• Category Archives Fungi
  • A Bold Return to Giving a Damn

    Winter and the Winter Solstice Moon

    Friday gratefuls: Tara. Her new puppy. Cold. Snow. Sleep. Gabriella. A Bold Return to Giving a Damn: One Farm. Amazon. New Phone. Wallet. 2024 on the way. Poetry. Road Less Taken. Lines Written at Tintern Abbey. Kubla Kahn. Notes on a Supreme Fiction. Circles. Leaves of Grass. Ozymandias. The Raven. Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner. The Wasteland. Song of Myself. The Second Coming. And so much else.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Poetry

    One brief shining: The end of another year approaches, our penchant for deciding calendar dates as the always orbiting Earth’s journey around Great Sol continues, brings us to Pope Gregory XIII who chose in October of 1582 in his well known Papal bull: Inter gravissimas to change the rules for leap years to prevent the Julian calendar’s drift away from the solar holidays, oh you didn’t know, well neither did I but Wikipedia did.



    Gabriella. My adopted Axolotl. She’s swimming in the chinampas canals along with other wild Axolotls who will repopulate the ancient waterways of Xochimilco. I get excited about this project because it’s both the reintroduction of a wild species into its former habitat (see the five Timber Wolves released a week ago in western Colorado) and a project that supports indigenous farming methods healthy for the chinampas themselves. This kind of work will enable our grandchildren to have their best chance to adapt to a warming World.

    A Bold Return to Giving a Damn: One Farm, Six Generations, and the Future of Food relates the story of Will Harris and his disillusionment with Big Ag 30 years ago. The successful transition of his family’s farm to regenerative farming makes compelling reading if you care about the source of your food. This farm is in southwestern Georgia, but it’s an example, not singular.

    The USA Regenerative Agriculture Allliance, Inc trains farmers in regenerative practices. Yes, it’s about good food, food raised without pesticides, fertilizers and other “inputs” that defy the natural cycle and deplete the soil. But, it’s also about how to live in a warming World. Someday regenerative agriculture will use the perennial grains and other crops under development at the Land Institute.

    Want to volunteer in the work of Ecosystem restoration? Look at the Ecosystems Restoration Communities website. They do restoration projects all over the world. The expertise and practical knowledge developed as these organization go about their own individual missions will become the Seedstock for a World that can no longer afford any depletion of natural capital.

    What’s natural capital? An accounting method. That’s right. Accounting. The Natural Capital Project at Stanford University develops accounting methods that define the value of Ecosystems, Oceans, the Water cycle, Forests. Why is this important? Regenerative agriculture is a good example. Corporate farming, by far the dominant model in the U.S. and in most of the World, treats Soil, Crops, and Animals as so many widgets to be manipulated for increased profits. Their accounting methods do not have to take into account the value of the Soil, the Rain, the need for dna diversity in both food Crops and Animals. They don’t have to reckon with the future costs of ruined Soil, the dangers of monocultures in such critical crops as Corn, Wheat, Rice. Maybe they’re not as profitable as they think.

    OK. I’ll stop. For now. But I will return to these adaptive approaches that will help Ruth and Gabe survive in a much changed world.


  • See Beyond a Dystopian Future

    Winter and the Winter Solstice Moon

    Sunday gratefuls: New Snow. Cold. Christmas Eve. Ancient Brothers on Christmas. Animism. Joseph, his brothers. Jacob/Israel. Steel gray/blue Sky. Flocked Lodgepoles. Bears in hibernation. Elk and Mule Deer resting. Fox and Mountain Lions hunting. All wild neighbors adapting to the Snow and cold. Paul and Max. Kate, of blessed memory. Kep. Rigel. Gertie. Vega. Who left Shadow Mountain. Jon, too.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Fire

    One brief shining: Diane gone to Taiwan, Mary and Guru traveled south to Melbourne, my son and Seoah dress for the cold in Songtan, Mark remains in Hafar, while I look out my window for Black Mountain, it’s not there.


