Extended Explorations

A Bioregional Seminar

A Bioregional Seminar — The First Letter
The following five letters were contributed to a Bioregional Seminar that was conducted by way of correspondence. Fifteen to twenty people from across the country, most of whom had attended the second North American Bioregional Congress in Michigan in the summer of 1986, participated. The focus of the Seminar was an essay by Thomas Berry, a prominent spokesperson for the bioregional movement. (Read Full Article)
A Bioregional Seminar — The Second Letter
These kinds of questions and choices, this search for a new story, is highly significant, given that how we see ourselves as a species greatly shapes how we see ourselves as individuals. And how we see ourselves as individuals (our self-image) profoundly affects not only how we see and therefore relate to others--other people, other sexes, other cultures, other races, other species--but also how we define the limits of what is possible for us to do and to be. (Read Full Article)
A Bioregional Seminar — The Third Letter
"Does your desire for change," she asks,"run deeper than the mere willingness to recycle aluminum cans or send $25 to the Sierra Club? That's a worthy goal for some, but not for us. We must become willing to consider inconvenient, even impossible changes; changes sufficiently radical to disrupt and transform our personal lifestyles!" (Read Full Article)
A Bioregional Seminar — The Fourth Letter
As we near the end of this seminar, and prompted by Joyce's dream, I want to share some of my growing edges as I try to bring the bioregional question more clearly into focus in my daily life. What follows are some of the outer or lifestyle concerns. Next month I'll attempt to touch the inner challenges. (Read Full Article)
A Bioregional Seminar — The Fifth Letter
The outward growing edges that I shared in the last letter, while important, are not truly radical. To be "radical" one would have to explore the "roots" of a problem. And my concerns about food, transportation, and waste are more like twigs and branches. There is an obvious and intimate relationship between the roots and the branches of a tree. Yet the entire tree may be cut down, and if the roots are left intact they will send up a surge of new sprouts to take its place. (Read Full Article)

A Healing Impulse

A Healing Impulse: 1 — Introduction
Seven years ago, our daughter Lauren was sexually molested by a man who was both a close friend and a long-time member of our community. Her best friend Myra, who lived in the neighborhood, was also molested. The abuse of these two girls by Adam (not his real name) rocked our community, Light Morning, to its core. (Read Full Article)
A Healing Impulse: 2 — Coping With Betrayal
The processing we did with Lauren after the abuse went well. But we had no way to gauge what was going to happen when she got into her teenage years. We intuitively felt that much of what she had experienced would be a time-release capsule and would be triggered by the onset of puberty. (Read Full Article)
A Healing Impulse: 3 — A Perilous Opportunity
It felt like both an honor and a tremendous opportunity to be asked to help the community use Open Hearted Listening as the next step in their healing journey. It was also a big stretch--to apply the tool that we had been using primarily with couples to a completely new situation, and with teens, who were outside the age range we normally work with. (Read Full Article)
A Healing Impulse: 4 — Learning to Listen
One of our major goals was to help everyone realize that Open Hearted Listening is a practice within a larger framework of attitudes which help make it work--attitudes such as being willing to play our edges, to stretch into places that are uncomfortable, and to choose to be loving and caring, again and again. (Read Full Article)
A Healing Impulse: 5 — A Courageous Encounter
After the training, and after the facilitated sharings between Adam and some of the neighbors and parents, the day finally came for the session with Adam and the girls. It was scheduled for early afternoon, in our new community shelter. Nervous energy rippled through the air. (Read Full Article)
A Healing Impulse: 6 — Logs Moving Downstream
One of the unanticipated blessings of conducting these interviews has been the opportunity to re-assess how our children, our community, and our neighborhood are healing from the deep psychic wounds we received seven years ago. It feels like we've come a long way. And that we have a long way yet to go. (Read Full Article)
A Healing Impulse: 7 — About Open Hearted Listening
Open Hearted Listening is a simple, practical method for developing empathy. It offers an opportunity for two or more people to navigate through difficult issues to a place of mutual compassion and connection, once they have learned the technique and have agreed to use it in their relationships. (Read Full Article)

