Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Time For a Do-Over

It's time to update my presentation and redefine my focus. 
Blogger is no longer meeting my needs, for lots of reasons. One being that it simply is not as professional a presentation as what WordPress can provide. 
I've been putting off making a change for several months, but the final motivation came about after the customization interface became unresponsive after I deleted by Google Plus profile. I've still got my pages, there, but eliminated my personal profile, since it all started to feel a bit unwieldy. 
With numerous reports to Blogger about the problem, and with absolutely no response, I'm calling it quits and am now in the process of developing a brand-new site: 
Lora Fisher Creativ 
I have plans to shorten the name and transfer the URL after all of the pieces are in place. This current site will remain active for the time-being and I may repost some of my essays from here. Nothing will go to waste.
It's looking pretty spiffy! There's a greater emphasis on my photography, and I plan to feature much more of my creative writing on the new site.
I'm inviting you to follow along as I transfer information and images. Every day it gets significantly better.
Hope to see you there. Thanks so much!

Monday, January 25, 2016

Paris exhibition: If not us, then who?

The love on display in this short video will make your day.

 After 14 months and 14 events in 4 countries the If Not Us Then Who? global roadshow culminated in Paris for a very special screening and an 8 day exhibition at Point Ephemere. 
Bringing together indigenous partners from Indonesia, Central America, Amazon basin and Congo basin and more than 20 organisations. The aim was to highlight the role indigenous peoples play in protecting the world's forest and complement the work and messages at the indigenous pavilion at the COP21 venue. We wanted to bring these messages to the people of Paris. 
Regardless of the outcome of the COP21 text, indigenous peoples are on the front line of climate change. The fight goes on. 
More stories of indigenous peoples protecting forests: If Not Us Then Who?
Orignal music from Dadang: If not us then who?

Friday, January 8, 2016

Malheur Wildlife Refuge: a beloved corner of my beloved state

My original title, "Jackasses will be jackasses", should tell you how I feel about the armed takeover of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in southeast Oregon. 
Anyone who even reluctantly follows my posts knows that I've been near the point of obsession over this occupation of a beloved corner of my beloved state.
Their presence offends me. 
Reasons for my offense are myriad, but the first is that I see them as nothing more than bullies hiding behind a misinterpretation of the U.S. Constitution. In addition, they are from out of state and are claiming to be demonstrating in support of convicted arsonists and poachers Steven and Dwight Hammond, who have stated that they don't want them there. Add to this the fact that the group is headed by Ammon Bundy, son of infamous tax-evading Arizona rancher Cliven Bundy. 
From what I can gather, the overwhelming consensus of the community of Harney County is that they resent their presence and want them gone. Many of the citizens have their own issues with the Government, but are working to resolve them through legal means.
I'm not going to dive too deeply into who's right and who's wrong on these prickly issues, but if a community in Oregon says "get out" to a group of thugs that are bringing chaos and armaments into their region, then said thugs need to get out … now.
Secondly, they are squatting on federally-protected land that is a flyway and wildlife refuge for millions of migrating birds and countless species. Are habitat and nesting areas at risk because of their presence? 
Thirdly, and perhaps the most visceral, the Burns Paiute tribal council want them gone, and that's more than enough for me. 
The Paiute are the original inhabitants and managed the land and resources successfully for thousands of years prior to the invasion. The land is now held in trust for them by the Federal Government. The tribe considers itself to be the rightful owner of the land, and according to sources I've read, has a good relationship with the management of the refuge. 
Fourth, much has been written about the ethnicity of this group (white, conservative Christian) and the kid-gloved handling of their illegal occupation of a federal building on federal land. It is easy to see why many claim that they would not still be there, let alone still be alive, if they were brown or Muslim. I have to agree, but am glad that, no matter what the color of their skins and recent history, so far there has been no bloodshed.
Perhaps I should check the news this morning just to be sure that that is still true.

Malheur National Wildlife Photo Essay

Burns Paiute tribal council member Jarvis Kennedy:
Armed Activists 'Desecrating' Land and Must Leave

"Go home. We don't want you here." 

