Banjo, The Meadow & Me

Banjo was a pony with a striking tricolor pattern of chestnut, bay, and white that boarded on our small Oregon farm when I was a kid. According to my older brother, he was descended from Indian ponies. I’m not sure how accurate that is, but at the age of 10, if Jimmy said so, it was good enough for me. He was unruly, pig-headed, fat, and determined to get rid of anyone who had the temerity to get on his back. I loved him. Banjo succeeded in sending every male in the family flying, including Uncle Eldon, cousin Merle, Dad, and…

Flat Rock, Rippled Pond

One of the joys of my childhood was having unlimited access to the Willamina River that bordered our small farm in Western Oregon. With nearly one-half mile that was mine to explore, I was never happier than when I escaped to its edge to indulge in minute explorations of this moist, boggy, ferny paradise. Robinson Crusoe fantasies dominated my play. By the age of eight, a part of me longed to escape the tensions that were a daily part of life in my family. The river bank is where I learned to skip rocks, catch crawdads, check the boggy areas for minnows, and observe the development…

The conscious creative life

Living a conscious creative life is a big job. To live consciously, it helps to understand that our lives are lived on many levels simultaneously, and that we are never separate from our pasts. People who work to come to terms with past and present are striving to create their most authentic lives. For growth to take place, we must first look squarely at ourselves and accept our own stories. Recognizing our vulnerabilities — especially those that we don’t like or attempt to deny — is a path to self-awareness, and can help to get us in touch with undiscovered aspects of ourselves. Without honesty and acceptance of both the…

The Accident…

I once won a Blue Ribbon at the Polk County Fair. At first thought, not a particularly noteworthy accomplishment, but there is a back-story that I believe is worth telling. I grew up in a small town in Western Oregon. Built on the industry of ranchers, farmers, loggers, and those who provide services to them, Oregon was, and still is, primarily a rural economy. Each summer, county fairs from Multnomah in the north to Klamath in the south blanket the state. The town of Independence in Polk County where I attended Middle and High School holds a classic county fair: dusty, noisy, smelly, and filled with…