For the past few months, I have been working on a very special project. I wrote a poem dedicated to James' First Grade class, and today, I had the opportunity to share it with them.
I had the class keep their eyes closed and encouraged them to use their imaginations. It was great to see their smiles and hear their giggles as I read their name aloud.
After I read the poem, we talked about what they thought the poem was about and how they felt hearing their name being read. We even talked about how anyone can be a writer. We all have something special to share.
What a fantastic day!
Without further ado... "Your Secret Power." I hope you enjoy!
Music: Artificial Memory
Song: Translucent https://soundcloud.com/artificialmemory
The Lines That Hold Us
The path of life comes in many lines
Some are curved and weep behind.
Others stand tall with lots of might.
They even guide us in the night.
We use these lines for passing through
Or as a home for an owl to “who”
They climb up high or grow below.
They even drip and splash and glow.
The path of life comes in many lines
They prove the limitlessness of Earth’s designs.
Creative Notes: This film is in response to the observance of the mysterious patterns and fractals found in nature. It is presented in a way that gives the viewer time to observe the many dimensions of lines that exist in nature; when looking closely. I wanted it to feel like the viewer was watching a home movie from a 35mm projector; hopefully evoking feelings of nostalgia and comfort.
Sometimes we form the lines; like creating a path in the snow, but other times they form to us; like the vine climbing up the wall. They can be a sign of growth or just a means of passage. Other times they result in a burst of passing energy like the icicle created from the icy snow. These are the lines that hold us.
This is a film I put together about my journey as an animal rights activist and all of the ways we work together to fight for the animals. It is intended to build hope and courage and a way for all of us to find our voice.
Some artistic notes about the film:
When I first heard the song, "We Shall Overcome: Love Will Rise Again" I was deeply moved. This song captures how I feel about being a voice for the animals. I've never felt so empowered, inspired and as strong in my life as I do now. Nimo Patel was so gracious to let me use his music for this film. If you have the opportunity, please visit Nimo's website and learn more about his efforts of using music for social change. If you are able, please consider donating to his cause.
This film explores all of the ways we exploit animals and all of the ways we fight for them. It goes back and forth between the two extremes. For all of the oppression and injustice the animals face, we are there to make things right. You may notice that at times, those oppressing the animals don't seem to even notice what they are doing. We've been conditioned that what we are doing to animals is normal, natural and necessary. The veil is lifting.
When we actively speak up for the animals, we are tipping the scales. It doesn't matter if you're scared, shy or hesitant, you can do this. And if you think that one person can't make a difference I refer you to this poem by Bonaro W. Overstreet:
(To One Who Doubts the Worth of Doing Anything If You Can’t Do Everything)
You say the little efforts that I make
will do no good: they never will prevail
to tip the hovering scale
where Justice hangs in balance.
I don’t think I ever thought they would.
But I am prejudiced beyond debate
in favor of my right to choose which side
shall feel the stubborn ounces of my weight.
In this film, I also wanted to show that activism comes in all forms. Everyone has a talent that can be used towards the fight for animals. Whether that be in the form of direct outreach, protest marches, creating wonderful vegan food, educating others, writing about the fight for animals, supporting vegan businesses, bearing witness, teaching children about living a compassionate lifestyle, having those hard conversations with family and friends or even by simply living a vegan lifestyle, we are standing up for what is right and just. Our life is based on constantly going against the stream and fighting injustice. It can take its toll and there are days where we may feel helpless and like we’re not making a difference but we are. You should feel proud!
I wanted to end the film at the Maple Farm Animal Sanctuary. Like so many sanctuaries, this is a place of refuge and where animals can live out their lives in peace. Animals deserve to have moral consideration and have the ability to express agency over their own lives.
The last image is of Gail staring out into the distance of an open barn door. Gail was used as a dairy cow for the first ten years of her life. I wonder what she must be thinking. Does she remember her time before being rescued? Does she miss her family? Where are they now? Unlike the 300 million cows who are slaughtered every year, she is free...like all animals should be.
