Sunday, December 22, 2019

Shine On Your Crazy Kitty! Gatito Presente! RIP, Solstice, Tree Rebellion

"There is nothing wrong with being good to your neighbor and being good to strangers.”

Thank You Thank You! Michele Susan for these photos in Kitty i remember this day at Occupy Goldman Sachs in back of the Trump Hotel in Columbus Circle!"

Becky Wartell and  Kitty

"The world did not deserve Kitty."

Looking at Leslie Pinkie's pics, Mark Apolla wrote, "When i talk about family from OWS days this is what I'm taking about. Very few people have a chance in live to be a part of people who you will always call family know what matter what may happen over time or distances Thank you Leslie for sharing!"
Leslie wrote:
"I can't believe you're gone least i have these photos of you to remember some of the amazing times we shared together. I love you...Feel free anyone to grab a photo of Kitty if you want."

I finished my trauma informed practice class Wednesday.
It’s hard facing your demons, but we all did it together.
You never know what is below the surface,
What horror, what feeling keeps you up at night,
When the blue demon grasps.
The blues clutch.
But you can’t fight back.
We talked about it all semester long.
How do you talk back to that feeling?

Sitting at  home, checking my messages.

Saw that  my friend Monica had  posted something about one of our old Occupy Wall Street friends.

Monica Hunken posted on
The world did not deserve Kitty. We lost an incredible bright light, fierce, giant-hearted comrade and I’m stunned and devastated. Kitty was always compassionate, ready with an easy smile, ready to throw down with a rebel yell and peace fingers. Even when situations got dire and we were world weary and beaten down, seeing Kitty made me melt and softened my nerves. I wish somehow we could have given enough support, created the world they needed and deserved. sending all my love to you today, Kitty.

I had not seen Kitty since a civil disobedience action in Albany some  five years ago.
He was one  of the countless characters in the movement, a big smile, an irreverent grin.
For a while I saw him every day.
We all did.
For about six months  there.
We’d all loved the movement.
Before Bloomberg’s police displaced it.
Coordinating with the FBI to dismantle the public space it represented.
Instead of seeing a movement that would mobilize his aims, Obama turned his back.
But the  movement kept rolling, into Occupy Sandy, and then Black Lives Matter.
Still many felt lost.
It was one of the great movement moments of the last decade, dovetailing between public space movements, the community gardens and critical mass coming before, Black  Lives Matter, environmental  justice moving afterward.

After the Fight Back Bank of America, March 15, 2012, Liberty Square
Stacy Lanyon interviewed him for her blog, at  the heart of the occupation. He confessed:

Reflecting on Kitty's departure, Stacy wrote:
"When I heard of Kitty’s passing a few days ago, I just wasn’t ready to feel it. I’m still not ready to feel it. Such an event would be difficult enough, but the circumstances of their death make it so much more difficult to bear. I lost my brother to suicide over 20 years ago, and time has not made it easier to be reminded of the fact that this world was so painful that he and so many others find it necessary to escape it in the most desperate way. We don’t talk about this reality enough. It’s easier to turn our heads or tuck the feelings around it away because seeing their pain is too painful and reminds us of our own. Whenever I hear of someone falling this low, I feel pangs of guilt. Could I have done something more? I think we all have to do more. Community is the most important component in the path to a better world, and we often fall very short of creating it, or we can only sustain it for short periods of time. We are capable of so much more. I’m sorry we weren’t able to make this place better for you in time, Kitty cat. Spin your web of love all over the Universe. I and so many others will continue fighting for you. xoxo"

For a little while there it was magic.
But the alarm clocks of reality, ring.
Sirens blare.
Evictions follow.
We leave mystic time.
Re entering diachronic time.
I found myself thinking,
Old documentaries.
The Syd Barrett Story.
Thinking about the singer for Pink Floyd
who inspired, rode his bike, before becoming another lost soul, descending into another realm.
Too much acid left him debilitated.
Their masterwork, Wish You Were Here.
Four notes on David Gilmore’s guitar inspired the lament:

Remember when you were young, you shone like the sun…
Now there's a look in your eyes, like black holes in the sky
Shine on you crazy diamond
Come on you target for faraway laughter
Come on you stranger, you legend, you martyr, and shine
You reached for the secret too soon, you cried for the moon
Shine on you crazy diamond…”

Thinking about all the crazy diamonds.

Ellis Roberts wrote:
Kitty was one of the best we had. Fearless. Bad motherfucker. Hated by cops and loved by the people. I haven’t the words to eulogize the man. Rest in power comrade!
Becky Wartell followed,
Heart broken and no words for the loss of one of the best people to exist. Been digging through my pictures trying to find the one of us holding hands running through the streets…
💔 Goodbye Kitty
I know a lot of us are struggling real hard with this, please feel free to reach out if you need to talk, I love you all.
Kim Fraczek wrote:
Rest In The Most Beautiful Power my friend, Kitty. Your punk-ass trickster power and deeply empathetic heart... and that IRRESISTABLE SMILE (good lord, that SMILE!), I will never forget. You shine, you are beautiful, may you have an easy transition up in the vast, starry sky. Your chosen family down here is always loving you.
Siejay Holm followed:
All the Occupeople are reeling from the loss of Kitty. I hadn't seen him in some time, but every time we encountered each other, he greeted me as a sibling. May I live my life with some portion of his light. Comfort to those closest to him.