Choosing to Age in Community

Choosing to Age in Community: 1 — Introduction
Twenty years ago, some visitors arrived at Light Morning from a group house in a nearby city. They said they wanted to see what life was like in a small, rural community. We gladly obliged. Soon they were hard at work, helping us set the locust posts for a new woodshed. Mostly they were our own age--in their 20s and 30s. One of them, however, Tom Hungerford, was 60. We wondered what had attracted someone our parents' age to a communal lifestyle. During his many subsequent visits, and more fully after he moved here several years ago, we drew out portions of Tom's remarkable story. (Read Full Article)
Choosing to Age in Community: 2 — From Cab Driving to Group House
I loved the city. I was studying with an Infinite Way teacher at the time and she told me that if you really love something (and it doesn't have to be a person necessarily) it would open up its secrets to you. And she said, "You have a very special feeling about New York. Any time anyone talks to you about it, you can tell right away that it's unusual. Just be conscious of the fact that you love the city, and it will show an aspect of itself to you that few see." (Read Full Article)
Choosing to Age in Community: 3 — Tom Springs His Mom From a Nursing Home
The main thing I learned about my mother was what a wonderful woman she was. She lived a life of service without knowing it. Without trying to be that. She just was that. That was her. And she didn't think that there was anything unusual about it. But even after I went to stay with her, it was obvious that people who knew her knew that if she could do anything for them, all they had to do was ask her, and she would do it. (Read Full Article)
Choosing to Age in Community: 4 — Exploring Communities
...I think that’s one of the keys to dealing with people who are dealing with aging in a different way. If you’re out in the culture, you’ve tied into and bought into the negative way of treating aging. There’s not much question about what’s supposed to happen. And in certain circumstances, particularly your family, you don’t get asked either. The family just steps right in and does what they think is best for you. (Read Full Article)
Choosing to Age in Community: 5 — Living at Light Morning
For myself, I've kind of given up on what age I'm supposed to be when I pass out of this experience. I'm a lot further on in it than I ever expected to be. And in greater control of my senses and sensibilities and even not too bad on the physical side. So I'm feeling now that it's more important for me to learn to deal with whatever this process of passing is. To be ready for it when it occurs. (Read Full Article)

Letters from Light Morning

Letters From Light Morning: 1 — Winter 1975
Letters From Light Morning is an account of the early stages of a small, intentional community in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. It consists of passages from letters which were written to people who had inquired about the purposes of the community and about what had been learned since moving there. These verbal sketches tell of the many transitions that were being made at that time: transitions from nuclear family to the complexities of consensus and cooperation; from the comfort and conveniences of modern living to wintering in tents, drawing water by hand, and chopping wood for heat; and from the excitement of the initial vision to the gradual realization of the long-term commitment needed to manifest that vision. (Read Full Article)
Letters From Light Morning: 2 — Early Spring 1975
Since picking up my pen, the wind has begun one of its roarings. A strange day, with its own story. An ice storm several days ago left every tree, pine needle, and blade of grass frozen, as though of glass. Fragile glass mountains. Lovely, yet also the sense of tension, the trees bent down under the weight, the strain on the brittle limbs, rigid and vulnerable. But there was no wind to threaten them. Then earlier today the sun shone for about 20 minutes, just enough to release the branches, to give them back their essential flexibility. And now this raging wind, and those thousands of trees, bending and twisting. I can feel their wild and joyful freedom. (Read Full Article)
Letters From Light Morning: 3 — Spring 1975
Translated into more practical advice, I think this means to go wherever you're drawn, staying open to the guidance that can bubble up to consciousness, holding to and refining your purpose, building it in your imagination, and then letting the current of circumstance carry you. The purpose (spirit) itself will do the maneuvering and use you as it sees fit, be you willing. (Read Full Article)

