Thursday, April 27, 2017

Voices & Visions of Indigenous Terra Madre from The Cultural Conservancy
One of my most recent videos.

Indigenous Terra Madre is the gathering of indigenous communities and supporters that form part of the Slow Food movement. In November of 2015, representatives of 148 tribes from 58 countries gathered in Shillong, Khasiland, Meghalaya, India, to share information, strategies and resources around indigenous food and biocultural diversity. This video shares some of their voices and visions.

Produced by The Cultural Conservancy, the Christensen Fund, and the Swift Foundation.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Braiding the Sacred / Trenzando lo sagrado

Braiding the Sacred - Trenzando lo sagrado from The Cultural Conservancy on Vimeo.

Braiding the Sacred is a network of traditional indigenous corn producers from cultures of maize, sharing resources, information, experiences and seeds. This video emerged from the network throughout 2016 and highlights producers from the following communities: Onondaga, Mohawk, Seneca, Kawaik (Laguna Pueblo), Tesuque Pueblo, Quechua, Diné (Navajo).

Support this work and get involved:

Sunday, November 13, 2016

True story:

On my way today to fly away
to a summit on a mountain of fire
a retired rabbi gave me my taxi ride
saying it was chosen destiny for us to speak...
I mentioned how we're all up shit creek
without our field commander
only a commander and thief
assaulting us with fear + hate
in the place of good grief.

He glanced in the rearview mirror
then looked forward, clearer than clergy,
and praised the power of crisis in emergency,
pushing progress through complacency,
birthing rosebush seeds of fecal flame.

He told me how the Cheyenne named
the two wolves that live inside us,
one good, one bad—the one we feed rides us.

How with deep-dark festering disease pests,
only when they leave their nests can we stomp,
clean, find blessed rest.

I said yes, let's ring these liberty bells like holy hell:
let the cracks swell, let light and thundering sound
quake and cleanse forgotten, rotten ground.

As he helped me unload my baggage
he reminded me to carry my ancestors
in my heart, not on my shoulders, in my fist or
projecting perfection's lists on their homes
built in the midst of howling history.

On parting we agreed to greet
the growing gifts of the Shekhinah,
the divine feminine on the rise.
We will gift her prized milk
to the good wolf in us and in our folk,

and in our enemies until they're filled.

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Mni Wiconi

Prayer stronger than metal

moves us to dance defiance:

we will not be still as they spill blood and oil

in our water and soil

Hope hotter than flame

ignites our pain:

trauma truth becomes real again

as it's channeled to light

transcending night through fight

Love vital as water

gives peace to our power:

flowing from long-gone grandmothers and fathers

through us to the waiting grandsons and daughters,

we provide these bodies, these lives

so the water of life may thrive

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Ha' Agua Water Tz'itz

Ha' Agua Water Tz'itz from The Cultural Conservancy on Vimeo.

Ha' Agua Water Tz'itz is a video-poem—a poetic documentary—created by the Yakanal indigenous youth cultural exchange and The Cultural Conservancy. Water flows throughout our lives, connecting us in our diversity, and together we send ha', agua, water, tz'itz our gratitude, praise, apologies, and prayers. With these images, sounds, words and feelings we hope to connect ourselves more deeply to each other and to the indigeneity that roots us all in our lands by drawing from, and giving back to, the flow that connects us all. 

Ha' Agua Water Tz'itz es un vídeo poesía—un documental poético—creado por el Intercambio cultural de jóvenes indígenas de las Américas Yakanal y The Cultural Conservancy. El agua fluye por nuestras vidas conectándonos en nuestra diversidad. Juntos, enviamos al agua, ha’, water, tz’itz nuestra gratitud, alabo, disculpas y oraciones. A través de estas imágenes, sonidos, palabras y sentimientos, esperamos que podamos conectarnos más profundamente unos con otros y con las raíces autóctonas que nos asienta en nuestras tierras, tomando y devolviendo todo lo que fluye y nos une.

