Portland Boil Alert – Noticing what Works

I just got a phone call from a woman I don’t know.  It was my second time to hear her voice.  The first time was yesterday afternoon when she called everyone in Portland, Oregon to tell us we needed to boil our drinking water.  E Coli had been found in the drinking supply.  We needed to be careful and via ‘reverse 911’ the officials of our city were letting us know. So,… Read More

Thirteen Ways We’re Not Helpless – Notes from the Edge of the Cliff

There are a lot of things that could be said about right now, today, December 31, 2012. For starters, we in the Northern Hemisphere are in the darkest time of year.  In Portland, Oregon the days are short, and most often gray and wet.  Nonetheless, we, like all of us, are in a great series of collectively signified moments that invite suspension of despair and the joyful tending of possibility. On December… Read More

Listen to Each Other

Today is Veteran’s Day.  I know that among the reasons I am here typing these words onto this screen with lunch cooking on the stove is the presence and courage of the men and women who over time have been warriors in this country and on this planet.  I’m not a big fan of armed conflict — not a big fan of war — and still I know that for the largest… Read More

In the run up to the election — An ANTIDOTE

Another post so soon??? YES!  Here’s an antidote to all the contention and polemic flying around the airwaves and unfortunately, too easily eddying in our own ruminations. We still have over a week before the election.  During that time it’s only vastly possible that the theater of opposition will amp up.  The essential subtext of all the contention is that we the people not only should but do dislike, disrespect and fear… Read More

How to Listen to Presidential Candidates

My work is in a graduate school.  I am responsible for helping prepare people to be educators, mental health professionals and community leaders.  We need them, so I give my very best to enabling their brilliance and their good hearts. One of the questions I often ask my students is, “What do you want?”  I sometimes have them write for a while – a good while – in answer to this question. … Read More

Post National Conventions – the Anniversary Celebration of a Brain Tumor

This morning a friend in Omaha told me about Sam, a friend of his who was off for ten days on a third anniversary trip to the particular beauty of the Colorado Rockies around Estes Park. My friend has spoken of Sam before, describing him as a notably successful businessman who’s built a thriving company that supplies materials for building or renovating homes.  Sam’s success, though, is lately not enough to bring… Read More

Election Year Politics – Hold on to your Limbic System!

If there were a word to sum up the trouble with our elections and the leaders they bring us, what would it be?  Thinking back on the 100 Voices I listened to in 2009, Americans around the country offered words like immature, disappointing, ridiculous, greedy, irrelevant.  Ed Kemp, III in Jackson, MS said “useless.”  Then he elaborated.  “Senators and congressmen ought to all be farmers.  They get up in the morning.  They… Read More

XXX Olympiad — Blog readership plummets

Not that the number was that sky-high to begin with – although of late there have been readers from India, Pakistan, Indonesia, Israel and Brazil – even one reader from Sierra Leon.  I don’t know if all of the countries represented by readers on this little blog are also represented at the Olympics.  I can’t because of a lot of things.  A lot of work, for starters; and then there’s the super… Read More

Mary Says, Mitt Says

My 19-year-old niece Mary is in Israel.  So is Mitt Romney.  Mary arrived almost 4 weeks ago to assist with rebuilding homes of Palestinian people that have been destroyed in the areas of the country historically populated by Palestinians now being displaced.  Many of those lands are occupied by Jewish settlers. These are complicated issues from the standpoint of local, national and international politics.  They are less complicated but more urgent and… Read More

Rose Festival, Jubilee and Jazz

My friend, Mark, is teaching himself to play the piano.  He’s reading a book by David Sudnow called Ways of the Hand.  Sudnow’s book sounds daunting (at its easiest).  It’s a phenomenological inquiry into the intersection of physical forms (hands and all their linked physiology), consciousness and the music of jazz piano.  Or at least that’s the closest I can come to a description. Mark says, “Music lives in the hands.  Every… Read More