26 May 2008

the cpu is getting hot

says some sort of nagging software. as if there were any way to turn
down the heat.

we have come to interesting juncture here in mangolandia, and i, for
one, would like to share. a crossroads of a sort.


on one axis we have the typical pattern of development in the Trip:
from escape through exploration to communication, and eventually,
sharing. by Trip i mean the basic unit and form of the growth
experience, as noted in various sorts of developmental experiences,
including but not limited to international travel, road trips, jobs,
schools, non-formal learning endeavors, altered states of
consciousness (bring back our memory bring back our memory),
friendships, relationships, and any sort of dynamic interaction,
evolving itself and You in the process.

at least, that's the best definition I can give at the moment,
brownbelly full of mangos and about to faint from the exhaust. cf the

generally, in the Trip, i first experience a phase of solitude (the
escape), during which i think i planned the trip (what a joke) and
that i planned the trip to get 'away' (as if there existed such a
place) from it all, to become a new self, to shed old identities and
patterns. i have observed myself spending more time silently working,
praying, and practicing various arts during the phase.

the second phase sees me inevitably drawn against my ego and in
concert with the true nature of the AllOneLove consciousness to a
happening social life with whatever humans, plants, and animals are
around. i am engaged in lots of work with my surroundings, organizing
and decorating, making gifts for people, building love, and generally
forgetting to meditate.

the third stage -- and I have NO IDEA if this is any way universal or
just One Ego's projection of the Trip (i suspect the latter, heartily)
-- shows itself with increased communication with past lives (read:
other people and places from previous Moments), a desire to
communicate and share in the (generally amazing) observations and
sensations and (significantly more banal) thoughts and ideas taking
place around me. it's when i write to mangolandia and when I post a
lot of aerograms, when I write the text on the back of all the
postcards i drew in the first phase.

the fourth and last phase is when the people i have been organizing
(this always seems to happen) come to visit and the life, through its
expansion into the consciousness of my dearest friends, acheives a
sort of completion and is ready to be relaxed aside (for the moment).
there is learning, connection, lack of novelty, promises about the
unknown future, sweet sorrow, and saudade.
but, as we have long known, the Road goes on Forever and the Party never ends.

this Trip, I might add, is fractal in nature, is always happening, and
is always happening many times at once, overlayed with different
time-periods, like some sort of harmonic wave conjuncture. so I am in
the latter half of phase 3 with the mango farm, but have been through
the cycle numerous times already this trip to India, and am still
crossing from two to three in terms of the general indian arc.

this Trip, I might also add, is deeply connected to the nature of the
Amazon and how we view Death. more later on that.


on the other axis we have the undeniable M factor of the mangos. this
cannot be overestimated, and i'm about to explain why.

i've been trying to express something more profound than "damn there's
a lot of fruit here" in these silly posts about mangos everywhere.
yes, it is true that rather like a surrealist fruit fantasy, everyone
has a mango in hand at all times, people enter the scene to talk,
argue, or work with a mango in hand, and the only people i ever see
who are not eating mangos are the customers ("mango lovers" is how
karunaji refers to them) who are coming to by some. yes, it is true
that most people immediately comment it's the best mango they've ever
had, and that last week some sort of insectiside-factory mogul drove
here with entourage of servants and family to personally thank the
Futane's and buy more fruit, because he had never had such mangos in
his life.

but the point is elsewhere.

the point is about need and excess. fear and relaxation. contraction
and expansion. last night after a beautiful woman with a beautiful
voice taught me to play "Pyogi meine" (one of my favorite devotional
songs) on the flute, Karunaji came down with a bowl of half a dozen
plump ripe Grade A awesome Dashari's (illustrated elsewhere). halfway
through the second one it occured to me that, hunger and desire
permitting, i could have as many as wanted. i couldn't possibly eat
the number of ripe mangos we have upstairs. i've both deduced and
induced that fact. the rate at which the mangos we have already picked
are ripening vastly exceeds our (family total) capacity to consume
them, in terms of eating, juicing, and selling combined. it's
inevitable at this point that many delicious ripe mangos will go to
the cows. who like them.