    Asked the folks at the National Autonomous University of Mexico to send me a photograph of my adopted Axolotl, Gabriella. They obliged. She’s a beauty. In an Axolotl sort of way. When I get my phone cord up here to transfer pictures, I’ll post it here.

    This project has my attention, the reintroduction of Axolotls to the chinampas canals in Xochimilco. Next I’m going to support one of the chinamperos who farm the chinampas in the traditional way. As I wrote before, this kind of work prepares the World for what comes after climate change. I feel a need to support folks willing to see the future beyond dystopian writings and fever dreams. And my lev, my heart/mind, seems to always land on folks caring for the land, for wild creatures, exchanging the old ways, the bad ways for Earth friendly farming, for chinampas canals clean enough to host again the Axolotl.

    This work, a necessary part of the Great Work of our time-creating a sustainable presence for human beings on Planet Earth-does not push back against carbon emissions or try to change the minds of politicians. Though that’s so important and critical for Ruth, Gabe, Imogen, Max and all the grandchildren. It imagines a world once again attuned to the rhythms and needs of the soil, of Plant life, of Animal life, including but not privileging, human life.

    At this age I want to say Yes instead of No. I’m weary of the struggle against greed and exploitation, oppression and entrenched bigotry like racism and anti-semitism. Though again that struggle is so important for Ruth, Gabe, Imogen, Max and all the grandchildren. I’m searching, scanning for projects and ideas that will last, that will ensure food and healthy ecosystems, that have faith in the future, that build that future starting now.

    I can’t support them all and I can’t support the ones I do very well, but I want to have a link, a real connection to them. Money is one way. Making their work known is another. Finding those committed to this work and celebrating them is another.

    We can learn again to farm with the Land, not in spite of it. We can clean our Waters, protect Mountain Biomes, seed Ecosystems with Animals and Plants eliminated by human activity in the past. Five Oregon Wolves have dispersed this week here in Colorado, for example. This work happens on all continents, among all peoples. I love them for it.










  • Surrender Charlie

    Samain and the Winter Solstice Moon

    Wednesday gratefuls: Heidi. The Dragonfly Sign. Colorado Supreme Court. Psilocybin. Nahuatl Gods and Mayan hieroglyphics. Surrender. Irv. Rider. Mt. Logan. Crooked Top Mountain. The Grandfather Tree. Park County 43. Buggy Whip Road. Hangman’s Road. Washington County Maine. Climate change. Shadow Mountain. The Rockies. The Front Range. Alan. Bastien’s Steak House. The Winter Solstice. Holimonth.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Colorado Supreme Court

    One brief shining: A cloth with Native American colors marking the four directions, circular, laid on it cut white Roses, small Pine Tree Branches, red Roses, Cinnamon, Coffee beans, Star Anise, Aspen Leaves arranged for a Peruvian gratitude ceremony in which I picked up a small Branch of Pine Needles, inhaled its essence three times and exhaled my love and gratitude before placing the needles gently in the center.


    OK, nation! See Colorado go. I loved living in Minnesota and in the Twin Cities for forty years. The North Woods. Wolves. Lake Superior. So many Lakes. Liberal to radical politics. Not perfect, no. Witness George Floyd. But no place is. And Minnesota seemed as close as they come while I lived there. Then Kate and I moved to Shadow Mountain.

    As the Dead said: What a long, strange trip it’s been. Many of you know my story over the now 9 years exactly since my buddy Tom and I drove straight through from the Twin Cities with Kepler, Vega, and Rigel in the back. And, yes, that story has its definite peaks and valleys. But that’s not my reference here.

    No where else in the country, this divided and often pitiful land of ours, could I have had a legal psychedelic journey on Crooked Top Mountain then come home to Shadow Mountain and read the wonderful news that the Colorado Supreme Court had called a crook a crook, an insurrectionist an insurrectionist and kicked Trump off our ballot. I mean, whoa! What a day.

