Alameda WhipSnake

community activism * environmental concern * the creative life

photograph by Scott Hein
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Forest fires rage and new growth begins, a phoenix rises from the ashes and snakes shed their skin. Transformation, regeneration, rebirth...worlds of possibilities open up to us every day.

The Alameda Whipsnake is experiencing its own rebirth after a seven-year hibernation. How exciting that the Snake sheds its skin and begins a new life in the year 2009—the same year that President Barack Obama took office. If ever there was a symbol of hope and transformation for our country it is most certainly embodied in the President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama.

Launch date of the new website, August 28, has a special significance. It is the birth date of Johann W. von Goethe (1749-1832), the German writer, poet, philosopher and naturalist whose influential ideas on plants and animals influenced many 19th century naturalists, including Charles Darwin.

I first stumbled across Goethe's writings in a book edited by Robert Bly, James Hillman, and Michael Meade, The Rag and Bone Shop of the Heart, poems for men.** It was Goethe who wrote something I often turn to when needing a push towards creativity when facing times of change:

"Whatever you can do,
or dream you can,
begin it!
Boldness has genius, power
and magic in it."

Now, more than ever, the world demands that weboth collectively and as individualsbe bold and respond to the issues facing us with creativity and heart, courage and compassion, steadfastness and thoughtful optimism.

This Website hopes to offer an inside look at the men and women who shape our communiies through their dedication and passion. We want to engage your heart and stimulate your mind, and help connect you with the many unique and diverse individuals and organizations in our community who share a vision of bridging cultures and generations, while building a sustainable, creative and compassionate community. We invite all of you to drop in and stay awhile .Help build a sanctuary of free thought and plant a garden of creative solutions.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Robin Michel

** If you click on the link, you will see that the book is now subtitled "a poetry anthology" and not "poems for men." However, the edition I have is the latter. The change makes for interesting discussion, don't you think?

Also, for booklovers who have not yet made a pilgrimage to Powell's, do not delay! It is heaven to some, nirvana to others, and definitely worth the trip, wherever your starting point might begin.




 Copyright © 2009 The Alameda Whipsnake. All Rights Reserved.


Edward M. Kennedy: 1932-2009
"...the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die."
- Senator Edward M. Kennedy, 1980 Convention Speech

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