on going.

How shall I go in peace and without sorrow?
Nay, not without a wound in the spirit shall I
leave this city.
Long were the days of pain I have spent with-
in its walls, and long were the nights of alone-
ness; and who can depart from his pain and his
aloneness without regret?
Too many fragments of the spirit have I
scattered in these streets, and too many are the
children of my longing that walk naked among
these hills, and I cannot withdraw from them
without a burden and an ache.
It is not a garment I cast off this day but a
skin that I tear with my own hands.

Nor is it a thought I leave behind me, but
a heart made sweet with hunger and with

-- Kahlil Gilbran, The Prophet

I'm not one to quote poetry, that's for sure. But I just picked up this book to reread and was struck with the first page.

About leaving. I do leaving so well! I do it often, sometimes I go out in hugs and well wishes, most times I disappear, sneak out discreetly. I also have a tendency to burn some bridges during my exit.

About leaving Burlington. Very soon. And I just want to sneak out right now. This place has made a mark on me. I didn't make a mark on it. It's not easy to leave a place you spent all your energy, on people, work... I suppose there's a lot of my emotion sort of washed onto all parts of the town. Maybe I left my mark that way.

But the town ain't going to remember me. That stuff wears away pretty quickly.

And when I leave things will wear away quickly too 'cause that's what I do.

But I still have two weeks. To exit graciously after some reconciliation. Don't know whether it will be a disappearing act or a grand curtain call.

My bets are on the disappearing! Poof!


something about where I am at.

I've been remarking that despite my job causing me all sorts of stress this summer, I'm in a good place. I'm fairly calm and focused. I'm not terribly lonely or anxious. I'm a little frustrated but who isn't?

Something must be working, right? If I can maintain this seeming peace... with so much uncertainty still out there. But it's like that post I saw on pouringdown today... the wonder is what makes things interesting.

I mentioned to Amy earlier that I want a home, a path, and a partner. But... I want the *right* home, the *right* path, and the *right* partner in crime. I'm not one to settle and I think that may be one aspect of my frustration. I've met such fantastic people as of late... they must be right in some way right?

And then I want things clear and crisp. No mystery, no intrigue. Sometimes I want things as straight and honest as they can be.

It's the balance, as usual. Somewhere between mystery and clarity. Somewhere between so perfect it's boring and... well... boring. Somewhere between all of this upset and anxiety and ugliness... I am peaceful and content... and stubborn and impetuous and wild and quiet and all of those things I was, am, and will be.

and I am a blogger be damned.


whirrrr when it stands still.

I've had the feeling, as of late, that I should take to writing again. I've also had the feeling I should find a large piece of clean white paper and some navy blue paint and take to a fury of color again.

something obviously needs to be expressed. All this is, is an intention. I'm to tired to get beyond that right now.

job, children, garden, bicycle, apartment-searching, codecs, cameras, energy, friends, love, energy, work, food, baking, vacation, support, paint, swimming, yoga, sunsets, rain, sleep....... sleep.........

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an email from way up north.

to everyone:

a brief update, a long-winded call to action, and a sweet hello from the gal in Burlington VT.

It's FWT and I'm rockin' out in Burlington (finally we have snow). I've got myself two jobs and they're keeping me fairly busy. Check 'em out:

Shelburne Art Center:
as most of you had probably heard, this isn't exactly what I had hoped for. They run all sorts of great classes and have frequently rotating exhibits (an exhibit of ancient Asian art is there now... crazy stuff)... but as far as the "sustainable community" part of it... maybe I need to take part in a class to see it. I do a lot of "intern tasks": breaking down boxes, data-entry, phone calls, trips to the post-office. I'm beginning on a larger project: cleaning out the loft above the
woodshop which is covered in an inch of sawdust and dirt. I do love organizing and purging what isn't needed... and I'm getting to find and keep some cool furniture like a rocking chair and nightstand (don't ask what I'm going to do with it... that's not the point). I just wish things were more vivid and lively there. BUT! I've got one huge benefit: I'm going to attend the intro to throwing class Tuesday nights. So maybe I'll actually learn to throw... that is a plus.

What I wanted to tell you more about was the

Burlington Currency Project:

The BCP is an umbrella organization that is sponsoring two kinds of currencies: the Burlington Bread, where a slice of break equals a dollar... is a fiat system (it's not based on anything really... it's created as it's needed), and has been fairly unsuccessful. People love the idea and there are a good amount of businesses that accept it. It just has some basic design flaws: tourists take it out of the city, people keep it in shoeboxes, most businesses only take a percentage of it, and there are some places that are sinkholes because businesses can't pay their bills with it. It's still important however but will probably be going through some changes sometime down the road.

The other currency is the TimeDollar. A TD is worth 1 hour of time. Community members join a TimeBank where TDs spent and collected are tracked. The TimeBank consists of a variety of members, usually in a neighborhood or small region, who contribute skills to the community. An example: I spend two hours showing Jane how to videoblog. I earn two TimeDollars and she spends 2 TimeDollars (you are allowed to go into a negative balance). I then spend those one of those TDs to get my oil changed by Dan. He spends that TD he earned on freshbaked bread or a massage. And the cycle continues. The idea is that these services are being valued by something other than the market economy. It involves and utilizes people who can't contribute to that
mainstream economy and brings neighbors closer together. More solidarity in neighborhoods means safer neighborhoods for everyone.

The TDs were just kicked off here in the beginning of December and already there are all sorts of services being offered: simple plumbing, email therapy, rides around town, home-cooking, childcare, green housecleaning, and even teaching the art of bow-ties.