    I shifted my inner identification a few years back from Minnesotan to Coloradan, my Mountain home become just that. Home. Yes, we elected a gay Governor. How bout that. And of course the wild Neighbors and the Mountain Streams and the Black Bears. The Snow and the spectacular Autumns with gold and green. Over the time I’ve lived here Colorado has shifted from red to blue. Not without some Western weirdness along the way, but that makes it interesting. All that’s true.

    But in one day to take a psilocybin journey with a good friend on property so evocative of a sixties commune and then learn we Coloradans had taken a firm stand, saying what all clear eyed non Trump bedazzled folks already know but somehow cannot communicate, that insurrectionists should not, in fact,cannot hold office. Well, I’m busting with state pride right now. Colorado is the California of the new Millennia. OK. Enough local chauvinism. Still, pretty damned cool. Gives this aging radical a boost.


    Short note on the psilocybin journey about which more later. Ate the mushroom after the gratitude ceremony. Mixed with a little lemon juice supposed to make it come on quicker and go sooner. Sat outside in the glass enclosed shelter where we held the gratitude ceremony, the others going inside. Watched the curved Snowy Bowl of Mt. Logan as my inner weather shifted under the power of the mushroom.

    Went inside and lay down on a heated pad. Soon Nahuatl Gods and Mayan hieroglyphics began to move across the ceiling. Sometimes two dimensional sometimes three almost down to my face. I love hallucinations. So fun. I told my guide I might be under utilizing the experience; it was so entertaining.

    Turned out no. I hadn’t. I had two intentions going in, the one I wrote about yesterday, how to live fully, and the second to continue my exploration of the sacred.

    During some brief conversation after being asked if we had any insights I said, yes, I had one. In living more fully I’ve pushed, thought about things to do, about acting in my life to live more fully. Answering Shakespeare, I have always chosen to take up arms against a sea of troubles and by opposing end them. Now I need to learn surrender.

    To live fully I need to open up, accept what’s coming. Greet the new year with arms spread wide for what it brings rather than what I can make happen. Well, not rather than. I mean, I’ll still take up arms, of course I will, but I learned yesterday that I have another option. To embrace, to wait, to listen, to let the world and its wonders come to me. As the Wicked Witch of the West might say, “Surrender, Charlie!”



  • Entheos

    Beltane and the Mesa View Moon

    Monday gratefuls: Curiosity. The Ancient Brothers. Mark and Dennis. Coming May 23rd. Yet more Rain. Even more swollen Streams. Ancientrails as a life project. Tom and his time with Charlie H. Bill and his time with Bella. Mark and his time at the gym. Anytime Fitness. My treadmill. Marilyn. Ginnie. Josh. Jane. Kat. A banker. Vulcan Centaur.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Rocket Scientists

    One brief shining: A beautiful woman with a long braid dangling over her t-shirt down to her space themed spandex had, on the back of the blue t-shirt an outline of the Vulcan Centaur rocket, on the front ULA and I asked, I’m too ignorant to know but is that a real rocket ship?


    Yes. She answered. And I was working on it until I quit my job a year and a half ago. What was your area of expertise? Vibration and acoustics. Oh. I see. Not sure why I keep running into engineers. But I do.

    CBE is amazing. All these smart people. This was at the Dismantling Racism class yesterday afternoon. Looked up the Vulcan Centaur and it’s been under development since 2014. Supposed to fly for the first time in July. Had a setback a month ago though with a second stage explosion during preparation for a launch.

    The class has gotten better. Taking a mussar approach to the work. I like it for the inner work though I chose an opponent for my practice this week. Four areas of possible practice each week: with HaShem (God), with Self, with a fellow, especially a victim of anti-black racism, or with an opponent.

    My practice involved an e-mail to a person with whom I’ve had long standing differences. Sent it last night and got a reply this morning. A sweet one. Maybe there’s something to this approach. The middah this week is kavod, or honor. Honoring self and other. The theological idea is the all made in God’s image trope. Said another way, we’re all human, all riding this blue spaceship our only home together with all the other critters and plants. Honor it all.


