January 19, 2019
[Bob Carr, the creator of Bob’s Crystal Cave near Joshua Tree, Calif., where he welcomed visitors for 15 years.]
Joshua Tree Artist Built A Crystal Cave Of Wonder
With Chicken Wire, Spray Foam
“There’s nothing out there. It’s all you. The whole universe. The etherium. It’s already in you. You’re looking out there.”
Bob could be cryptic, especially when talking about the Crystal Cave. When I asked him why he built it, all Bob would ever say was: “Just plain old unexacerbated joy.”
Despite his radiating happiness, Bob had lived a hard life. He told me he grew up as one of seven kids, to poor parents who fled the Dust Bowl.
“There was never a book in the house. There’s no kind of library, you know,” Bob said. “We didn’t have a shower or a bathtub. Poverty sucks.”
“I needed to express the uncontainable joy I built up over so many years,” he said. “That’s surrender. When I look at you, I can see you. Therefore, I am stunned by the beauty of joy of every single human I meet.”
It may seem strange to suggest that the key to happiness can be found in a spray foam cave, in the middle of the California desert. But Bob taught me that every one of us is capable of making beautiful experiences for each other. Even out of chicken wire and spray foam.
Bob died earlier this month at age 80. He is survived by his wife Elizabeth and daughter Zena. Bob “died as he lived — on his own terms and with dignity and grace,” Elizabeth says.
Bob’s Crystal Cave: https://hiddenca.com/portfolio/bobs-crystal-cave/
[Seen at the Women’s March 2019]
Eric Liu believes that we are on the precipice of a civic awakening. Even prior to the US presidential election, he watched as global movements rose up against established hierarchies and institutions. This inspired Liu to compose a guide for citizens who sought to create real, lasting change. The result was his new book, You’re More Powerful Than You Think.
Protests and marches are only the beginning of a movement. Truly knowing how to wield citizen power requires a deeper understanding of power itself.
Around the planet, great numbers of everyday citizens
are pushing back against concentrated, monopolized,
“Online activism is necessary, but completely insufficient,” Liu said. “What we’ve got to do to revive the body politic and to revive civic life is to use digital means for analog ends.” He mentioned the Tea Party model, a grassroots effort started on social media that made waves in congressional elections.
Despite their distinct cries, movements like Occupy Wall Street, the Arab Spring, and Black Lives Matter had one thing in common: they were the product of decades of radical inequality. “Around the planet, great numbers of everyday citizens are pushing back against concentrated, monopolized, institutionalized power,” Liu said. This will not be an easy fight. Those with power are unlikely to concede willingly. Changing the game will require leveraging the power of citizens who stay awake and show up.
Building America’s Next Great Awakening