Ad Hoc Angels

A place to sit and pay attention

There is a story that I've heard a few times about a little boy born and raised in Nazareth in Israel whose parents were from Russia. Like many toddler children of immigrant parents, he spoke his parents' native tongue as well as the Hebrew, so when the family went back to Russia to visit the grandparents, the little boy had no trouble communicating aside from a slight accent that was doubly cute in a three or four year old. One day, while on that trip to Russia, the little boy was playing in a … [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...]

An unexpected way to meet a Goddess

Creative Commons image by Nigel Cox

It was 2001 and I'd been living in England for a year. My friend Matt moved to England with his entire library of beloved paperbacks and introduced me to many great books. He had an amazing collection of sci-fi and fantasy from authors I'd never heard of. Frankly, I never was much of a fiction reader before that. I'd enjoyed my fiction in the form of graphic novels or film, and consumed books almost exclusively for their non-fiction content. All of the books I read from Matt's library in 2001 … [Read more...]

Procession of the Species

By Davidakoontz at English Wikipedia via Wikimedia Commons, from 2005.

I love parades. Most parades are really boring, though. I find them mostly to be advertising: business sponsor floats but seem to be the highlight, politicians hand out fliers. Bah humbug. But when a parade is done well, oh it is a joyful thing! The kid in me gets all worked up. I never know what is coming next. Costumes? Bands? Possibly a marching band? This time last year my family was new to Olympia. Had we heard about the Procession of the Species? And Spring Arts Walk? No, we had not. … [Read more...]

The Fox in the Park

City Fox in Glasgow

Once again, I find myself in Glasgow. There's something surreal about being here this time. The first time I walked up the stairs to the apartment where I spent September to January and where I will spend the next month was strange. This is familiar home-not-home territory. Sitting in the living room now where I took that picture of the thick fogoutside in January feels a bit odd. I'm dancing with my relationship with this place that was just a mental picture before my first visit last July but … [Read more...]

Why getting outside matters

Capitol and Capitol Lake, Olympia, WA by Brylie Oxley, via Wikimedia Commons.

There are a million ways to connect to Place, and most of them involve going 'outside.' Some of the reasons don't necessarily involve the Land, but involve people, groups, events, our own homes, etc. Of course, this makes it sound like those things are separate from the Land, which they are not, as everything is interdependent. There are also many reasons why going outside matters. We can talk about the health reasons for walking and not driving, for the environmental education the outdoors … [Read more...]

Meeting the wild

connect in the garden

I mentioned last week how disconnected I was from the cycles of nature as a child. It wasn't for lack of exposure to non-urban places. In fact, my father took great pride in the fact that he shared his love of the outdoors with me from infancy. My parents have photo albums full of pictures of me in a backpack on my dad's back exploring nature. My dad would carry magnifying glasses in his pocket so that we could look at leaves and bugs and rocks up close. When I was 3 we visited a tiny pod with … [Read more...]


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