there is no end. there is no end. there is no end. the road goes on forever.

something about that clicked with a deeply felt vacancy i've carried
with me for years. i still don't know what it is, but the abundance of
mangos has showed me -- like a casts shadows -- its existence. maybe
it has to do with being indian growing up in mangoless amerika or
maybe it has to do with my family or maybe it has to do with the
creation of need in late capitalism. i don't know and i've never
imagined such a deep ethereal need to exist somewhere in me. but it's
there and i know because it's being filled by mangitude.

there's more but i'll spare us. i apologize for the me nature of this
writing. i know it's supposed to be about how indian people are so
devoted that 30 people who barely know me threw me an incredible
birthday party yesterday, ripe with love and appreciation for the
little time weve shared together, and how i ate so much mango juice i
didnt need the fruit for almost two hours.

but the reason I'm writing dear mango lovers is because i sense a sort
of completion nearing, something with the end of my time in
mangolandia. maybe that means india and maybe it doesn't. maybe it's
just the Mangolandia Trip, but something is landing and something
else, selon newton's air traffic control avatar, is bound to be taking

24 May 2008

may 25th

happy birthday to kevin panozzo and guadelupe de azkue and maybe miles
davis and j. krishnamurti. it's hard to know.

they tell me if i draw a mango out of the rough sands of my
imagination. they can produce it. so i do. and they do -- a mistaken
kesar whose stem rises askew and _voila_ this morning as brother
chinmay is shaving me (with the straight edge no less; something i
have dreamt of learning for years and now, too, that is fulfilled)
karunaji (mother compassion, literally) brings me a beautiful fleshy
fiberless number with the painted colors and the stem humbly off to
one side.

for today's birthday festivities i was going to make payasam but
really there is nothing better than just eating mangos. so that's what
i'm doing. back to the moustache reality and a mouthful of mangos.

it's been 29 short years on the planet and about time to draft some
sort of official document for the way forward. it's in the works.
there's going to be some changes around here.

mark my words.

23 May 2008


details. i am here at a farm in maharastra that is developing into a community and learning center of sorts. its been happening for the last 20 years and now they're formalizing just a tad. enough to ask me to make a brochure. which i did. and i would like to share so people can have some idea of what this place is about, besides the silly emails about mangos that are basically overdetermined at this point (both the necessity and the content).

i will make magic links to the layout (page one and two) and include the text below.

Samvad (text from brochure)

"Mother Earth can satisfy every person's need but no person's greed."

- M.K. Gandhi

We have to rebuild this society.

What will be the process? Communication is our first tool. The governments may plan, implement, legislate, and administrate without consulting their citizens. But only through proper communication can we realize a just and sustainable future.


means 'communication' in Sanskrit, and is used in many Indian languages. Samvad is a group of volunteers working in the Gandhian way for sarvodaya, "the upliftment of all."

Samvad and Farming

Farming is our main activity. We are inspired by "The One Straw Revolution" by Japanese Farmer and scientist Masanobu Fukuoka, and continue working towards the principles of Natural Farming.

Modern chemical farming holds short-term economic prosperity as its only goal, often without regard to the lives of animals, plants, and microfauna, nor even those humans who work the land.

Natural farming seeks to understand and to adapt to the natural processes of all members in our biological community. It asks us not to till the soil, pull up weeds, over-irrigate, use pesticides nor chemical fertilizers.

At Samvad we practice sajiv kethi — organic farming — which considers every living organism to have its place and role maintained. There is room for all of us. We work towards Natural Farming as a goal and are committed to organic techniques: mulching, companion planting, crop rotation, compost, vermicompost, natural pest and disease prevention, and absolutely no use of chemical fertilizers or poisons.

Samvad has almost 10 acres of fruit trees, including 6 acres of mangos and 2 acres of an incredibly bio-diverse "food forest". In our orchards other species — including sindhi palm, guava, neem, and sivan — are encouraged to grow, providing food for wild animals, habitats for insects and birds, and much-needed shade for young plants.

We emphasize enriching the soil, groundwater, and atmosphere with our work and love. We firmly believe in Gandhiji's idea of trusteeship — rather than owning the land, it is our duty and service to care for it tenderly, handing it over in good condition to the coming generations.

