Thursday, February 27, 2014


It's 20 below zero before the sunrise on this Thursday morning. Despite the frigidly cold weather I noticed a couple signs of spring on the mail route yesterday. Saw two eagles sitting together on the branch of an oak tree over looking a farmer's pasture. From the looks of them I got the impression they could be thinking about having little ones together. Also noticed a lot of oak leaves blowing around on top of the waste-high snow in my front yard. Perhaps the oaks have gotten impatient. They're decided to start pushing their new buds out and shedding the old, brown, shriveled up leaves that've hung on all winter.

These two lines from Rumi keep running through me head:

"My worst habit is I get so tired of winter
I become a torture to those I'm with."

Off to unexpectedly deliver mail again this morning.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Wrestling Machines

Spent most of my waking hours yesterday wrestling my dad's John Deere snow blower up and down our driveway. Now, it's off to work this morning to wrestle our 1996 Buick Park Avenue through snow banks in an attempt to deliver two-days worth of mail for the United States Postal Service. It'd be all more worth it if I handled more mail like the mail one of my customer's has waiting for me whenever I work. He has a hand written letter in an artfully crafted envelope with a U.S postage stamp stuck in the right hand corner addressed to I'm presuming a friend of his.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Saving The Buffalo

If anyone is interested in the fight to save the last remaining wild buffalo this interview is worth listening to. This interview also inspired me to go back and look up this quote about the buffalo and extinction:

"About ten years ago, I spoke to members of the Society for Ecological Restoration. I told them that traditional Indian knowledge says that beings never become extinct. They go away, but they have the power to come back. I predicted that, in their restorations, if they were preparing the area right, plants they thought were extinct would begin coming back unaided after four or five years. Plants would come back first, and then animals and then birds.

"Of course, my audience thought I was crazy. But later, when I went to get a cup of coffee, several people followed me. They said, "You're right. We're seven years into a swamp restoration in Wisconsin, and all the original plants are coming back."

"This is not as extraordinary as it might sound. The elders tell us that the buffalo used to go back and forth between two worlds. In the summertime, people would find themselves in the middle of a big herd for weeks. But in the wintertime, there would be only a few buffalo down in the river bottoms, or up in the grasslands. Where were the huge herds? According to the Sioux, they were underground. There were about ten places where they went in or came back out.

"When I first heard that, I didn't believe it. Then I talked to some of the elders, who said, "Of Course," and showed me the buttes where the buffalo used to come out in the springtime. I thought, this is insane, so I scoured the literature, but I couldn't find any accounts of big buffalo herds in the wintertime. Then, come June, the damn plains were so covered with buffalo. In the fall, they started disappearing again.

"I'm still working on this one. But that's what life is all about. You take disparate facts, bring them together, and say, "Now, what's the real question?" And so often you're amazed to find that the matter is much deeper than you ever imagined. But the point is to ask the questions, and keep asking them."--Vine Deloria Jr. in an interview with Derrick Jensen back in July of 2000.

Monday, February 17, 2014

My Letter To The Editor Concerning Environmentalists

This letter is in response to [Writer's name] letter criticizing environmentalists two weeks ago. A couple of things he wrote jumped out at me as I read his letter. They are: "It seems that to diehard environmentalists the earth and it creatures take welfare over humans." Then he finishes his letter with, "According to scripture human beings were God's prize creation."

Perhaps this thinking is part of the problem that you and others have with the environmentalist movement. They, and the science they're using--roughly 200 species a day going extinct, the planet warming up, human population doubling every 50 years or so-- to fuel their actions are showing us in no uncertain terms that we are indeed not "God's prize creation." Is it possible that we're as important to the creator as woodticks or wolves? Can we go the way of the dinosaur without God batting an eye? Pope Francis recently was quoted as saying, "God always forgives. People occasionally forgive. But nature never forgives. You drive a creature extinct, that creature is not coming back."

The possibility of our species going extinct is a frightening thought to some, [Writer's name]. I think it's important we give them the space and listen to their concerns before we jump to conclusions.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Beyond The Playground Fence

"Schooling of any kind is unnecessary and counterproductive in human children." Daniel Quinn, Pg. 166

My sister recently inspired me to go back and reread the chapter titled, Unschooling The World out of "My Ishmael." That chapter helped me understand why as a boy I always wondered what was beyond the fence that surrounded South Beaver Dam school's playground. And why I entertained the fantasy of me and a few friends packing up a some clothes, matches, and primitive weapons and spending a couple of nights next to a campfire under the stars. Perhaps James Hillman is right, the heart imagines its way out of things

The Willingness To Look

A brief reflection after looking at this page and map concerning Wisconsin's frac sand industry.

