Sunday, December 18, 2016

Where Thanks Are Due


Sometimes the new guy distracts me from my gratitude for this guy...



Ta-Nehisi Coates has written a truly inspired tribute to Obama and the Obamas in The Atlantic. 


I am so glad that I have gotten to experience a man and a family in the White House that inspire me to be a better person by example, rather than in opposition.


I am humbled by the public service they have preformed and thankful for the deep and gracious humanity that infuses their leadership and lives.


I JUST LOVE THEM.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

The Wonder Of It All



A baby's tail, encased in amber, tells us that dinosaurs had soft feathers like sea creatures.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Headwaters


You've likely seen this map, created by Imgur, of watersheds in the United States...


Wyoming lies at the headwaters for four major basins: the Mississippi (via the Missouri), the Columbia (via the Snake), the Colorado (via the Green), and the Great Salt Lake...
 

The Yellowstone, the longest un-dammed river in the nation, also begins in Wyoming...


In late summer, glacial melt accounts for around 80% of instream flow along the Continental Divide and roughly 44% by the time these drainages leave the mountains. In the handful of years I have been exploring the Wind River Range, its glaciers and permanent snow fields have been disappearing before my eyes. The ramifications of this loss are huge.


To be at the birthplace of water for so many and so much? For citizens living in this state, it means a weighty privilege and responsibility.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Trump Country


An insightful, personal story of growing up poor and white in the Rust Belt...


A documentary about a pastor who offers help to outsiders in his community searching for jobs...


Humans of New York has been conducting interviews further afield than the Big Apple...


“I grew up in the suburbs. I used to think that I could write a prescription for a poor man: ‘Get a job, save your money, pull yourself up by the bootstraps.’ I don’t believe that anymore. I was ignorant to the experiences of poor people. I’d invite anyone to come and meet the people who live in this neighborhood. Right now we are surrounded by working poor people. These are the people who sell your tools at Sears, and fix your roofs, and take care of your parents, and mow your lawns, and serve your meals. They’re not getting a living wage. There’s no money left to save. There’s nothing left if they get sick. Nothing left if their car breaks down. And God forbid they make a mistake, because there’s nothing left to pay fines or fees. When you’re down here, the system will continue to kick dirt in your face. You can’t pull yourself up when there’s nothing to grab onto. We aren’t paying our brothers and sisters enough to live. We want them to serve us, but we aren’t serving them.”

A photography book by Matt Eich that he envisions as a love song...


Van Jones journeyed into peoples' homes to talk politics across the divide... 


Monday, November 28, 2016

Star Wars Is Coming...



And a spot-on review of space capes. About time.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

A Seat At The Table



How do we fully occupy our own seat at the table? How can we help ensure all people in this country are invited to the table and made welcome as guests of honor? How do we sit down together to create visions of a better future that we can begin collaboratively actualizing now?

Traditional tools for exercising agency...

Align ourselves with organizations doing excellent work. Become volunteers, donors, employees, and leaders.
Use our voices in letters, emails, calls, protests, petitions, and locally within our communities.
  • I am writing to Wyoming elected officials because why not?
  • Evan and I are exploring the possibility of putting our wilderness medicine skills to use at Standing Rock.
Act locally in alliance with vulnerable populations, forging connections across difference, and engaging in civil civic discourse.
  • My friend, Nate, became the faculty mentor for the anti-bullying club at Lander Valley High School. 
  • Another friend, Anna, talked about the importance of breaking bread with strangers and immigrant contributions to our culture in her cooking class for third graders.
  • Yet another friend, Julia Stuble, ran for state political office and got 43% of the vote despite being young, relatively unknown before the election, liberal and a woman in Wyoming. 
Lead by example and look to those who have gone before us for guidance.
  • I am seeking out mentors among those who have dedicated their lives (by necessity or out of principle) to values I share.
  • At our best, we enrich the world in ways that are authentic and unique to us. I am searching for personally sustainable ways to contribute that align with my strengths and passions.
New approaches to resistance and advocacy...

Create platforms that positively reshape our notions of citizenship and our country's collective self.
  • I would like to figure out how to fund and design a website called "We The People" that facilitates a creative and curious exploration of identity in America. It would encourage people to reach out to each other and conduct interviews in their communities that expose the sacred strength of our vulnerabilities. The website would serve as a forum for sharing portraits (in words, photos and videos) of our individual genius as well as our common humanity.
Utilize our imaginations, share innovative ideas, work together to put those ideas into action, and see what gains traction.
  • Paradigm shifts offer opportunity in that unprecedented situations push us to explore and develop unprecedented responses. Right now, there is a hefty mass of people waiting to throw their full weight behind any strategy that yields positive results.
Bottom Line?

The prognosis is dire. It is not enough to believe we are exceptional. We must show ourselves to be exceptional.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Beauty In Vivid Color




Photographer Amaal Said is dedicated to creating portraits of women of color.



















Her work reminds me of this image by Sascha Isreal from the book In the Company of Women...