20 June 2018 Morning Chalk Drawings and World Refugee Day

Hello to you.  How are you?  My mind feels like there are just marshmallows up there lately!  Just a very surreal feeling all around for me lately.  I guess the movie we watched last night was perfect for that!  We finally watched Through the Looking Glass last night and we enjoyed it.  I loved the imagery throughout and Kyle could see many video game inspired sets.  Seeing the Alan Rickman farewell tribute was sad.  I thought his being the voice of a blue butterfly, which symbolizes freedom, was perfect for this being his last film. 

Alice Through the Looking Glass Official Trailer #2 (2016) – Mia Wasikowska, Johnny Depp Movie HD

This morning on the dog walk I saw another neighbors yard that looked like someone had messed with it.  So far there have been three that I’ve seen in our immediate neighborhood.  We aren’t quite sure if the culprit is a human or a large canine that’s getting loose.  It looked like human activity to me.  We are living in a small town that is starting to experience big city problems.  People move to small towns from larger ones and bring their problems along with them.  Taking a young person of whatever age from a place where there friends are, support systems are and where there is more to do and transplanting them into a town like ours can be quite a culture shock for them.  When you are bored, and I know this from being their age once, you sometimes do stupid shit you will regret.  All the things that are going on are things I warned the city council before the growth and development started and it’s so frustrating to see it actually happening.   

http://www.cleburnetimesreview.com/news/vandalism-occurring-at-alvarado-parks-on-a-daily-basis/article_01727e86-7000-11e8-aa1f-9b6b57c211a0.html

“Over at Parkway Park on Monday there was some graffiti of racial slurs,” he said. “It was tagged on some of the benches, the little library and the skate park. It took about four hours to try to remove the paint, which they weren’t able to do all the way so they had to just sand it down and go back later to repaint.”

Alvarado Park board member Terri Fulton said the little free libraries — built and donated by members of the Alvarado Rocks group — have been the most disheartening.

“We’re a little irritated about this,” she said. “You will see that people are constantly refilling them with books, so that means kids are using them. But there’s been spray painting on them and the other day someone busted out the Plexiglass in one of them.”

And then they are talking about growing our town….ironically for the past few days we’ve been unable to properly flush the toilet for lack of water pressure!  This has been an ongoing problem since we moved here in 2009 too!  It’s taken millions of dollars to fix just the plumbing and sewer  infrastructure.  Don’t get me started on the conditions of our roads!   

http://www.cleburnetimesreview.com/news/durington-welcomes-growth-to-alvarado/article_32870120-6b61-11e8-b234-030937a8f7a1.html

“Holden said some of the challenges the mayor discussed during the meeting scare him.

“I’ve got to be able to provide water and I’ve got to be able for you to flush the toilet, and if I can’t, there is a big problem,” he said. “We want people to come [to Alvarado], but if they do we are going to have to do some major improvements to the system. We are working on ways right now, looking at all of the development as a whole. We want to be able to look at the big picture.”

Yep….growing pains on the small town scale and then there is World Refugee Day today and our extremely sad and embarrassing goings on with immigration in my country.  I don’t even know what to do with this in my heart.  It’s a very complex and sensitive issue that can’t be handled with rough hands.  I feel like we have yet to really tackle as a globe the core issues as to “why” it’s happening in the first place.  If people have food, clean water, clothing, shelter, meaningiful work and education opportunities, and they feel safe living where they are (not in the center of crime, violence, slavery and or a war zone) will tend to stay where they are and flourish.  We apparently have oodles of  people without checkmarks in those boxes and are understandably on the move!  

18 5 6 21 7 5 5

R E F U G E E = 67/13/4/2/1

9 13 13 9 7 18 1 14 20

I M M I G R A N T = 104/5 divide by 2 = 2.5 = 7 = 3.5 = 8/4/2/1

Number of refugees worldwide

The total includes 16 million refugees and asylum seekers and 26 million internally displaced people uprooted within their own countries, according to UNHCR’s annual “Global Trends” report released today.

 

Why do immigrants and refugees  keep coming to America?  Part of it has to be money.  Someone is paying them enough money to live here.  I think if our government is going to insist on punishing these people and their children like this, they need to “follow the money.”  In all the articles I’ve looked at about this chronic issue, this element just doesn’t come up.  The blame always seems to fall on the immigrants and refugees for their existing.   Who is hiring these people to be nannies, yard workers, produce pickers, home builders, masons, welders, road construction workers, janitors etc?! 

https://blogs.voanews.com/all-about-america/2015/08/24/most-common-jobs-held-by-immigrants-in-each-us-state/If there is no economic – this article is rather dated but does show interesting information that probably hasn’t changed too much:

Most Common Jobs Held by Immigrants in each US State

There are 41 million foreign-born people living in the United States and a new map illustrates the most common jobs held by those immigrants.

