Wednesday, September 07, 2005

It's not a secret anymore, Elaine's started her own site: Like Maria Said Paz

Last night, I mentioned I had been on the phone with Elaine as soon as I got in. I also mentioned that there was a new site we'd be highlighting tomorrow. The site was Like Maria Said Paz. It was added to the permalinks on the left (always on the left) last night. Shirley caught it on the permalinks this morning and e-mailed. But I was sworn to secrecy because this has been something Mike has been behind, the urging of Elaine to start her own site. (Though I, and Rebecca, have urged her to do so for months, I took a pass on weighing in on this because I knew she was seriously weighing the issue and, as a friend, I didn't want to pressure her.)

So the point is, you should follow Mike's interviews, you never know what will emerge.

Here's Elaine's first entry, "Sh, I've got a secret," (from yesterday) in full:

I've got a secret.
I'm doing this site and if you stumble upon it before I let on that I'm doing one, keep it a secret. I'm going to let Mike break the news tomorrow night at his site. The only ones who know right now are Jess & Ava who helped me set this site up. They think we made a mistake somewhere and I guess we'll see after the first post goes up. But there was a lot of information to fill out and they aren't sure we did right. Right or wrong, "It is what it is" to quote groovy Kat.
I thank Jess & Ava for their help. I also think my wonderful friend C.I. who knows I'm doing this site but agreed to keep quiet and let Mike get the news tomorrow. One of my best friends, Rebecca, is someone I'm keeping this from to surprise her. She, Mike, Ava, Jess and others have been asking me to do a site.
I'm Elaine, by the way. I spent a little over a month substituting at Rebecca's site while Rebecca took a much needed vacation.
Let me explain the title. "Like Maria Says Paz." Maria is a member of The Common Ills and one of my e-mail buddies. She and Eli were both really encouraging, Wally as well, when I was substituting for Rebecca. They were also pretty persuasive in the need for another site coming out of The Common Ills community. Maria, Miguel and Francisco alternate weekends doing entries for The Common Ills where they select headlines in Spanish and English from Democracy Now! to get the word out that Democracy Now! provides their headlines in Spanish (text and audio) and to make sure that there's something up at the site each week for members who speak Spanish or visitors who stumble upon the site. All three do a wonderful job but Maria always ends her own remarks with "paz" which is Spanish for "peace." I told Maria Sunday that I was thinking of doing a site and, if I did, I'd really like to call it "Like Maria Says Paz." She was really supportive of the idea and it's a way to twice honor the community. Maybe three times.
It's a way to note the impact of The Common Ills community, the way to note how one member's contributions can reach out and impact and a way to honor someone that really impresses me.
So what can you expect from this site?
Probably not a lot. I will be blogging tomorrow night. But like Kat and Cedric, I'll blog when time permits and when I have time. That was one of my biggest concerns, actually. I'm not like C.I. in that I'm not going to make that kind of time to blog. I admire C.I.'s endurance (online and off) but I don't have that. I also lack the creativity of Betty so I won't be able to weave this wonderful tapestry that pulls together various threads of critical thought to make some larger point.
I'll apologize for the blog roll right now. It could have gone on and been at least twice as long; however, that's a lot of work. Ava & Jess talked me through and kept things light and silly for which I say thank you but I was thinking the whole time, "I need to get an entry going because it's getting late."
So what I want to write about tonight is, believe it or not, rain. I had a session today and one of the topics was water in various forms. After that session, I kept thinking about rain.
I know we've screwed over the environment and that I have no idea what rain in its natural form is like but I was thinking of rain as I know it. That moment of stillness before it starts to come down. How the air gets thick. Then the first drops come down, during a light rain, and it is almost like the air is wringing those drops out. The smell? Have you ever noticed that smell when rain first begins falling?
I don't think I can identify it properly but here's my stab at it. It's a thick, smokey smell. It's almost like something's being burned. My sense of smell may be messed up but that's what rain smells like to me when it first begins to fall.
I feel like, and I may be wrong, that in terms of the mood of the country we're at that moment when the air gets heavy and thick and the drops are about to fall. I think what's going to pour is activism. I hope I'm right.
I've got a new e-mail address. Ava & Jess suggested that. If you want to write, the e-mail address is I did get Joan Baez's Bowery Songs today, for any community members who are reading, and it's an incredible CD. I know Kat will write one of her amazing reviews so I'll hold off on commenting until she's explained the beauty to us all but you should really consider purchasing it."
Peace Quotes" (Peace Center)
Peace comes from being able to contribute the best that we have, and all that we are, toward creating a world that supports everyone. But it is also securing the space for others to contibute the best that they have and all that they are.
Hafsat Abiola

Elaine's a friend from before this site. She's also been a very active member of this community. Before the gina & krista round-robin, members would sometimes wonder, "Where is that entry that member Elaine said she was going to do?" As members know, Elaine was more comfortable taking those entries to the round-robin (where only members would have access to them) and before that existed, we'd all wait and wait and wait . . . (I'm teasing Elaine.)

I'm really happy that she's started her own site. (And I know members will be as well. But possibly none as much as Mike.) She did a great job filling in for Rebecca and we all value her contributions to the gina & krista round-robin.

The e-mail address for this site is (And Elaine's is but if you e-mail her here, put "for Elaine" or something in the subject heading and it will continue to be forwarded.)