most of what we had come to do which was to see the Capitol city, Monuments and it-s Citizens.  Having experienced and started the previous two days in the Breakfast tomb, I chose to not even go down there.  Waiting instead for the charming small cafe that is just down the road before the Metro station.  Walking there this morning, I suggested we try a different route, a small and crowded side street which had loading docks and Oriental writing on the signs above the storefronts. The reason I secretly had to go this way was one of utility.  I have been in need of a new hat to find.
  I would like to take a moment to share the significance of this hat.  Four years ago, after the re-election of Bush, I chose to separate I self into the fold of Rastafari Culture.  This choice was not a decision in as much it is a direction.  To absorb the Nutrient of what JAH graciously provide in a way that is most different then the way main street culture live life.  Four years ago I went on a search to find a hat with the Colors that would serve to cover a sacred symbol of devotion.  The hat has served well, for in the few stores that had this type of hat to offer, there was but one in the bottom of a discount bin that "popped" out, as if it were waiting for I.  It has since faded and even gotten a bit tight, having been modified and extended, and even patched with a patch of The Lion of the Tribe of Judah atop the three rings that form the cotton head covering.  Yes, it was made in China which seems strange because this sort of thing I imagined should be made by hand rather than machine, but walking down this side street, on this last day in DC, most if not all the products I was seeing are made in China.  Walking into store after store, showing the hat I was wearing, none were to be found. The Family had gotten far ahead, but as I walked into the last store, there on the table were a wide choice of the very hat I was searching for.  I smiled as I bought 2 for 12$ and ran to rejoin the others, thinking of the mysterious ways we pick up vibrations and signals that we do not consciously register at the time but feel nonetheless.
  They could not believe I had found one, having been looking for so long, but were happy to be moving again.  Seems not all members of the family felt exactly comfortable on our little side street excursion and they were tired of waiting exposed as they were on the street.  The cafe was warm, and the group wanted to sit and enjoy the beverages rather than walk to the station with them.  The staff at this place recognized us and again we were engaged in free minded chit~chat flowing with the ease. As we departed, we mentioned how very much we enjoyed their smiles and attitude and that when we though of our trip, we would surely remember them as one of the many good things we had experienced.  It was not as sunny, but still just as warm as yesterday and we were heading to the National Gallery of Art where we would spend the rest of our morning between the East and West buildings viewing many different styles and periods of works along with the only Leonardo DaVinci in the United States.
  It is Western Art so to think of the representations and the frame of reference of the artists, it is Western.  Still, the works and brilliance of talent is amazing for a person to see.  Everything from cubeism to the brilliant clarity of Dutch masters and French impressionists.  Sculptures of such replication of human form, it amazes, this ability of Art to mimic. But within this artistry, I see the sides and fringes of society marginalized.  It is plain to see the perception that is accepted and tought to the next generation as absolute.  As these stories and faces point to the winners of History, the fading way of life can be glimpsed.  Paintings of Native American Indians hint to a Beautiful and fierce People that were displaced and irradicated by this machine of a Nation while at peace with their place in the world of The Great Spirit. Another exhibit was that of Roman emperors and Pompei which showed the richness and architecture of that empire.  To look at the busts of these men and think of the things they are said to have done, leaves one with the feeling of pity for the power that was wasted on the ego of these men and how it is perpetuated in the stories that live on and point to a perversion that is offensive to many I can imagine.  Children do not have a great attention span at these types of places, and I have a tendancy to goof around with them trying to keep them together, and interested.  We moved quiclky through in some spots, while there was also time to reflect and digest the massive collection of works.  We went outside to cross over to the other half of the museum for someting to eat at the cafeteria and look at the massive collection of books.  most of the day had been passed in the reflections of works and time period, we were going to go to the Smithsonian  Museum next, which really should require a day or two unto itself, but time being what it may, it was not enough to view everything.
  The collection of specimens and elaborate exhibits, along with the wealth of information could be overwhelming.  The greatjoy in this place is the look of the childrens' faces and the questions they ask.  The most important thing is to have fun in the learning, and we had plenty of that.  We topped off the evening with an IMAX movie of life on a coral reef.  If we stop and think about the state of dry land, it is almost probably inconceivable to imaging the diverseness and interdependent nature of the vast majority of this planets surface which is water.  Once the movie was finished we had to move out of the museum because it was closing time. A Happy guard led us to the coat locker room so that we were able to retrieve our things from this already closed section of the massive building.  As we walked, we spoke of how very enjoyable the three days had been getting to know this part of washington.  It was dark outside as we exited and walked slowly down the street toward the Metro.  Tonight we would return to the hotel rooms to begin preperations for our respective departures in the morning;  GranMere and Nephew back to Switzerland in the afternoon, Us back to Union Station at first light for our long trip back home to Vermont.  It would prove to be an interesting short space of time with trying to get there that early.
  I will add to this to finish up this week end.   JahLove.
Title: Re: surfblessingsmon goes to Washington
Post by: UKBlaza on November 18, 2008, 07:55:27 AM
Yes Surfmon,

