The One You Feed

A few springs ago, I was driving my family south from the Canadian Border to the Wurtz Forest Service Cabin on North Fork Road. As I slowed the rig down before the bridge at Whale Creek, a Grizzly Bear jumped out of the creek and onto the road. I slammed on the breaks and the bear eyed us wearily before walking across the bridge and then trotting down the burrow pit into the scrub pine.

I fumbled to get my DSLR camera set up and drove forward to get some pictures. I was excited and didn’t realize that the autofocus was getting the small trees in the foreground and not the bear. I was, of course, disappointed by such a missed opportunity and when I did come across those pictures always felt the pang of regret for not being a better photographer.

Winter is always a bit of a dark time for me. This winter no different. I have to make a conscious effort to focus on the things that keep my head above water. Yet, it’s a battle to do the boring things that keep me healthy and not wallow in depression, shame, and guilt.

A grandfather is talking with his grandson and he says there are two wolves inside of us which are always at battle. 


One is a good wolf which represents things like kindness, bravery, and love. The other is a bad wolf, which represents things like greed, hatred, and fear.


The grandson stops and thinks about it for a second then he looks up at his grandfather and says, “Grandfather, which one wins?”
The grandfather quietly replies, “The one you feed.”

That bear in the picture.

He’s always out there for me. Waiting to wreck my perception, attitude, creativity, judgment, destiny, emotion, decisions and determination. That picture, I’m glad the bear is a blur in the background. He’s out there, the good and bad bears, just like the good and bad wolves.

Back when I thought you were my fate

Chatham County Line, When The Crop Comes In

Don’t know how this masterpiece slipped past me all these years.

We’ve all been there. Stories old as time, fresh in verse, the truth that makes good music, poetry, fiction, connection. This song is on constant repeat in my brain. There are a lot of things that I can do to save myself. Listening to really good music is a good one.

Sweet Marie I can hardly wait
There’s gas in the tank tonight’s our fate
Let us not part sore by the porches light
Lets go out together into the night


She said her friend Peter had a steady wage
A home for two, numbers on the page
Well I thought for a while and that’s when she spoke
The words as they started I thought a joke …she said…

Come see me when the crop comes in
When the water’s high, you can afford to spend
I’m high on the cotton and my dress is fine
I’d spend it all – if you could be mine
I’m not the kid of woman that’s bound to lose
So don’t come around with your poor boy blues


Well she was sore from the moment she picked up
A plastic fork and a paper cup
But she laughed at the jokes and she sure could smile
Something cheap as love should last a while …she said…


Does a diamond really talk that loud
Does just love not make you proud?
When you’ve got all you can use
Don’t bore me with your rich girl blues


Well Sweet Marie I could hardly wait
Back when I thought you were my fate
A diamond told you to walk that aisle
Even though you could have been my style


Come see me when the crop comes in
When the water’s high, you can afford to spend
I’m high on the cotton and my dress is fine
… I wouldn’t spend it all – if you could be mine

Dave Wilson-Chatham County Line

No one can lose either the past or the future

Lake McDonald, Glacier National Park, Montana

Were you to live three thousand years, or even countless multitudes of that, keep in mind that no one ever loses a life other than the one they are living, and no one ever lives a life other than the one they are losing. The longest and the shortest life, then, amount to the same, for the present moment lasts the same for all and is all anyone possesses. No one can lose either the past or the future, for how can one be deprived of what’s not theirs?

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, 2.14
Lake McDonald, Glacier National Park, Montana

5 Podcasts I Listen To, and You Should Too

Spotted Bear Wilderness, Montana
  1. Making Sense with Sam Harris–Sam Harris, neuroscientist, atheism apologist, philosopher, meditation promoter and thought provoker has done more to change my life than almost anyone else in the world right now.  The guest in this show is always challenging and interesting,  Harriss’ book on Lying has been a huge influence on me as well.  A word of caution,  Harris has an extremely slow voice.  I have to speed up the playback to stay sane.  The app Overcast is what I listen to podcasts on and playback speed one of the many easy to use adjustments this app allows.
North Fork of the Flathead River, Montana

2. Brian Lamb, the founder of CSPAN is a hero of mine for reasons I’m not going to bore you with. But his podcast, Q&A-CSPAN with Brian Lamb has been my favorite podcast since I first started listening to a decade ago. Authors, policymakers, lots of names you know, some you don’t, always interesting. If you want to learn the art of a good interview takes notes on Lamb’s style. He never overshadows his guest, asks the questions most ego-driven media types wouldn’t and allows the subject to answer fully and completely.

“Waste no more time arguing what a good man should be. Be One.” – Marcus Aurelius

World Professional Cycling Championships, Richmond, Virginia

3. The Daily Stoic Short and always hitting that sweet spot. Need to center yourself right before you start your workday? Stoicism is all the rage right now, but no wonder, it is a game changer. Hosted by Ryan Holiday, the man who brought stoicism to Silicon Valley and hipster America dispels a daily dose of wisdom to get your thinking and acting.

Rodeo, Lewistown, Montana

4. The Art of Manliness–Damn, do I loathe the name of this podcast. Hate. The content, however, is great. Interesting authors, ideas and skills are discussed with a good host with good questions. If you can get past the works name for a podcast ever. Try it.

Cabin Life, Spotted Bear Wilderness, Montana

5. The Cult of Pedagogy podcast–if you teach then this is a great podcast to gain new insight into trends, ideas, strategies, and other useful teaching tools. I’ve tried to listen to one of these a week which has resulted in lots of cool experiments in my classroom…with some very mixed results.

Lots more Podcasts to talk about, but give one of these a listen.

A multi-front war

“Have you noticed how fragmented your attention has become? Have you noticed how hard it is to sit down and read a book for an hour? When was the last time you read a book for an hour, without checking your email or social media? There is a multi-front war being fought for our attention, and most of us are losing it. Have you seen the people staggering around with their smartphones, even crossing the street while texting? Literally stepping in front of traffic without looking up. Have you seen parents around their kids, visibly tethered to this digital leash? Are you one of these parents?” – Sam Harris, Waking Up App

Glacier HS, Kalispell, Montana

Inversion

There’s a lesson here…a metaphor? In town the grey cold damp of a ugly day. Rally the kids, load up all the gear and snake the kids 8 miles up to the village. 500 yards up the chair the sky above turns bright and you emerge into a different universe of sun and sky.

Look up, change perspective, movement is medicine.