Samvad and Society

At Samvad, we also work with the holistic aspects of farm life.

We cook and eat healthy food from our own fields and orchards, according to climate and season. We maintain a medicinal herb garden, study the local wisdom regarding the medicinal properties of wild plants, and treat ourselves with natural cures when possible.

Samvad has also worked for five years with women from the surrounding villages in anti-liquor campaigns. The women now provide themselves with income, confidence, and personal development through the co-operative production of added-value products such as amchoor (dried mango powder), aachar (mango pickle), and hair oil.

Samvad conducts research and training on watershed management with local farmers, and serves as an informal learning center for people of all ages and cultures. They come to learn and to share experiences with conservation bunding, seedling tree planting, traditional mud-house construction, organic farming practices, renewable energy, natural living, and Gandhian values.

Samvad also provides vacation camps for students from both towns and villages, affirming the beauty and necessity of farming and rural life for India's future.

Through such activities we hope to build a new generation of farmers and volunteers who give their lives in service to our land and people.

Samvad and You


welcomes earnest, committed people to contact us about visiting or volunteering.

Vasant and Karuna Futane


at Rawala, post Satnoor

taluka Warud, district Amravati

Maharastra, 444907


07229-238171 / 202147


22 May 2008

drawing for shaytal

some people visited the other today and introduced me to this concept
called "shading". so ima try it out.

it's getting hotter ever day and we are consuming conspicous
quantities of mango. this morning i sat back in the courtyard to asses
the damage, a veritable mound of pits and peels between six of licking
our hands contentedly. as each person sat down he or she brought
another pail of mangos in water -- the better to rinse as we eat.

the mangos are everywhere and ripe. on the ground during my morning
rounds. on the trees. in peoples' hands. all over the kitchen. stored
upstairs and outside. the dogs are evening eating them (with relish).
people come all through the day to buy them -- the foyer is the new
storefront, the chambers are the new warehouses.

even on the computer desk, by the scanner and under bad printouts of
the new brochure i am designing for samvad, you can find a few ripe

hard to believe but im telling it straight.

20 May 2008

more kids' drawings

remember these are all done with natural colors. charcoal, flowers,
leaves, and fruit. fruit!

16 May 2008

waiting on scanner

i win i win i win i win. such a blessing all of it. today, here at samvad, the official name of the mangolandia futane mango farm, of which i am now somehow an integral part, we started another kids camps.

kids camps -- one of the activities of the mango makers while theyre not busy with their godgiven duty, along with antiliquor campaigns, womens cooperatives, village constructive work, and watershed management -- happen here more than monthly, it seems, and accept 20-50 kids for 3-7 days from surrounding villages, to show them the good life of natural farming, fun work, songs, games, and organic food.

i didn't realize when they asked if i would be here for the camp that i would be in charge of the kids activities, until today. as it should be. so we started at 4, talking about color. and how brushes and paints cost money and one day i was in AMERIKA but wearing a lungi so i had no money but hell man i really wanted to paint.

all of this, by the way pulling your ear, is in the most american accented english i can muster, just barely toned down so chinmay futane, my mango brother and unofficial translator, could get it across. and the 10-14 year old village kids, some of whom are aadivasi (tribal) and some more classically marati (from the state of maharastra) just love it. they love american english. and i keep it clean, (un)naturally.

i tell them my friend bhoomi (some indian languages for "earth", also a name) comes up and offers me some color. so we touch the earth around our toes and shout "good afternoon bhoomi" (good afternoon being in english) and then i unwrap a newspaper full of natural color i had collected that morning -- different fruits, flowers, and leaves we could use to paint.

we divide the groups into chaotic and uneven brigades of village kids eager to prance barefoot over hook and crook to get their assigned plant matter. my group went down the dusty village road to get bael, a new favorite fruit with no good english translation. aegle marmelos in latin, used frequently in ayurveda, a hard wooden shell and a sweet orange pulp inside. related to wood apple if that helps at all.