Saturday, February 28, 2015


Chaco Canyon:

Canyon de Chelly:

Bodh Gaya:

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Cycles of Growth

various models of growth based on natural cycles.  

Nautilus - exponential
Ojibwe medicine wheel
Learning Cycle - Coyote's Guide to Nature Mentoring, Jon Young et al
The Work that Reconnects - Joanna Macy 
Ecosoulcentric model of development - Bill Plotkin
Bagua from the Chinese tradition

Friday, November 07, 2014

Goddess, let me worship

your eyes of sky, their infinite space expanding beyond,
propelling me on waves of sensuous vision,
purifying me with their soft rhythm
of here, now, here, now, here, now...

your touch of fire, as it turns my skin incandescent
and burns away my consciousness of things-as-I-know-them,
so that I may better feel
this Earth moving under (and in) me...

your smile of sighs, its release of long-held breath,
of long-felt and long-yearning good will given freely,
and in the giving, joy, giddy divine generosity
madly multiplying hope beyond reason...

your open arms, able to receive and soften my so-often untrammeled energy,
able to anchor through Center-aligned spine
and Earth-rooted feet that not only know where they stand,
but also feel it, massage it...

Goddess, let me worship

our loving encounter

Sunday, March 23, 2014

flow of life

A leaf of a holy pipal tree
(ficus religiosa - bodhi tree - sacred fig) 
which I bought from a man outside of the Mahabodhi temple in Bodh Gaya. 

[click image to enlarge and see capillaries]

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Sunday, July 21, 2013

My heart: a wildly improvised thing, a simple machine, all of wire and string

delicate, sputtering, powerful

My mind:  a well-framed window askew in a mudbrick wall standing with no ceiling in the vast landscape of me and you

My body: an electrical storm grounded to the Earth spinning in space

My spirit: a light breath of the grace that the Hurricane blows in each tiny flow

I had a dream:
I cradle my dear friend's head
in a sweet hotspring at dusk or dawn
and nothing can go wrong.
We say not a word at the visit of Hummingbird on wing,
and knowing we wouldn't see each other for a year,
we shed no tears
as I recall another dream:

I imagine tending a fire by the stream
down from my once-lover's home up the hill
where I try clumsily to help in the kitchen,
and think to give her new husband and baby a sapling.
I do not stay, we do not sing,
but simply are together as I move, softly, to other dreams:

Everything moves, I miss half the cues,
and the train's always leaving.
I lead seekers through muraled labyrinths
and battle nausea on shoot-out seas
where huge beasts –that I heard about from my ancestors– leap
flashing surprising colors and elegance in flight in Amazonian moonlight
before they dive back down into rivers divine
that seen from above join to make the infinite sign
with tributaries radiating serpentine out–
visions of my soul: rhizome veins that connect what they will when I can
be still.

Friday, July 05, 2013

Expanding Horizons

I was going to post each chapter of this video one-by-one, but I've decided just to release the whole shebang here, and refer you to this page if you want to see the 8 stand-alone videos.


Here is Expanding Horizons, as I have been thinking of the project, or as Where There Be Dragons, who commissioned it, is calling it: How We Travel.

This is a collaborative, education- and community-based video project, featuring the work of Dragons' students, educators, and partner communities worldwide. I co-wrote the script in collaboration with the Dragons community of experiential educators and guides.  I then directed instructors and students in 15 countries on 4 continents, and personally filmed in 7 countries. Total, including the musicians, we were well over 100 contributors in as many communities.

My deepest gratitude to everyone who participated, who are too many to name, though I've done my best to credit everyone who had a direct contribution here.

This video draws from Dragons’ Summer, Semester, Gap-Year, College Accredited, and Custom programs worldwide. Dragons students and instructors recorded all of the images, words, and music in the field, with help and inspiration from local communities. The relationship with local communities is an integral component of the Dragons experience, as families share their homes, temples, villages, music, and wisdom with our students, and through them, with the world. We have aspired to honor, and do justice to, this relationship through this video, both in product and process.



Monday, May 20, 2013