Gardening

Harvesting Elephant Garlic
When Kent was living here, about ten years ago, he planted a bed of elephant garlic. After Kent left, the garlic was mostly ignored. Then I discovered that moles don't seem to bother our tomatoes and summer squash if I plant a clove of garlic here and there between each plant. Little did I know how fast the garlic would multiply. (Read Full Article)
Still Mowing (After All These Years)
I was born on a dairy farm in Sauk County, Wisconsin, about 30 miles NW of Madison, in 1940. Our farm had rolling hills, lots of hay fields to cut, and a very large yard to mow. As a kid in grade school, I started pushing the reel mower. It had a grass catcher attached to it and the clippings went to the chickens. There were no gasoline engines back then. The mower was “self-propelled,” by my muscles! I pushed it for weeks and months and years. (Read Full Article)
Training Tomatoes
Every year I look forward to the day in June when I go to the garden and notice that my tomato plants are about to fall over and are in need of pruning and tying. It is hard to explain my sense of anticipation. Most people would dread the prospect of spending hours meticulously scrutinizing plants. Besides, it takes a good five minutes of hand-scrubbing to get rid of that nasty green stain from pruning the shoots. And for what gain? (Read Full Article)
Cold Frame Gardening 1: February
For several years now I have been experimenting with growing seedlings and plants in cold frames at Light Morning. The successes never cease to amaze me. From salads all winter to dried tomatoes in the summer, cold frames have kept my thumbs green (and sometimes shades of blue in January!) twelve months of the year. (Read Full Article)
Cold Frame Gardening 2: March
As the spring equinox draws near, the cold frame gardener finds it easy to stay busy. With greens, peas, and root crops already sprouted, it is a good time to look for holes in the rows of plants (often due to rodents) to re-sow. Be sure to keep the frames vented on sunny days and well watered. You can even remove the glazing entirely to catch any warm spring rains. (Read Full Article)
Cold Frame Gardening 3: April
April is a busy and exciting time, especially when gardening with cold frames. While convincing signs of spring are just beginning to emerge outdoors, summer is well under way under the glass. With temperatures consistently 70° or above by day, and the danger of frost essentially gone, almost anything can be grown in the frames by mid April. (Read Full Article)
Cold Frame Gardening 4: May
With May now under way, the season for cold frame gardening is drawing to a close. I keep my peppers and tomatoes warm on colder nights by closing the glass, but more often than not the glass stays completely off to allow unexpected thunderstorms to water the plants. More and more, the frames start getting in the way, though they are still very much appreciated when the threat of frost is issued on the radio. (Read Full Article)

Healing Deep Within

Healing Deep Within: 1 — The Bogey Man
Is it any wonder that, at 61 years of age, there are still times when I feel like a walking, ticking time-bomb, ready to explode? The home that my younger sister and brother and I grew up in, a small Wisconsin dairy farm, was seldom a nurturing one. As children, we experienced frequent physical beatings and verbal whippings, freely administered by an insecure, out-of-control mother. (Read Full Article)
Healing Deep Within: 2 — A Rainbow of Pain
For years I listened to my mother's thunderous roars of wrath about how God gave her the three worst kids in the world. "And since you're the oldest," Leona would add threateningly, "you should know better." (Read Full Article)
Healing Deep Within: 3 — Reaching for Blackberries
Now if you have a burning, "deep within" desire to learn more about who you really are, and you want to deal with all your issues and unresolved stuff, I would say, "Go for it! Join a community. Quick! Any community." Believe me, you will find out tons and tons about yourself--if you are willing to look. (Read Full Article)
Healing Deep Within: 4 — My Mother’s Casket
Like mother, like daughter. For ten years, my mom did not speak to my grandma. How could that be, I wondered. I never understood, until I stopped all communication with my mother during the last six years of her life. Why? Because no matter how hard I tried, I could never meet any of her expectations. (Read Full Article)
Healing Deep Within: 5 — A River of Gold
At my mother's funeral, I talked with one of my uncles. He told me that Leona had been horribly abused growing up, thanks to grandma and grandpa swinging the leather horse straps and the logging chains on their eight children. I was stunned! (Read Full Article)
Healing Deep Within: 6 — Beautiful New Memories
One day I was writing in my journal about all the nasty crap that came between my mother and me. Somehow, though, it got turned around, and I wrote and wrote and wrote about the lovely, fun, positive qualities she had. (Read Full Article)