and there one in on the side of the road. we gather around it and say, in english, "dear bhoomi, thank you for this fruit", with 11 pairs of small brown hands (that may one day grow to play the bansuri) around a sad cracked bael on the side of road, touching our friend the earth with earnest joyful kid devotion.

sometimes its just too much. too great. too powerful. the rest was now and is history and, armed with a scanner, i cant help but scan my pride into a few images. we played all kinds of games and tag and stories and music and dancing and im a little amazed that from a place where i was once afraid or indifferent to kids, ive turned into some wizard who is running childrens camps and taking care of charges in central america and strange twists of fate like that.

but the kids here are so beautiful, the eyes are so big and full of trust. they copy everything you do with innocence and devotion. after kannavu style dancing and drumming which we instigated before (currently in progress, i can almost hear them over the cowbells) i started stretching a little bit (2.5 hours picking mangos from the ground this morning, you know, a lot of windfall) and i opened my eyes three asanas later to find all the kids (who werent still drumming with bamboo and bricks from the last game) copying me. and we did yoga together there for 15 minutes in total silence, under the moonlight. they copied every inhale and exhale, every moment and twist. there is no need to speak. the heart listens and the heart speaks.

and then the prayers -- this beautiful prayer from one of the teachers i will try to record, about how everything is god -- the birds and the colors and the smells. and it is.

so there. it's not just mangos. and as vinoba says, work is worship. the days pass and i have no idea, no recognition, no cognition even, perhaps, that i am working. i am just tending my garden (hoping the little seeds sprout) and playing with children and walking under the trees, eating mangos with my friends.

one love open university

14 May 2008

paradox winds

its the night time, nine at night, and i am to type a poem from the dalai lama, i am told, for the futane family farm brochure. so here i am. the cloud is sky-y for once, hazing over the rainbow luminesence of the waxing moon. gibbous, even, perhaps.

the book "the secret life of plants" -- which i finished today, for the first time, and remain astounded, not for the first time -- includes a section on scientists who take aerial photos of large tracts of farmland and treat the photographs with natural poisons for the pests who inhabit the land. does that make sense? the beetles are in the fields, they apply the remedy to the photograph. there is some sort of "radionic" black box that goes along with it, some modification of what the famous Dr. Abrams developed and for which he was crucified.

anyhow, according to the experiments, and the company the three gentlemen ran for a few years (before they were run into the ground by the insectiside lobby) and the book, the technique worked. which brings up all sorts of interesting thought experiments and loopholes in spacetime bodymind and other aspects of the Consciousness.

but really, what im thinking is about the stories of native americans not letting people take their picture because it would "steal their soul". and how, well, they're right. if even having a picture of someone allows you to work miracle cures or, presumably, bad mojo, then their very soul is a silty loam in your hands. n'est-ce pas?

anyhow. one more piece of ancient wisdom for the postmodern stew.

faux swamiji 43b

12 May 2008

vinoba on mangos

from vinoba:

How could one imbibe vairagya (non-attachment). We say that a mango is sweet. But is sweetness really a quality of the mango? No. Sweetness is really an attribute of the Self, and a particular thing tastes sweet when it is infused with that sweetness. One should, therefore, learn to taste the sweetness within.

And this, my mangophilic friends, is what I have been saying all along. We do not love mangos because they are sweet, for sweetness is already within us. We eat mangos -- ripe and raw, green and orange, sweet and sour -- because they are mangos, because of their intrinsic mangoness, what we have come to call "mangitude" in the technical literature. That, dear friends, is not an attribute of the universal Self, found in divine man and all other being. That, dear friends, that mangitude, is only in the mango.

vinoba, thank you

I am also learning from Vinobaji, the "spiritual disciple" of Gandhi and leader of the Bhoodan and Gramdan pilgrimages, walking India for many years in search of moral purity and land reform. In his talks on the Bhagavad Gita, which he gave extempore in jail, he writes:

Once a gentleman wrote to me, 'we have decided to recit lord rama's name a certain number of times. please join us and inform us how many times you are going to do daily.' the gentleman was acting according to his light. i do not mean to disparage him. but should we count how many times we have taken the name of the Lord? It is not a thing to be counted.

