Friday, May 29, 2009

Trading Places. One month with one person. Who? Why?

Give me a month, thirty-one days, and I’ll change places with Frederick Law Olmsted, Sr.

I’ll roust his bony frame out of a certain slow-rollover with an imperative; look how they’ve blackened a vision. See how pavement and Moses have transmuted dreams for the Niagara Reservation State Park, Goat Island, and the Niagara River gorge.

Before I go under, I’ll exchange Olmsted’s rose-colored eyepiece for my paper reams: lists, resolutions, petitions, memos of understanding, newspaper articles, letters, presentations, and some guiding principals about a greenway. Here, I’ll say as I thrust that ultimate, final pulp fiction into his hands, here are the names of the commissioners. Are their documented words consistent with their actions? Here’s a paperless address for an opinion, please.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Define Integrity. Then Answer: Do I Have It?

Integrity’s a willingness to take a controversial stand over removing the Robert Moses Gorge Parkway to protect the natural landscape, a calcareous cliff community along the Niagara gorge-- a unique, fragile botanical and old growth environment. It’s the courage to speak against the status quo.

It’s an embrace given in a shared hospital elevator, an offer to listen over coffee when one adversary in tears states her mother’s admitted.

Integrity's my clear blue gaze meeting fourteen granite faces at a microphone, a presentation of employment facts and eco-tourism profits listed, bulleted in a mild tone, countering bureaucracy: a poor subjective decision to compromise principals and transparency in regional greenway spending.

Integrity's my slight head tilt, an unstated acknowledgment that, yes, two key people abandoned a shared environmental commitment by claiming a project consistent, one also sanctioned the commission’s decision to send letters, remonstrations, written to marginalize two Niagara resolutions--maneuvers consistent with social ostracism, silent peer criticism, and political isolation. My thank-you to the Commission for the speaking opportunity graced their public forum momentarily silent.

The morning headline: GREENWAY: Lewiston plan wins approval. Parkway removal advocates question pathway’s impact on roadway.

Integrity is locating a granule of infinitesimal gold in those I dislike. I admire the mayor who fights for his municipality.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Building A Community

A river. A waterfall. Human faces undeveloped nature. I’m a community of ones. Introspection. Ambition. Reflection. Domination. Conversation. Desperation. Can words swim? A lifejacket’s irony.