In the spirit of creativity, connection, reconciliation in the human family
...and keeping alive the light of hope...
Welcome Home Kindred, Kickin' Spirits, Colleagues, Strangers & Kin!!!
...especially: World Peacemakers, Merry Pranksters, Outrageously, Instigating Adolescents,Corporate Refugees, Single Parents, Body Healers, Mongrel Lovers, Social Workers, Youth Workers, Field Workers, Field Hippies, Urban Yuppies,Goth punks, cybernerds, footbag philanthropists...
And all other soulful brother and sister Dawgs!
is dedicated to the sport of "FOOTBAG" (known widely though incorrectly as "Hacky Sack") and to the healing, dancing and playful impulses aroused in us when we play.
The Story of the "Footbag Peace" project...
...During the 80's while working as a volunteer carpenter, performer and "peace emissary" in Central America - and later coupled with my passion for playing and making footbags - I, (Daniel Botkin) was initially inspired to start this project to promote non-violence and ethnic tolerance in and with Central America. That unique 1988-89 adventure by six young futbolitistas was a symbol of our desire to shepherd a more peaceful, tolerant world. We hoped to show that common citizens can (and should) find creative ways to be "political" and attempt to affect change. That original FPI campaign generated a video documentary, several return "peace voyages" back to Guatemala, and eventually to this website. Although the concepts have remained similar, these days I work more locally, teaching health, non-violence and sexuality issues to teens,dads and others, sometimes still using cooperative play,and sack sewing,as vehicles. I also create and give classes on peer leadership, communication skills, relationships and violence prevention. My other passion is farming. I'm currently building up my homestead,Laughing Dog Farm to use as a teaching vehicle.
Footbag has been a healthy discovery for all kinds of people: young and older, "straight", "hippie", "geek", athletes and "couch potatoes", corporate, city, country, white, Black, Latino - even people living at subsistence in Central America have been drawn into the joyful kicking dance! Whether booting it around an impromtu circle of friends, barnstorming for peace in foreign lands, or pursuing athletic excellence on the organized circuit of serious footbag competitions, the game is often compelling, always unifying and sometimes downright transcendent! Culty as it sounds, footbag has become for us, more than a game. Our sport has earned its illustrious reputation as a highly affordable, universally portable, intrinsically cooperative, aerobic, street dance which frequently engenders cooperation and (sweaty) communion between unlikely combinations of friends and strangers. Whether played by rank beginners in a backyard or park, by professional "kickers" in a classroom or a gym, inside "politics", or in the service of cultural diplomacy overseas, footbag is truly the Renaissance sport!
So, dear traveler, I offer these pages to you in the spirit of footbag: fun, health, healing, learning, fun, collaboration between genders, races, generations, craftwork and creative enterprise and FUN!!! Did I remember to say fun? Big Fun. BIG, BIG FUN!!! This project is one seed, perhaps the framework of a mission, a workshop or peer teaching program. Maybe you already have your own group, your own passion or "peace initiative". Perhaps these ideas will interest, tickle or lead you someplace. Perhaps you will borrow or adapt one and make it grow. Use this information freely [original images belong to the artist(s)];
check out what's new at the "FPI"; glimpse our three year old daughter Leylee; leave your mark in the guestbook or chew the fat with the web mongrel, Daniel "Dog" Botkin.
But be sure to pass it on!
It's the gun and it's the hate and...
it's the fear and it's the grudge and
it's hormones and it's violent media and
it's America and it's neglect and
it's the homophobia and it's the violence at home and
it's abandonment and it's the sexual abuse and
it's the drugs and alcohol and it's the money and
it's i'll buy you and you'll sell me and
it's the loneliness and it's the rapes.
It's power over somebody, anybody.
It's I want what I want when I want it.
It's the jealousy and it's the unknown and
it's the darkness and it's what we don't understand.
It's what we won't understand.
It's our limitations and it's I won't trust you because you are different from me.
It's I don't fit in and it's I don't want to fit in.
It's grandiosity and it's helpless feelings.
It's kids growing up without grownups as friends and allies.
It's being out of balance and it's not listening.
It's deep in our country's history and it's in our hearts now and
it's something we must change for and with our kids
A PRAYER FOR THE CHILDREN
We pray for the children
who sneak popsicles before supper,
who erase holes in math workbooks, who can never find their shoes.
...And we pray for those
who stare at photographers from behind barbed wire, who can't bound down the street in a new pair of sneakers, who never "counted potatoes," who are born in places where we wouldn't be caught dead, who never go to the circus, who live in an X-rated world.
We pray for children who bring us sticky kisses and fistfuls of dandelions, who hug us in a hurry and forget their lunch money.
...And we pray for those
who never get dessert,
who have no safe blanket to drag behind them,
who watch their parents watch them die,
who can't find any bread to steal,
who don't have any rooms to clean up,
whose pictures aren't on anybody's dresser, whose monsters are real.
We pray for children
who spend all their allowance before Tuesday,
who throw tantrums in the grocery store and pick at their food,
who like ghost stories, who shove dirty clothes under the bed,
who never rinse out the tub,
who get visits from the tooth fairy,
who don't like to be kissed in front of the carpool,
who squirm in church and scream in the phone,
whose tears we sometimes laugh at and
whose smiles can make us cry.
...And we pray for those
whose nightmares come in the daytime, who will eat anything,
who have never seen a dentist,
who aren't spoiled by anybody,
who go to bed hungry and cry themselves to sleep, who live and move, but have no being.
We pray for children who want to be carried and for those who must, those who we never give up on and for those who don't get a second chance.
For those we smother with love, and . . . for those who will grab the hand of anybody kind enough to offer it.
This website is also dedicated to my mom, Rhoda R. Botkin (1932-1990), lover of open roads, outdoor adventure, humanistic education and her family... Rhoda, siempre presente!