Archive for December, 2016

Dec 28 2016

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The Wild Book Is Now Available

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Cultivating the Wildness Within, a collection of 18 interlocking, deeply personal essays, is now in print!

It begins with the disorientation that I felt coming out of the Alaskan bush in ’92 then covers the next two decades as I worked through the disparities between what the wild teaches and how we live our lives in this highly complex world of ours. Wildness stirs within us all so I recount how others deal with this disparity as well – family, friends, and humankind in general. Yes, I wax philosophical at times, but these essays are as much from the heart as they are from the head.

Scott King at Red Dragonfly Press accepted CWW for publication last spring. We had planned on releasing it in the fall but a glitch at Amazon held things up. That’s why it’s coming out at such an awkward time. All the same, I think this is one of my better books. Check it out.

The book is available at Amazon, of course, but Scott and I believe that small is beautiful so we ask that you consider getting it from Small Press Distribution instead. CWW is also for sale at the Red Dragonfly Press website. It’ll be a while before it’s available anywhere else.

After reading this book, let me know what you think. I can always be reached by email:



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Dec 16 2016

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Winter Blues

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winter-bluesThe other day Judy showed me this photo that she recently took out our back door in early morning. “Winter blues” she calls it.

There’s a coldness and a darkness to the picture, much in keeping with what many of us are feeling these days, yet there’s warmth and light in it as well. Double meaning. Leave it to my wife to capture both moods of this season in one image.

I find the darkness this time of year hard to take, not to mention the bitter cold, but the charm of winter does not escape me. There are times when I marvel at the beauty of illuminated clouds strewn across a deep blue sky, appreciate the clean simplicity of the earth blanketed by fresh snow, and accept the dormancy of leafless trees as Nature’s way.

I spot several deer slipping through the forest one morning and suddenly I have nothing to complain about. At the end of any walk I take there’s always a warm house with plenty of food in the cupboards. Not everyone has it so easy.

The blues, yes, Judy and I both feel it. We miss the green world, the barefoot days, fresh produce, and those gentle gusts of warm summer air wafting through the window. But that’ll all come back soon enough. Nature cycles round and round…

How’s that saying go? Curse the darkness or light a candle. There are two ways to approach nearly everything – two entirely different attitudes. Not so much the picture as it is how we look at it. The shortest, darkest day of the year is almost upon us. Then things will swing the other way. And that’s reason enough, I think, to celebrate.


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Dec 05 2016

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Snowy Illumination

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snowy-walk-1For days a dismal grey light prevailed as the above-freezing temps slowly melted off Thanksgiving snow. Then this morning we awoke to it: a fresh coat of the white stuff brightening the world. And just in a nick of time for yours truly, sinking into a funk as the days grow shorter and the nights seem to go on forever.

Midday, after doing necessary work and running a few errands, I put on my boots and went for a walk. I kicked up light powder with each step. My dog Matika ran ahead, happy to be out of the house for a change. I slogged down the driveway, along the freshly plowed road, then slipped into the woods.

Snow clung to the branches. Snow kept falling. Snow piled up underfoot, everywhere, but I didn’t mind it. Much better than all that mud brown and sky grey. A winter wonderland? Not how I see the world but, like Matika, I was happy to be out of the house all the same.

Reaching another road, unplowed, I gravitated to the powder to keep from slipping in the packed, icy track of some car that had passed this way. I pulled my hat down around my ears as we turned a corner to face a bitter wind blowing steadily from the west. My eyes teared up. Still better than staying indoors. Plenty of time to thaw out later.

Back into the woods again, closer to home, I suddenly realized how good it felt to be outdoors, moving, and not altogether comfortable.  Hmm…  Explain that to those who have never found the sweetness in a chunk of stale bread, or to those who have never willingly done anything hard.

Note to self: do this more often, only next time head for the hills. Take a real break from the work… or suffer the consequences.



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