The ALM Readings

The A.L.M. Readings: 1 — The Offering of a Name
Light Morning has its roots in the intuitive guidance that was received for nine months in Virginia Beach in the early 1970's. Out of this guidance, in the form of "readings", came both the vision for the community and the passion to translate that vision into our daily lives. During the following seasons, we will share some of these "ALM Readings" in our online Journal. (Read Full Article)
The A.L.M. Readings: 2 — Meditation, Prayer, and Dreams
The state of sleep is a change of consciousness somewhat similar to that of a consciousness which would be left when the body is put aside, in that experience even as death. And yet, not exactly the same. This state of consciousness (or being) that is freed from the self when there is sleep upon the body is as an anesthesia to the body, which enables there to be healing, restful presence, and a freedom of inhibitions of the consciousness. (Read Full Article)

The Lofty Chronicles

The Lofty Chronicles: 1 — Saying Goodbye to Childhood
The Lofty Chronicles are based on a daily journal that I was keeping for several years in the early 1990’s. The entries that were related to our daughter, Lauren (who was going by the name of Lofty at the time), were drawn from this journal and were then sent, each season, to Lauren’s geographically distant grandparents, aunts, and uncles. They were intended, as well, for a future, grownup Lauren, curious about her roots. The reason for sharing them in Light Morning’s current Journal is that, peeking through the day-to-day concerns, wonders, and routines of parenting is a startlingly intimate view of the three core values of this community. (Read Full Article)
The Lofty Chronicles: 2 — Gifts and Abilities
While in town we run a few errands. Lauren's hot to get something at K-Mart. After much sorting through of items and prices she ends up purchasing two small figures, one of Bat Man and the other of Spider Man. Later in the afternoon, at Goodwill, she buys a small statuette of the Virgin Mary, who immediately becomes the companion of Bat Man and Spider Man. Quite the archetypal threesome! (Read Full Article)
The Lofty Chronicles: 3 — The Terrible Irony of Pinocchio
So this morning, when I ask Lauren about her dreams, she tells me that she has dreamed that she is watching and listening very carefully all night, "to see if it was Mama or the tooth fairy that would put the dollar under my pillow." I smile and nod, and neither of us says anything more. Both of us, however, can feel the seasons changing as another piece of the magical world of childhood is lost along with the tooth. (Read Full Article)
The Lofty Chronicles: 4 — On Loan From the Universe
Then comes the understanding, the visceral awareness, that not only Lauren, but also Joyce, and everyone else I know and love, are likewise on loan from the universe. Having not yet been faced with the death of a parent or the departure of a child, I am mostly shielded from the immensity of this mystery--that the universe asks us to return all that we've borrowed. (Read Full Article)
The Lofty Chronicles: 5 — Doing What You Like to Do
Another of those peculiar synchronicities today. Lauren awakens with a dream about ice-cold lava flowing slowly across a highway. Then this afternoon she receives a postcard from her aunt Heather, who is visiting her uncle David and aunt Karin in Hawaii. The picture on the card shows molten lava from one of Hawaii’s volcanic eruptions. The lava is flowing across a coastal highway. Lauren is startled to see the card. It’s the first time that she has either dreamt about or received a postcard about lava. (Read Full Article)
The Lofty Chronicles: 6 — Sifting Through Your Mind
"Do you sometimes get real quiet," Lauren says, as though wondering out loud, "and go sifting through your mind?" "How do you mean?" "Well, sometimes when I'm not doing anything, I kind of sift through my mind, like I'm going through a box to see what I want to get rid of. I throw some stuff away, and keep other stuff." (Read Full Article)
The Lofty Chronicles: 7 — Animal Encounters
Now and then, for a brief, shimmering moment or two, I blink away the blinders of familiarity and give thanks for this lifestyle. What a special blessing it is to be able to see other creatures going about their daily business of living and dying, independent of our ponderous human endeavors. (Read Full Article)
The Lofty Chronicles: 8 — A Traumatic Revelation
The road to hell, the saying goes, is paved with good intentions. One might also say that the road to heaven is paved with good intent. The highway to heightened awareness, in other words, becomes passable only as we acknowledge the good intent that is at the core of all people, all things, all circumstances. (Read Full Article)
The Lofty Chronicles: 9 – Trial By Fire
As the events generated by the disclosure of Adam's molestation unfold, I'm struck by the relevance of the Christian teachings. From the Golden Rule (doing unto others as we would have them do unto us), to the warning about letting those without sin cast the first stone, to Jesus having taken his ministry to the outcasts of society, I'm finding our blood-myth to be strong medicine indeed. (Read Full Article)
The Lofty Chronicles: 10 _ The Shock Absorber
