Finding Fertile Ground during a Pandemic, Fires, and Smoke

I am writing at least once or twice a week on my Fertile Ground Communications website, so hop on over there to subscribe if you'd like to stay up to date! 

How are you doing? This COVID thing, combined with the awful fires and planet burning, is getting so many of us down. And then you have the stories of ICE giving forced hysterectomies to non-English speaking women and the occupant of the White House saying that he doesn't think science knows why the whole west is burning. Today our air quality in Portland has moved from extremely hazardous to extremely unhealthy, and we are rejoicing at that small piece of encouragement. It is enough to wear us all down and make us weep.

That's why I am constantly seeking inspiration. I need that inspiration to keep my spirits up. I created a Facebook group, Shine and Inspire, for that purpose (please join us if you need inspiration too!).

And my podcast is giving me life. I would do it full-time if it made me any money!

One thing I've learned about podcasting...don't schedule too many more interviews each week than you can publish! I was so enthusiastic when I started that I was interviewing two or three people a week...and now I'm totally backed up with content. 

Since I launched the Finding Fertile Ground pod, I've published 13 episodes and counting. This already puts me into the top 40 percent of podcasters, because 60 percent drop out long before now. (Typically, podcasters stop before 10 episodes, with a lot of people dropping out after just 1 episode!)

Since the beginning of July, I've had vulnerable, courageous, and inspirational conversations with 27+ incredible individuals and published 13 of those interviews. And reading back on how I describe these people I've interviewed, I realize how much I use the term "badass"!!!

My dad asked me about this word a few weeks ago, wondering why I used it to describe a series of four Black women I had interviewed. My 17-year-old son, Kieran, tells me that I use this word a lot! It prompted me to look it up. Check out the classic definition:

Now I understand why he asked the question! Perhaps it reflects my generation that we have turned this word around for our uses. "Badass" almost always describes women in my lexicon! Here's my definition:

And reading the way I use this term, if you listen to my podcast, I think you will agree with me! These are the interviews I've published so far:

Resilient Immigrants

I have a soft spot for immigrants, ever since doing the "When I Was a Stranger" series in Lent 2017 and recently, as I've gotten involved with The Immigrant Story. Immigrants are the most resilient people ever! 

  • Resilient refugee Olive Bukuru Kaburu, who fled Burundi with her family when she was just six months old

  • Dr. Daivati Bharadvaj, who overcame bullying in her teen years to reclaim her power and her Indian heritage (and who gave birth to a baby boy since I interviewed her!)

  • Sankar Raman, collector of immigrant stories

Fierce Survivors

  • Fierce fighter Skye Leybold, who is living with metastatic breast cancer and finding joy in simple things

Badass Black Women

Spiritual Nonbinary Activist

  • Rabbi Debra Kolodny, a spiritual badass who has been fighting for all sorts of social justice causes since 1981

Men of Color, Redefining Fatherhood

  • Ruben Garcia, a Mexican-American man who grew up working in a migrant labor camp and became the father he never had himself

  • Charles Jackson II, a Black man from Florida who is a true leader and connector

  • Ken Harge, a Black man from Connecticut who is here for something great

If you are listening to my podcast, drop me a note and let me know what you think...or even better yet, review my podcast on the channel where you listen. If you're not a podcast listener, you can listen to any of these episodes by going to the Finding Fertile Ground Podcast page on my website and clicking on the web player. I hope you enjoy!

This week, I am going to launch my first-ever interview with two people: Marie Cecile Anderson and Katy Frame of the NYC-based feminist, body-positive musical comedy duo Reformed Whores, and hosts of one of my favorite podcasts: Difficult Women. I am so excited for this one!! 

Stay safe and stay healthy...and mask up!