Feather and Stone Journal Of A Cross Cultural Traveler


“Listening entails vulnerability. Listening requires a willingness, even a longing, to understand another.”
~Krista Tippit


What happens the day after peace is reached?
Violence is a tragedy for everyone.
No one wins.
Face it, violence is failure.
It is failure to communicate.
Failure to connect.
It is not being willing to loose the small fight for the sake of the bigger peace.
Ego has run amuck.

The antidote to violence is conversation.
The antidote to violence is empathy.
The antidote is letting go of grievances.
For if we carry a grievance we become victim of the past.
Feeling the other persons pain begins the path to reconciliation.
It begins with releasing grievance.
The bigger the challenge the stronger we grow.
The more we grow the free-er we become.
For true freedom needs no violence.

True freedom is peace.

Earth Song

Have we forgotten our erotic connection to the earth?
The connection that binds us with the pulse of nature.
The connection of nurturing and being nurtured.

Have we ceased to notice the world around us?
Has she been reduced to supply house and sewer?

We forget that earth is our larger body.
We digest the grains that grow in her.
We breathe the air that is her spirit.
We drink the water that is the blood of her being.

We are earth.
We are air.
We are sea.

Earth has endured
– the weapons we have built
– the pesticides and fertilizers we have spread
– the mining that eviscerates her being.

And now she is saying, “No More.”
She is erupting, and flooding, and spinning great funnel clouds.
She is demanding our attention.

Are we listening?

The earth is changing as she must:
As She has always done.

Change is movement.
Change is growth.
Change is life.

Without growth, there is only death.

Yes, species will change or become extinct.
They always have.
Yes, volcanoes  will blow up mountains.
They always have.

Tidal waves will surge from the shifting ocean floor.

They always have.

But we have to ask the question:
Are these the growing pains of evolution or the death pains of destruction?

Yes, even if we did everything right the earth would still change.
But, just maybe, we are not doing everything right.

We may be bound by our past but
we are not bound to it.
We can redesign the landscapes of our minds to live consciously.

Dipped in the beauty of the universe
sink back into the source.
We are ripening and so is She.

The universe is sacred
Is Earth singing a Magnificat or a Requiem?

We are earth.
We are air.
We are sea.

As we live, the universe will live.

Apache Blessing

May the sun bring you energy by day.
May the moon softly restore you by night.
May the rain wash away your worries.
May the breeze blow new strength into your being.
May you walk gently through the world and
know it’s beauty all the days of your life.

Collecting Scatteredness

Body flowing out of spirit
Spirit flowing out of body
The destination is the journey itself.

Separation, a force to keep going
The longing is redemptive
Not knowing is the  learning
Hope brings energy
Life is in constant movement.

Learn the language of companionship
The language of the heart
And don’t be corrupted by misinterpretations of the words

Stay centered
Always be in love
With yourself
With what you do
With who you are with

Give birth to God within.


“O body swayed to music, O brightening glance,
How can we know the dancer from the dance?”

…By William Butler Yeats

Part of “Consciousness” is observing closely our own reactions to just and unjust situations.  When we consciously observe ramifications and outcomes of actions, ours and others, we have the opportunity to make adjustments in how we move through the world.

This is part of the intermediary “chrysalis” stage we are obliged to pass through on our journey into ourselves.

Though we may make mistakes and we may suffer the mis-steps of others, only we can take responsibility our lives. We can breathe into new opportunities/energies. We breath out the negative energies. We become liberated. We learn, we move on, some move with us, some hold onto old stuff, and so it goes.

Sometime the greatest gift is to be separated from the insufferably arrogant.

Judging Judgement

I got gooood judgment.

Good judgment comes from experience.

And experience, well that comes from bad judgment.

But then maybe I just got warped judgment,

From never quite learning from experience.

Maybe I just morph from one experience to another,

Kind of like sleepwalking.

But, judgment is just an illusion,

Molded and manipulated in the brain.

We spoil our instincts by turning them to judgments.

Instincts are born in the heart and develop through creativity.

Acting on instinct is acting with love.

We naturally respond instinctively.

Each time we act on either instinct or judgment the world changes.

A Grittier Truth

Guns retained for self protection are guns given to self destruction, too often held by those unwilling to loose the small fight for the sake of the bigger peace.

It is a human choice to use a gun to grow the economy. Those who prophet from sales view gun owners as financial capital but when it becomes a child with the gun too often they become social capital. We live in an upside-down, backwards world where we too often plant seeds of our own destruction.

The goal was to have goals.
The aim was to have aims.
This edict became entangled.
Oh how little antagonism it takes to wreck a life beyond repair.

Like a stone dropped in a pool, a single death creates concentric circles of loss .

Thus, a grittier truth unfolds.

True Grit

by Richard Salzman

Thanks, but no thanks.
I’m not interested in going to the movies.
No time to passively support the NRA’s agenda.

I have to go to another funeral of another boy
who perceived violence through guns as an option
for resolving conflict.

This time, the gun was pointed inward.

Thanks, but no thanks.
Not interested in going to the movies.
No time to passively support the NRA’s agenda.

There’s been another “accident.”
I have to go to another funeral. Another child
has become a statistic, collateral damage,
a victim of friendly fire in the war against civility.

This time, the gun was pointed outward.

Thanks, but no thanks.
I’m not interested in going to the movies.

Judging “Non-Judgment”

The manner with which we walk through life is our personal responsibility.
Being judgmental seems like the most natural thing in the world.

One thing holds more value than another.
One is “Better” and the other is “Less Better.”
One person hugs and the next slugs.

No judgment? Both equal, both “perfect”?

Preferences, maybe?
Prejudice most likely….

Judging the behavior, not the personhood?

Because we don’t yet understand our judgements

We train our children accordingly.
We curl their hair and twist their minds.
We live their lives before fine tuning our own.

How do we understand “non-judgment?