I carried  questions all weekend  long,
What happened?
Its hard when they are young.
What was the world you returned to after Occupy?
What were the feelings deep at  night,
When you got  down?
Deep into the solstice.
Thinking about trees in the park,
Friends in the streets.
Movements  ebbing and flowing.
New ones emerging.
Old  ones  passing. 
These are tough days.
Friends from movements everywhere.
And nowhere.
Here and  there.
Looking  for the Invisible City in the Rare Book Room.
Down  to meet Aresh and Kate
At the Children’s Magical Garden,
For  Solstice.
But not before some organizing.
With Wendy in the Park.
Public Space for the People.
And  an impromptu memorial among the squatters in  Tompkins Square Park,
For Ian Mackee of the East Village,
Residents speculating as we all do.
And  then down to the Staten Island.
Following the light, there  and back.
With JK and Wendy,
Shortest Day of the Year.
Listening to the trees.
Out to Judson, remembering the lost souls.
With the kids
Out to Queens to say goodbye to Kitty.
Tears in the rain.
With Kim and Kim and Erik and Becky
And Eve and Margo.
These are tough days.
But we’re alive. 
The cliché’s. 
The banal passing.
The friends outside trying to make sense of the passing.
Thinking about Syd and Occupy and the Trees.
Dying and being  reborn.
Over and over again
Before the Solstice.
We lost Occupy, we lose the trees.
Kitty lost.

East River Tree Rebellion
"SAVE US! SAVE OUR PARK!" is what our endangered East River Park trees would say because the Mayor plans to cut them down. We will gather on the Winter Solstice, to stand as trees, sharing their message, rebelling for our park, our community, and our survival. Evergreen trees have long been associated with the Winter Solstice, a day that marks the return of the light. Standing as trees we will shine our light on the darkness that is the East Side Coastal Resiliency Project. Mayor de Blasio's East Side Coastal Resiliency Project for the East River Park is supposed to protect the neighborhood from flooding, but it will also mean that 981 mature trees, some as old as 80 years, will be cut down. It also means a loss of biodiversity, including 82 bird species, 96 insect species, and over 200 plant species all displaced. And thousands of residents, many of whom live in New York City Housing Authority housing, will be negatively affected by this $1.4 billion plan that will result in at least three years of construction next to their homes and the loss of access to green space.”

Before Solstice, Kate Temple-West writes:
The Winter Solstice is happy in the way that birth is happy— that is— it’s normal for it to feel complicated and messy. It’s certainly been feeling that way for me this year.
Like birth there’s usually some pain and always danger along with the joy and wonder of new possibilities, new life.
The Winter Solstice, as many of you know, is the longest night, shortest day for each of the two Hemispheres, currently in the Northern one of our blue green planet. It’s power seeps into our bodies and beings whether we’re conscious of it or not.
I prefer to be conscious of this power and to harness the energy.
Here are some questions I’ve been playing with on this bright Solstice morning...
In the deepest reaches of our minds, deeper than conscious thought, who might we be in the old story?
What do we need to give birth to something new and divine in our lives?”

“Now is not the time to passively expect the light to return – we can no longer afford to wait or expect others to do it. To bring real illumination, we must go into the darkness and fetch it. We must remember what the animals know and what the trees talk about it.  It’s time to recall how to take care of the diverse and intertwined tribe of humanity, from the ground up – not from the tower down.  Sparks are revealed in the tenderly smoking embers of justice. Out of the darkness, we are reborn with the fierce fire within our hearts to torch the lies, reduce straw goats to ash – so we may build anew.”

Out into the light,
Turning to darkness,
Over  the city,
On the 7  train out to Queens.
Walking into a funeral home with an open casket.
Like my grandad all those years before.
A body with a soul departed.
A room of tears.

I am alive, said one friend.
I am alive.
Kitty is somewhere else.
What do we need to give birth to something new?
Or to be kind to the stranger?

Kim Fraczek wrote;
Funerals with viewings are not easy. They are haunting. And they are also a gift to help us understand the tremendous spirits that embody all of our physical bodies. The rivers of beauty and horror that carry us all through this short life.
My friends, please give your money to Kitty’s family right now. It is an unbearable weight in the throat and stomach to know the family will be without Kitty this week and beyond.
None of this is easy. Finances should be the last thing they must think about this week. Bright star, Kitty. Thank you for your clarity, love, courage, examples, and lessons. And your hugs. And the smile that was a direct channel for our mighty Sun.


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