Why Bother with Peace & Quiet?

  It’s loud. Have you noticed? If not crashing into your ears, then careening around in your thoughts – in your dreams. If you live urban, maybe you’ve noticed the sirens on emergency vehicles being given more volume to break through earbuds and .. well .. all the other competition. Birds are calling out to each other with more volume, too. There’s a lot out there demanding adaptation. Some of it is… Read More

Standing in Wildfire

Yesterday, my husband Gary and I began a drive to Montana.  We live there parts of the year.  Just outside a really small community tucked into muscular folds of the Intermountain West.  With water and trees, with big mammals like Elk, Moose and Bear – with Eagles and Hawks, and this past spring, with a mama hummingbird nested just outside our window. It was early when we left Portland – the place… Read More

Speaking Earth Day

Yesterday, Gary and I spent the day with a small group of people investigating grief.  It was a rich, intelligent, and healing time.  We call the workshop The Nature of Grief.  And, in it, we weave together Gary’s storytelling and literary acumen with my knowledge of psychology and education applied to emotional, mental and spiritual health.  It’s good work.  We can tell by the responses of the people who join us –… Read More

Today with my Buddy, Wild Nature

Gary and I are on the road between Rexburg, Idaho and Portland, Oregon. Powdery fingers of snow insist on whispering across I 84 and, because of forecast warnings, we’re in close touch with Oregon family and friends to monitor this mid-November storm.  This matters particularly today because we’re supposed to be on Hawthorne Avenue at Powell’s Books this evening.  That alongside informed rumors of snow and ice that threaten to take hold… Read More

Grief Comes Home

Recently, a friend just older told me something about death that seems now obvious – the observation that sometime in a person’s fourth or fifth decade there is a subtle shift of awareness that shows up as no longer understanding one’s life in terms of how long it’s been since birth, but rather in relation to how much time is left.  It’s a shift that calls forward a new relationship with death… Read More

Stories and Specialty

I just spent four days in the company of poets and writers.  Well-published storytellers like Naomi Shihab Nye, Luis Urrea, Kim Stafford, Teresa Jordan, Gary Ferguson — and hundreds more, published and not.  No matter the notoriety, each one wove images into stories — tales to entertain, to instruct, to push beyond whatever bounds any of us imagines. All week these stories echoed across the wide meadow in the northeastern corner of Oregon… Read More

On the Cusp of 2014 – Change and What Endures

Soon the calendar will shift for another roll through dates, through seasons and all the moments we have no way of knowing from here.  Each of us lives in our own contagion of this following that.  The unavoidable change that is living itself can sometimes feel unnerving — or at least the anticipation of it, the impossibility I already mentioned of knowing completely any change before it happens. I’ve been writing this… Read More

Annunciation

[Posting from the UK – this second guest blog from Gary Ferguson writing here about the change in “making things fresh.”  His are helpful words – a good, even vital reminder – here where we live on the outskirts of all the bluster and impulse in DC toward shutting down the government.  Read and enjoy — mmc] A number of years ago, while teaching a nature writing class in Yellowstone, I had… Read More

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