Five Pieces for January

shepardfaireyUsually, at the end of each month I compile links to stories and pieces I found thought-provoking in some way. But this past month has been an inundation of news, most of it bad, and I’m reluctant to feed into the chaos by recapping it all. Instead, here are five pieces that helped me understand something differently about the state of the world:

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Who to Call About the ACA

senator-susan-collinsThey’re coming for your health care. For some, that will be deadly. For others, and for the government, expensive. What can you do about it? Despite Trump’s campaign promises, the dead-of-night fast tracking, and the bluster and crowing from Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell, the fate of the ACA actually rests with a few moderate Republicans in the Senate. And what they do, if you live in one of their states, rests with you.

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Where We Go From Here

divided_viajenThe world seems to weigh a lot more lately. Stuck with the gravity of the situation, the rock of history, and the hard place of the coming few years, I can’t help but feel greater responsibility and greater urgency both. I thought, outside of climate change, that I had time to figure things out. Now I think I have no time at all.

So, in changing some of my focus, I also will be changing my writing. I started writing here as practice and a way to explore ideas, and I still want to do that, but the patient exploration of ideas is no longer where I can afford to spend the majority of my time. I need concrete, specific action that will have a direct impact on the world.

What that means for the time being is that I’ll post essays here only on Fridays, and I reserve Tuesdays for things I find productive in the Trump era. I need to balance my thought and my action, and so I’ll balance it here as well.

To start with, yesterday I attended (and nominally helped organize) a session on having hard political conversations in our communities. It’s a small step, and a work in progress. But, no matter what our politics, we’re all getting into those conversations, and it helps to think about how to have them beforehand. So for today, I’m posting the list of resources I helped compile, and which is going out to participants. Continue reading

October Recommended Reading

amapsAt the end of each month I compile links to articles I found thought-provoking over that month, categorized with pull-quotes for your perusal and edification. Each of these is a story that made me stop and think, and hopefully one or two of them will do the same for you. This month a lot of those were on politics, and so I’ve mostly left those out – but here are the rest!

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Rest and Exploration

P1010927We all need time to relax and reconnect, especially those of us who prefer the natural world to the built world. For me, that means seeking out remote and alien places. So I’m taking much of July off from both work and obligations to explore. I’ll resume writing here in August.

Thanks for reading!

Supporting Outdoor Education from Home

I don’t normally post others’ writing here directly, but I want to make an exception in this case. These are friends of mine doing some really excellent, socially responsible, and ambitious work in outdoor education, and they need help to get started. If you agree with the project, maybe lend a hand! https://igg.me/at/IO/x/13915564

Partridge, Pine, and Peavey

DSC_0029 Me, getting excited about some big Great Horned Owl pellets

As all my blog followers know, I am passionate about teaching about the outdoors through stories and photos on this blog.For the years that I have been writing this blog, however, I have also been busily working on co-founding Maine Outdoor School. I am excited to announce that we successfully incorporated Maine Outdoor School into a real organization about a month ago! Now, I will be engaged in my passions not only in blog-land, but also with learners of all ages outdoors!

To these ends, we just launched our crowdfunding campaign with the goal to get enough startup funding to launch our first program, Inreach/Outreach, this Fall of 2016. For those of you who have enjoyed reading my posts, imagine learning all that and more in an experiential manner outdoors. I can assure you that it is a fun…

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