Sunday, June 25, 2017

Week 21



Baby Boom

Drum tight
Base beat
Slo-mo
Kick repeat

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Susurrus...


A new word for me and one I enjoy. Gleaned from this wonderful trilogy:


Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Lessons From Wadi Do'an


Yemen has been disintegrating in the past decades due in large part to water shortages. Bin Laden was born in Yemen, in Wadi Do'an, and that seems relevant to me given the country's water story. 



This desert nation was likely the first to build skyscrapers, back in the 1400s, and famously exported coffee from the port town of Mocha. 



Now it may be the harbinger of what's to come for the rest of the world if we don't start acting on our knowledge that life begins and ends with water (and air and food and love, yes).




The podcast, Reveal, did an excellent piece earlier this year looking at current forecasts regarding humanity's relationship with water. 



I am reminded of the difference water makes as I enjoy landscapes made possible by deep wells and pumps in Taroudant-- gardens that host the handsomest of peacocks, pools for refreshing dips, and orchards heavy with fruit. 



My grandmother will always be linked in my mind with luxuries such as these. I marvel at how quickly we pass from one age to another. Between us lies the dawning consciousness of the Anthropocene. Poolside in Morocco, it looks doubtful that these findings and their warnings will dictate a change in our behavior. We can certainly hope, but more relevant is whether or not we can apply lessons learned.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

The Boss


True musicians at work (and play)...



Goes to show it pays to risk failure. 

Even when you suck. Maybe even especially when you suck (sometimes painful for the audience).

Incidentally, Springsteen and his band do not suck. 

They rock.

Always have. Always will. 

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Maroc


I arrived on a Dutch plane full of children, including four sets of twins-- improbable, but true. I sat between an elderly Berber couple who offered to share every bit of food they brought with me. They paid in coins for milky coffee, smelling of dust and sweat. As the plane landed, a herd of camels veered off into an argan grove. Bedraggled cypress stood at attention in rows, acting as wind screens for crops of oranges along the highway.


I arrived at the garden outside of Taroudant under a sliver of moon. Bread was baking in the heat of a clay oven's fire. Candlelight flickered over the faces of the French team on assignment from Cosmopolitan as we dined on poached pears and samosas. The Atlas Mountains stood in profile above the garden walls.


I awoke to the sounds of birds chirping, donkeys braying, and roosters crowing-- stray dogs barking a notable absence in the cacophony. The air smelled of pollen, smoke and sunlight. A tortoise stood in the shelter of a fig tree surrounded by purple jacaranda blossoms. Green toads leapt away from my shadow and dove under lily pads. Bees buzzed in the canopy of yellow flowers over my hammock. I swam lazily back and forth beside a profusion of cacti.


Soft music and a nearby call to prayer (which sounds more like a declared state of emergency or the blowing of a shofar to my unaccustomed ears) mix in the courtyard, buried deep in the heart of town. The dar is well insulated-- far from the concrete houses dotting the desert beyond the adobe walls of the fortress, empty structures that testify to supply outstripping demand. The riad's nondescript exterior yields to an interior world of climbing vines, lanterns, and the textures of wood, clay, wool and stone. Outside is a slurry of Arabic, Berber and French spoken by men on bicycles. Women glide by swathed in loose folds of cloth. Carts drawn by emaciated horses, motorcycles, and donkeys race to market piled high with red onions and herbs.


My plan while here is simple: Study, Eat, Walk, Swim, Walk, Study, Eat, Repeat.


As I walk, I wonder about the economics of latitude. There is a familiar dissonance between the wealthy and the rest here that reminds me of other deserts I have visited north of the equator. Encounters with material privilege and deprivation in Taroudant are giving me déjà vu.



Sunday, April 16, 2017

On Retreat




Soothing The Child

Sweetness, Sweetness.
You know nothing
and yet you know.
So it is. So it is.


Passthrough Moment

Now is no podunk station.  

Surrender --yes-- 
to this precious present.

It is everything, our all. 


Fear Falls Away


This is the time of day 
when the spider is still.

This is the time of day 
when the lizards compete.

This is the time of day 
when the caterpillars are on the move. 

This is the time of day 
when the flies show off.


Neither Separate Nor Equal

Funny how one thing
can sound like another.

You mistake whitewater
for wind brushing over the landscape.

A frog makes you think for a moment
that a bird has taken flight.

Funny how one thing
can look like another.

You take a patch of grass
for a desert watering hole.

Oxidized rock resembles scrap metal
a desiccated carcass.


Substantial

Tethered by gravity
to the core of the earth.

Relaxed. In repose.

Yet --all the while--
spinning, whirling, revolving.


Born In San Francisco During The Age Of Foghorns

If I lived in a lush, pastoral place,
I would be the type to walk byways
stealing blooms that reached out 
over fences and through gates.

If I lived on a battered coastline,
I would be the type to close my eyes
and inhale the salt air until 
it clung to the roof of my mouth.

If I lived in an urban jungle,
I would be the type to read graffiti
in the bathroom stall and lay my forehead 
against the cool glass of a bus window.

