Ode to a Street Gentleman

This is a repost of a blog from New Year’s Day, 2011.  That day I wrote about a man named Bill who I haven’t seen now for over two years.  He’d be 68 by now.  The street people around here who know him haven’t seen him or heard anything.  I’ll keep asking, but all of us have the feeling Bill’s life may have passed.  I’m spending lots of time considering house and… Read More

One Change Leader — My Mama

There it was – the enormous stack of mail that comes from being away from home for awhile.  Daunting as it seems, it’s always possible, even curious, to riffle through – separating the “must attend to this” ones from the far more plentiful immediate candidates for the recycling bin.  In a way that has become exceptional and continues a bit thrilling, there was a hand addressed envelope from a real person —… Read More

My Uncle Abbott and World Peace

As I begin writing, the body that carried my beloved uncle’s vivid spirit is being placed in a grave.  I am, of course, not there, but thousands of miles away.  Uncle Abbott died October 3.  He was born August 17, 1926 – 87 years were his to know and walk through here on the surface of this beautiful planet and among all of the rest of us.  Those of us who had… Read More

On Break in Lisbon …

–Will return next week with the second guest blog from Gary Ferguson. Until then ~~  mc

Unplugged — a guest blog

Gary Ferguson is a writer.  His subject over the past 30 years has the natural world and the relationships we have with it as human beings.  His setting has most often been Yellowstone National Park, but here, in the first of two guest blogs, Gary tells of his three months with 14-17 year-olds in the desert wilderness of Utah.  People living these years are change-on-legs as far as my memory and observation… Read More

American Work from the Ground Up

Labor Day is the American holiday designated to honor workers.  Historically, the day arises from the American Labor Movement in the late 1800’s.  The tradition continues — you likely noticed it last weekend – as a way of honoring the contributions of American workers to the health and wellbeing of our country. Also vital to the country’s emergence and continuing welfare is American Wilderness – a presence, a natural fact, that has… Read More

“He knows everyone in business.”

Every word was about kindness, about humility, or generosity of the most precious kind:  of time and attention, of friendship and guidance, of wisdom.  Last Thursday night, a man well into his 80’s retired … again.  This time from a talent and career management firm called Right Management. I still don’t know enough about this man, Jack Stowell.  My friend, Terry OConnor said, “Come as my guest.  Jack wants to meet you.” … Read More

Change. As Ever.

It’s late summer.  For school children, for parents, even for businesses and government there can still be a sense of moving slower, taking time.  Even John Oliver, who has spent the past three months substituting for Jon Stewart on the Daily Show indicated recently that summer is usually a slow time in the news cycle (presenting a particular challenge to cynics, comics, pundits and the like).  Oliver went on to say, however, that this… Read More

Notes from Mayo – “My water’s talking to your water.”

Harold Gattensby lives at the headwaters of southern lakes in Yukon Territory, Canada.  He is one of the tribal leaders attending the summit here in Mayo, Yukon. The leaders are from the 72 member tribes composing an alliance that was established a few days before Christmas 1997 in Galena, Alaska — at 40 below freezing.  The alliance brings into collaboration Alaska Tribes and Canada First Nations in the Yukon River Basin for… Read More

Wolves, Humans and the Errors of Fast Thinking

  So, a few years ago a Nobel Prize winning economic scientist named Daniel Kahneman took a pretty astonishing look at cognitive, biological and psychological habits of minds faced with the need to make judgments or decisions.  His observations show up in his book Thinking, Fast and Slow.  Needless to say, there’s a lot in this book.  One powerful trend Kahneman found in human decision making indicates that when we make quick… Read More