Permanent Vacation: The Impermanence of Life in the National Parks

Permanent Vacation: The Impermanence of Life in the National Parks

Review of Permanent Vacation: Twenty Writers on Work and Life in Our National Parks, edited by Kim Wyatt (Bona Fide Books, 2011), an assortment of short recollections by writers who lived and worked in national parks. Sometimes adventurous, even frightening, often poetic, this collection offers intimate views rarely experienced by the millions who enjoy American national parks each year. ♨

Yellowstone pilgrimage in 1866 by Jesuit ‘Black Robe’ Missionary

Yellowstone pilgrimage in 1866 by Jesuit ‘Black Robe’ Missionary

A Piegan hunting party took the Jesuit missionary Francis Kuppens to Yellowstone in 1866. Awestruck by the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, amazed by the steaming fountains of geysers erupting skyward and the brilliant colors of scalding hot springs, the young Black Robe understood the glory of a God who had created such a magical and mysterious land of wonders. ♨

Missions of San Antonio as Places of Possibility

Missions of San Antonio as Places of Possibility

San Antonio’s Spanish colonial missions attract local residents, tourists, and others. As the Alamo City approaches its tri-centennial celebration, this may be an apt time for some collective reflection on the importance and value of the historic missions. New possibilities are in the making in this place once called Yanaguana, a place that has become a busy modern city in an uncertain world. ♨

Unlock the Better Treasures of Creativity When You Unleash Your Prophetic Voice

Unlock the Better Treasures of Creativity When You Unleash Your Prophetic Voice

A life of writing must include a concerted effort to sell the fruits of creative effort. But we rob ourselves of better treasures when we write only for the market, when we work only for the rewards of remuneration. On the other hand, writers, all creative people, can be the prophetic voices of worlds they stand outside of. ♨

Fernhill Winter: Geese on Ice

Fernhill Winter: Geese on Ice

On a winter visit to the Fernhill Wetlands in Forest Grove, Oregon, ice covered the lake, thick enough to support a crowd of Canada geese. The breeze did not allow a leisurely contemplation of the scene; the morning blew hard through me and left me empty of thought or feeling or desire. I moved quickly through the landscape, leaning like the cattails bent by wind. ♨

Spirituality in national parks: a review of Kerry Mitchell

Spirituality in national parks: a review of Kerry Mitchell

Spirituality and the State by Kerry Mitchell examines state power through a lens of “spirituality” in America’s national parks. This book shows how affection for parklands relies on a love of nature which is also a love of oneself and of one’s nation. Though intellectually engaging, Mitchell grounds his analysis in stories of people enjoying national parks. ♨

Be a Teacher

Be a Teacher

Be a teacher in what you do, what you say, what you write, how you act, how you relate to others, who you are. Always be a teacher. We must all resist the hatred, ignorance, and meanness of those in power in our own way with our own talents and skills. For me, that means to be a teacher, always, everywhere, with everyone. ♨