    During the Ancient Brothers session on curiosity I identified curiosity as my defining characteristic. And naming what I call the valedictory lifestyle. As a valedictorian myself I’ve occasionally become curious (see!) about what happens to others who graduate first in their class academically. Turns out usually nothing spectacular. Sure a lot go into academics. Some have successful careers in business or the sciences.

    But usually no stars. No one off achievements. No amazing inventions. Why? Because we’re generalists. We easily get sidetracked by something new and shiny. If purity of heart is to will one thing, we’re not at all pure.

    I call them enthusiasms. My enthusiasms can last a long time. Religion has turned out to be the longest lasting, but inside that broad category I’ve been all over the place. From existentialist atheist to Christian to Unitarian-Universalist to Pagan and wanderer with the tribe. There’s a piece of each of these, often substantial pieces that remain intact within me. All somehow glued together with Taoism.

    There’ve been many others. Art, my twelve years at the MIA. Politics, lasting almost as long as religion, but again all over the place in terms of action. Islam which I studied after 9/11. Horticulture. Cooking. Heating with wood. Beekeeping. Dogs. World travel. F1. Science. Tarot and Astrology. Cinema. Acting. Writing. Getting degrees. Tea. Korean and now Spanish. Oh, and one that actually has been lifelong, reading. Not sure when I learned but I’ve never ever stopped. Buying books, too. To feed the habit. I’ve dabbled in painting and sum-e.

    Enthusiasms in my life are more than dabbling but less than enough to gain full mastery. But I must admit it’s been, is being, a hell of lot of fun.





  • Calligraphic Therapy

    Beltane and the Mesa View Moon

    Friday gratefuls: Alan. Good sleeping. A cool night. A not so great day. Psilocybin mistake. Diane. Ecuador. Rom-coms. My son and his wife, their last days in Hawai’i. For now. Snow! Crazy Rich Asians, second viewing. Anytime Fitness. Lowering my bpm. The Thousand Nights and One Nights. A reread.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Learning from mistakes

    One brief shining: Drove home in the rain Wednesday night, memories of the humid Midwest splashed up, an uncommon Colorado experience which the next morning turned to big, fat flakes of oh no Snow, tired of the Snow and the cold, unusual for me, watered down my mood.


    Calligraphic therapy. My favorite mode these days. And, a good one. There it was, in that sentence. I allowed the Snow, which I cherish, to give me a hit, a slap of too much as if Pachamama had decided to make me feel bad by adding one more day of Snow when I wanted warm weather. I doubled down on the disgruntlement when I took a microdose of psilocybin. Set and setting.

    Not my intention, but certainly the result. As the day went on I went more inward, didn’t engage my usual coping skills. I could have, for example, done a couple of rounds of how do I feel? Instead I went on a sleepy sad path for about half of the day. Including a two hour nap. Not a joyful morning or early afternoon.

    Felt especially sheepish about this since I’d had the wonderful experience Wednesday focusing on joy. I mean, gee…

    A lesson. Set and setting. Are as important as the Michael Pollan book, How To Change Your Mind, suggests. I will not take psilocybin unless the set and setting offer the promise of a fruitful and joyful journey. Not blaming the mushrooms. My choice, made with insufficient awareness.

    Also Thursday is not an exercise day. MWF. No mood lifter there. No people since I slept through Thursday mussar. Altogether a rum day.


    Friday morning, this morning. Resurrected. A new life for this soul. Ready to take a drive to Evergreen for breakfast with Alan. Pick up some more bread. Maybe shop at the Evergreen Market. Come back and hit the treadmill, then over to Anytime Fitness. I’m up to 10 reps on all the machines, lower and upper body. Next week, two sets.

    I now see each day as a new life. A rebirth after a passage through the small death of sleep. Not an original idea. But one of recent lodging in my psyche.

    We only ever have this day, this hour, this minute, this second. This is the first time I’ve been alive on Friday May 12th 2023 at 7:43 am. What will I do with this one wild and precious day?