I know these surges come and go, but her current binge is particularly well-timed. It has strengthened our faith in the rightness of child-led learning. Not that we don't have as many responsibilities for her "education." In some ways we have more. But now it feels like we're all on the same team. And instead of us pushing her, she's pulling us. (Read Full Article)
The Lofty Chronicles: 11 — The Turning Tide
The slow, rhythmical cadence of the treadle sewing machine is like a shaman's drone note, calling forth and supporting the song. "If anybody knew what a dream is. / If anybody knows what a dreamer is. / So why don't you know / What a dream, dream, dreamer is?" Then singing and sewing are suddenly interrupted by the sound of war whoops coming down the path. Moments later several kids burst into the portico, eager to play. Both song and spell evaporate into excited kid-talk and happy laughter. (Read Full Article)
The Lofty Chronicles: 12 — Finding Her Pleasure
Joyce is walking out the driveway this afternoon and comes upon Lauren, perched in the upper branches of a dogwood tree, reading. "Ahhh," says Lauren, with a slow sigh of contentment. "I think I've found my pleasure." "Ahhh," I repeat, when Joyce shares the encounter with me. "I think we've found our pleasure, too." For this is just what we've been waiting and hoping for--to have Lauren come to the world of books in her own time and in her own way, and so be gently lured into the love of reading. (Read Full Article)
The Lofty Chronicles: 13 — Do You Want to Play Learning?
Learning not as drudgery or rote. Not as something demanded by another. But learning as play, so that, "come learn with me" and "come play with me" become indistinguishable. And then having the gift of sufficient free time to follow her interest wherever it takes her, no matter how fleeting or consuming the impulse may turn out to be. (Read Full Article)
The Lofty Chronicles: 14 — Sowin’ on the Mountain
In this so-called civilized world, we grant few if any rights to other-than-human species. And we routinely dehumanize those members of our own species who differ from us in color, status, or belief, the more easy to commit atrocities upon them. With the planet giving us increasingly painful feedback for these follies, we may need to become again as little children and to ask, from the depths of our hearts, some rather simple, child-like questions. (Read Full Article)
The Lofty Chronicles: 15 — Jumping on Couches and Kids
"Lauren!" I say, my exasperation clinging to her name. "How many times do we have to tell you?! Please don't jump on the furniture like that. It tears the fabric and busts up the springs." She looks at me calmly for a moment. Then, with disarming frankness, replies, "It's nice to have a few things to do that adults don't like." Her candor startles me into empathy. (Read Full Article)
The Lofty Chronicles: 16 — Learning How to Wish Wisely
After a long while, I'm ready to head for home. I look for Lauren and at first can't find her. Then I notice that the four girls--Lauren, Myra, Rose, and Claire--are cuddled up in David and Mary's big hammock, talking quietly together. Maybe it's the twilight and the fire. Maybe it's the contrast with the boys, who are still rough-housing around in the woods. Maybe it's some sixth sense that I'm able to tune into. Whatever it is, any thought of leaving immediately vanishes. Something very special is going on in that hammock; something I don't even dream of interrupting. (Read Full Article)
The Lofty Chronicles: 17 — Rising to the Occasion
Joyce and I look at each other wordlessly, get back into the van with Lauren, turn it around, and go after Regina. We stop her twice to try to talk her into coming home with us and waiting there for the arrival of her friend. She fluctuates wildly between expressing heartfelt appreciation for our caring about her and telling us, in no uncertain terms, to stay the hell out of her life. (Read Full Article)
The Lofty Chronicles: 18 _ Guardians
Once more I bless the opportunity of being a parent. Had Lauren not come into our lives, had I not changed her diapers and picked up her messes and watched the slow growth of her thoughtfulness and awareness and responsibility, the ripening of her inner beauty, then these words, "the childhood of the gods," would have been a mere shadowy abstraction, rather than an emotionally compelling and spiritually startling insight. (Read Full Article)
The Lofty Chronicles: 19 — Earrings and a Bicycle
Lauren is prepping for Lisa's baby shower. Part of the ritual calls for each woman to share her mother-line with the circle of other women. Lauren is practicing. "I'm Lauren. Daughter of Joyce. Daughter of Lilly. Daughter of Dana. Daughter of..." She hesitates. "Daughter of Mellie," I prompt. "Daughter of Mellie. Daughter of..." Another pause. Then, with what I swear is a straight face, "Can you get me to Eve?" (Read Full Article)
The Lofty Chronicles: 20 — A Pearl of Great Price
Joyce and I glance at each other and smile. Both of us are struck by how curiously appropriate Adam's present is, given the circumstances of the past two years and the slow transmutation of that trauma into grace. Truly a pearl of great price. And how exquisitely we out-picture the rich tapestry of our inner lives into something as mundane as an oyster stew. (Read Full Article)

