Cycles – Variation on an Easter Blog

Last week I had the great opportunity to be in Yellowstone – the first National Park in the world.  Yellowstone stands out for loads of reasons – but recently I’ve learned another feature of its distinction.  The park makes up over 20% of the largest generally intact ecosystem in our planet’s temperate zone. All of these are fun facts.  But the realities that support them have gained particular significance to me from working alongside… 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

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

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

Wasp stings are annoying — The crashing unpredictability of severe weather is deadly

Ok — From Fracking the past two weeks to wasps.  Tipping my hand here:  I find myself thinking of the former at the causal edge of ongoing climate degradation while the latter live on the continuous curve of the climate’s changes.  That, of course, places wasps in the company of all breathing and otherwise animate things (like people, rivers, pine cones, lentils …). In particular, wasps have been on my mind because… Read More

What are the Barriers to Social Justice?

On Friday I had the opportunity to speak briefly with a small group of friends and colleagues about social justice.  It was a time that qualifies for sure as a moment in the story of my life.  And the particular narrative of that time is transition – big transition – so big that I’m not yet prepared to write about it here.  Odd, since this is the place I write and write… Read More

Montana Reprise — the Renewal of Uncertainty Easter and Beyond

It is Easter morning.  A black cat walks across a bright green stretch of lawn each step a caress as silken and clear as the the early morning air that holds it all. I’ve driven 1800 miles in the past week.  Even though that’s a thing I’m known to do, the particular kind of presence demanded by the road continues to offer surprises that, upon my return, make the miracles like cat… 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

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

The Hope in Opposition

NOTE:  An opposition in public discourse occurs when opinions on a given matter appear sharply polarized.  E.g., global warming is a problem: there’s no global warming.  From one view, opposition makes for intractability.  From another it makes for opportunity.  Listening and speaking across difference – the willingness and skill for that – makes the difference. A few trending Oppositions in admitted editorial rendering (i.e., I like all of us am biased by… Read More