When I walked along San Vicente yesterday, I noticed that the coral trees were hardly the way I had described. Or more correctly, they weren't nearly what I picture when my eyes are closed. I was honestly baffled by how my perception was so skewed. The trunks are not grey-white at all. They look more like aged skin, tanned with parts glowing a melon color. The leaves are not huge and waxy. Those leaves are on the trees across the street from the coral trees. The roots are not even close to the size of benches and though they are certainly gnarled and out of control they look more like a pile of shorn dreadlocks. The trees were newly pruned on Sunday morning which made them looks smaller, but they were seriously puny compared to the childhood image I have plastered over them even when I live right next to them still! I'm kinda of blown away by this.
Sunday's walk was hard. I barely made six miles before I called it a morning. My left hip flexor is really tender. I'm trying to figure out why because when I walk I don't really feel the flexor, but an hour after being home it feels raw and agitated. I felt restless the entire walk; complaining about the route I had mapped out. Complaining about everything. I was annoying. I was even wearing my new shirt I had printed that read: "Walking to Prevent Animal Cruelty, www.humanecalifornia.org" I was jazzed about wearing it, believing somebody would honestly write down the site as I strode by. I'm naively spreading awareness by the mile! I should've gotten the shirts that Mandy and I thought up instead. She and I can spend an hour naming or renaming things. The best of the day was Mandy's slogan: "Let the Pigs Turn, Bitches!" I was really close to getting that printed up. So anyway, being all pumped up wearing my corny shirt didn't keep me from hobbling home after an hour and a half of whining. I couldn't take myself.
Mina and I teamed up to gather signatures outside of the Co-op on Saturday. All sales people should consider taking a cute kid with them on cold calls. When somebody was walking fast trying avoiding eye contact with me, Mina would step directly into the their path: "Do you want to help stop animal cruelty?" I've never seen so many hardened and preoccupied faces soften. Many people thanked her for her work and for what she was doing and she blushed and looked at me smiling largely. She brought along a ring that Maya had given her. She said it was her lucky ring and we passed it back and forth during the course of the morning. Collecting signatures isn't the easiest of work especially when people just want to buy a loaf of bread or a goddman shot of wheatgrass. For the most part though, the Co-op was a soft sell and people were really nice and responsive. The only fired-up debates I got were why weren't we doing more; this isn't enough! "I hear you," I'd say. Lil' Mina and I gathered fifty signatures in two hours, which fluffs my feathers until I get the emails about how behind we are with the bottom-line number of signatures. Man, we only have until Feb 22nd. Jump in the movement here if you're able.
Maya broke the news about turning vegan to more conservative family members this weekend. I think she was hoping it would all go well and that would be that, but it had it's dips too. I forget how extreme veganism seems to a more mainstream group when obviously it doesn't seem at all extreme to me. It's ironic really that Maya spends so much time looking into nutritional facts to make sure she can explain that all her bases are covered; to prove that she is not only eating healthily, but that it's the pinnacle of health when a meat-eating kid's diet is hardly questioned at all. They can gobble all kinds of shittiness without feeling the need to recite the protein or fat or mineral content. It's becoming clear that it's more important to pass on a strong sense of conviction than it is to pass on tips about veganism. I just think for any decision she makes she has to be able to think independently and bravely speak her mind on it. She reached out to me this weekend for some help when she felt pressured by questions about being a vegan. I didn't want to say too much because fighting your own battles is a foundation to having a good sense of conviction. I did tell her that people are always going to ask questions or not understand things. I told her to keep educating herself so questions didn't fluster her and that if she really believes in this -- or anything else -- then she needs to express it in a loving and thoughtful way. I told her everything was going to be alright.