My Nephew’s Body will be Buried Today

“It will always be important to have a community of people who support each other and work together for the struggle.  Yes, for the struggle for all people.” Bruce McQuakay Saturday Memorial Day weekend, 2017 Seven years ago, on Fathers’ Day, Bruce McQuakay and I saw one another at the annual Delta Park pow wow. Bruce, who described himself as Tlingit and Apache, was not a father yet – that was still… Read More

Bring Your Best or Forfeit Your Country

In the January/February 1996 Harvard Business Review, 21 years ago, economist Paul Krugman ran out the ways countries are not businesses. The ways successful business people cannot automatically apply their skill sets to steering a nation and its economy. At the same time, he admitted that economists could not, without considerable extra expertise, run successful businesses. Krugman writes, “Let me begin with two examples of economic issues that I have found business executives… Read More

Eight Years Ago – Listening to American Voices

Today, eight years ago, I was just across the threshold into a giant project. A listening project. Only 16 days earlier, on New Year’s Eve, I’d decided to take time off from work so I could drive around the country with a flip camera to record the voices of  everyday Americans. I would start the day after the inauguration of the 44th President of the United States – Barack Obama. I would… Read More

Talking Sex(ism)

People are talking. This matters. We suspect our country and its people are better than this. But we’re not sure. Question. Does a Presidential candidate’s personal history of repeated demeaning public comments about women – with regard to appearance or sexual utility – have civic relevance? Does a Presidential candidate’s history of physical sexual harassment of women have civic relevance?  Does a Presidential candidate’s dismissal  of either or both kinds of behavior… Read More

ONWARD

  Whether an economic concoction or general energetic weirdness – or both – or neither – life has a way of throwing curve balls that, at their most random and intense, can knock any of us way off our game. So what’s up? Some of the more esoteric among us are in remarkable agreement that might be summarized: The energy is super intense these past months, and really weird. My prescient mentor,… Read More

Slow Down. Learn. Wake Up and Do What ONLY YOU Can Do to Save the World.

Brussels is in lockdown following explosions that killed dozens last night. ISIS is claiming responsibility. This morning, The Dallas Morning News reported on a Frisco, TX football coach who resigned in January after threatening black and Latino athletes: “You see that rope over there, you see that tree back there? I’m going to hang you in that tree. I’m going to hang you by your toes.” And throughout the day, the most hostile presidential race in my… Read More

Listening for a Change

Here’s a way things are working in the U.S.  On January 21, 2009 I got in my car and drove south – then east – then north – then west.  A rough rectangle of American highways.  10,000+ miles.  I drove to listen to what people had to say.  My question:  What do you mean when you say the word change? In the process, my purpose led to my own enormous gain.  That… Read More

I AM MORE THAN – Leadership out of Montgomery

  I want you to know about this! Thanks to the vision of my friend Michelle Browder, and her collaborators – the youth of Montgomery, Alabama – there will be a powerful commemoration of Bloody Sunday – The civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery March 6, 1965.  Michelle and her colleagues are pulling out the stops.  They’ve created an organization – I AM MORE THAN – and they are working steadily toward a… Read More

Calm Vigilance

There’s something to be said for scanning the environment – for reading the room – for casing the joint. I’ve just spent four days in the Northern Rockies with my husband.  Attending literary events, sitting in restaurants and coffee shops, walking spring green trails, and hiking to a high mountain lake – one laid down tens of thousands of years ago by an already slow-moving glacier. On the hike, we carried bear… Read More

Having it Happen

I was 19 when I met my fairy good mother.  Thirty four years later, in February of 2009, Mayme and I had our last conversation.  She is the … voice in 100 VOICES – AMERICANS TALK ABOUT CHANGE. I found Mayme through her daughter Margie.  She was in a nursing home and spending her days increasingly occupied with Alzheimer’s.  In spite of her condition, Mayme remembered me immediately and, well above the… Read More