Yet I live on a high desert flanked by peaks,
so I am the type to feel a sense of abandon
crossing vast spaces, dwarfed 
by expanses of subtle light and color.


Détente

The plane's unanticipated 
swoops and dives elicit
exclamations and inhalations.
An "Oh!" escapes unbidden.
  
Fever plays like a breeze 
over my forehead. 
A startled stewardess 
careens down the aisle.

Memo pad narration seems 
called for, chicken scratch for later. 
It occurs to me that I opted out 
of choosing an emergency contact.

We jutter to a landing. 
Contrails of fear and anticipation
stretch out behind me. And
already they begin to evaporate.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Chiaroscuro II



We are gods, all of us, for someone
[at best, ourselves].

The wonder when love propels us
beyond the margins of explanation.

What alchemy did you perform
to make possibilities so expansive?

For whom have you been unshackled
in your splendor?


Saturday, April 1, 2017

Fat And Happy


A post shared by National Geographic (@natgeo) on

Just out of hibernation in Yellowstone, Wyoming.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Chiaroscuro I



We are monsters, all of us, for someone
[at worst, ourselves].

The horror when we track the beast 
back to our own feet.

Whom have you breathed smoke upon
to pilfer their honey?

In whose imagination have you stalked,
drooling, down inroads of fear? 


Thursday, March 23, 2017

A Speech Worth Listening To



Van Jones just spoke beautifully as part of the 2017 African American Speaking Series.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Just Sayin'



Give the woman the mic.


Tuesday, March 21, 2017

The First Stage Of Grief


Yale just released some interesting data on public opinion as it relates to climate change in the United States...



So that's good news (although: Wyoming, really?). But then there's this...

 
And the coup de grâce...





Denial ain't just a river in Egypt. 



Meanwhile, in India...



Villagers are knitting jumpers for elephants to protect them from the unusually cold conditions forecasted for the region.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Droolworthy



Oh my...


This self-taught baker/photographer in Sweden serves up delectable beauty.


Friday, March 17, 2017

Beginnings



The smell of wet leaves and loam,
decomposition and promise.
Keep still, breath carefully, be watchful
lest you startle the souls
determining where and whether to alight.
Listen as the past percolates through the future,
giving birth to this moment. 
Your skin is alive with premonition.
Your blood tastes of iron. 

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Darkened Cities



Imagine our urban landscapes without human light pollution. 


A beautiful novel called Exit West led me to this photography series by Thierry Cohen that does just that.


Both eerie and captivating.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

International Women's Day



A new addition to Wall Street. Go, girl.


Monday, March 6, 2017

How To Love


While riding a ferry, sliding past glaciers on a magnificent December morning in Alaska, my mind was blown by the following podcast about mental illness:

The key to supporting these patients' health and wellbeing, it turns out, is not to see them as needing healing or treatment. In other words, they need to be seen as human beings rather than problems requiring solutions. Ironically, strangers are generally more adept at that than family members. 

All of which speaks to a This American Life segment called Rainy Days and Mondys about two improv comedians who stopped trying to fight Alzheimers and embraced their parent's dementia instead.

The question of how to support loved ones experiencing medical conditions has always fascinated me. Brain on Fire made me wonder if I could be an effective advocate in a similar situation, navigating unchartered territory with a sense of what was inside and outside of healthy ranges for those I know best. 

Listening to the podcast episode, What if you lived your life as a ghost?, gave me chills because it echoed so much of Evan's experience with traumatic brain injury. Making peace with the car accident that reshaped his body and thus his life has been a process that has spanned decades. 

The journey is ultimately his. And yet, because I am his companion, it is also ours. A paradox that asks us how to love and be loved.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Missed Connections


From the Right:


From the Left:


From the Right:


From the Left:


All of which begs the question: 

How are we going to get across the Great Divide? 



By following Denmark's lead?

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

The Adventure Begins



For now, this one's named Maybe.


Monday, February 27, 2017

Auribus Teneo Lupum



The name of the game is experimentation. So here we go...


Launched an idea today: The Lander Collective Action Network.


(Hopefully) Nothing to lose. Everything to gain.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

"Intelligence" Work


Anyone in the mood for some dark comedy about being an American? If so, this one may be for you:


Saturday, February 25, 2017

Feral Girls Camp


From one of my favorite people (the one who sent us a holiday card featuring her and her son walking butt ass naked away from the camera underneath the words, "Eat a bag of dicks, 2016!"), comes... 


It's shaping up to be everything you would expect and want it to be: fearless, bold, creative, empowering, fun, relevant, wild.

What's not to love?! I'll tell you:


If you are anywhere within spitting, flying, crawling or driving distance of Oregon, please do yourself and me the favor of showing up for this genius move with bells on. 

Friday, February 24, 2017

Album Covers



1. Up-And-Coming Music Legends


2. 90's Rap Album


3. Finnish Metal Band


4. Woke Mashup


5. Indie Boy Band