The Renewal Pages

Living Close to the Earth: 1 — Stretching Toward Radiant Health
...Our body is the closest, most intimate connection that any of us will ever have with the living Earth. No one will truly care for the planet, or for the special place they call home, any more than they care for their own body. (Read Full Article)
Living Close to the Earth: 2 — Working Close to Home
Most people face the same basic accounting questions--How shall I allocate my precious, limited resources of time and money? What is important to me? What are my priorities? When we share our lives with others, these visceral issues are raised within the context of a relationship and help to define it, whether it be a marriage, a family, or a community. (Read Full Article)
Living Close to the Earth: 3 — Embracing the Earth
How do I re-discover my love for the Earth? We experience human love in various ways--as children, parents, lovers, and friends. Love is a binding spell. It softens hard edges, blurring the sharp distinction between self and other. It induces a paradoxical feeling of both ecstasy (standing outside myself) and intimacy (going deeply within). How might I learn to experience such feelings for the Being which nurtures and sustains me? (Read Full Article)
A New Kind of Family: 1 — The Underlying Assumptions
A healthy community provides not only for the physical needs of its passengers and crew, but for their social needs as well. This is no small challenge! Twenty-five years has taught us that learning to love one another is far from easy. (Read Full Article)
A New Kind of Family: 2 — Five Core Social Skills
For the moment, let's assume that the willingness to help build a family or team capable of withstanding the pressures of a transformational journey is already in place. Let’s say this journey resembles a mission to send men and women into space, with willingness being the fuel which catapults the crew into orbit and then allows them to maneuver the spacecraft once orbital velocity has been achieved. Setting aside this evocative metaphor, what specific crew-building skills are needed if this new kind of family is to thrive? (Read Full Article)
A New Kind of Family: 3 — A Social Covenant
Why are covenants necessary? Living lightly on the Earth, living communally, living with transformational intent—each of these paths is strenuous. And the journey that Light Morning has embarked upon combines all three! Along the way we encounter fierce resistance from our deeply rooted personal inertia and from the consensual restraints of the conventional culture. (Read Full Article)
A Transformational Journey: 1 — The Soul Is Not Human
Risking intimacy, by choosing to live in a new kind of family, is a worthy challenge. Beyond this, however, lies the still riskier challenge that drew us to Light Morning in the first place and that keeps us here--the whispered call to cast off our moorings and embark upon a transformational journey. (Read Full Article)
A Transformational Journey: 2 — The Four Cairns
How does one condense twenty-five years of a slowly gestating paradigm into one or two pages without having it become unintelligible shorthand? The mind hesitates. Then, seeking reassurance, it reaches for a memory. The memory it retrieves is several years old by now. Yet, like a well-banked fire, it's very much alive. (Read Full Article)
A Transformational Journey: 3 — A Prayer Bead Necklace
The fourth cairn speaks of choosing a "shared path" through the cocoon. Once again, paradox becomes our traveling companion. For a truly sustainable path doesn't begin until we reach the final cairn. And while it may seem that we are choosing a path, the path also chooses us. Finally, although a shared path is essential, each person's path is solitary and unique. (Read Full Article)
A Transformational Journey: 4 — The Gift of Beauty
Transformational journeys are undertaken in order to transform how we see ourselves, at the deepest levels of our being. As we begin to view ourselves in a new way, we will magically see others in a new way as well--other people, other species, the soul, the Earth. (Read Full Article)
The Three-Legged Stool
The hazardous road conditions aren't the only source of stress. Three of us are the active crew members left standing after Light Morning's recent population expansion and contraction. The fourth is a friend who had lived in the community for many years and has stayed close to it since leaving. We're all needing to talk. What have we learned over the past year? What went well? How might renewal be approached differently next time? Will there even be a next time? (Read Full Article)

