Answer: Florida in November
Update, Saturday, November 21, Ocala FL (original post was in July in Portland OR): I have updated this post with minor edits. Videos and documents linked in the original post are no longer available. They are now mostly irrelevant, and are being preserved in my personal files, updated to reflect current reality. I’m leaving this post up as an outline of my circumstances back then — and as context for why the answer to the question is, “Oregon in September, but Florida in November.”
Update, Wednesday, July 8, Eugene OR: This post was originally written and posted in June. As of this date, I have received enough support to guarantee that I’ll stay in Oregon through August … at least. I have found an office, though still lacking a full time living/sleeping space (temp only for now). I am in Eugene for the next few weeks to have conversations with people here about what I have in mind if I stay in Oregon until late next spring or early summer. The outcome of those conversations, along with ongoing networking in Portland to build a learning community here will determine my decision. I’ll leave my original post here for context.
I have produced a video [deleted; no longer relevant] that is an open letter to Oregonians (contact me for the password if you wish to watch it but didn’t get an invitation), but viewable by others in Maine, Florida, Cali, and elsewhere. It addresses a new and unexpected issue: that without commitments from Oregonians, I will be unable to remain in Oregon past June — even after arriving just one month ago.
I hope that potential supporters will watch the video, which is offered with a very personal touch, and conveys information about my circumstances that cannot be easily conveyed in writing. Yet, this blog post will provide:
- a condensed summary of the points discussed in that video.
- links to the video, a related document (endorsement letters) and a related video
Please forgive my blunt tone. I’m NOT trying to be rude or offend anyone. But I’m not going to sugar coat my situation and put on a smiley face. Viewers will see and hear my stress, and that I am less upbeat than in an earlier video [deleted; no longer relevant] that I produced for Oregonians before coming to Oregon in May, seeking help with my transition.
I need viewers — especially in Oregon — to understand my rather dire situation, my frustrations caused by sacrifices and even suffering during five hard years in Maine that have caused me to be years behind schedule, and why I must make this decision because I cannot continue to live with such uncertainty in my life hovering on the edge of poverty. I’m seeking compassion for a friend and mentor that has something substantive and important to contribute to your community at a time of impending planetary crisis.
Please ask questions before making assumptions or drawing conclusions.
The main point: Even though I arrived in Portland Oregon less than a month ago (May 20), things are not working out as I had hoped, and I now have to make a decision — beginning some time during the week of June 22 with final decision by June 30 * or earlier — about whether to remain in Oregon for a year or more, which I very much want to do — or go to Florida in early July, where I have close friends offering me a free, comfortable, private place to live and work on video production, which I intend to use as my main source of income starting in summer. Videos will also allow me to make Ermah Ge’s crucially important program available world wide —- more on that below.
The main factor in my decision will be whether people in Oregon are willing to commit to invest in several Ermah Ge learning shares over the course of the summer to insure that I am able to supplement my meager finances in order to find a stable, comfortable place to live for a year and purchase a new computer (to replace my two aging ones that are no longer fully functional) for video production and mobile presentations.
If I have to leave Oregon, I don’t know when or if I’ll be back. This is neither threat nor extortion nor sour grapes, but based entirely on a need to protect my physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health by finding a stable, long-term, peaceful, aesthetic private living space of my own, first after moving 17 times in 8 cities in 2 states in five years. Issues addressed in this video, some of which are addressed in a FAQ [under revision for updates] addressing these questions:
- Why did I come to Oregon? [See below]
- Did I fail in Maine? (Short answer: emphatically not; we have only just begun.)
- Will I teach in Eugene? Yes, but I wish to base in Portland.
- How can you help? [see below]
I begin with this: Why did I come back to Oregon earlier (May 20) than I’d planned (winter 2015)?
- Plans to ensure my support for summer in Maine could not be completed due to factors beyond our control, including notice that I had to vacate my apartment because of an emergency in my landlords’ family, plus two other factors discussed in the video. [Another factor explained in the May Hello video, but not this one, was the fact that last fall, a company in Maine promised me weekly for two months an advance payment of $20k for work on an ecological consulting position. I postponed coursework to begin work on that. It never arrived. The same people guaranteed another Ermah Ge associate and I, in person, a six figure budget for 2015 to head up the science education component of their foundation. Of course, that never came, either. In both cases, we were shown paper work with credible signatures from credible sources in both the corporate and federal governmental realms to demonstrate that the projected, very-large-scale funding was indeed eminent.]
