Saturday, July 13, 2013
Fortunately for my mental health, I chose a career as a wood worker rather than following my family's suggestion that I study law. Now that my ESSA box making class is finished, my next hump in the road is the public hearing on Monday, July 15, 2013 in opposition to the extra high voltage powerline that SWEPCO plans to force through our community, whether we want to have our lives disrupted and our homes and properties destroyed or not.
I woke up in the middle of the night to craft my statement for the public hearing but there is some doubt as to whether I will be allowed to speak. Despite the corporate claim that "SWEPCO encourages public input as part of the regulatory review process so that all stakeholder's voices can be heard," the SWEPCO lawyer contacted the administrative law judge asking that those of us who have previously submitted comments to the Arkansas Public Services Commission website, or have submitted affidavits or testimony in the case be prohibited from speaking at the public hearing. They feel that for me to speak would be unreasonable double dipping into the quasi-judicial process as though none of us who are so deeply involved could add anything significant to the consideration of their plans. It is very common for American corporations to tell us how much they care about how we feel and then make certain that what we feel is summarily dismissed.
A public hearing, as acknowledged by the APSC is not exactly the same thing as a court of law. In a public hearing, one will be addressing both the judge and the audience in attendance. For the SWEPCO attorney to ask the judge to limit my rights guaranteed by the First Amendment seems an absurd notion and if the judge follows through with the line of thought proposed by SWEPCO you can guarantee this case will ultimately go to the Arkansas Supreme Court for resolution and remedy for their abrogation of my rights.
I am ever so grateful for a conversation I had with my friend Jorgy so many years ago when he told me that my brains are in my hands. That conversation was what turned my life on a dime, and led me to choose the life of a craftsman. It is such a positive thing to be involved in creative pursuits. And while I'm learning that I seem to have the mental faculties that could have prepared me for a life in law, true happiness is not derived from conflict, but from creativity.
I have been making an extraordinary number of boxes lately, and new boxes are stacked on every flat surface in my office and finish room. I have to find time to market my work and get my boxes out to galleries for sale. What you see in the photos is only a very small proportion of the boxes that are ready for sale.
Make, fix and create...