I hope this film inspires each and every one of you to be a voice for the animals!
Music by Nimo Patel and Daniel Nahmod at Empty Hands Music, "We Shall Overcome: Love Will Rise Again."
Special thanks to The Save Movement, Toronto Cow Save, Laura Ray, Sheryl Becker, Erica Korff, Lilly Colwell and to everyone who made this film possible.
This film is dedicated to my son, James. I'll keep fighting until you see a more humane and compassionate world.
Inspired by the book, "Half the Sky", I am moved to be a voice for women everywhere.
Through education, a shift in cultures and attitudes, and the opening of hearts and minds, we can stop gender discrimination.
Gender discrimination is tied to:
With 3.7 billion women on this planet, we will not be stopped. Let the world feel our strength.
Hear my passionate plea by viewing the video below.
Music by Artificial Memory, "Soleil (Remaster)": https://soundcloud.com/artificialmemory
Feel free to download this resource I created to help get you started on how you can support women globally.
Sending much love and kindness,
Sometimes life has a way of knocking out all of our creativity and passion. We are forced to fit within perfect little boxes. Why? It's easier this way. Like little ants that follow in line, the mechanics of society are able to operate most effectively this way.
But what is life without color? Without interpretation or expression, what is the point?
When I go for a run I'm often running down the road or through a park. I like running because of the way it makes me feel but I also hate running. But what I do love is dancing! After my dad died, I made the decision that I would be brave and be myself. I opened myself up to feeling vulnerable. Now when I run, I also dance. And not just snap my fingers and sway, but really all out dance. I twirl, I shimmy, I close my eyes and put my arms in the air and dance. Yes, at times I feel embarrassed. Those that pass me by are often confused as to what I'm doing but they always have a smile on their face. I am trying to show them that they too can have the courage to do their "dance." They can live the life that brings them joy.
I think you may like this sweet short film. Let's bring the color back into this world.
A short film I made as a tribute to my son and his boundless love for life and beautiful spirit.
Be sure to have the sound on!
"Looking Through James' Eyes"
August 24th, 2018
I'm incredibly proud of this project I did for my environmental ethics class in order to raise awareness for our growing population and what the impact will be for the animals, earth and fellow humans.
Video can be found via YouTube: www.youtube.com/watch?v=0-zdcWJGxAI&t=13s
By Abby Power
Music by my husband, Gerald Power: Artificial Memory: https://soundcloud.com/artificialmemory
Looking out my window and there’s people everywhere.
I know you don’t wanna talk about it but who else is gonna care?
Our climates heating up and our wells are going dry.
Just how are we supposed to look into our children’s eyes?
Environmental degradation, conflict, wars.
I’m not sure you’re ready for that big storm?
How about the fish, do you care about them?
They may be gone by twenty fifty taking with it coral gems.
What about the birds where will their home be?
In treeless skies that no one will ever see?
A world in balance and a world at peace is exactly what this place needs.
Not a population that goes at warp speed.
Can’t we stop this mindless consumption?
We don’t have infinite resources; so let’s stop making that assumption.
Look for the helpers as Mr. Rodger’s said
The answers right in front of you, just listen to good ole’ Fred.
We all need to learn about humane education.
That thinks about the animals, the environment, our population.
Let’s teach our fellow neighbor about their choice in contraception.
It’s their right, their body. There’s too much misconception.
Remember that less is more. Things won’t always make us happy.
Take only what you need, just listen to Dear Abby.
Be a reflection to this earth. A mirage or an illusion.
So when you leave this place you leave nothing but a revolution.
In less than forty years we may have no other choice but say goodbye.
So let’s do all we can now and raise that battle cry.
Are you ready to join the fight? Who’s with me, what do you say?
Let’s take action and make strides, before we get to our species last day.
Shifting our paradigm of thinking so that we not only create a more compassionate world, but a world that works for all.