Montana’s Red Lodge

Yep. On the road again.  This time listening to the wide stretch of country called Montana. Right now I’m sitting with the morning sun where it falls across this tooled leather couch and onto pine floors reclaimed from beneath years of inhabitants, each leaving behind their layers of linoleum, carpet and, in the bedroom where I’m sleeping — astroturf.  It took plenty of my friends Joe and Roxanna’s work to call these wooden boards… Read More

Unlikely Connection – Natural Kindness

On Wednesday of last week I heard a story.  It was a story of a little boy, a four-year-old skipping and playing and laughing because he had completed two chemo-therapy treatments and for the first time in almost as long as he could remember, he didn’t feel icky.  He felt great!  Despite his cancer, and almost as if he’d forgotten he had it, he wanted to jump and run and swing with… Read More

Listening to Rivers

Last week I had the chance to catch up with a friend, Antone Minthorn (Cayuse), former Chairman of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR).  He told me a story of the Umatilla River.  The focus of the story was Salmon – the fact that Salmon were not able to make it up the Columbia as far as the Umatilla River for more than 70 years while the combination of… Read More

“Good Job, Dad” — Change 4 Years Later

“The first step is faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” Martin Luther King, Jr “If you’re walking down the right path and you’re willing to keep walking, eventually you’ll make progress.” Barack Obama Sasha Obama hugged her dad after he took the Presidential Oath of Office yesterday.  “Good job, Dad,” she said.  “I did it,” her father responded. Then today, President Obama stood before… Read More

What do we learn? What do we teach? The days after Sandy Hook

Love that takes us out of ourselves and binds us to something larger.  President Obama Newtown, CT 12-16-2012 The days move by in this the darkest season for the Northern Hemisphere.  Saturday was the day after, Sunday two days after, Monday three, Tuesday four ….  These days will pass into months and years, and those of us still drawing breath in these wild and precious lives will continue.  As we do, we… Read More

Matters of Spirit before the Election — and a second podcast —

Last night there were fireworks in the rain for the last game of the season for the Portland Timbers — our professional soccer team.  The season ended with a tie between the Timbers and the San Jose Earthquakes.  I wasn’t at the game.  And, true confession, I didn’t know about it.  But the sound was enormous for 20 minutes or more.  My imagination ran the gammut, but I remembered my friend Dia… Read More

Libya, the Chinook Nation and Who We are as Americans

Captions beneath three undated photos provided to the Chinook Observer by Ambassador Chris Stevens’ mother read: Chris Stevens. Stevens was among four Americans who died Tuesday night, Sept. 11, 2012 in Benghazi after they were attacked by gunfire and rocket-propelled grenades. Stevens’ death deprives the United States of someone widely regarded as one of the most effective American envoys to the Arab world. Chris Stevens, the ambassador to Libya who was killed in… Read More

Independence Shared

On the day the only living Pinta Island Giant Tortoise was found dead, fires raged in the foothills of the Colorado front range and the Supreme Court of the U.S. decided the state of Montana could not assert its 100+ year old legislative policy stating the corporations are not people.  It was raining in Portland, OR where today the sun peeks regularly between clouds making for dappled shadows instead of monochrome.  That… Read More

“We have to talk about these things”

I am back in Portland.  Three weeks, now.  Shortly after my return I receive email with the subject line:  yes-youmadeit/Dr. Dapo!  My dear and long-time friend, Dr. Dapo Sobomehin (voice 90 in 100 Voices – Americans Talk about Change), wanted to get together for coffee.  This morning we finally made it to the corner of Hawthorne and SE 37th for a few hours of catching up. Every time we meet, I am compelled… Read More

Civil Rights Remembered in Wisconsin

A year ago, I spoke with Susan Stout (Voice 075), a PhD forester with primary oversight of significant research in the forests of the Allegheny of western Pennsylvania.  Then, yesterday I marched with a small group of people who gathered in the small downtown area of Whitewater, WI.  These things fit together. Almost 9000 miles down the road, I’m taking a break to visit here in Whitewater for the month.  This is… Read More