- To establish Ermah Ge learning communities (LC: a major EG concept) in Portland, Eugene, Hood River and (?) linked (digitally) to a transcontinental LC network with nodes in Maine, Florida & elsewhere.
- To teach advanced courses to Oregon students on EG’s Advanced Studies Track, and find investors in EG learning shares in Oregon.
- To seek a collaboration with a branding, marketing, advertising and web site development group (after a tragic collapse with such a group in Maine last April — one major factor in me leaving).
- To experience Portland’s culture of food, music, art and community (after living in rural and small town main for five years).
That is followed by a reminder of my view of current conditions on Earth. I feel strongly that big, big changes in climate are eminent. Civilization is in danger, and BAU must end. Ermah Ge’s Earth Studies Program is not only timely and relevant, but crucial for dealing with this planetary crisis. Therefore, I continue to seek financial (and other kinds) of support for our efforts.
We have a letter supporting that assertion, signed by 15 professionals along with personal endorsements by several associates, advisors and students in Maine asking Oregonians to support our work while in Oregon. And here is an endorsement by an Oregonian.
Next, I address why I am compelled to make this decision so soon after arriving in Oregon.
- First and foremost, it’s about my physical and mental health. I’ve been forced to move 17 times in 8 cities in 2 states in 5 years, some of which were pits and dives. And I’ve done so with no motorized vehicle of my own (not even a rental truck; I moved twice in the dead of winter on foot; and I had to do all my shopping on foot or bicycle, even in winter). At times, my belongings were scattered between three places in two cities so that I didn’t even know where things were. (“Is that item in Belfast or Rockland, and which storage area?”)
- Since arriving in Portland May 20, I’ve been staying in a living room in a small apartment, where neither I nor my host have any privacy. I slept on a couch for three weeks — causing agonizing neck pain — until I bought a small (27″) inexpensive ($75) futon. For a person who values an aesthetic living space of his own, my years-long quasi-nomadic experience has been hellish. Thus I have a deep emotional and spiritual need for a stable, long-term, peaceful, aesthetic living space from which I do not have to move for a long time, where I can focus on video production.
- The final tipping point came when the next set of temporary quarters (a basement storage area) in Portland — promised for three weeks while I sought more suitable quarters — fell through last weekend.
- I’m nearly broke — because the last few months in Maine were tough —- please see my FAQ. So I must find some level of commitment from Oregonians if I am to stay in Oregon.
- To be affordable, plane tickets have to be purchased weeks in advance. Hence, I need to make this decision by the end of June; I cannot further delay video production.
Finally, what needs to happen if I’m to stay in Oregon? How can people help me stay in Portland?
- I’m not asking for a hand out, but a hand up. I’m willing to work for it. My colleagues and I think I have developed a world-class educational program that is interesting, timely, and crucial for the long-term existence of our species. [See endorsement letter linked above.] Obviously, I’ve kept going, sacrificed, even suffered — the last five years have been more hell than heaven by far — swimming against extremely difficult odds for five years — most would have quit (I’ve been called repeatedly “tough as nails”) because I believe so strongly in my program and Ermah Ge.
- I need to get commitments for purchase of a minimum of 5 learning shares. That’s $5000 minimum to help me get through summer, pay for a place to live, and buy a Mac Book Pro for video production and mobile presentations. Not all of that will come from Oregonians, but they need to contribute substantially to that goal if I am to stay here. There will be investments from other states as well contributing to that goal.
- An Ermah Ge learning share is NOT like a corporate share that yields dividends, but like a CSA share that yields food from a harvest — in this case, food for your mind. Shares can be used to pay for seminars, courses, tutoring, consulting, videos, etc. You invest in Ermah Ge in advance of course work or tutoring, etc, then the costs are deducted from your share account at a negotiable rate. “Commitment” does NOT mean shares need to be paid for — only committed to. They can be paid as part down, then quarterly or even monthly. Several people can share a share; for example, two people buying half share each = 1 share. A person or group could even underwrite several shares, and get paid back as others invest.
- Substantive enrollment (or commitment to enroll) in courses so that Oregonians can review of basic principles before continuing advanced study; the intro courses have evolved, contain new knowledge and new modalities of learning that were not part of the course five years ago.
If you are interested in helping, please do not send money yet. I won’t collect any money from Oregonians until I am confident that I can reach my financial needs short and long term. Just let me know if and how you would like to contribute.