"The white man seeks to conquer nature, to bend it to his will and to use it wastefully until it is all gone and then he simply moves on, leaving the waste behind him and looking for new places to take. The whole white race is a monster who is always hungry and what he eats is land." ~Chiksika, (1760-1792), The eldest brother and mentor of Tecumseh

When discussing war and resistance, James Hillman once said that we must think ourselves into the heart of the enemy. We must go to war ourselves. Asking: What are there beliefs? What are there fears? Why do they do what they do? And If we don't, he warns we remain innocents. We remain children not wanting to know. Not willing to look.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Children, Celebrities and Madness

More on the theme of children and learning with a little depth psychology thrown in there:

"We educate our children to make a good living rather than to become thinking persons, and often we honor as celebrities those who have not made a genuine contribution to society but who mirror our own madness."-Thomas Moore, pg. 97, Original Self

I remember Thomas Moore saying in a talk that I have downloaded that people locked away in insane asylums are living our madness for us.

Friday, February 07, 2014

Indian and Non-indian People

"If you are concerned about the mounting evidence of catastrophic climate change or the fate of the world's forests and the loss of global biodiversity, then you cannot afford to overlook the critical role of native peoples in defending their lands and culture from mining and oil corporations. Their success or failure is inextricably tied to the fate of the planet and the health and well-being of its people."--Al Gedicks

Thursday, February 06, 2014


My son's 14 years old. And has friends around the same age. They exhibit, among many other things, a sense of heightened irritability and energy. The body races. The head is ready to explode with plans. It could just be a dragon in the blood. Or is it what Michael Meade and the Gisu of Uganda call Litima?

"To them [the Gisu], Litima is the violent emotion peculiar to the masculine part of things that is the source of quarrels, ruthless competition, possessiveness, power-driveness, and brutality and that is also the source of independence, courage, upstandingness, and emotional force that fuels the process of becoming an individual ... Litima is ambiguous ... it has two sides. The source of independence and high ideals can also be the source of ruthlessness and brutality."--Michael Meade

I find it easier looking at this way compared too seeing it as a thirty-fold increase in testosterone.

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Mysteries Are Not To Be Solved

Reading Rumi before heading off to carry mail this morning. I really like these two lines out his poem titled: "Someone Digging in the Ground." I've heard Robert Bly quote the "eye goes blind" in at least one of his talks.

"Mysteries are not to be solved. The eyes goes blind when it only wants to see why."--Rumi

Sunday, February 02, 2014

Before The World Was Made

A perfect poem on this holy day: Sunday.

From mirror after mirror
No vanity's displayed
I'm looking for the face I had
Before the world was made.--William Butler Yeats

I'm adding this a few hours after my initial post because I feel it's important: The overriding question of our time is: How are we going to stop murdering the planet before it's too late? The Community Rights movement is one way to stop it, I think. The excerpt below shows why Corporate America is taking this style of organizing seriously. We're already seeing bills being circulated (Thank you to Tom Tiffany from Hazelhurst) in Wisconsin to diminish the autonomy an authority of local governments to decide what goes on in their communities. In other words, there are politicians at the state level that don't like direct democracy.

EXCERPT FROM: Energy New Mexico
A Publication of the Independent Petroleum Association of New Mexico


"...Earlier this year, Mora County, New Mexico became the first county in the nation to pass a complete ban on oil and gas development. The Mora County Community Rights ordinance states that corporations may not drill, extract, or contract for any oil and gas development. Further stating, corporations have no rights to free speech or the right to go to court to protect their corporate or even private property.

"Specifically, corporations have no rights under the 1st, 5th, or 14th Amendments of the United States or New Mexico Constitutions and the county has the right to ignore all federal and state laws regulating oil and gas development.

"Framed as the “new civil rights movement for the younger generation,” the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) is leading the fight against corporations and the oil and gas industry. The CELDF drafted the Mora County Ordinance and has announced that it will defend the county against any legal challenges all the way to the United States Supreme Court.

"In November 2013, IPANM and several land and mineral owners filed a suit in Federal court against Mora County. The suit alleges violations of corporate constitutional rights. Effectively, the Mora County ban and other ordinances seeking to limit corporate and private rights is a test of ‘home rule’ that allows any local government to create its own laws. This includes banning any unpopular businesses without the protection of the state or federal laws.

"While industry, the media and the public might ignore all the commotion created about the hydraulic fracturing discussion, this issue is the beginning of a social movement that is greater than just the oil and gas industry, it is a potential game changer for all of corporate America." This was posted on The Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund's Facebook page on January 31st