Get L.I.T.! Saying Goodbye to 2014

“To like many people spontaneously and without effort is perhaps the greatest source of all personal happiness.”

Bertrand Russell
(favorite reminder-words of the year!)


Kalaloch, Pacific Coast, Washington

It’s been a world of L.I.T. in 2014–Lives Inspiring Today.

Thanks to each of you who have traveled along. It’s been a pleasure to notice and note so many people who are making a difference in our world–and doing good stuff.

From friends Julie Buccerri and Stacey Hill in Massachusetts who are teaching kids to think and act with care, to the many poets who invite us to feel and see in ways we might not otherwise–Peg Edera, Esther Elisabeth, Carolyn Norred, Sarah Kinsel, Glenna Cook and John Fox: Thanks for letting me talk with you, for letting me write about you, and for letting us feature your work.

When I look back over the months, it is fun to see some of the people I’ve met this year- Continue reading “Get L.I.T.! Saying Goodbye to 2014”

Poetry: Writing Our Relationship with Trees

“What we are doing to the forests of the world

is but a mirror reflection of what we are doing

to ourselves and to one another.”

Mahatma Gandhi

Cape D 2011 070Not long ago, John Fox led a poetry writing workshop in Portland, Oregon. The theme, “Writing Our Relationship With Trees” seemed ho-hum–until I attended.

During these two days I witnessed the wonder of words and sharing that happened as John offered prompts, read poems by Wendell Berry, Jane Hirshfield and Naomi Shihab Nye–and invited the rest of us to write and share.

It’s amazing what can happen when we sit to write about and with these tall lives from deep root to branches–and when we write from our memories associated with maple, cedar, apple and pear. Trees help us to breathe, yet how often do we stop to contemplate their impact?

This week I want to share some of the writing from that weekend by Carolyn Norred, Esther Elizabeth and Peg Edera–all poets who have been previously featured on L.I.T..

On the second day of the weekend-workshop, we gathered around a near-by Red Cedar. If you haven’t leaned against one of these giants lately Continue reading “Poetry: Writing Our Relationship with Trees”

Galen Doucette & Liza Baer: Committment Toward a Better World

“If you make it a habit not to blame others,

you will feel the growth of the ability to love

in your soul, and you will see the growth

of goodness in your life.”

Leo Tolstoy

20141016_110705_AndroidSome people endeavor to study for a PhD in microbiology or medieval literature. Others take a year or two to travel the world, learn about other cultures and people, and begin their own business or perhaps parent a humanitarian non-profit to better living conditions for people in Sudan. Another path might lead a person to medical or law school or maybe to begin a family while teaching history. Fewer people make the choice Galen Doucette, 31, and Liza Baer, 30, have made: Beginning April 4, 2015 they will enter into a cloistered life for the next three years and three months.

liza-bowls-buddha-croppedThey are the youngest who will be a part of the group at Ser Chö Ösel Ling (SCOL), the retreat land in Goldendale, Washington built by KCC (Kagyu Changchub Chuling) a Tibetan Buddhist organization in Portland, Oregon. So far, Galen will be the only man, though traditionally more men than women have chosen to enter a long retreat which often lead a retreatant to become a lama (spiritual leader).

Our one certainty: The times are always a-changing, and this week I’d like to share Galen’s story because he’s quite a guy–and I had plenty of time to talk with him while out cooking for a retreat in October.  I  also invite you to meet Liza Baer who tells her own story quite beautifully at her website.

If you are inspired, Continue reading “Galen Doucette & Liza Baer: Committment Toward a Better World”