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Lower Mississippi River Dispatch No 419

8 hours on the 8th Day of the 8th month

Monday, Aug 7, 2017, Clarksdale, MS ~ Helena, AR



Mississippi Map Turtle Side View, 18x24 watercolor 2017, by John Ruskey
Paintings, photos, videos, stories: Rivergator Celebration, Friday Aug 18th, 6-9pm
at the Cutrer Mansion, Clarksdale (Coahoma County Higher Education Center)

Forward Notes of Interest:

Sunflower River Blues & Gospel Festival — Camping: If you would like a place to park & camp Sunflower Festival Saturday, we can do that for you — it’s $25/night for 2 people + tent + vehicle. Add $10 each additional person. Showers, bathrooms and electricity on site. See below for more details.

Sunflower River Blues & Gospel Festival -- this weekend! Go to http://www.sunflowerfest.org for schedule and details!

Tonight: Partial Lunar Eclipse — As a runner up to the Aug 21 Solar Eclipse, most of the world will experience a partial lunar eclipse -- tonight! See below for more info.



Mississippi Map Turtle Side View, 18x24 watercolor 2017, by John Ruskey
Paintings, photos, videos, stories: Rivergator Celebration, Friday Aug 18th, 6-9pm
at the Cutrer Mansion, Clarksdale (Coahoma County Higher Education Center)

Join us tomorrow for an 8-hour fast in protest of the Paris Pullout! 8am - 4pm. We will be doing this once a month until we rejoin the Paris Accord. Keep reading below for details.



To our leaders: Rejoin the Paris Accord.
We are so deeply concerned about US pullout from the Paris Accord that we have lost our appetite. We have no stomach for this kind of irresponsible behavior. It is not fair to ourselves, to our families, our neighbors, our communities, our nation, our world. We are in shock, meditation, protest. We will continue this fast until the Paris Accord is re-joined.

Why the change of plans?

We decided to FAST-forward this plan when I received a short email from my friend Alison Jones (No Water, No Life) exhorting me to get real, and accelerate things up to the natural speed of chaos in the universe:


"Hi John,
This is all great! BUT WHY WAIT TIL Jan 2018????"

There is No Time like Now!

Alison is right, there is no time to waste. New Years might be too late. And so we’re starting now. Tomorrow. The 8th day of the 8th month. Every passing day we are getting warmer, losing species, losing clean water, losing wetlands, losing coral reefs, and losing what precious little luxury time-space we have to make some rational dedicated changes.

Also, tomorrow, August 8th, was planned to be Earth Overshoot Day 2017, the day that we had used up one earth’s worth of resources. But due to accelerating needs, Aug 8th had to be moved in a negative direction to Aug 2nd. This acceleration is result of our extra consumption around the world, perhaps the additional air conditioners and fans necessary to overcome extreme heat (especially in regions not accustomed to high temps, for example this week in the Pacific Northwest). This is one example of how positive feedback has negative consequences.




8 hours on the 8th Day of the 8th month

Tomorrow: you can join us in an 8-hour fast on the 8th day of the 8th month from 8am to 4pm (using your local time). This is a simple act of protest that will send a message to our leaders that we have no stomach for the Paris Pullout.

Note: Next month you can join online, but for now (if you want) you can write me back and tell me you’re in. Or not. Either way, what really matters is your personal commitment to our earth. Go inward to connect with the outdoors.

Next month, September, will be a 9-hour fast on the 9th day of the 9th month from 9am to 6pm (using your local time).

October: 10-hour fast on the 10th day of the 10th month from 7am to 5pm.

November: 11-hour fast on the 11th day of the 11th month from 7am to 6pm.

December: 12-hour fast on the 12th day of the 12th month from 6am to 6pm.

Jan 1, 2017 24 hour fast

1 Day: If we have not achieved our goal by the end of the year, we will begin the New Year with a one-day (24 hours) fast — on January 1, 2018.

2 Days: If we do not achieve results then we will fast for 2 days starting February 2nd (Feb 2-3).

3 Days: If there is still no change, then it will be 3 days starting March 3rd.

4 Days: April 4-7

And so on and so forth, increasing one day per month, with increasing disruption of our lives, (and decreasing consumption) until our leaders see that we are so deeply concerned about this neglect that we have lost our appetite. We have no stomach for this kind of irresponsible behavior. We are in mourning, meditation, protest. We will continue this fast until the Paris Accord is re-joined.