"That land belongs to the Paiute"

Supreme Court: Feds Rightly Own Wildlife Refuge

Follow my musings:

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

This Season Past

In honor of this past year, I'll share a few images from 2015.
Many available now: Lora Fisher Photography

Seek Beauty

Moon Rises, Geese Fly


Plum Delight

August Sunrise



With hope and optimism for 2016.

May this be the year that the tide turns:
a healthy environment
peace among nations
forgiveness among friends
and unrelenting creativity!

Love, Lora

Sunday, December 13, 2015

The emotional cost of being President of The United States

"What the President secretly did at Sandy Hook Elementary School" 
–Joshua Dubois
(posted in Vox Populi)

Below is an excerpt from The President’s Devotional by Joshua Dubois, the former head of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. He’s recounting events that occurred Sunday, December 16, 2012 — two days after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, when 20-year-old Adam Lanza fatally shot 20 children and 6 adult staff members. Dubois had gotten word the day before that the President wanted to meet with the families of the victims:
I left early to help the advance team—the hardworking folks who handle logistics for every event—set things up, and I arrived at the local high school where the meetings and memorial service would take place. We prepared seven or eight classrooms for the families of the slain children and teachers, two or three families to a classroom, placing water and tissues and snacks in each one. Honestly, we didn’t know how to prepare; it was the best we could think of.
The families came in and gathered together, room by room. Many struggled to offer a weak smile when we whispered, “The president will be here soon.” A few were visibly angry—so understandable that it barely needs to be said—and were looking for someone, anyone, to blame. Mostly they sat in silence.
I went downstairs to greet President Obama when he arrived, and I provided an overview of the situation. “Two families per classroom . . . The first is . . . and their child was . . . The second is . . . and their child was . . . We’ll tell you the rest as you go.”
The president took a deep breath and steeled himself, and went into the first classroom. And what happened next I’ll never forget.
Person after person received an engulfing hug from our commander in chief. He’d say, “Tell me about your son. . . . Tell me about your daughter,” and then hold pictures of the lost beloved as their parents described favorite foods, television shows, and the sound of their laughter. For the younger siblings of those who had passed away—many of them two, three, or four years old, too young to understand it all—the president would grab them and toss them, laughing, up into the air, and then hand them a box of White House M&M’s, which were always kept close at hand. In each room, I saw his eyes water, but he did not break.
And then the entire scene would repeat—for hours. Over and over and over again, through well over a hundred relatives of the fallen, each one equally broken, wrecked by the loss. After each classroom, we would go back into those fluorescent hallways and walk through the names of the coming families, and then the president would dive back in, like a soldier returning to a tour of duty in a worthy but wearing war. We spent what felt like a lifetime in those classrooms, and every single person received the same tender treatment. The same hugs. The same looks, directly in their eyes. The same sincere offer of support and prayer.
The staff did the preparation work, but the comfort and healing were all on President Obama. I remember worrying about the toll it was taking on him. And of course, even a president’s comfort was woefully inadequate for these families in the face of this particularly unspeakable loss. But it became some small measure of love, on a weekend when evil reigned.
From The President’s Devotional. Copyright 2013 Joshua Dubois.

