Japan’s Fukushima Disaster and Its Impact on Fish in the Pacific Northwest

A fishing boat in my home port of Auke Bay, Alaska. By Gillfoto, via Wikimedia Commons.

If you have environmentalists as Facebook friends, you may have seen an image and headline making the rounds suggesting that leaking waters from the Fukushima nuclear reactor in Japan is poisoning the waters of the Pacific Ocean. As a passionate lover of wild Alaskan salmon, that had me worried. I've had moments of mild panic thinking that the bounty of the seas may be gone forever. Salmon are the major fruit of harvest season for me. I was raised subsistence fishing in the waters of … [Read more...]

Review: Thinking Wild

Thinking-Wild-Its-Gifts-of-Insight

Theo Grutter is man who likes to think creatively. He is a man who seeks to find the truth of every moment, every place, every interaction. He approaches each interaction with any thing - the sea, a bird, wild grass, his wife, etc - as a direct and intimate encounter. To my ears, he sounds as though he would be an amazing dinner guest, weaving stories, listening deeply, offering off-beat insights from his long life at sea, both in Sitka, Alaska and San Blas, Mexico. I had hoped for more … [Read more...]

I like weather

By Juni from Kyoto, Japan (Flickr), Creative Commons

Spring is here! In Olympia we have blooms and blossoms, verdant greens and dreary grays. One moment we have icy rain and near freezing temperatures, the next the sun is blazing and things feel (almost) warm. On the cold mornings when we walk to preschool, my 4.5 yr old son insists it's still winter. No, I say, look at the daffodils, violets, and pink blossoms on a tree I don't know the name of yet. Spring is just getting started! People love to  complain, especially about the weather. … [Read more...]

Sacred Lands and Spiritual Landscapes

Abraham Ortelius 1570 [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

I love maps. I love their aesthetic. I love their usefulness. I love the wide variety of information we can gleam from any one map. I love seeing how maps change over time. Wouldn't it be useful if the spiritual life came with a map? This way to the Springs of Refreshment! Avoid the Pits of Despair! Cherry Hill Seminary is hosting a conference next month and an accompanying class (beginning next week) dealing with sacred lands and spiritual landscapes. I've been given a sneak peek at the … [Read more...]

How to be a tourist

Juneau by flight

This week's last and final episode of Top Chef set in Juneau had two sections: one set on top of the ice field (the place in the mountains from which all the various glaciers flow) and one set at the Governor's Mansion. It was a lovely episode. One of the things I really enjoy about this show is the beautiful incidental photography - every city they film looks its best and Juneau was no different. Many of the images the show captured were shots of cruise ships docked down the Gastineau channel, … [Read more...]

When one’s home shows up on television

Juneau, Alaska, By Gillfoto (Own work) via Wikimedia Commons

Are any of you fans of Bravo's tv show, Top Chef? I am. I love it. It might seem a strange question here, except for the fact that this week's episode was filmed in Juneau, my home land, and the previous episode was filmed on a cruise ship sailing up the Inside Passage. (Next week's episode will also be filmed in Juneau.) I'd heard that the show was filming in town last summer. Several of my friends saw the filming crews. I've been anxiously awaiting these episodes. How many people would … [Read more...]

The problem of Imbolc

PGPT_ASenseofPlace_bio

Today is the Celtic Sabbat/festival/holy day/celebration of Imbolc. Traci wrote a great post about it yesterday; I recommend it for those that want to know more about the word and its origins, as well as the Irish experience of it. I've never felt all that connected to this spoke on the great wheel of seasonal observances. While I feel connected to all things Celtic, I don't know much of the history, and there's so much to know! I wasn't raised in an Irish or Celtic diaspora family (my … [Read more...]

Land as Lover

nikidawson

David Abram, in his amazing book The Spell of the Sensuous, talks about geography as a container. More than just mountains that enclose or fields that spread out, land shapes our views of the world, our experiences with future places, how we perceive time and seasons, how communities function, and how we relate the non-human world. I see this so clearly from my own upbringing in Juneau, Alaska. It has so profoundly shaped me that, even though I’ve not lived there for a decade, I still … [Read more...]

What is Place anyway?

Photo by emmett.hume, flickr, creative commons.

Place may seem like a strange choice for a religion blog. There’s no religion called Place. What does that even mean? Place was the first ‘religion’ that I knew. Place, Land, Home – it can be called any of these things. I was raised secular, but Alaska left an imprint on me. How to explain the sense of place and land to some one who didn’t grow up with that, or who found it later in life? The secular household I grew up in didn’t talk about things (still doesn’t). Almost … [Read more...]