Some Simple Suggestions for your Fast:

Some simple suggestions for tomorrow's fast: 8am to 4pm Tuesday Aug 8th

Drink plenty of liquids. Don't eat anything solid after 8am. Instead of breakfast spend an hour journaling, walking, running or meditating. And keep a bottle of water nearby to drink every time your body says it wants to eat. Exercise feels good during a fast, just be sure to drink plenty of water. Add electrolytes. Don’t eat anything during the day. At your normal lunch time go outside, go for a walk (or a run) or write in your journal. Read something inspirational, or pray, or meditate. Celebrate at 4pm! When you break your fast at 4pm make your first morsel of food a sacred act in honor of substance and the spirit. That first bite of food (and each that follow) is a miraculous passage between heaven and earth. The substance fortifies the spirit. The spirit creates the substance. It’s all connected. Recognize the pathway your meal made between you and it’s earthly origin.

PS: Also: it’s good to “stay engaged" with others around you who are not fasting. You should still sit with your friends or family at meals when you are fasting, especially if you already have a date or obligation. It will be all the more meaningful to you and everyone else around you. It will give you an entirely new perspective on food and eating. It might be difficult, but you will be blessed with fresh insight into the rituals and role of food and meals in our lives. For me, I often have to prepare meals for my daughter. She, same as all kids, cannot fast like us adults can.

PPS:
Lastly, it's always good to recognize and praise the heavens and the earth for this precious gift of life we all share.




Sharing:

Also, (1) you might want to share little (or big) things you have noticed that seem to be signs of global warming. And then, (2) maybe share little (or big) things you will start doing to alter the effect. The first could be joining our public fast!

Some things I have noticed in Clarksdale, Miss:

1) The 30th annual Sunflower River Blues & Gospel Festival decided to move its outdoor acoustic stage inside to beat the heat. This means the afternoon acoustic stage that Quapaw Canoe Company traditionally hosted will be indoors, at various air conditioned venues downtown such as Crossroads Cultural Center, Hattie Jean’s, Hambone, Stone Pony and Levon’s. (See below for full schedule, and come enjoy the purest blues in America — indoors.

2) Our air conditioner seems to never stop running in the summer.

3) My daughter complains more about the heat.

4) The longleaf pine trees in Clarksdale are dying. Warm winters seem to have fostered the spread of the pine beetle which is killing all the stately pines scattered around town. Normally cold winters kill pine beetles. While pines are not common in the Delta, this change in their ability to survive seems to be coupled with a warming climate.

Some things I will do in the next month to offset global warming:

1) walk more, bike more

2) Turn off the a/c when not in the building.

3) Fast for 8 hours on the 8th day (tomorrow, Tuesday Aug 8, 2017)


Partial Lunar Eclipse

As a runner up to the Aug 21 Solar Eclipse, the world will experience a partial lunar eclipse tonight!

For our readers in Africa and Europe — you will see the partial lunar eclipse after sunset tonight (August 7). India and western Asia will see it around midnight August 7. Eastern Asia, Indonesia, Australia and New Zealand will see it before sunrise August 8. Unfortunately this eclipse will not be visible in the Americas, but we should not feel too slighted, we will get the full effect of the solar eclipse which will trace a totality line from Oregon to North Carolina, with the entire continental United States seeing at least a 70% solar eclipse.




Sunflower River Blues & Gospel Festival
Camping
August 10-13th, 2017
Quapaw Canoe Company is offering bathroom and showers to persons camping along the banks of Sunflower River during the 30th annual Sunflower River Blues & Gospel Festival. Camping will be available Thursday - Sunday, August 10-13th, 2017. Bathroom and shower access is $25/tent/night. 2 people/tent. Add $10 each additional. Proceeds generated split with our partner the Clarksdale Police Dept. Bring your own tent and sleeping bags. Don’t park on asphalt drive which the police use for access. Camping is in grassy areas of City Park to north of ramp, and any flat grassy places down along the river. Please don’t block gravel road access to Canoe Company. No open fires, but camp stoves, hibachis or small personal-sized BBQ okay. No smoking (city ordinance in public places). Please note this is a site for tent campers and non-commericial vehicles only. RVs will be directed to the Expo center. For more information contact: Lena Von Machui 662-313-6220 or lena@island63.com or John Ruskey 662-902-7841, john@island63.com.




30th Annual Sunflower River Blues and Gospel Festival

For immediate release with thanks from the Sunflower River Blues and Gospel Festival, Panny Mayfield, publicist, pannywriter@yahoo.com 7/9/17

Six cool Sunflower acoustic stages will ‘Beat the Heat’

CLARKSDALE – “When temperatures soared to 105 degrees in August 2016, our Sunflower River Blues Association members pledged to do something about it for 2017,” says Melvita Tillis Presley, festival chair.

“The answer was more Saturday afternoon acoustic stages in air-conditioned facilities,” Presley continues.