a mother cares for her child. does she publish the report on it? were she to do so, we could just say 'thank you', and be free from our obligations to her. but a mother does not submit any report. she rather says, 'what have i done? i have done nothing. it this a burden to me?" karma ceases to be karma when one does it with full dedication with the aid of vikarma (purity of intention in mind). karma then becomes akarma (actionless action, renouncing the fruits of the action).

it is impossible to describe this state. one can at best give a rough idea. the sun rises daily. but does it rise to remove darkness, urge the birds to fly and set men working. it just rises and that is all. its very existence makes all the world go round. but it is not aware of it. if you thank him for dispelling darkness, he would be at a loss to understand what you are saying. he will say, 'have i really done so? please bring a little darkness. if i could dispel, then only i would claim any credit for doing so.' can we carry darkness to the sun?

im reading this in the light of the recent cycle yatra with europen velophotographer tomas werner and the incessant maddening kindness we were shown. at every point our hosts -- none of whom expected us -- would refuse the idea of a thank you. this is of course very common, perhaps even definitive, of indian culture. they never use the words please and thank you. until now i had understood this practice as acceptance that actions were done out of duty and did not necessitate judgement or approval. but vinoba goes deeper. he says that our actions cease to be actions, to bring karma upon us, when they are included in our being, when they cease to be outside of us.

i have friends so kind, so compassionate, that talking to kids on the street or brightening peoples' days or giving away everything they have is not an action. it is not something to be remarked upon or even noticed. only after they have taken care of the starving old woman will they even note they are two hours late for whatever evening plan they had. it is not karma, it is inside one, it has become, vikarma.

or as my flute teacher, who is 80, says in his scratchy baritone when i thank him (im not learning i guess)
"thank you"

as in:

"thank you, sir"
"yes, hmm, thank you"

bharti sanskruti

In the "ah, so this is culture" file, i am pleased to report overwhelming evidence indicates touching people is ever-so-common all-the-time here (between people for whom sexual rapport is thought to be impossible). that is, people will crowd you on the trains, sit basically on your lap at the public benches, ram against you in line, elbow you getting on a bus, tug your arms, put their babies against your bosom, hold your hand, touch your head, stroke your beard, grasp your side, etc.

but! if anybody accidently steps on you or brushes you with their Feet, there is an immediately apology in the form of touching your feet with their hand and then touching that hand to their heart or head. as in, touching you with their feet (as opposed to babies or elbows) is denigrating and disrespectful and begs for immediate atonement.

so that's cool. or, at least, what it is.

secret leaves of plants

an experiment. i am reading at long last, "the secret life of plants". easily of the most fascinating and life-philosophy confirming books i've ever read, echoing, in its own journalistic/sensationalistic fashion, the primal reality of the one love and the deep truths many mystics share with us:

existence is consciousness (ie sat is chit)
matter is energy (inc. electromagnetic and sound)
everything affects everything, perhaps immediately

so it's good. one of the experiments related tells of a human plucking two leaves from the same plant and leaving them on his or her bedside table. every morning the person tells one leaf he or she loves it and wants it to live. the other leaf he doesn't address at all.

after two weeks one is fresh and green and the other is dry and decayed.

total mind magic. and very simple to confirm. if any mangoland lovers out there would like to do this, i would love to hear of the results. i will start today.

with mango leaves of course.

09 May 2008

bathing in mango juice.

not yet. but they promised me it will soon be true. a few notes on the mango reality:

the word mango comes like from the malayam manga from the tamil 'mangay'. in north indian it is known from some derivation of the sanskrit 'am', curiously similar to the primeval 'ma' of mother. the mango is indeed deeply embedded in our consciousness.

there are 40 species in the mangifera genus besides our favorite mangifera indica. they grow wild in the jungles of assam, through bangladesh and burma, and into malaysia and indochina. some of the fruits are edible, some are not. none is the king of fruits. that is for the mango alone.

yesterday morning i woke up and did my daily walk of the 6 acres of mango trees. there are perhaps three or four hundred trees, some branded varities (grafted) and some from seed (desi, or native varieties). mangos cross pollinate so if you wanted a fruit like the father, you have to do a graft. so all these alfonso and kesar and whatnot mangos you get in the market (after they have been chemically insta-ripened for your tasting enjoyment) are actually from the same genetic stock. with all the weakness that implies.