Business Insider  used information from the US Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, an ongoing statistical survey that samples a small percentage of the population every year. The data was assembled and processed by the Minnesota Population Center’s Integrated Public Use Microdata Series program.

The map below shows the jobs most commonly held by people who said they were born in a country other than the United States.

Immigrants make up 12.9 percent of the overall population, according to the Center for American Progress. That sounds like a lot of people, but the high point for immigration in the U.S. actually came in 1890, when 14.8 percent of the population was foreign born.

most-common-job-held-by-immigrants-in-each-state-corrected-background

While the map shows that many immigrants are housekeepers, janitors and agricultural workers, the majority of jobs thought to be overwhelmingly worked by non-natives are in fact filled by native-born Americans, according to the Center for Immigration Studies:

  • Maids and housekeepers: 51% native-born
  • Taxi drivers and chauffeurs: 58% native-born
  • Butchers and meat processors: 63% native-born
  • Grounds maintenance workers: 64% native-born
  • Construction laborers: 66% native-born
  • Porters, bellhops, and concierges: 72% native-born
  • Janitors: 73% native-born

Jobs worked by immigrants tend to pay low wages and usually require little formal education. In high-immigrant occupations, 59 percent of the workers have a high school education or lower, compared to 31 percent of the rest of the labor force.

 https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/pope-francis-criticizes-separation-of-immigrant-children-from-their-parents-on-us-border/ar-AAyUlD7

https://www.npr.org/2018/06/19/621065383/what-we-know-family-separation-and-zero-tolerance-at-the-border

https://www.madinamerica.com/2016/11/combining-art-therapy-mindfulness-refugees/ I found this article and it really resonated for me as a way to help promote internal healing for both refugees and the immigrant children we are seeing locked up in detention centers right now: 

Combining Art Therapy and Mindfulness for Refugees

Program in Hong Kong demonstrates the healing power of art therapy and mindfulness for refugees and asylum seekers

A new article, published in The Arts in Psychotherapy, describes the ways art therapy and mindfulness have benefitted refugees and asylum seekers in Hong Kong. The article describes how the program, Inhabited Studio, which provides workshops on art making and mindfulness meditation, has supported individuals in moving forward after traumatic experiences.

“The combination of art therapy and mindfulness helped participants cope day to day and allowed participants to begin to get a sense of not only who they were and what they had lived through, but potentially who they could become,” write the authors, led by Debra Kalmanowitz from the Department of Social Work and Social Administration at the University of Hong Kong.

The increasing number of Syrian refugees has raised the issue of how to support the mental health of individuals who have fled their countries and experienced political violence. An estimated 11 million refugees have left Syria since 2011 and there are over 21 million refugees worldwide. Although the majority of refugees do not develop Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, mental health professionals working with refugees often use a trauma framework.

The authors state:  “It is true that we do not want to medicalize distress and that we cannot take it out of context, and yet we cannot ignore the disadvantaged situation in which asylum seekers live or the suffering they endure.”

Both art therapy and mindfulness have been used with survivors of trauma. This theoretical article “considers how the combination of art therapy and mindfulness in work with refugees acknowledges human suffering and traumatic events while at the same time recognises the resilience that exists and the search for healing, health and growth.”

The authors describe the ways art therapy and mindfulness have been combined to provide support for refugees and asylum seekers at Inhabited Studio in Hong Kong. Inhabited Studio is a short-term group program that uses a holistic approach and provides workshops over an 8 day period. “The presence of the group allowed for the individuals to be seen, witnessed and heard (even without words) and in so doing served to share and normalize behavior and expression,” write the authors. The authors outline nine features found in the work at Inhabited Studio that may be used as broader guides for providing support to refugees.

Safety: Establishing a sense of safety is one of the most basic needs after experiencing a trauma and the authors note that it “is an on-going process and not something that is established once and maintained.” The authors found that art therapy and meditation assisted individuals in regulating their emotions, which aided in regaining a sense of emotional safety.

Doing versus thinking: The authors explain that art therapy and mindfulness emphasize doing, and describe the importance of an experiential approach. “Art making and mindfulness meditation demand a focus of the mind through activity or inactivity, action or inaction, through direct experience,” write the authors.