Saturday’s six free acoustic stages on August 12 include:

1. The air-cooled VIP Tent, John Lee Hooker Lane: 12 noon – 4:45 p.m.

2. Levon’s Bar and Grill, 232 Sunflower Ave.: 2 p.m. – 4:45 p.m.

3. Crossroads Cultural Arts Center, 332 Delta Ave.: 2 p.m. – 4:45 p.m.

4. Stone Pony, 226 Delta Ave.: 2: p.m. – 4:45 p.m.

5. Hattie Jean’s, Corner of Delta and Third Ave.: 2 p.m. – 4:45 p.m.

6. Hambone Gallery, 111 East Second St.: 2 p.m. – 4:45 p.m.

The Sunflower’s Saturday Aug. 12 main stage kicks off at 5 p.m. with David Dunavant & continues through Charlie Musselwhite’s finale at 11:45 p.m.

Presley says Friday night’s main stage Aug. 11 opens at 6 p.m. and continues through back-to-back super-charged performers: James Super Chikan Johnson, Nathaniel Kimble, and O.B. Buchana.

At 1 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 13 a free Mississippi Bicentennial program “Conversations with Charlie Musselwhite” will feature blues guru Jim O’Neal interviewing the Grammy winning headliner in the Muddy Waters Wing of the Delta Blues Museum.

At 4 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 13, the free Sunflower River Gospel Festival opens in the air-conditioned Civic Auditorium and continues through 8:45 p.m. with The Eternal Light Singers.

For updates and complete lineups, view www.sunflowerfest.org

Solar Eclipse of the Century — on the Mississippi River!

Solar Eclipse Daytrip Monday Aug 21st
Meet at 8am Quapaw Canoe Company, Clarksdale, MS. Occlusion begins at 11:51am. Max eclipse at 1:22pm. Eclipse over at 2:51pm. All paddle together in one of our giant cypress-strip voyageur canoes, no previous experience necessary. Back to town around 5pm. We will provide everything for the river, guiding and outfitting, lunch and shuttle. 1st come 1st served. Contact John Ruskey, john@island63.com, to reserve your seat in the big canoe, or for more information.

Solar Eclipse 3-Day Sunday Aug 20th - Tuesday Aug 22nd:

Avoid the crowds and join us for a spectacular viewing of the Total Solar Eclipse August 21st from the middle of the mighty Mississippi River! We will paddle to remote Mississippi River island and set up an eclipse-viewing camp to observe this incredible phenomena from the perspective of the biggest river in North America. This location will be within the band of total eclipse, which will last 2 minutes and 40 seconds. Rain or Shine. (Note: the effects of the eclipse will be seen and felt regardless of sky cover. In cloudy weather it will become even darker.) 3 days/2 nights. Contact John Ruskey, john@island63.com, to reserve your seat in the big canoe, or for more information.



Power Plant at Mouth of Meramec River, 18x24 watercolor 2017, by John Ruskey
Paintings, photos, videos, stories: Rivergator Celebration, Friday Aug 18th, 6-9pm
at the Cutrer Mansion, Clarksdale (Coahoma County Higher Education Center)


Other Upcoming Events:

Aug 18: Rivergator Celebration Exhibition: On Friday, August 18th we will be celebrating the Rivergator with paintings, photos, writing, film, music, food and drinks! Starts 6pm at the Cutrer Mansion (Coahoma County Higher Education Center) in Clarksdale, Miss. 6-9pm. Featuring paintings by John Ruskey, writing by Boyce Upholt, photos & film by Chris Battaglia, and adventure stories from Tony Long, John and LaNae Abnet, and others. Music TBA. For more information contact John Ruskey, john@island63.com, Lena Von Machui, lena@island63.com, or Mark River markriver@island63.com.

Aug 19: Quapaw Canoe Company's annual Canoe, Kayak & SUP Safety Workshop -- in the Helena Harbor 12noon to 5pm. Meet 11am at Quapaw Helena headquarters 107 Perry St in downtown Helena, last building on levee headed to river. Open to public, $50/person for one-on-one instruction in what to do when your vessel flips over in the big river. Other topics covered include navigation, big river protocol, and emergency medical considerations.

Nov 1-Nov 10: Continuation of the Rivergator Expedition: We will return to Bonne Carre Spillway in early November and resume the expedition to the Gulf of Mexico. More details forthcoming, but dates are approx Wed, Nov 1 to Fri Nov 10th, weather dependent of course.

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The Lower Mississippi River Dispatch

is brought to you courtesy of:

Lower Mississippi River Foundation

www.lowermississippriverfoundation.org


Voyageurs Great Arch World Water Day, 18x24 watercolor 2017, by John Ruskey
Paintings, photos, videos, stories: Rivergator Celebration, Friday Aug 18th, 6-9pm
at the Cutrer Mansion, Clarksdale (Coahoma County Higher Education Center)

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