    Not wallow in yesterday. Not reach for Saturday. Instead I’ll enjoy this session of writing Ancientrails. Get dressed for breakfast with Alan. Let the day flow. Perhaps some spontaneity. Who knows?

    How do I feel? Overslept. How do I feel? Bemused. How do I feel? Sad. How do I feel? Like laughing. How do I feel? Ready. For this day. This life. This moment.






  • Microdosing

    Beltane and the Mesa View Moon

    Monday gratefuls: Miami Grand Prix. Sacred objects. The Most Ancient and Proud Brothers. Psilocybin. CBE. Dismantling Racism. Depth. This time. Anger/Patience. K’ass and Savlanut. Simcha. Joy. Ed Brill. Comedian. Laughing. Ginnie. Ron. Alan. Cheri. Tara. Suzy and Pete. Josh. Those Mountain Streams, full. The Ponderosa Pines lower down. Their beautiful Bark and Branches. Tall.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Community

    One brief, shining: Took another microdose of psilocybin yesterday and it moved into me with subtlety and power, creating a slight aura of light and deepening my vision, especially into the Trees, the silent gentle guardians of our Mountain World, and as I considered them my feet became Roots, spreading like Rhyzomes into the Soil beneath my feet, my spine and upper torso lengthened as I reached toward the Sky, feeling minute movements in the Air around me, feeling a Squirrel run up my Trunk, and a Robin land on one of my Branches, until I stopped growing for a moment, standing there knowing why I had chosen this spot for my eternal home.


    Psilocybin is so gentle. Each time I’ve used it. It feels like an inner deep massage, muscles relaxing while sensory input sharpens. And it attunes me to plant life. Set and setting, I suppose. Timothy O’Leary’s contribution to the field of psychedelic research.* Plants have been and still are so important to me. These friends. Wild neighbors, too.

    The Lodgepoles and Aspens that line my every drive whether to Evergreen or to Aspen Park. Corridors defined by and watched by Trees. The Lodgepoles and Aspens add to their number Ponderosa Pines, Colorado Blue Spruce, White Pine, Willows, Red Osier Dogwood as the Mountain Valleys descend from the top of Shadow Mountain.

    The Trees observe, feel our passing. Shade us. Breathe out Oxygen, take in our  CO2. Yet we treat them as things. To cut. To remove. To use in building our homes and places of work. It occurred to me that every tree is Shel Silverstein’s Giving Tree. Giving of itself to us until we take all from it. Yet growing again, and again, and again.

    I stand with them. Plant Trees. Love them and they will love you back.


    Agnostic.** Pagan. In relation to ideas of God in any religion, I am agnostic. In relation to where I find divinity and sacredness, I am pagan. As I demonstrated above. My sense of God is the inner divinity to whom I bow when I say namaste. In that sense I am a polytheist with 7,942,645,085 other Gods in my pantheon. I could easily increase that number by each Tree on Earth. Each Elephant. Each Dog. Each Mackerel and Krill. Each drop of Water, each tongue of Fire, each inch of Soil, and all of the Sky. Yet I am no pantheist.

    Why? While I believe in an ultimate unity of all things, I do not believe in an homogenization of all things by using any concept as inherent in everything. In fact I believe that God, in the sense I’m using it, creates, emphasizes, celebrates uniqueness. The great mystery is the powerful, the wonderful combinatory affect of all this uniqueness into one pulsing living whole.

    Nothing is outside it. Nothing is rejected. Everything is held in its sacredness, in its true divinity without sacrificing its own distinctiveness. Matter is energy. Energy is matter. When one shifts to the other, the divinity, the sacredness it carries is not lost but transferred. How could it not be? Therefore the distinctiveness which it has created remains as it shifts in form and kind.

    I suppose I could argue, maybe I am arguing that this proves a life beyond death. Maybe. Who knows? Kate. Kep. Dad. Mom. Regina. They know.