Changing our relationship to our thoughts and feelings: “Making art externalizes our thoughts and feelings and creates a distance between them” while “mindfulness effects relationship too; rather than trying to control the thoughts and feelings, there is an emphasis on acknowledgment and acceptance of them,” explain the authors.

Time: According to the authors, “trauma can trap a person in the past.” Since both the creative process and mindfulness are grounded in the present moment, they can be helpful activities for those who are overwhelmed by memories.

Making meaning: Meaning making involves both making sense of the trauma and of one’s current experiences. The authors explain how art therapy and mindfulness can assist in meaning making because “both lead to an awareness of the self and the context of the self in relation to the event, the group, the culture, the violence and or society.” To illustrate this, one of the participants of Inhabited Studio reported, “I am very proud of this drawing… it tells me something very clear that I did not know.”

Flexibility: Individuals who have experienced trauma may get stuck in their thinking patterns. The creative process can facilitate mental flexibility, and mindfulness can make it easier to tolerate intense negative emotions and still return to an emotional equilibrium.

Catharsis: “Art therapy can facilitate the expression of feelings that are associated with the trauma, suffering, and coping, such as anger, rage, vulnerability, depression, frustration or joy and pleasure. This can lead to a sense of relief as well as reveal that which was previously unconscious,” explain the authors.

Increased self-awareness and self-knowledge: Both self-awareness and self-knowledge can be promoted by art making and mindfulness practices. One participant described how the process of making multiple pieces of art helped her to clarify her emotions, “I have many mixed feelings although I am looking towards a better future. So the next painting I tried to sort out the colours to help me next time to be more focused… to know exactly what I want.”

Coping with loss: The authors report, “Art therapy and mindfulness together allowed for the expression of loss and also to begin a process of the formation of a new identity… It took strength and imagination to create a new identity and the open structure, along with the non-judgemental attitude of the Studio provided the potential.”

“Political violence has far-reaching effects. It can challenge the community and society, lead to fragmentation and destruction and impact on culture at large. Political violence impacts on the individual and can lead to the breakdown of relationships between individuals, community and society itself,” write the authors. Refugees and asylum seekers who have experienced trauma and political violence deserve support services that do not pathologize their experiences, but instead honor both their suffering and strength.

The focus on art therapy for refugees is part of a larger trend to explore how art can be used in therapeutic ways (for example, art therapy for veterans with PTSD or for individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia, and music therapy for children and adolescents). The authors in the present article state that the “overlap between art therapy and mindfulness in this context represent the realities of the suffering of the participants as well as the possibility of working towards enhancing coping and resilience.”

Kalmanowitz, D., & Ho, R. T. (2016). Out of our mind. Art therapy and mindfulness with refugees, political violence and trauma. The Arts in Psychotherapy, 49, 57-65. (Abstract)

 

Here are some links to some music I was exploring this morning.  I am on the hunt for new sounds and this Electro Swing and Modern Jazz struck a chord:

Club Des Belugas – The Beat Is Rhythm

Orkestra Obsolete play Blue Monday using 1930s instruments – BBC Arts – I love the version done by Orgy for this song so finding this tickled me.

Electro Swing Collection – ads in between

Published on Dec 2, 2014

PLAYLIST OF INDIVIDUAL SONGS
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C6-TW…

SONGS
0:00:00 Parov Stelar – All Night
0:02:42 Jamie Berry (ft Rosie Harte) – Peeping Tom
0:06:12 Scott Bradlee & Post Modern Jukebox – Thrift Shop (Baker&Bart Electro Swing Remix)
0:09:59 Parov Stelar – The Mojo Radio Gang
0:12:38 Lionel Hampton – It Don’t Mean A Thing
0:16:14 Caravan Palace – Dragons
0:20:27 Tape Five – Geraldines Routine
0:23:32 Caravan Palace – Suzy
0:27:40 Jamie Berry (ft Octavia Rose) – Delight
0:33:24 Dunkelbunt (Ft Boban) – Cinnamon Girl
0:37:20 Jamie Berry – Sweet Rascal
0:41:28 Parov Stelar – Booty Swing
0:44:40 Parov Stelar – Libella Swing
0:49:00 Parov Stelar – Catgroove
0:53:29 Parov Stelar – Chambermaid Swing
0:59:15 Jamie Berry – Dirty Stop Out
1:05:25 Parov Stelar – Beatbuddy Swing
1:09:44 Parov Stelar – Josephine

 

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