Personal Events

Music and Dance in our Mountains

The New York Times columnist David Brooks (whom we affectionately call Rabbi Brooks) has written recently about the virtues of small towns and local governments. Our town of Waynesville is …

Read more

Charlie and Harold

A few weeks ago I took part once again in the Poet’s Gathering in Winston-Salem North Carolina, sponsored by Press 53. In one of our workshops Adrian Rice, a poet …

Read more

The Dramas of Life

I recently flew over the snow-covered Midwest to Moorhead, Minnesota, across the Red River from Fargo, North Dakota, to celebrate my daughter Elaine’s birthday. (Yes, she is a Valentine!) My …

Read more

Magnificat in Dark Times

This past Sunday evening I joined some ninety voices from the Haywood Community Chorus to sing the Magnificat by John Rutter. In Luke’s telling of the birth of Jesus, Mary …

Read more

Appalachian Melancholy

I am preparing to participate in a gathering commemorating the life and work of Kathryn Stripling Byer, whose teaching, poems, and spirit will resonate in these hills for many decades …

Read more

Dance with Me

Each summer the mountains here resound with music and dancing. In case this sounds familiar, I’ve written about this before. Folkmoot dancers from around the world come to our little …

Read more

Petroglyphs at Three Rivers

Images of lizards             birds                                                 sheep                         stuck full of arrows                                     suns                                                                         and faces                         …

Read more

O Sacred Head

In the Organ Mountains             the head of a canyon             often weeps             among the desolated trees. It’s a sacred place             where the earth’s ribs             wounded by …

Read more

Looking for America

We have been on the road again. In a moment when our country seems to have lost its way, this is one way to try to find the “real” America …

Read more

Transgender Conversations

I live in the state with the famous “bathroom law” (HB 2) that the North Carolina Legislature, dominated by Republican extremists, passed in a one-day special session last Spring. Because …

Read more

Corn, Wind, and Sun

We just drove out to western Minnesota from our home here in the Smoky Mountains, taking in our old stomping grounds in Milwaukee on the way. We needed face time …

Read more

Time in Lakeview

Lakeview, Oregon, nestles at the foot of Black Cap, a promontory of the Warner Mountains in south central Oregon, its shoulders soft with sagebrush in grey abundance like a lawn …

Read more

Crater Lake

The Cascade Range, stretching along the West Coast from northern California into British Columbia, is by far the most volcanic region in North America. Seattle’s Mt. Ranier, Portland’s Mt. Hood, …

Read more