The Erenwine Agenda video is out!

asei arts youtube video erenwine agenda teaser raya ani

This inspired video by Finite Visual captures the essence of my visionary ecofiction novel, The Erenwine Agenda. Click the Youtube link to watch in higher resolution. There is also one on Facebook in a lower resolution.

You can see more about the novel here on Amazon and here on Goodreads.

Please enjoy, share, and let me know what you think!

-Maia

www.maiakumarigilman.com

An open letter to Ivanka Trump (5/5/17)

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7 May 2017

Dear Ms. Trump,

I am an Architect and once worked on one of your grandfather’s Trump building projects in New York when I was an intern. Forgive me for being forward; this has made me feel a particular connection to your family’s work in the real estate world of New York.

The building site I worked on is at approximately 4.43 feet above sea level, by current map estimates. Although there are ground floor lobby spaces that could accommodate a storm surge or monthly higher tides, there are still mechanical spaces below, and elevator access above, through which the residents of the building need to access basic utilities, services and vertical transportation. Most of the residents are long term, and elderly.

As an Architect, this concerns me. And even though an intern on that particular project, I feel a connection to the site, the building and its residents, even today. Such is the inner world of the Architect: we remain connected, and we care. That does not go away.

I learned a lot about my desires and my limitations on that project. In fact, part of the experience spurred me on to create my own business, and prior to that, was even a step to meeting my now-husband, becoming a new American citizen, and having American babies here, now growing up as young teens. I have your grandfather’s legacy in building to thank, in small part, for this trajectory in my life.

And so I am connected, and as such, I must speak out. Not about the politics of the day (which frankly overwhelm me) but of this one building site that connects us, and that sits at approximately four feet above sea level.

There is an easy path to doing our best to preserve building sites—legacies—like this one. The preservation (or adaptation, as the case may require) will be in response to three things:

1. monthly high tides increasing;

2. storm surges; and

3. general sea level rise.

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I don’t need to tell you this is a controversial topic today in politics. You know that. What I will affirm, is that there is a mechanism already in place to address and to mitigate the changes I listed above, that involve our waters. And it does not require that the body politic agree on every aspect of this, or that governments follow the same guidelines. It is a flexible mechanism.

It is the Paris Agreement.

By upholding and remaining true to the Paris Agreement, we, as an American nation, are saying that we care about sites like the one I worked on, that we care about the people who inhabit those buildings, and that we will do our best and give it our brightest advancement of thought in extending care to those intertidal edges we find ourselves inhabiting.

I live in New Jersey now. The coastal edges of New York and New Jersey are often impacted by the same storm systems and similar tidal experiences. I see that:

1. NY/NJ are partly coastal and are subject to sea level rise.

2. Sea level rise, like it or not, is occurring. It does not matter whether one believes in climate change being largely human-driven.

3. NY/NJ are subject to hurricanes, and those hurricanes become more frequent as ocean waters warm.

4. Ocean waters are warming, like it or not (see #2).

5. The Paris Agreement deals with the human-controlled impacts on the environment.

6. It does not matter whether one believes…(see #2).

7. The Paris Agreement allows for goals and targets to be set by every country involved, in order to minimize human-controlled impacts on climate, that in turn affect sea level rise and warming oceans.

8. NY/NJ’s coastal and inland river-edge towns that are subject to storm surge, will benefit from reduced damage from storms and flooding. A win for the region.

9. NY/NJ will benefit from reduced insurance premiums if flood zone maps are able to be redrawn as a result of lower sea level/flooding/tidal range that are touched on by the Paris Agreement. Another win for the region.

10. NY/NJ will stand out as state leaders among other states, in a bipartisan act to support livable, manageable and resilient communities.

By staying true to the Paris Agreement, we show global respect for those built edges, where grandfathers and grandmothers worldwide have invested in families, communities and infrastructure. By staying in the Paris Agreement, we show our ability to work beyond politics, and with ecology and love of nature at our back, ever the driver of the healthy world I know we want to leave our children, to leave our grandfathers’ great-grandchildren, and beyond.

I come to this last part, “my ask” as we say in my women’s business networking group: I ask you, with all your power and conviction, to stand strong and with all the care in the world, to speak truth to power, and to help to turn the tide in the White House on this issue.

With certainty,

Maia Kumari Gilman,
Registered Architect, LEED-AP BD+C
Chatham, New Jersey

Cc:

@IvankaTrump (Twitter)
@IvankaTrump (Instagram)
@IvankaTrump (Facebook)
#womenwhoworkbook
#ivankatrump

Why I travel

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Why I travel

 

Because I am human, and I inhabit a physical body, my experience of the sacred is automatically spatial. My experience of the spirit translates easily into the architectures of faith. I explore this. I travel.

Because I am human, and because I engage my physical senses at every moment, my understanding of the spiritual is, by nature, a physical one, tested against what I see, hear, breathe, taste, touch, love and feel. Should one or more of these senses be deprived in any moment, the others compensate in an extraordinary pulsation of experience.

Because I am human, and what I primarily know is the physical, my understanding of the spiritual is often relegated to a classification of physical experiences.

The body perceives the understanding of the spirit, thereby making my understanding of spirit a physical one.

Reverse this order.

Know the spirit as the vehicle, the vessel, in which the body is held, delicately, in its form.

What does this change in my understanding?

That the sacred transcends the physical, is not limited by the immediate perceptions of the body.

That because the sacred is all, and the body is contained within in, that the body alone is not sacred, but that everything is.

This knowing is illuminated through travel, and its expansion of the senses.

This is why I travel.

 

-Maia

www.maiakumarigilman.com

excerpt from the soon-to-be-released book:

Duct Tape for Kali: a book of travel poems by Maia Kumari Gilman

 

The Wild Side

i close my eyes
and see the wild places I’ve been

Sharing this beautiful and inspiring rap (yes, rap!) from Baba Brinkman this morning. A friend (Andi) posted about shifting from BC to NYC and the crazy juxtaposition of that, and that reminded me of a remarkable day, when I met Baba Brinkman on a bridge.

I had the unusual experience of appearing on The Highline at the exact moment that Baba set up to record the portion of this video that’s set there on The Highline. I was an audience of one: and it was immensely profound to sit next to him and his team while creating this.

I’d wondered if I should say something, me perching there next to the recording equipment, and when I heard him rap “I’m Canadian, eh,” I knew I would. We had a most wonderful conversation and found we both hail from Vancouver. The video above is filmed half in Vancouver and half in NYC.

i love the wilderness
and then…
you can see it when you close your eyes
and dream

It’s a unique time to be Canadian in the United States – our perspective is perhaps different than our counterparts – and never more vital and relevant to the expansion of ideas right where we live, on the wild side.

-Maia