Give thanks.

I hear what you say about the Romans and that. All of the worlds Empires and civilizations have encouraged ideas and progression towards a better life for everyone who lives under their rule. Some good stuff has resulted. I think that all of the badness happens because of bad karma. The British, Roman, French empires, etc, were all built on the back of a few people stealing the land from the people who had worked it for generations. Starting any journey in such a way is a sure sign that worse things are to come. Not a good idea, imo. I dunno what Karma is m8? Maybe the string theory boffins have got it right and everything is indeed connected on a quantum level? I do know that my actions, be they good or bad, always result in consequence. What comes around goes around and all that.

Thanks again bredren.

Title: Re: surfmon goes to Washington
Post by: surfmon_I on November 19, 2008, 11:47:32 AM
  As we approached the hotel
 for our final stroll together alongside the evening commuters in DC, arriving we entered the lobby to ask about arranging a taxi for our 6 am departure.  I was given the phone number of Idependent cab co. and I thanked the peaceful girl behind the glass encased office.  She had a special look about her with almond shaped eyes and slender features.  I would later come to find out  the next day, after we had gone, Gran Mere was to spend a very friendly hour with this young lady.  Learning that she has come from Ethiopia to work in this expensive city where she saved as much as she could to send back home.
  Having received this number, I called the company and was told to phone in the morning about 10 minutes before we wanted the cab to arrive to take us to the station.  It seemed good as we packed our things and our girls watched a tv program, their last for a while, having none of this sort of thing back home.  It is amazing how quickly we become accustom to routine.  Our hips had stopped hurting as the days moved on and we became accustom to the walking while the city seemed naturaly more familiar. We would have to say our good~ byes this evening to GranMere and Nephew, for the early hour and the rushed business of getting all things and members of our family together and on our way.  We went to sleep earlier than the other days because we had become bored with the constant repetition of commercials streaming~~~calling us to mindless consumerism and folly, as we watched Americas Funniest Videos.  This program I imagined is the last thing many people see before the lay their heads to rest.  It is mostly a program which things happen to people, which MUST be painful, an the observers watch and laugh.  It seemed Bizzar, having thses images in mind as we drift off to a place where the mind is free to wander while the body is recouperating for our next day.  I gave thanks that it is not a part of our daily routine.
  The alarm did not go off when it was supposed to, but as I awake most easily when there are things on the mind, it was not to be a problem. The weather had changed and was now raining heavily.  The string of problems/challenges began with the call to the Independent Cab Co. and the outrightly rude representative that both rushed the information and had no desire for I to be able to understand her speech.  Briskly hanging up, she had seemed too eager to rush off and left us in a sort of limbo, not having any direction as to when or how the cab would be picking us up to take us to Union Station to catch the amazingly punctual train whose departure time concretely crept closer.  Wife was gone from the room saying good bye to her mother and Nephew, while the girls grogilly shuffeled and bickered while preparing and dressing.  It seemed there were too many loose ends and not enough unity in our effort, for when I happened to look out the window there entered a cab, with the number I was told to look out for, sped into the lot, not stopping, but circleing the lot, and exiting.  Running down the stairs and into the street, shouting until the driver actually looked at me as he drove off, I thought that NOW we are in trouble.  Frustrated, but not out of patientce, we began to gather ourselves to the lobby while I asked if there are any other way to get a taxi .  Calling the Cab company that just wronged us only to have a message machine pick up, I simply stated that we all get what we give, and they shall recieve theirs, I hung up and sought a new approach.
