Slow Down. Learn. Wake Up and Do What ONLY YOU Can Do to Save the World.

Brussels is in lockdown following explosions that killed dozens last night. ISIS is claiming responsibility. This morning, The Dallas Morning News reported on a Frisco, TX football coach who resigned in January after threatening black and Latino athletes: “You see that rope over there, you see that tree back there? I’m going to hang you in that tree. I’m going to hang you by your toes.” And throughout the day, the most hostile presidential race in my… Read More

Halloween, 2015: Brought to you by…

A few days ago, Governor Kate Brown issued a proclamation designating November as National American Indian Heritage Month in Oregon.  With that proclamation, she urged citizens of Oregon to join in observances of the vast contributions of American Indian peoples to the well-being of the state and country. Essentially, this is a reminder.  Each state’s governor may issue state-specific proclamations related to designations of months to honor groups of people.  November has… Read More

Identity and Work

I was going to title this Identity, Work, Motherhood and Death, but that seemed a touch too ambitious.  Nonetheless, all apply. On August 31, at the turn from midnight to midnight-01, and for the first time since I was 15 years old, I became unemployed.  Sheesh. Actually, I’m self-employed now and giving a good go at establishing this new career.  Still, there’s the tenacious pull of my 30-year academic career.  And it’s… 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

Evening – 2014

Meanwhile, deep beneath this winter ground a reliable impulse moves the seasons.  And at the center of these long nights and fleeting days eternal wisdom radiates in the celebrations of people.  Celebrations of dignity surviving enslavement, celebrations of just enough lamp oil, and celebrations of a baby born to an everyday woman — mother and child enduring beacons of faith and essential good will.  Amidst these miracles of change and constancy the… Read More

Brain Development in Times of Torture

  What we need here isn’t balls.  What we need is a big collection of myelinating orbitofrontal cortices. And we need it ASAP. Considering the many Elders I know, the many more of whom I’m aware, and the millions I have every reason to trust are out there, it’s my considered guess that we have all the developed brains we need to be far more wise than we are being. Unfortunately, those… Read More

Gaza and the Courage to be Kind

There is so much that is difficult about circumstances in Gaza. Two Julys ago, my niece Mary spent time volunteering in Palestine, building homes there, her colleagues of all nationalities, and the promised residents all knew would be destroyed – and they were (MARY SAYS, MITT SAYS. Blog July 29, 2012). Mary met and befriended Palestinians and Israelis. She has made more friends in subsequent visits and remains dearly connected with many… Read More

Zero Tolerance 2.0

I recently heard a story from a student finishing her sophomore year at a small liberal arts college in the Midwest.  A story set in a quiet college neighborhood, its characters all part of the college’s community. Here’s how it went – A group of friends were hanging out in a dorm room.  All were men, all members of the football team and all, incidentally, considered strong students by respected faculty members. … 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

Social Class and Knowing

One of the things I do in my work is to serve as a reviewer for scholarly manuscripts that social science researchers submit to academic journals – vying for one of the coveted publication spots so necessary for advancing in higher education professions. Hmmm. Well first, let’s go back and take a look at that sentence.  The one I just wrote and you just read. Its message could easily invoke a yawn. … Read More