Who’s Douglas?!

Who’s Douglas?!: 1 – A Master Mischief Maker
A little over a year ago, not long after Doug’s stroke, I happened to mention over breakfast that I was going to Roanoke to see him. One of the newer members of the community asked, "Who’s Douglas?" That question stopped my spoon in mid-air, halfway between my bowl of applesauce and my mouth. "Who’s Douglas?!!" I thought incredulously. Someone living at Light Morning is asking, "Who’s Douglas?" It was, for me, a continental divide type of moment—the sudden, shocking realization that the torch is truly on its way to a new generation. (Read Full Article)
Who’s Douglas?!:2 — A Final Embrace
Doug always had an uncanny knack for pushing me to the far edge of my stretch zone. (I’m probably not alone in having experienced him in this way.) His departure on Good Friday, however, was almost too much. He was quite familiar, of course, with my Good Friday syndrome. And since neither of us had much use for the word "coincidence," preferring the more evocative term "synchronicity," I can only view Douglas’ Good Friday leave-taking as a final mischievous gesture. A trickster’s last prank. An exquisite final embrace. "Here’s a little something to remember me by, Robert. You can add it to your collection." (Read Full Article)
Who’s Douglas?!: 3 — A Bouquet of Stories
Douglas is in boot camp. It’s 1951. He’s enlisted in the Navy and is 21 years old. This isn’t the "new" army. It’s the old army. And drill sergeants rule boot camp with an iron fist. Doug and his fellow recruits are lined up before their drill sergeant. They’re exhausted and terrified, waiting for his next orders. "I am your God!" the sergeant bellows. "Get down on your knees and worship me." The men quickly start dropping to their knees. All but Douglas. He’s left standing there alone. (Read Full Article)
Who’s Douglas?!: 4 — A Few More Flowers
A bunch of us are sitting around the community shelter. Douglas is casually insulting George, who had once lived in this area and had then moved away. I watch the scowl on John's face deepen as he listens to the put-down of his close friend. Suddenly John snaps. He jumps up, looming over Douglas with his fist cocked. "I’m gonna hit you!" he shouts. (Read Full Article)