Category Archives: The World

Letter From San Francisco #15

February 16th, 2014 by

It was the news no-one wants to wake up to hear, delivered to me by my good friend, Thatch. Pete Seeger was dead. He’d been so much a part of my life for so long that my head hurt and my heart ached with the knowledge of his passing. Pete Seeger who’d written my favorite song, Turn, Turn, Turn. Pete Seeger who, with his wife, Toshi Aline Seeger, founded the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, to protect the Hudson River and surrounding wetlands.… Continue Reading

Letter from Hawaii #1

October 18th, 2013 by

On the back of an intense work period I manage to get a break in Hawaii.  For me island cultures have a special place as they have their own ways of seeing and being and a mystic connection to the sea and nature, as evoked in their storytelling. In their location they are fixed and yet fluid, vulnerable and yet resilient.

Kauai (pronounced Kawaii) casts its spell as soon as we arrive and I feel myself soften as I open up to sea, sky, stars and community.… Continue Reading

Letter from San Francisco #14

September 11th, 2013 by

Peter Buffett’s deeply thoughtful OpEd piece in the New York Times (July 27 2013) has been on my mind for weeks.  I read the letters to the editor and the posts of those scrambling to respond and I also noted that 95% of those responses were from men.  Where were the voices of women?  And how did gender factor into the equation of both the original piece and in the responses?

In his article Buffett states that, as the son of Warren Buffett, early on in his philanthropic journey, he and his wife became aware of a phenomena they dubbed ‘philanthropic colonialism.’ Here it seemed that the donor was attempting to solve local problems rather than allowing local communities to define the problem and determine the response and then receive the funds to make this response possible.… Continue Reading

Letter from San Francisco #13

August 27th, 2013 by

Like many others living here in the US, I’ve been riveted by the 50th Anniversary of the original 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom while also seeking to understand the relevance of this today.

At the March this year, five women spoke and yet these women represented, at most, 20% of the speakers.

Where were the other women and what were their memories, views, hopes and dreams?

During the 1963 March on Washington, women such as Rosa Parks and Dorothy Height marched down Independence Avenue, while men walked down Pennsylvania Avenue, where the media congregated.… Continue Reading

Letter from San Francisco #12

August 12th, 2013 by

When I was at university I took a course called Mathematics, Information and Communications Management. We had a gifted lecturer whose approach to teaching included a fascinating account of the lives of mathematicians who had influenced the course of history. All of these mathematicians were men.

“Where are the women?” I asked my lecturer after another captivating history lesson, sans women. “There weren’t any of significance,” he said.

Terra nullius means land without owners and, in Australia, the colonisers acknowledged the presence of Indigenous people but justified their land acquisition policies by saying the Aborigines were too primitive to be actual owners.… Continue Reading