Improvised Life’s vast archive is liberally peppered with posts about guerilla actions: small-scale actions that deploy subversive messages in unexpected ways. Like Augustina Woodgate, who clandestinely sews little poems onto the tags of thrift store clothes, and all manner of grafitti including Bella Meyer’s Flower Grafitti and Bansky’s powerful stencils that “appear” suddenly in prominent places, like the walls of a prison.

Suddenly, in New York City’s West Side Rag newspaper, appeared pictures of a young woman chalking the graphic stripes of a busy crosswalk with the names of places where mass shootings with AR15 rifles had occurred. We don’t know if it was planned or spontaneous. We could feel the urgency and daring as the young woman scrawled her message in the brief window before the light changed and traffic roared forward.

It is a powerful statement made with a simple piece of chalk (lightweght, easy-to-carry, dead-simple guerilla tool).

Practical considerations: To carry chalk in your bag or pocket, it’s nice to have a chalk holder, which come in a variety of sizes and materials, including rather chic aluminum. This colorful high-rated model fits chalks to 1 inch in diameter, so can accommodate nice thick railroad chalk. We’re thinking a chalk holder with a stick of railroad chalk could make a great, if unexpected, gift. We’re partial to this kit of one chalkholder and 3 fat chalks:

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