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the Pilgrim in the high mountain meadow...

January 7, 2014
(Author's note: Whether it be for individual therapy, family therapy, or couple's therapy...when I meet with Clients to hear their stories, I listen carefully for their hearts. There are wounds and joy, uplift and deep descent, bouyancy and fear manifested and held by their pink, warm, amazing hearts. The story below is a small wish that each leaf of darkness that floats in the rivers of their hearts, will eventually ...

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Mandela...

December 7, 2013
When Ghandi died, I was unborn. And my heart was unaffected. The sun passed below the horizon, red, and so tired, on the Indian subcontinent.
 
When Kennedy died, I was a child, and my sphere was small and untouched. I remember the principal on the school intercom, the footage of the motorcade, and LBJ taking the oath...with Jacqueline standing next to him. I looked around at the adults in my world. Their eyes were ...

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fairies of compassion...and skateboards...

October 10, 2013
Once upon a time not so very long ago, in a place not so far away. In the middle of the season where the days are short, the sun is weak, and water drops from every leaf on every tree...there lived a woman who wanted so badly to understand about the pain of others, that she might understand pain in herself.
Since she was a little girl, when she saw her friends crying and being sad, she too felt a tightness in her chest, ...

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"I love you next year..."

August 13, 2013
A tear slowly rolled down my cheek as we stood in the airport, at the interface between insecurity and the security zone. The point at which goodbyes are said. The awkward transition between the known and the unknown. Hundreds of people around me were saying goodbye to family...to friends...to business colleagues. I stood awkwardly with my hands in my pockets watching my sixteen year old daughter holding her two year ...

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The Boy and the Dragons...Part Two

June 3, 2013
(Author’s note: This is part two of a two-part blog entry, that began about three weeks ago.)
But the equanimity did not last. There was dissonance and pain and strange discordance between the Boy and his wife. And it would not go away. And it got worse. The boy screamed in pain and sorrow. The life he had known for twenty-five years was no more. He looked up and saw the dragon of impermanence. He looked ...

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The Boy and the Dragons...

May 15, 2013
(Author’s note: This story will be blogged in two separate postings, one now and the other within the next few weeks).
 
There once was a Boy, fair of skin and blue of eyes, who was born in the middle of the U.S.A. It was a green land of oaks and sycamores, soybeans and hog farmers. There were cicadas and fireflies. The people talked slow and went to church. They were conservative, and slow to adopt ...

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The Molecular Weight of Secrets...

May 9, 2013
It is a beautiful Spring day in Portland, Oregon. I turn in my chair to look out the big skylight in my office. A stately dark green Maple tree is perfectly framed. Honey bees are busy visiting the small cream-colored flowers. The sky is that color of blue that reminds me of the sea above a shallow coral reef. I check in with my heart. My heart checks in with me. The clear message is that I want to go for a walk. I have ...

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Spring...1986, Fall...2012

April 4, 2013
Spring...1986
I am curled up in the fetal position. Clad only in swim trunks and a t-shirt, I lie in the bottom of a wooden ship, sailing in the open waters offshore of Somalia and Kenya. The night is deeply and painfully black. The ship is fifty feet long at most. As I lie in the shallowly-keeled bottom, I feel the rough thick mango wood of which it is comprised, against my skin. I am floating in a foot ...

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On Oxygen...Wisdom...and Peace...

February 27, 2013
Some life experiences bring us into razor sharp focus. They allow us to look into the small eyepiece of the microscope, magnify, and lay bare that which really matters in the world. I have had two such experiences. Both of them had me standing upon the brink of the abyss...on that thin line between life and death. I will share one of them with you now. Perhaps I will speak of the other at a latter time. This is the story ...

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A New Men's Group...My Grampa...and a Growling Bobcat

January 28, 2013
In two weeks, on the evening of Monday, February 11th, I will facilitate the first session of “Men in Transition”, a men’s group. We will meet weekly for 8 weeks at the office of Two Rivers Counseling. Four to six men will meet to lay their stories out. The stories will likely be about change and the sometimes painful, sometimes beautiful, paradigmatic shifts that are the bread and butter of life. 
 
This ...

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Fairies and Stars...and Little Falcon Boys

January 7, 2013
I held my two year-old son close. Wrapped up in a furry, orange, wool blanket, he and I looked up into the night sky. I could smell his hair and traces of blueberry juice that persisted on his tiny pink lips. I held him so close that I could hear both of our heartbeats, each in it’s own rhythm...one heart so young and yet to fall from grace, and another, older, that had stumbled and fallen and gotten back up again. 
 
This ...

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Acceptance... and An Old Man in a White Fur Hat

December 10, 2012
     In the highlands of East Africa, where the equator and Mount Kenya embrace each other, I met an old man who taught me something about acceptance. He introduced himself as “Mzee”, which means old man in Swahili. When first we met, he was walking slowly down a slippery red clay road during the equatorial monsoon. His legs were bowed from years of traveling...down this and other unpaved trails. ...

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Growing up...and River Banks

November 13, 2012
He was 11. She was 12. The sky was blue. The fields were a vast ocean of brown wheat waves that rolled and broke with the hot breeze of August. The big-peopled cities of England were a week’s ride away on a fast horse. On the muddy banks of a green river that moved imperceptibly, he lay next to her. They were silent.
 
She wore a white homespun linen shirt and an old powder blue dress that hung loosely. The ...

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Nairobi, Kenya...Portland, Oregon

October 24, 2012
It was May in Nairobi, Kenya. At midnight in this great metropolis, the floral scent of Jacaranda trees wafted into the windows of our small cement second-story flat. I lay half asleep, thinking about my daughter. She had come into this world, almost one month previous. She was small and fragile, and unbeknownst to us, she had contracted malaria.  Born in the hospital during the incessant downpours of yet another ...

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The Judge-Jester and the Little Boy

October 9, 2012
  
     I walked into the courtroom and saw the judge dressed up like a jester. Hanging from the rafters were orange, yellow, and blue bunting. Balloons were everywhere. In the middle of the court room was a huge piñata. Over four feet, top to bottom, a deep ruby red. It was in the shape of a heart. Beside it was the most beautiful wooden gavel, two feet long with thin silver filigreed ...

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Wildness in the Urban

October 5, 2012
     “You have a leaf in your hair.” The checker points toward my head, having scanned my last item. Her comment catches me by surprise, nudging me out of my patterned customer routine. I hesitate. I reach up to check. In my hand is a crinkly, brown paper birch leaf. I examine it. The person in line behind me pushes forward, imperceptibly irritated. The checker looks at the leaf as I roll it ...

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