A reflection on 50 years

When the Prince song 1999 came out in 1982, my friends and I loved dancing to it. I was a huge American Bandstand fan, and the moment when he appeared with Dick Clark, I loved all things Prince. Still do. But that song has always haunted me. Because after all the dancing, my most distinct …

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You can’t boss mud: What is wilderness?

Sometimes I see those photos of people getting out of their cars to photograph bears. Or I hear about people feeding the coyotes and talking about them like they are domestic dogs. I've known many people who made the move to the country. My own move to the countryside was less deliberate, more of an …

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Learning to Fly, and We Both Have Wings

I used to have this reoccurring dream that I was on the edge of a steep cliff walking and walking. There were cars zipping by me. I had terrible anxiety that I was going to fall off the cliff at any moment, and I could not see a single thing off of the edge. I …

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The Real Distance of a Mile*

A few years ago I decided to learn to run. I was needing more aerobic exercise and I was tired of paying for a gym membership to do an elliptical (which I almost never used). I have always been scared of running, for a couple of reasons. One, at a certain point (like 2 minutes …

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Courage = With Heart

Courage is a common word in my house. I mean courage in the Latin-sense of the word, cor-with heart.   Courage with heart is about perseverance and thoughtfulness. It is about finding a moral compass within yourself, and acting with kindness in the direction.  It is about avoiding rash, unproductive or irrational behavior in order to …

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Keeping it Real

The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain. ~Kahlil Gibran Today is my youngest brother's birthday. It is the second year I have marked the occasion without him. It is a day that almost feels suspended in time, a space where, for a moment, I cannot move. Then I …

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Even in harsh conditions, we thrive

Sometimes living in the desert I am struck by how harsh the living conditions are. Just a few miles up the Sandia Mountains on the outskirts of Albuquerque, the landscape is dry and hot, filled with cacti and rattlers. It is not a hike for the faint at heart, or those without water, especially on …

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On being a teacher

I've been thinking about teaching and teachers a lot recently. Having been a writing teacher for many years, some of my own fondest teachable moments happened to me in my writing classroom. I made a lot of mistakes and I grew up in my classroom. I tried grand experiments that utterly failed, and I apologized. …

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The rural urbanite (or urban ruralite), and loving it.

In the last year I haven't written on this blog very much. I have been collecting lots of images and stories to post, but my family and I have been gathering our strength (and our belongings) for new adventures that have taken much of our focus, spirit and strength. Transitions are time consuming endeavors. Often …

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Why Dirt Road?

Why Dirt Road Journal? The short answer is because my family loves to get off road and have an adventure. But there's a lot more to it too. We are adventurous souls. Being on the road of life pushes boundaries and comfort zones, and adventure makes new rules and breaks old ones. That is where real …

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