Original post:  What the President secretly did at Sandy Hook Elementary School

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

In my book of life

... chocolate has its own chapter.
Growing up, chocolate was an important part of life in our house. On cold mornings we could often count on Mom's rich sweet hot chocolate for breakfast, with home-made toast and real butter from our sweet-tempered Guernsey, Diamond.  
I'm not sure if it was from a sense of scarcity, Mom did come up during The Great Depression, after all, or if she just liked things sweet. We could always count on a sweet treat pretty much every day of the week: cookies, cakes, pies, doughnuts, cinnamon rolls, and later, home-made candies: fudge and peanut brittle, especially. 
My love of baking and sweets comes directly from her. She took great joy and pride in her kitchen prowess. Known in those days as a 'good plain cook', Mom was a master of roasts, meatloaf, fried chicken, and mashed potatoes made with cream and drenched in rich, dark gravy.  
Pies and birthday cakes were Mom's specialties. To this day, there is no pie better, although there have been some close seconds. Her pies stood out as the high points of any family get-together. Apple, cherry, and wild blackberry, pumpkin, and the cream pies: lemon meringue, banana cream, and, of course, chocolate cream. 
My 10th birthday cake: chocolate with a meringue icing, with each candle cradled in a dollop of  pastel meringue: aqua, pink, lavender, sky-blue ... a masterpiece! We even have super-8 footage commemorating this cousin- and frosting-enshrouded event. 
My very first memory of chocolate — around the age of three — centers on a discovery in the upper reaches of our kitchen cupboard. This was obviously not my first chocolate experience, because I definitely knew, or thought I knew, what that sweet, dark brown substance was. I recall the surreptitious pleasure of finding this sweet treat.  
Not sure where Mom was in that moment, but I savored its chocolaty flavor and was puzzled by the look of horror that passed over her face when I confessed my indulgence.  
Turns out, it was her private stash of Ex-Lax. That particular 'sweet experience' did not dent my love for chocolate. (I must have been too young to make the connection from one orifice to the other.) Far from it. I have continued on with my love for the sweet dark substance all of my life.

When I'm stuck, chocolate gets me unstuck.
When I'm hungry, chocolate holds me over.
When I'm blue, chocolate lifts my spirits.

Companions, Lora Fisher Photography

It's best on the dark side and is bliss-producing with coffee. It enhances the flavor of almost every fruit and I've even been known to add a smidgen to gravy to deepen its color and flavor. Chocolate has the quality of being a perfect solo pleasure, at the same time that it enhances friendships, stimulates passion, cements alliances, and invigorates economies.

In an informal survey of one, women out-buy men in chocolate purchases 3 to 1. No big surprise. Chocolate molecules seem to have a special affinity for female brain receptors. After all, it was up to us to know a good thing when we found it. The survival of the species depended upon it.

Theobroma — fruit of the gods. 

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Mr. Trump...

... if you truly love America as you claim, then why aren't you using your fame, popularity, and money to unite us?
Instead of dividing us with fear and racist rhetoric, use the privilege you've been born with and acquired over the years to move us forward. Forward into greater equality, greater health, greater honesty, and more opportunity.
What have you got to lose?
Extremism —  of any kind — is dangerous, including this latest group-spew of idiocy from the far right. Every time something like this is broadcast, adrenaline courses through the brains of those who are fueled by hate and fear. Very dangerous stuff. 
Imagine for a moment that you are a peaceful follower of Islam who is an American citizen, only to find yourself lumped into a cult of brutality whose actions are abhorrent to you. Just imagine how you would feel. Now, imagine that you are a vulnerable young Muslim living in any country around the world, and you hear the hateful rhetoric aimed at the entire religion that is your heart and your strength and your tradition. How would you feel knowing that you are so hated? Where would you go for support? What would be your response?

Even in this political season, even as we properly debate what steps I and future Presidents must take to keep our country safe, let’s make sure we never forget what makes us exceptional. Let’s not forget that freedom is more powerful than fear; that we have always met challenges—whether war or depression; natural disasters or terrorist attacks—by coming together around our common ideals as one nation and one people. So long as we stay true to that tradition, I have no doubt that America will prevail.  President Barack Obama

Black Lives Matter Activists Blocked From Entering Trump Campaign Rally  
How Trump gets away with his 9/11 lies: The disturbing truth about Islamophobia in America 
What are Facebook and other social media doing about Donald Trump?

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Moms Helping Moms: Baby Carriers

I may not be able to go to the shores of Greece 
or the refugee camps of Lebanon to help directly, 
but I can at least do this.

How You Can Help:

Carry The Future ... Baby Carriers For Refugee Families

Carry The Future ... Facebook
IndieGoGo ... 10,000 Baby Carriers for Refugees in Greece
Season of Kindness ... One American Mom

Cash Donations / Information:

UNICEF: Syrian Child Refugees

Mercy Corps: Syria Crisis 

PRI: How To Help