Friday, May 16, 2008

The Global Food Crisis

Those were the 100-pt black letters staring me in the face when I sat down to eat my lunch with the US News & World Report today. Sitting on my back porch in the sunshine, with birds chirping and roses blooming and a fresh salad to savor, I had just been thinking how my life is pretty much perfect. How I'm happier than I've been in a very long time, or at least more consistently happy. And yet how I've had this nagging thought in the back of my mind, wondering if the reason I'm happy is because I'm comfortably numb. Wondered if my state of contentment has anything to do with the fact that as I've settled back into this American life, I've gradually stopped checking CNN every day, and can't remember the last time I visited Alertnet. I have fewer and fewer friends working on frontline projects overseas, and my connections to the reality of "others" has become fewer and farther between.

It's hard. How do you engage with the world right where you are -- be wholly present -- yet remain deeply connected somewhere else?

As I've settled admittedly gratefully into this more normal life, I don't think a day goes by that I don't still hear the echo of words spoken by Dr. Gary Parker... "There must be more to life than the values of personal peace and prosperity." He spoke it humbly, as a statement. A question. His own way of life.

I believe this. I don't want to forget this. I want to live this way.

This year and a half has been about finding peace... freedom... focus for my future. I don't know about the last objective, but the first two have definitely been found, felt and incorporated into the fiber of my everyday life. And I won't let go of them quickly. It's from that place of peace and freedom that I find myself to be most effective and most authentic. And it's my belief that it's from that place I can give the most to the world. I just can't forget that the rest of the world is still out there.

When I left the non-profit world one of my primary objectives was to get to a place where I could give more, do more, for more causes. And amazingly, I think it's coming to pass. Currently I am directly involved with 6 organizations/companies that I share deep motivation with -- to make a difference in the world. And there are a long list of potential others. It's sometimes been difficult to watch full-time opportunities go by and to keep saying no, but as I have pondered these opportunities I keep coming back to the same place... I can do more from here. From this place of freedom, I have so much more to give.

This may be a season or it may be a lifestyle -- I don't know -- but for now it feels right.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

blue horizon...

It's mailman weather today, or so he just told me -- not too hot, not too cold.

Spring is in full bloom and the capital city is looking lovely this Tuesday. I'm feeling thankful for life's small things -- like having flowerboxes to water, and blooming trees, and friendly neighborhood mailmen -- ordinary things that have been rarities most of my life...

I'm also feeling thankful for large things, like my taxes being finished and the fact that I had money to pay them... And thankful for priceless things, like the week I just got to spend in the Caribbean with some of my favorite people, surrounded by every shade of blue...

Being still with the sea and sky and stars speaks to me as nothing else can... It reminds me that no matter how obscured the future may seem by the present, the horizon is always there.

:: "Now, bring me that horizon." – Captain Jack Sparrow

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


So far, here's my conclusions about DC life:

:: My west coast life was much more relaxing. Or maybe that was unemployment...
:: Two part-time contracts are more work than one full-time job.
:: The closer I am to the nation's capital, the less I seem to pay attention to politics.
:: No one is really from here and no one is really staying here. I fit right in.
:: I heart free art galleries.
:: Cold weather is pointless without snow.
:: My life would not be possible without free wireless.
:: I need more paper, less screen.
:: I need my space. Particularly wide open space.
:: Life is about process and patience. So are relationships.

:: “Fear can stop you loving. Love can stop your fear.” –Morcheeba

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

east by northwest...

I've landed back on the east coast, after a snowy northern and whirlwind western journey... and so far my world is still spinning. I didn't think it was possible to be this busy in a new place without a full-time job. Except that on days like this one when my two part-time contract jobs collide, I might as well try to be two people...

Coming back to DC this time was honestly difficult. I love my friends here, old and new, and I know this place holds a world of opportunity for me. But there's a part of myself that I left on the west coast... a part of myself still in Europe... and year after year, there's always a part of myself I leave back home in Alaska. Sometimes I wonder, eventually, if I keep moving and leaving bits of myself here and there... will there be any of me left?

Regardless, I'm grateful for the worlds I have, so full of love in so many places. As much as they have required me to give up, they have added so much more. There are doors that close behind, where you know you can never return, but others stay half-open, always inviting and pulling you back...

DC is another door I've gone through... another season to add to the itinerary of my life. For some reason I still haven't quite figured out, it's where I'm supposed to be for now. So I'll put away my mountains and evergreen air with my suitcases, and settle into being in this brick house and monuments world for as long as I need to be.

Believing is enough for now.

:: “Take me north, south, east or west... I guess I'll leave it up to you.” – Over the Rhine

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

in the deep midwinter...

I'm home for the holidays again... Watching falling snow and mountain sunrises I can even sleep in for... (the good part about short daylight hours).

I arrived home in the dark and this was my first view of the mountains outside the window the next morning.

Just thought I'd share...

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

coast to coast...

Two months of Tuesday silence is an unprecedented record, I think. No... I did not fall off the edge of California into the Pacific (well, my camera actually did... but that's another story).

I am alive and well after making my way across the country in a leisurely fashion to the Other ocean and the nation's capital -- Washington, DC.

I'm here on a sort of exploration mission, lured by colorful friends and perhaps something a lot bigger, with dreams of new creative purpose and truer living. For the moment I have a half of a room and a whole closet in a corner brick house on historic Capitol Hill, four generous roommates and a few divinely imported old friends, and at least 6 coffee shops with wireless within a 7 block radius.

It's been an interesting three weeks of spontaneous meetings and rainbow chasing and watching the leaves change along with my life yet again...

So far so good.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


:: “California is a fine place to live—if you happen to be an orange.”
– Fred Allen