    *Set and setting respectively refer to the internal and external factors that influence your psychedelic experience. “Set” is a reflection of your inner climate—your mood, personality, beliefs, perceptions, and so on. “Setting” refers to all that’s going on outside, such as the people around you and their behaviors, the music playing, the smells and weather in the air, even the cultural forces that aren’t as readily visible. Bailey Elyse, Double Blind, Oct. 2, 2020


    **agnostic (n.)

    1870, “one who professes that the existence of a First Cause and the essential nature of things are not and cannot be known” [Klein]; coined by T.H. Huxley, supposedly in September 1869, from Greek agnostos “unknown, unknowable,” from a- “not” (see a- (3)) + gnōstos “(to be) known” (from PIE root *gno- “to know”). The coinage is sometimes said to be a reference to Paul’s mention of the altar to “the Unknown God” in Acts, but according to Huxley it was a reference to the early Church movement known as Gnosticism (see Gnostic). The adjective also is from 1870.

    I … invented what I conceived to be the appropriate title of ‘agnostic,’ … antithetic to the ‘Gnostic’ of Church history who professed to know so much about the very things of which I was ignorant. [T.H. Huxley, “Science and Christian Tradition,” 1889]

    The agnostic does not simply say, “I do not know.” He goes another step, and he says, with great emphasis, that you do not know. [Robert G. Ingersoll, “Reply to Dr. Lyman Abbott,” 1890]  etymonline


  • Naturally

    Beltane and the Mesa View Moon

    Wednesday gratefuls: Beltane. The growing season. Rebecca. Tom. Bill. Paul. Ode. Diane. Kep, my sweet boy. And Kate, who remains even though gone. A soaking Rain yesterday. Thunder. Walking the perimeter. Psilocybin. The house from within my stand of Lodgepoles. Bunch Grass. Bear’s Claw. Wild Rose. Living in the Mountains. Marilyn. Dismantling Racism. Oh.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: The Lodgepoles in the Rain, their piney scent

    One brief, shining moment: Rain coming down like a fine mist, I walked the fenceline, as I used to do in Andover every spring, looking for breaches, places the fencing has pulled away from the posts, and while I walked the smell of Pine, the Mountain Soil, a Rabbit still with a great dark Eye, a Robin on a Lodgepole Branch, a Squirrel scrambling up a Tree Trunk.


    Lot of advice on stress. Go to Nature. First, you can’t not be in Nature. A subtle way of wedging us further and further away from our reality as part of, rather than apart from, the Natural World. In this sense meditation is going to Nature. Part of why it works for so many?

    The Japanese have a term you’ve probably read, shinrin-yoku. Forest bathing or taking in the atmosphere of the Forest. That’s not the same as saying get out in Nature. It’s about going to a specific part of Nature. Not sure why I’ve never seen Ocean Bathing as a similar idea, but it must work the same for a lot of folks. Or, for that matter, Mountain Bathing. Lake Bathing. Garden Bathing. Sex Bathing.

    Anyhow I went shinrin-yoku on my property here yesterday. (Whenever I write in the possessive about property or Trees, I wince. Only temporarily mine and then only in the sense of stewardship. Not to mention how much of our Land used to be the territory of other Nations.)

    I thought of Rigel as I walked out the door. The Rabbit who likes to sit under the fire pit darted out from there, stopping about twenty feet from its home under the shed. Still. He can’t see me

    A soaking rain fell as I walked. Started at the point where the garage meets the fence. Past that point, where the fence turns north, there is a shallow trench maybe 30 feet long with a pile of soil at the far end. Evidence. Doggy running. Rigel, Kep, Gertie, Vega. Jude’s dogs on the other side. Zeus, Boo. Then, later Thor.

    Further on green Shoots had begun to emerge through the Bunch Grass. Old Logs were wet, waiting for Mushroom Spores. I surveyed all the Fire mitigation I had done after we moved. Stumps cut low. Clumps of trees left out here, at the far fenceline, well over a hundred feet from the house. Looking toward the house, the thirty foot zone with no Pines and between that line and where I stood, smaller stands, one or two or three Trees at least ten feet apart.

    The house and its cedar siding, the shed, the garage, also wet from the rain were in their literal element. And looked beautiful to me.  How lucky am I, I thought.

