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

3084 Miles of Road

“We’ve just driven the entire length of Interstate 84,” Sara said, “and we’re only in Utah.” She was in the driver’s seat at that moment, and we were 500+ miles east of Portland, Oregon – the hometown we’d left at sunrise, encased in a rectangular cube of mostly yellow – a rental truck filled up with Sara’s 28-year lifetime of belongings. For a mom and daughter, this is one of those big… Read More

Privilege Highway

Recently I had the chance to visit with a long time friend, colleague and leader in the African American community.  We found ourselves speaking of the urgently needed, but still largely inactive national dialogue on America’s race history and relations.  He told me this story: “My friend was working with a group of teens at a local high school.  There were black, brown and white students in the group.  My friend had… 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

High Summer & Highways – Solar Power in Action

  It’s hot.  It’s summer. Weather in the world has been, as we all know, weird.  Some people continue to spin this weirdness as normal, of no concern — circumstances that require no response on the part of the humans who live it. My friends Jon Waterhouse and Mary Marshall spend a good deal of time with indigenous people who live climactic weirdness.  The Elders among them have been noting alarming changes… 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

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

Why Read a Blog on Leadership and Change?

You may know this blog has a history.  It started January 21, 2009 – the day after Barack Obama was inaugurated for his first term as President of the United States.  It was a time when the ragged red underlining of word processing programs – the marks used to flag misspellings – showed up without fail beneath the two words, Barack and Obama. The blog first followed my road trip around the… Read More

February 1 – Re-imagining Underway

February.  The love month.  The month my skin has historically hit its most green (being of “olive” complexion – or so I’ve been told).  The shrimpy month perhaps made so out of some vague attempt compensate the rutheless grind mid-winter in the northern hemisphere can present whether rainy in Portland, sub-zero in eastern Montana or, this year, astonishingly dry in California and wildly cold where my Mama lives in Georgia. It was February, 2009… 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