Where do crows go when it rains? I picture them in dusky midnight taverns, the neon blush of Schlitz and Miller a dull patina on slick ebony feathers. Others cluster in the hard shadows of alleyways, blinking at street-lights and pulling slowly on shared cigarettes, waiting for morning.
When I look for them though, I find only the bar stools worn shiny by their scaly feet, and cryptic crow graffiti scrawled on the wet brick. They must have a home but I do not know where it is.
To find it, I have been told I must have a plan. By habit, I decide to search first - all the places I do not expect to find crows, so that I will not be greatly disappointed at my lack of success. It is a comfortable plan but it does not help me to find crows.
I find pigeons though. I decide that from now on I will look for them instead. I am quite successful, though the search feels hollow. There are many pigeons but I do not actually care where they go when it rains. It is a comfortable plan but it does not satisfy me.
I make a new commitment to finding crows. This time I will ask for help. An old man at the bar says he knows the place, his daughter married a crow. His rough hands smooth a wrinkled napkin. He draws a map. I slip it into my pocket and leave. Outside, I walk confidently in the opposite direction. I am not ready to find what I am looking for, but I am unwilling to appear unsure. It is a comfortable plan but it does not bring me any nearer to crows.
I stop. The rain laughs in puddles on the sidewalk. Time stretches between lamp posts. A low light touches the heavy undersides of clouds to the east and I move again. I walk randomly, navigating the narrow streets by intuition. I am wet. I am tired. I am not sure where I am or where the crows are. Morning is coming and I am far from home. I keep walking. It is not a comfortable plan but it is the one that matters most to me.
John Muir said "If you try to pick out anything by itself, you find it hitched to every other thing in the universe." All my work is about making, restoring, enlivening and celebrating those connections; between people and place, inner and outer, bridging gaps, embracing paradox and gently poking fun at myself and life.
What Gives Me Hope
99% of our time on the planet has been spent in small, close-knit community in reciprocal relationship with our local landscapes. Underneath it all, this is still what makes us human, still what drives us at our core. When we slow down and pay attention to what's around us, between us, within us, we remember.
If I were Mayor, I'd make the world a better place by
promoting local food sovereignty and energy intependence
What/who changed my life and why
I first met Jehile Kirkuff, a former world champion fiddler, when I was 20 and he 70* and living in a ramshackle house with no electricity or running water in the back hills of PA. Blind, with emphysema and arthritis, Jehile was the happiest man I've ever met. Upon meeting me, he placed his wizened hands alongside my face (to literally get a feel for me) and asked me a question that still resonates today "So tell em, what do you love to do?"