    There were the Lilacs planted per Kate’s dying request at the same time I had the Iris bed expanded. Part of the same wish from her. Lilacs and Irises. Kate.

    Coming inside I felt renewed from a half hour of shinrin yoku, never leaving the borders of Shadow Mountain Home.



  • Stretched again. By love, by injustice.

    Beltane and the Mesa View Moon

    Monday gratefuls: Josh. Rebecca. Marilyn and Rabbi Jamie. Beltane. May Day. The merry, merry month of May. Cubensis. Anger at injustice. Baku Grandprix. Sergio Perez. Charles Leclerc. Mountain Streams running fast and full. My son and his wife. No furniture. Aloha to Hawai’i. Workout today. Richard Powers.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: F1

    One brief, shining moment: Those F1 cars, slim and downforced, all speed and bones, threw themselves around the street circuit in Baku, two hundred miles per hour past twelfth century city walls and the eighth century Maiden Tower, marrying, at least for two hours, the ancient history of Azerbaijan with the manic movement of twenty-first century high technology.


    Quite a day yesterday. My first dose of psilocybin in about fifty years. A microdose. Floating. Peaceful. Glad to be alive and on the Mountain. Cubensis. Capsules from Josh. Delivered by Luke. Short lived, maybe two hours. The first step toward a psychedelic senior life. Feels right.


    The Ancient Brothers wrote letters to their future selves and their past selves. Here are mine:

    At 90

    Hey, old man. I mean. Wow, dude. Look at you.

    What? You’re 5’ 2” now? Sorry. I know. This spine, eh? How did you live so long?

    Fish and chicken. Some pork. Lotsa veggies and fruit. Exercise. Good friends. With warm hearts.

    I get that. That sounds like now. You know at our age, 76.

    Well. There you go. Stay on the path. It’s working.


    At 67

    Guy, I wish I could prepare you for the next eight years. But I can’t. They’re gonna be tough. Rock bottom, knock the bottle over, don’t win any prizes hard.

    Love. Death. Harsh illness. Family upset. All of that until you’re the only one left standing. With cancer.

    And yet. Live into them, live into it all. As you face each one, your life will change. Pivot. Deepen. Grow sadder and yet more stable, too.

    I love you and that gets you through, on the path.


    Talked with my son and his wife. Their house is bare. Only the furniture that will go into storage is left. The nomadic life of a military career. Each time I see them I love them more, as if love can expand and expand, not only filling the vessel it inhabits but enlarging the vessel, pressing it into new, better shapes, shapes brighter, more luminous than the ones that came before. May this continue. A real blessing.


    Watched the Baku Grand Prix on F1 TV. Slowly gaining a better understanding of race strategy, how drivers adapt to different tracks, how their cars get tuned for the specific challenges of the day. These F1 drivers are unicorns like all elite athletes. Reflexes and courage. Competitive. Glad to have this diversion, a hobby, I guess.


    Later in the day Dismantling Racism at CBE. Oh, so hard. Even deciding how to talk with each other about it. One person spoke with some force and came up with what I think is the most succinct way of understanding anti-Black racism in our country I’ve ever heard.

    We Jews, he said, left Egypt, left our oppressor behind. But Blacks in the U.S. have never had an Exodus moment, they have never left their oppressor behind and their enslavement follows them down to this day. Wow.

    He went on to wonder what life would have been like for the Hebrews if they had been freed from slavery, yet never left Egypt. Also an interesting, very interesting question.

    Which, come to think of it, makes me wonder how many instances in world history there are of whole peoples being subjugated as slaves.

    Not sure where this class is going. It’s a new model, one that tries to use the wisdom of mussar for the inner work necessary to fight our own racism. My sense is that writers of the curriculum have underestimated the learning required to understand racism, first, then mussar, second, then meld the two into something that aids the actual dismantling of this peculiar institution.

    I’m in it though, all the way. Trying to merge this round of struggle against racism with the reading I’m doing about the far right. Stretching. Yet again.