Scholar Social#smallstories

The most visible human-made structures are huge parallel rock walls. They create safe passage from the harbor. My son and I scale the sculpture and begin a walk out to the sea. The massive rocks have been arranged with order and disorder. We tread careful. Waves reach up with empty fingers to grab ankles. We stand at the very last rock, eyes closed, bending forward, our ears taking in the wind and surf's white noise symphony. There's no chance of talking out here. Only listening. #smallstories

Cicadae are the emotional track for the summer fugue the greets me every morning as sit in the swing, drinking coffee with my wife. We creak the swing.We stop. A pileated woodpecker is our cryer. A very distant train. Birds coming off the nests are back in the heavy rotation. And cicadae under alles. In the near distance I hear the clack and squawk of blue heron parents on a tall snag down by the creek. What are they saying to each other and their progeny. They are a loud family #smallstories

Deception is part of the experience when you kayak in ocean currents. Pull up the oar to rest or to take in the scenery -- the blue heron stretching its neck, the wind's fingertips brushing the green marsh plants, the call of the sea gulls, the line being cast by a lone fisherman on the sands -- and what seems motionless is anything but. Drift happens. The sea requires your attention, your energy, your forward progress. You don't belong here. Little sense in resisting. Move along. #smallstories

Skipping stones on the surface of the ocean requires a fair bit of luck. The stone must defy gravity and battle the relentless force of waves. Finding a stone flat enough, round enough, large enough becomes a hunt for temporary treasure. You don't keep it. You throw it away. You wait for gaps between tides. Patience. You throw, side-armed, wrist bent. You watch with wonder, counting. The rock will sink and disappear. You'll lose it. Then you'll start the search all over again. #smallstories

The four bases found in DNA are adenine (A), cytosine (C), guanine (G) and thymine (T). What if you added a fifth. To build a Clan system in Muddog that's what I did: I imagined clans were genetically determined by the addition of gold in DNA (it was a world of wizards and dragons and magic after all). To create or join a clan your character was genetically typed, your DNA was displayed in an 8-bit scroll, and your clan badge became linked to you. #smallstories

The causeway runs parallel to the ocean, a sea wall separating the two for quite a long stretch. What connects them are the tides. What you can't always see in the ocean and its crashing waves is often visible in the causeway river, the constant movement of the day. Steady rain this morning kept others away but not me. I had the tide to myself. I knelt down, dipped my fingers into the causeway to feel the pull of time. The memory lingers. #smallstories

@b9AcE I led volunteer based tutor/mentor org from '75-2011. Constantly asked volunteers to help me build the infrastructure of the org. and needed programs that would do more to help youth through school & into jobs. One volunteer kept telling me "I focus my time directly on my mentee", which he did very well. However, when teen was in HS volunteer came asking for help to get teen out of gang. Not much I could do. The support had not been built. No one had helped. #smallstories

Who you know & where you live makes a lot more difference in life outcomes & jobs than what you know. Kids born & living in areas of concentrated poverty know fewer people who can model jobs and careers and who can open doors to interviews and opportunities. That's why I support volunteer-based tutor/mentor programs who build on-going connections between kids living in poverty and adults from beyond. #smallstories

Made it to the farmers market again! Two weeks in a row; feels like a victory of sorts.

Had a nice chat with one of the veggie vendors, who remembered me from last year (we haven't seen each other since September). She said "I'd wondered whether you were ok. It's so good to see you!" Her smile felt like a hug.

It was good to be seen. And to be remembered. Our communities can be broader than we realize.


#smallstories These are the dog days when the dog star, Sirius, rises with the sun. And it is so hot here that the earliest black walnut leaves are making an early flutter down.

I sit on a stump near the barn and watch the lambs pant. Taking a break from unloading a wagon of hay. Clover and orchard grass. A perfect cut. I open an especially heavy bale and expect to see mold. No. A sweet carmelized perfume rises. Purchased fertility. I love hay.

This day. My daughter the small town supermarket checkout worker went to interview for a job in the new branch of Big Name Hardware Store that's opening nearby. She helped a group build a thing out of things, and then one by one they all had to say one interesting fact about themselves.

She told them that when she was eight years old, she turned off my aunt's hot water system, and no one knew it was her.

I'm not sure this is a career boosting confession.


The day before vacation is anything but restful. Laundry. Food shopping. Making lists. Worrying about logistics. What will we forget this year? Something, I'm sure. Dog care. Connecting for meeting places and times with family. It's difficult to see the beach -- that quiet surf and gentle sand and blue sky-ed sun that awaits us -- from over here, a day out and far inland. #smallstories

I'm looking out the window at a rabbit gazing right back in the window. We're both deep in thought. Me, thinking of a poem. The rabbit? I don't rightly know. Maybe it hears something. I wonder in my quiet about what it sees when it looks at me like that, through the glass barrier. I pause in our staring contest to write out these words here to you. Perhaps, I now think as I write, it too has a poem on its mind, and like mine, it has hopped away, elusive again in the morning light. #smallstories

@dogtrax My daughter went to the beach with her best friend and his older sister, and their dad.

All three got caught in a big rip. Their dad grabbed the two little ones, his and mine, and suddenly he had his arms full and his own daughter was swept out of reach. But a stranger shot out past him and brought back his girl.

He came back still shaking, that he had held on to my little one without thinking. That's a debt I can't forget.


#smallstories My daughter Lark's birthday. Today. 32 years ago at 6:00 p.m. she was born, a bit precipitously and without our midwife present. In her rush to join the mad show, she appeared 'in the veil', our caulbearer. I pricked the amniotic sac near her nostril just before she left my wife. A gush of water, a slippery silver dolphin swimming into my hands. My son nearby saying, "Is it alive?" Oh, yes. I held on tight. I can still see the light of wild expectation in my wife's eyes. Yes.