after picking up the fallen green mangos and nosing around for any ripe mangos or half-eaten fruits (which indicate the tree is ready for the picking; the birds and monkeys always know before we do), i walked a little with Karunaji (the mother of the family, her name, Karuna, means compassion) to pick 10 kilos of special kesar mangos for sale and storage. she walks here and there in the orchard, picking a few fruits from each of the 10 Kesar trees. each mango is personally selected, checked, and caressed before being plucked. Its quite amazing. she then told me which trees were ripe enough to pick all the fruit and i got to work.

first picking all the mangos i could reach, then climbing the tree to get all the interior mangos, then using the mango-picker-tool to get the high mangos. there is of course the set intersection of too-high interior mangos or too-too-high exterior mangos that remain for a better picker or, equally like, the birds.

by 10 it's hot enough to get ill and i stumble home with 40-50 kilos of mangos on my back. it's a good load to hoe.

get home from breakfast (always accompained by some form of mango chutney) to sort the mangos into:

ripe to be eaten now
mature to be ripened
green to be pickled
green to be made into mango powder
green to be made into drink
damaged or small to feed the cows

worth noting is that india loves cows and cows love mangos. they love small green mangos they can get a good crunch on. and we love giving them the small green mangos and hearing them crunch. its so good.

after sorting i can help make peel mangos to make pickles or just sit around eating mangos. we have a grandmother here, she is old and dying and confined to her bed, so i try to paint and play music in her room and hold her hand. she calls me 'maharaj' (which means priest or holy man or servant) even though nobody told her that everyone calls me swamiji (holy man, renunciant) here. it's a funny subconscious world. all one. doctor bronner style.

the point is that between 10 and 5 you should be in the grasp of the sun. so i run outside after lunch to practice flute under the shade of the mango tree, a good 10 degrees colder than the house. the sun is by the by, a good 45 degrees strong. its really dangerous. i have to think of it like acid rain, that acid rain is falling on my head and killing me, everytime i step into that midday jaguar sun, in order to take it seriously.

those are some mangoed notes. i should break to, yes, eat another mango.



03 May 2008

home, home at last.

so who knows what any of this means but i appear to have found this
mangolandia i've been headed towards all along. i created this whole
"brand" and idea and email address when first i came to india as a
musafair (traveler) in nov of 2005. ostensibly to study ayurveda,
classical music, and gandhiji.

and now, 2.5 five years later, mangolandia has found mangolandia. its
a farm, an organic farm, headed towards a natural farm (meaning
fukuoka style), in maharastra. district amrawati. taluka warud.
village rawala. family of vasant and karuna futane. six acres of
mangos and then a lot of food forest type land and six acres of
gorgeous cathedral bamboo and then some straight row crop and as well.
and people who have drunk deeply of gandhiji and vinoba bhave, karuna
who grew up with the latter -- a hero for me.

when i came to visit last year for the shikshantar farming conference,
it was january and delightful. but no mangos. and i was hungry to come
back. and thery had invited me "swamiji, you may always return to eat
mangos". so here i am and so naive and childishly happy, taking care
of the trees, picking up the fallen fruit, building a hut in the
grove, eating mangos. carving mangos. juicing mangos. and its not even
proper season yet. things havent really begun -- just one or two trees
that are providing a few threshold ripe mangos every day. one or two
trees out of 400, out of 50 varities, most of them traditional
unbranded types.

so, mangolandia has arrived. and these kind people, well, weve fallen
in love with each other and its quite possible i could come and stay
here every year, be part of this simple community living honestly and
fruitfully with the earth, trying experiments with diet and natural
farming. fulfill our dream of a meditation center, mud huts amidst the
fruit trees. it could happen here.

so there's that. i just wanted to share. kind of a powerful thing. if
im always ahead of myself and moving forward, it means i should change
this email address pretty soon.

one love

We on the rise...

