The View from Where I Stand is Quite Wonderful

Two nights ago, I laid in my bed, tossing and turning, listless and flooded with panic. My partner brought up the election right as we were trying to go to bed, and just the suggestion of the possibility of a Trump victory on Tuesday left me reeling. I could feel the anxiety coursing through my body: It came in waves, starting as a clenching in my stomach, then a burning in my face and tightness in my shoulders. I felt utterly anguished, like something very real and very terrible was happening to… Read More

Please, America, Do Not Make a Liar Out of Me.

Please, America, I am on bended knee, humbled at your feet, begging you, do not make a liar out of me. Back in February, when I was still working in the Watsonville school system,and when the Republican primary race was still a terrifying multi-person circus show, I comforted a little girl at school. She was about 7-years old, Latina, with Mexican parents. I found her on the playground, hiding under a tree, face buried in dirt. She was sobbing uncontrollably, doing that heaving thing where your lungs are spasming and you suck… Read More

Let’s talk about Standing Rock for a minute

“I walked into the room, and was just utterly speechless. I had absolutely nothing to say to anyone”, said the dharma teacher. After an entire lifetime of leading Buddhist meditation and teaching, she was so completely perplexed and disheartened by the mess of the elections that she simply had nothing to say about it. That is exactly how I have felt about what is happening at Standing Rock. I just do not know what to say. I am completely speechless because, on the one hand, it feels so completely obvious to me–… Read More

Bioneers 2016 Report Back

As an adolescent, every Sunday morning of my life unfolded in the same orchestrated dance: my mom and three sisters would be piled into our 1994 emerald green Town and Country minivan, my father would be pacing back and forth impatiently by the front door of our house, and I would be racing around the back of the house, scrambling to get ready for church. My constant tardiness was both calculated– an intentional thorn in the side of my parent’s mandate of compulsory anything– and happenstance– I still, to this day, struggle to be… Read More

Politics and the Middle Path: How to Stay Sane in a Crazy World

Many months ago, when the Republican primary was still a multi-person circus show and the Democratic side was markedly civic but still a juicy race, I was working in Watsonville, a 30 minute commute from my home in Santa Cruz. Each day, I would load into my Honda Fit and drive down the coast. And everyday, to accompany my drive, was NPR. Thirty minutes each way, at least an hour a day, was devoted to radio journalism in it’s many forms: Stocks and bonds, science, news, commentary, storytelling. And of course, politics. With this daily dose of politics,… Read More

The Great Turning and #BlackLivesMatter

“So, what is the Great Turning?” This is a question I am asked frequently. And, honestly, most of the time, I want to look right back at people and say, “Good damn question.” I do not have an elevator speech at the ready, and, despite how essential the concept is to my entire relationship to the world, I do not have an answer I can quickly rattle off to for the question. When I think about that question, more and more, I think about storytelling. The Great Turning has a lot to do with… Read More

Taking Heart in Changing Times

At about three o’clock yesterday morning, I woke up suddenly from a panicky dream. I was on the stage of a massive lecture halls, the kind with long rows of tiered stadium seating. It was the first day of my position as a Teaching Assistant and I huddled anxiously at the podium. I had forgotten that it was the first day of class, and had not prepared anything. To my horror, the students began to trickle in, one by one, and I looked at the clock, wondering how I could possibly kill the next… Read More

My whirlwind month (and why I haven’t written lately)

Hello beloved readers! I am going to do something I have not done really on this blog. I am going to write about my life. Not my life in a bigger context, or an antidote about my life that helps illustrate an idea, but just my life. I have not written for a while– over a month! I was blessed to spend most of August amidst wild places, in the Eastern Sierras and Carson National Forest of New Mexico, and had an unrealistic idea that I would be able to write in… Read More

More about hope: A shout out to the young ones

“Yea, well, you’re naive”, said my co-worker as we were weeding a patch of cauliflower. The comment came several years ago in response to my analysis that, although the world is undeniably filled with terrible things, there is great suffering and disaster and corruption, I still felt hopeful. My co-worker’s response left a bad taste in my mouth, one that I carried home and ruminated on for a while. I thought about the definition of the word, naive, having a lack of experience or knowledge, and about the course of my then short 25 year… Read More

The stories we tell and a word about hope

It is undeniable: 2016 has been a terrible year. But is that all that is going on? I explore the the age-old patterns of chaos and construction, and search for hope amidst them.