Thursday, January 16, 2014

Why do I teach philosophy?

THIS is why I teach philosophy...Click HERE for a 3 min. video

Saturday, March 30, 2013


I awoke, rode a bike a few minutes to the ocean, and was treated to this Easter morning sunrise.  Watched it for about an hour....and eventually it turned into something like this...

Monday, August 6, 2012

Treehouse building BEGINS this week!!

This week--on Friday--is the week that we begin building our first treehouse.  It will be a small one that will be a year-round treehouse, and it will serve as my writing studio.  It will be 25 feet up our big Sequoia Tree.  Michael Murphy--treehouse builder and friend--will be coming down this weekend to help put up the main platform for the treehouse.  This is the most difficult and important part of building long-lasting treehouses that are friendly to the trees.  I have a whole blog dedicated to the treehouses.  Check this out for regular updates on the our treehouse building!
Oh, and yes, this is ONE tree!  The treehouse will be nestled in between all those trunks (after some of the smaller branches are cleared out to make space).  We're only taking a three-day break from house renovation, and I won't complete the treehouse until later in the fall or winter, but we are putting up the platform while we have good weather--and while Michael has time to come down and help put this up.  A huge thanks to Michael!

Monday, July 30, 2012

From Hidden Dirt to Good Dirt

In the last 2.5 weeks since we took possession of 2.5 acres and a 1957 house, I have been working nearly six days a week gutting the house, ripping out walls, ripping up floors, tearing out old rotting cabinets, cleaning out the crawl space, and digging out access to the septic so it could be pumped and get an enema.  Exposing rot to the air and sunshine.  Removing crap.  Recycling metal, wood, glass, and filling a dumpster with materials that have more than served their lifetime.

And it has given much time to reflecting.  And my favorite kind--reflecting while using my hands (as a philosopher, I'm coming to find that active reflection is when I do my best thinking.  And I've been thinking about the process of purging and cleansing.  Whether I'm working on healing my own crap or walking with others and helping them be healed of their crap, it is much like ripping out an old building.  I can tear down walls that block myself or others from healing--but I don't do the healing myself.  I can help others be get access to their 'septic tank' but I can't deal with others' crap any more than others who help me get access to my 'septic tank' can deal with my crap.

And the worst type of mold or rot is that which is hidden from the sunlight and air--it's locked up and not allowed to breathe or be purified by light.  And those are perfect conditions for rot and mold.  I love dirt, but dirt that is under the house and not ventilated properly can get quite stanky.

Air.  Sunshine.  Cleansing.  Removing.  It's not about hiding--it's about airing out.  And while I've made a mess in the process, it has felt SO good to purge.  Only one or two more days left of this purging and deconstructing before we move into the construction phase of rebuilding and bringing life to places that were stifled and rotting.  Thanks be to God for close friends and a wife who walk with me in this process airing and bringing light.  Life must get messy before it gets good.

By the way, if anyone wants to participate in the last couple days of purging and sledge-hammering, feel free to join me.  Check out this site for more frequent updates and pictures.  The way to 'friend' the page is to 'like' it and then you'll get updates when we post.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Rooted in love

Just got some photos from a wedding I officiated recently for a former philosophy student of mine (now a budding actress)--Rachael, and her now husband--Matt.  It was held on the beautiful grounds of Thornewood Castle--a castle that was removed brick by brick from Wales about a hundred years ago, and shipped to the Northwest and rebuilt near Tacoma as a gift from one of the founders of the Port of Tacoma and given as a wedding gift to his bride.

Photos were taken by Bryan Rupp, here is a link to more photos.

Is your marriage rooted in love, or is your love rooted in marriage?
Whether you are in castles in the sky or getting dirt under your fingernails, my prayer for you both is that may you continue to have your marriage rooted in love, and that your love will be rooted in the covenant of your marriage!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Facebook? Me? Really?

Well, not really.  We started a facebook page for the major renovation project on the 1957 house on the land we just bought.  As one 'friend' said, 'that's a good idea, because it will be updated more often than your blog."  Yes, I guess my friends know me well. 

Anyway, check it out.  You have to 'like' it in order to get the updates.  Which confuses me.  What if you want to follow it, but you don't really like it?  I guess Facebook does not allow for such nuances.  So I guess you can 'like' the fact that you are getting updates--even if you, for some reason, don't really like what we're doing. 

In any case the page is called 'Hidden Springs.'  Check it out whether you like it or not.  =)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Crossing the Threshold

After hanging out in the threshold space for much longer than we expected, yesterday it finally became official.  We now have possession of the 2.5 acres that we have been dreaming about.  Exactly four months to the day from the day in March when we first looked at this land, we now have the joy and responsibility of taking care of this land and having this land take care of us.  There are several big projects ahead of us--the first one being the near gutting and renovation of the 1957 house that is on the property.

TODAY I will be setting up the tools, the saws, the supplies, and doing a general preparation of the job site and getting ready for the demolition--which will begin TOMORROW with the first sledge hammer through the first wall.

More updates to come soon...

Thursday, June 7, 2012

On the Threshold

Daniel wanted to sleep in his sleeping bag--half in his bedroom and half in the hallway.  As I was having our goodnight talk, he remarked that school was over and summer was starting.  He also knew that there was a lot we didn't know--we didn't know where we'd be living come August 20.  We didn't know if we'd be buying land and renovating a house and building a treehouse or not.  We didn't know if instead we'd be traveling around the world for the next year.  There's just a lot we didn't know.  I told him "You're doing just what we all are doing--lying down on the threshold.  A threshold is a space between spaces--and that's where our whole family is right now.  That's where we've been for the last several months.  And you are doing that right now."  The next night he slept on the threshold again, and he explained all of this to Jill--while they were saying goodnight.

Well, living on the threshold (or the liminal space--the space between spaces) can be unsettling.  But Daniel set the example for us all.  He found peace and rested in that in-between space.  That's what we continued to try to do--live in peace while we awaited news on a loan that might let us confirm whether or not we would buy the land we hoped to buy. 

That was three nights ago.  And now we know that we WILL be buying land and renovating and building and growing and making deeper roots in this community during this coming sabbatical year.  We are grateful to know, but also trying to avoid forgetting that threshold space--that liminal space.  It is in such places and times that it is most easy to connect to the divine and be most open and aware that all of life around us is one big miracle.  

Friday, June 1, 2012

CSA going strong

Wondering how to meet some of the coolest people in Newberg?  Just stop by the CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) that has it's weekly pick-up in our garage every Thursday afternoon.  I am amazed--so many people that are truly wonderful, and they all share a common love for LOCAL, fresh, organically grown vegetables.  Oak Hill Organics is a farm located on an island in the Willamette River nearby, and they are just now making some openings for new members.  There is room for those who want to sign up THIS WEEK (for a 27-week season).  You can join right now and it has an amazing flexibility in membership.  You get to choose how many items you want each week--and then pick from the many options available.  The variety of things they grow is amazing--over 200 different things throughout the seasons.  It's the most flexible and variety-filled model for a CSA I've seen, and people LOVE it!  Here's how it works.  Here are the details for pricing, etc.  If you want to join, email our wonderful farmers, Katy and Casey Kulla...

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Why do we seek INVISIBILITY?

George Fox University just posted a You-Tube video of me giving a 4-minute TED-like-talk on Invisibility.  Why do we want to become invisible?  And how do you do it?  I demonstrate!  Click HERE the ring to see how to become invisible (and the problems with doing so).