[ a note from agent ava of mexican and amerikan fame. her productions,
i repeat, are the best i have ever seen in my short terrestrial life,
and are not to be missed. gods willing, i will pilgrimge down from
sequim this fall to attend ]

Dear Friends

I am thrilled to announce that We Players have received the necessary
permits from the National Parks Service to mount our next show! We
will be working at Fort Point, an incredible stone fort, built towards
the end of the Civil War, that is situated directly beneath the Golden
Gate Bridge.

I'm attaching a donation request letter, that describes a bit more
about the location and the project, that I recently sent out to the We
Players mailing list.

If you are willing, please help us out by forwarding this letter to
friends and family, anyone who may be interested in the work We do.
If you yourself have $2 or $5 or $10, literally any amount will help.
For real. For this show we have some pretty serious budget goals,
unlike any of our previous projects. The major obstacle to this event
is the very large sum in overtime Ranger fees we must pay for the
dates of performance. Without at least this, the show won't go.

I can guarantee this will be our tightest, most impressive show yet.
And of course, a truly one-of-a-kind journey through this amazing
space...henceforth know as Macbeth's castle.

With many thanks for your support.


donation and information letter below:

Dear Friends,

This summer, We Players is bringing its unique combination of
theatrical spectacle and community celebration to one of the most
majestic and bizarre spots in San Francisco.

Fort Point, the "third system" Civil War era army barracks that sits
in the Presidio, directly underneath the Golden Gate Bridge, has been
preserved almost without modification since it was completed in 1861.
It never saw battle, and after being underutilized for several
decades, has spent most of the last century under the administration
of the National Parks Service, who preserve it as a National Historic
Site and keep it open to the public on weekends throughout the year.

The building is breathtaking. Three stories of balconies look out onto
a central courtyard. Stone archways, partially covered in moss, open
up into cavernous rooms full of dark corners. Slitted windows provide
occasional peeks out onto the bay, as the sound of waves breaking
against the stone fills up the whole space again and again, before
being lost in the wind. Fort Point is the perfect setting for We
Players' presentation of William Shakespeare's Macbeth.

Continuing in our tradition of creating interactive, site-specific
performance events which transform public space and provide
opportunities for communities to gather and celebrate their
surroundings, Macbeth will bring actors, musicians, dancers, and
designers together with the National Parks Service, a Civil War
reenactment troupe, spectacular architectural lighting, and the wisdom
of one of Shakespeare's starkest and most incisive plays. The
performances, which are free and open to the public, will occur during
the first two weekends of September 2008.

In order to do this work, we need your help. While our collaborators
donate their time and resources, mounting a production of this type
does cost money, and We rely on contributions from those people who
value what We do to help make it possible. We need money for permits
and insurance, to create costumes and props, to provide lodging for
our guest collaborators, and to pay overtime wages to the NPS rangers
who will be our liaisons to the fort.

In order to cover these expenses, We are embarking on a fund-raising
campaign that will include Salon-style discussions with our core
collaborators, a dinner event featuring previews from the performance,
and a dance party. We have also applied for several grants. In
addition, we are aiming to raise $4,000 in direct donations from those
of you who have a special connection to We Players. You are friends or
family, have been a patron or a participant, have stumbled across our
public performances, come across our website and said hello. Somehow,
you have become part of our circle, and therefore you are already a

Contributions of any amount are helpful, tax-deductable, and greatly
appreciated. Please make checks payable to CounterPULSE, the
non-profit fiscal sponsor for
We Players. Write We Players in the memo line of your check and mail it to:

We Players
attn. Ava Roy
776 Cayuga Ave.
San Francisco, CA

You can also contribute online. On our website (www.weplayers.org) you
will find a link "support we" which will allow you to make
contributions using PayPal and credit cards. If you are donating
through PayPal, please make a note in the 'comment' box that you would
like your donation to be tax deductible. Credit card donations are
greatly appreciated, but are not tax deductable at this point.

With our deepest thanks

on behalf of all of WE,

Ava Roy
artistic director

Randall Cohn, project co-director
Cara DeFabio, project co-director

For further information about We Players: www.weplayers.org
Please feel free to contact us there with any questions or comments.

For photos and further information about Fort Point: www.nps.gov/fopo/

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drawings india part 2 selon tomas