  Two taxis entered the hotel parking lot, and actually stopped, but they were probably meant for others that had better luck in pre~arranging service, the one driver asked where we were headed, and hearing the train station, mentioned the van driver could take us.  Something did not seem quite right, with the way it almost seemed planned, it was just a little too convienient this other driver appeared and us out of both options and time.  Looking inside his vehicle, and not seeing any sort of meter, I was about to make a decision that could have a large impact on the safety of our family.  With not much time and pressure mounting, I looked into this man's eyes and remembered that I had seen him somewhere before.  It was actually in the lobby speaking to the breakfast attendant.  Knowing he had been there before and having spoken to him briefly, I decided to go ahead and take his offer to transport us to the station.  This time going was a bit different than comming, but it reminded I of the time I had spent in the front seat of the taxi of the Nigerian driver who had brought us to the hotel.  As I sat in the front seat with him, he spoke of his country and family, warmly sharing the nature of his children.  It was a pleasure speaking with him, and I took the same approach with this new taxi driver, which is a openess and faith in the people that we encounter are sent as angels from JAH.  Although the circumstance and moment seemed to suggest we needed to trust this man, we remained optimistically cautious.  As it turned out, we arrived at the station and had time enough that we were able to stock up on some food for our journey at a bakery that sold early morning coffee and warm bread. 
  Luggage in tow, we exited the bakery only to hear that our train was now boarding and we proceeded to get on , settle in and exhale.  We had arrived at our destination and there was a completeness to our resting.  We had come to the journey home and there was nothing left to do but enjoy our return and process all that had happened.  The rain had eased up to a steady grey drizzle as we settled in for the long ride home which would take us to NYC and then up the East coast.
  The East cost, where three ships landed from a foreign land.  From that point forward this land would not be the same.  Wherever these ships went they began the spreading of European Peoples that altered everything they touched. 
  We had gone to the capitol before the election.  We have since elected a new President and once again changed the face of these United States.  One can not go to Washington DC without thinking on Democracy.  WE THE PEOPLE.
  Originally, these States were a Republic.  A collection of Autonimous States that banded together.  Although they banded together, it did not mean that each State gave up it's individual laws, but rather much as it is today, held on to the characteristics of its people.  Eventually these differences polarized the North and South resulting in Civil War.  I was always of the impression that these United States are a Democracy, but having been married to a daughter of Europe, Language has always come to be very important in the meaning of what we are communicating.  Let us take a look at some of these meanings of words that are so often used when speaking of the lofty goals when people try to govern themselves in the name of freedom.
Republic;  A state where sovereignty rests with the people or their representatives, rather than with a monarch or emperor; a country with no monarchy
Democracy;  Rule by the people, especially as a form of government; either directly, as in Ancient Greece, or through elected representatives as in many modern societies (representative democracy).

  WE THE PEOPLE.  Has always meant that beyond these borders, people have dreamed of freedom to choose their way of life.  This is what has always meant to I.  There are those in this country that want to safeguard their rights, excluding these lofty ideals for others because they are not "American".  This is NOT a geographic concept.  Although the founding fathers were imperfect men of their time, I have always looked back at them as if heros.  To work together to fight for freedom is a lofty goal.  Many times when I have thought of the courage it must take to stand up to an oppressor of this magintude, that it would be hard to follow through.  Even to frame the Ideals of freedom from tyranny and apply them to all equally is an idea that must be something to grow into, not realized from one day to the next.  People are slow to change but posses the seed of Love withIn them.  Once this seed germinates, it takes time to grow.  There are many variables that may effect the growth, but ALL are part of the oneness that is GOD.  In this we see we are equal.  In this oneness, there rests freedom once we see it in anothers eyes, heart and soul.