As you can see, I'm pretty excited about this program. It's exactly what I was looking for in terms of "sustainable community." As I've been learning about these currencies that are being used in Burlington, I've also had to catch up on all of the economics that I never studied. The environmental side of sustainability has been a hot topic, especially with An Inconvenient Truth coming out last summer (did you see it yet mom?) but it's amazing to realize the far-reaching benefits that monetary reform could have; it requires as much attention as environmental issues do.

So I've got a challenge for those of you who are up to it. Educate yourself about all this crazy money stuff... it makes you think twice (or maybe three times over) when you pay for things. Check out this movie: the Money Masters (available on Google video FOR FREE). It was
made in the early 90s and is fairly low-budget... and it's 3 hours long. But if you watch it in segments (instead of Battlestar Galactica or whatever you already watch) it's completely do-able. I've only found one error in it so far (something about For Knox) and over all it's backed up by a bunch of other books (like The Future of Money by Bernard Lietaer).

Also, I attached a short article about a TimeBank in Jerusalem. Check that out. That's really easy to do.

But what am I doing at the BCP? I'm videoblogging of course! I'm creating a series of "Stories" about people's experiences in the TimeBank. Not bad, eh? I haven't actually gotten to film anyone yet but that shall happen soon I hope. I'm also tagging along when they go canvassing, signing people up online, and helping out anyway I can.

so that's what I'm up to. Ask me about it. Challenge me on it. Make me find out more. Hey surprise, surprise! FWT can be educating after all!

hope everything is going well for you all, in your homes, on your other FWTs, and all 'round the country.

send me a line. check out my vlog. you know the drill.



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a thought, a moment.

I often play songs until they (the words, the sounds, the feeling) become true. That's all.


about: vlogging

the other day I was pretty shocked at how many comments I was getting on my videoblog. Since I submitted a video to freevlog.org, I definitely began to get more visitors to rusted gate but five comments in one morning was pretty amazing. It wasn't until one commetor said, "congratulations to blogger's front page," did I get what had happened. I was the Blog of Note on the Blogger start page, the first one on the list.
On Sunday I was impressed with my 60 hits... Monday and Tuesday I was over 1000 hits each. I received some pretty great comments, others weren't so impressed, which I can completely understand.
Other than boost my internet self-esteem a bit, this little spell of popularity has made me think a lot about this whole thing.

I began videoblogging when I looked over my friend Ashley's shoulder as she was posting a video about getting her tattoo. I had a livejournal a few years back... it became a lazy way of checking in on lost friends from high school and I ditched it.
Video had a different appeal to me, though. I was really into video a while ago but it had gotten stashed away in a box somewhere when I went to college to 'concentrate'. I had been thinking of a way to keep family and friends posted on my life while I was studying abroad in Dublin and video seemed like a fun way to go. I began posting for them. Showing them what they wanted to see, showing what the hell I was up to across the ocean.
In my first videos, I found a key. I suppose it's a key for the way I am and the way I want to be. The soundtrack I chose for my videos was just as important as the scenes I showed. Lots of times I go through life with a song in my head... or when I hear a song... I see myself somewhere else. With a video I can put a soundtrack to it, the soundtrack that's in my head, and people may get a little more about me out of it. Or something like that.
As my semester unfolded, I showed all sorts of things. Travels around Europe, cooking dinner in our apartment, class field trips, new slippers, being sick, my adventures in make-up, my commute to work... I stopped showing, I think. It began to be a more creative endeavor. Though my grandma back in New Jersey loved to see my videos, it stopped being about them.

Now I'm back in the U.S. My life is not going to be nearly as exciting as it has been in the last five months. No more jet-setting, no more international adventures... for a while. So what's the point? Why am I posting a video about painting a wall in my room or a conversation with friends in a bar? I suppose some people post to persuade, to document, to display... maybe I post for all those reasons. Maybe because I've been trying to show the "real joanna" my whole life and the only way I can do it is piece by piece.
I don't like saying "why" I'm posting a video... I'll tell you "what" it is... but you can figure the "why" out for yourself.

I hope this tells you something. Why I'm here. I'm not sure why I was a Blog of Note, an awfully nice compliment that I didn't much deserve if you ask me. But I'm here to create something. I hope the dull location I am right now won't lend to dull videos. As always, any recommendations (the good-natured kind) are always welcome.

I think videblogging is hot stuff that I want to be a part of. I'm incredibly grateful to all the comments I've received the past two days. Just goes to show you the great people who do this whole internet-media-connecting thing.

To many more posts and many more things to say.


goings on

I had my last class today... tomorrow is a study day... thursday is my exam... friday my parents arrive... saturday my parents leave for italy and i leave for amsterdam...

more goings on.

it's funny though. It seems like so much is happening at home and I'm missing it. I'm supposed to be having the crazy adventures out here... I'm supposed to have the stories to tell. But apparently all this stuff is going on at bennington that I don't have a clue about. my stories are just out here on the periphery.

but my vlog appeared on the front of freevlog.org. that's pretty cool right? I do feel like I need to get more involved in the community... maybe this will help.

and then there's how I'm feeling pretty ambivilant about going back. I know it must be done. I'm so excited to see my family, my bro, my cat, my sis (hopefully soon)... excited to drive, to have warm weather, to eat mexican food, to go swimming, to see the stars...

i'm not so excited about going back to school. the senioritis that set in at the end of freshman year is going into overdrive.

no new story there.

so it goes. and goes. and goes. and that's what I love about. :)