Not The Thanksgiving You Were Looking For

A couple nights ago I lay in bed not quite falling asleep while thinking about the just-announced grand jury decision in the Michael Brown killing in Ferguson, MO and I decided that I needed to write a Thanksgiving post with all the things that you can't really say you are thankful for because they are horrible. But even as I made my list, I worried that some people would just read the horrible parts and not process the reasons or the message underneath. (I'm thankful that I'm white. It makes my … [Read more...]

When Technology Forces Us To Leave Space For Nature

Image by Mathew Rutledge. CC by-non commercial

After the Chernobyl nuclear plant meltdown and fire, a 1004 square mile exclusion zone was created, where humans were not allowed to live or work except under special circumstances. Nature took over, and images from the area are haunting and beautiful. But the place isn't safe for nature any more than it is safe for humans. I've had a lot of reason to think about this over the past week as I process the journey that I took in the middle of a dark and rainy Monday night in Seattle.As I … [Read more...]

Our Dark Secret

fallsburn

I just discovered my forest has a dark secret.Well, actually, it isn't the Forest's dark secret, it's our dark secret.Some 30 feet west of the forest's edge there are rolling, grassy hills and a bike path called the Chief Sealth trail.  The view from those hills are breathtaking.  Looking west you can see the Salish Sea ('Puget Sound,' if we use the colonial name) and the slopes of the Olympic mountains tinted blue-green by the ancient rainforest call the Hoh.Looking to the s … [Read more...]

After the Storm, The Mushrooms Arrive

little brown mushrooms on Anderson Island, October 2014

Saturday the winds whipped up a storm that brought pounding rain to Western Washington state. Some trees fell and others just lost a few branches. Debris flew at 65 to 70 miles an hour into people, cars and buildings causing minor injuries and property damage. A friend and I stood outside guiding traffic away from a downed wire and watched the sky for the tell-tale signs of blue flashes that said that another transformer was blown, another neighborhood losing their power. It wasn't the first … [Read more...]

Under the Pavement, The Forest

Photo by Nick Graham

I have a forest:It’s not mine, of course, anymore than anything else--my clothes, my home, my words--are mine or anyone’s.It’s a forest.  A small one, towering big-leaf Maples over small stands of Alder and scattered Cedars.  A small stream bed, waiting for the relentless Seattle rains to fill its ravine with flowing life.  Salmonberry is winning in its struggle with Blackberry, Snowberries with their understated leaves standing lightly over the sturdier Oregon Grape.The Elder isn … [Read more...]

When water is cut off: from Cochabamba to Detroit, by way of my bathroom

Spring water catch box

In the mid-1990s, the water services of Cochabamba, a town in Bolivia, were taken over by the subsidiary of a trans-national corporation, Bechdel. Water bills rose at an astounding rate, and people were charged even for collecting rainwater from their own roofs.The people revolted.Despite pressure from both private and public security services, the people of Cochabamba won through in 1995, and made a declaration -- reiterating, in more earth-centred language, the UN's declaration of … [Read more...]

A San Francisco Girl Contemplates New York

Colorful New York

New York is an amazing place. I was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, and I'll freely admit that I have something of a prejudice against anything on the East Coast of the US. In my mind I imagine that everyone and everything on the East Coast is a caricature of the worst stuff you see in TV and movies. I expect people in suits who are oblivious to their own privilege and the suffering of others and I expect the rest of the population to be kind of hard and unfriendly. What I've … [Read more...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X