The years between 1948 and 1953 might have been the hardest of Lucy’s life, the ones that formed her as she entered her forties. They included the prolonged death of her mother from cancer, her own breast cancer and radical mastectomy, a bad car accident (my angry father speeding hit a school bus with all of us in the car) that broke her arm, and the early drifting away of my father. Never a divorce nor even a fight. …


In Christmas season of 1953 my nuclear family, at the insistence of my father, drove to Santa Ana where my uncle’s family lived. We kids never knew why, but it was an epic trek full of danger and winter snow through national parks to the warm LA nostalgia of Knott’s Berry Farm and the earliest beginnings of Disneyland. We towed the Kozy Kamp tent trailer and set it up between my uncle’s place and his neighbor’s, so close that there were only inches to spare.

Looking back, I think it was about money and how to care for my aged…


Hemingway was born in 1899. That makes him an Edwardian. It also doomed him to the 20th century sequence of world-wide wars, economic depressions, and political quandaries — arming him with only 19th century code that accepted two life-controlling binaries: that of mother versus father and that of who one is versus who the public demands that you be.

Two other famous American writers are often linked because John Steinbeck (1902) and William Faulkner (1897) were also born Edwardians, but they took the quandaries in quite different ways because of place. Steinbeck was a California man and Faulkner was a…


A new body of thought

Thinking is singing. Humans are the singers and the world provides the essentials of music: tempo, pitch, variation and persistence, the rhythm, the lag that become expressive. It’s an interaction as spontaneous as bird song.

A person in a place is in a conversation about nets, patterns, one thing leading to another. The code that gets through the skin, the cells that signal up and down or close and far, the organs that telegraph sight, sound, smell and all the rest, are all part of the cross-talk.

Then the communications portrait of the body— face, breath, heart beat, skin flush…


Previously I’ve traced the steps between the one-celled creature and how it formed a skin and a nucleus, pulled in other cells, and began sensing how to function while immersed in the world. First was learning how to move through the directions and how to take in bits, sort them for food, and throw the unwanted out the back door. Any good biology book can explain the way the cell became complex, then was a worm, grew a backbone, and started up the long development of evolution, using the molecular double helix of the nucleus. …


This post is going to be about gun regulation by the end, but first I have some other stories to tell. When I was an Animal Control officer and had guns pointed at me, that was one thing. My boss at the time was Mike Burgwin, who had been a cop in Martinez, CA, a tough town. His guiding theory was that human behavior is on a spectrum, a sliding scale you might say, and anything you can do to push people towards the peaceful law-abiding end — away from violence and disruption — was worth doing.

I’m reading a…


The evolution of the senses begins with the microbe who knows the six directions (the compass points plus up and down, because of being suspended in water where it’s possible to move in all directions). Building on this and conserving what promotes survival (avoiding danger, approaching food) this basic sense has persisted until it is in humans today. It is one of the senses lost early in the case of dementia.

The brain manages two things: the state of everything inside the skin so that the creature stays alive, and what ever it can scope out about the world through…


We are shaped by where we are. What are the forces of the east slope of the Rocky Mountains in the decade counted as 2010–20 and earlier that make us who we are by interacting with us? This is one way to explain who the Blackfeet tribal members are. I propose that anyone who lives here a long time and survives, particularly those who had ancestors who did the same, have become “Blackfeet” in a sense.

Those who leave and don’t remember, have stopped being Blackfeet. This is quite apart from the idea of the tribe as a corporation which…


People still try to force what I’m talking about into what they already know. Two words deeply confuse them. One is “religion” and the other is “Indians.” These are categories that don’t exist in my line of thought.

To me, religion is a scheme, a belief system, an institution or other denomination, but it is not what I’m talking about. Nor am I talking about spirituality. What I’m after is the deepest, most direct interface with the world and whatever it is that makes us sense the Holy or Sacred — the highly significant that wasn’t made up by some…


The title of the talk linked below is “The Geography of the Blackfoot People” and it was given by Brian (Barney) Reeves in the Lethbridge College library. It depicts via slides places along the 49th parallel and into Glacier National Park. Barney tells the stories attached to each place and what the significance and results are until this day. He is very familiar with the terrain, since he was born in Lethbridge (about 130 miles north of Valier) and lived in Waterton Lakes, which is the Canadian side of Glacier National Park.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mFX5Yyt2km8&list=PLq3FHSyK-fcwU90awaPR8OrLCJcyf1Bi9

Reeves begins his talk by referring to…

Mary Strachan Scriver

Born in Portland when all was calm just before WWII. Educated formally at NU and U of Chicago Div School. Clergy for ten years. Always happy on high prairie.

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