Sunday, December 30, 2007

Learning from the Mormons

"The church believes in continuous revelation," so its doctrines can evolve.

From Polygamy to Propriety, "The Economist," December 22, 2007-January 4, 2008 issue

I too believe in continuous revelation. Revealing information that others kept in the dark for whatever reason may change my perspective on the existing body of knowledge that was always in the light.

Reveal and evolve, reveal and evolve, this motion moves us forward as human beings. Don't be afraid to learn from everyone and everything around you, hearing revelations like the pop of a champagne cork on New Year's Eve is intoxicating.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Clinton Rally: December 27, 2007

Iowans for Hillary Rally: Bill was at his best. I would like to see these two back in the White House.

Premier Pizza, 121 East State Street, Algona, Iowa, U.S.A.

Photo by LJ Runkle

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Covering the Candidate

HEY: I want their cameras. That is my holiday wish.

Up Close: Rally With Barack Obama

Rally for Obama: Wednesday, December 26, 2007

One of the benefits of participating in the first in the nation political caucuses is candidate visits close to home. This photo radiates the up-close-and-personal touch of presidential election years in Iowa.

After I took this photo and studied Obama in Photoshop, I could see that campaigning was taking a toll on him. In his speech tonight, he said that his Christmas wish was for eight hours of sleep.

Photo: LJ Runkle

Monday, December 24, 2007

Ouch: Words Hurt

The Word Continuum

Words have the ability to soothe, excite, subdue and/or execute the human spirit.

As a journalist and enthusiastic Scrabble player, words are my trade and hobby. I realize the potential of A, E, I, O, U and sometimes Y to draw blood when they smoothly and concisely couple with their consonant companions can be devastating.

It is easy to verbally stumble when we forget that our nouns and verbs penetrate the emotions of others. Our sentences have the authority to heal, cajole and/or torture the psyches of our readers.

Sadly for me, I recently waterboarded a friend with several reactionary paragraphs.

It is a long story, but to summarize the disaster, the two of us had been wallowing in a pattern of dysfunctional behavior for some time. Despite my hope to modify the destructive energy in the air, communication between us took a turn into the neighborhood of irreparable damage in late October/early November 2007.

As a woman who practices Buddhism, I am aware that we are all able to make major changes in harmful behavior patterns in our lives, a vicious communication cycle between man and woman was the problem in our situation. Dr. Andrew Weil, a graduate of Harvard Medical School and practitioner of alternative medicine, believes that when we have established negative patterns of behavior with other human beings and with ourselves, it is possible to use self-awareness to reverse the devastation and mayhem. I believe this too, but the reversal process into the light involves a commitment on both sides, a commitment to understanding why the undesired behavior is happening and replacing darkness and turmoil with luminosity and fresh air. I would have appreciated the opportunity to work together with this man in order to begin the healing process, but I don't think he wants the same thing.

I have lived, learned and currently remind myself daily to heed the advice of Sophocles, a dramatist who was familiar with the intimacy of tragedy. When our words threaten to destroy the bonds that connect us to others:

"Hush! Check those words. Do not cure ill with ill and make your pain still heavier than it is."

Friday, December 21, 2007


What's the News?

Reading this morning on-line caused me to mourn the loss of world news in the United States.

I return home to America in mid-December 2007, after living in Rabat, Morocco for two months, and I am immediately inundated with the American news agenda.

1. News from the Iowa caucus repeated and analyzed over and over hourly;
2. The push to remove Christ from Christmas: gasp and moan;
3. Iraq: the one country Americans should be able to locate on the map;
4. Iran: echoes of the axis of evil. Remind me what America spends on defense...;
5. Baseball players on steroids;
6. Afghanistan and the Taliban-“Look at those beautiful poppy fields! Aren’t they pretty;”
7. The story of the day that will be beaten to death by the end of the day and resemble a dead horse, whinny and neigh.

American evening news global reporting can be described in five words: “the world in one minute.”

U.S. and local news occupy the next 20 minutes. And, what would the evening news be without a countdown-to-Christmas advertising frenzy dominating the final nine minutes. (Times are approximate. I guess-ti-mated based on extensive exposure to American culture and the evening news.)

Target, Best Buy and Wal-Mart need to have their say in creating the reality that is American news. Don’t forget to buy everyone. Patriotic Americans support the economy and the troops. I plan to relax with my Mentho Balm after writing this blog entry. Happy Holidays everyone!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

I feel pretty, oh so pretty...

And I am a boy!

on the road with the best of friends

The Map: Dreams and Destinations


I helped Mubarak round up our four camels under the light of a full orange moon. I found camels to be easy-going companions who kept a cool head at all times.

Me and the Sky



What trails of laughter or cruel human deeds do we leave behind?

Walking in the sand improved my thigh muscles more than any Western-manufactured exercise machine could.

Tea in the Sahara with Ana, Ibrihim and Mubarak

Ana at dusk on the dunes
After a one-week trek in the desert and through the mountains, I still have sand in my sleeping bag.

Sunday, November 18, 2007


It is difficult not to think about marriage in Rabat when so many people are trying to assist me in finding my future husband.

Tonight, I went to a marriage party, and I was asked what I was looking for in the man of my dreams. After giving everyone in the room the gory details, an attractive fellow appeared who had many of the hoped for qualities on my list.

In fact, I am going out for coffee with him tomorrow but- and this is an important but- I do not want to marry him!

I have heard many men in the country say this about their wives; I CHOSE HER. For men, it is important to know that they have taken the active role and selected their mate, but- the second important but- I feel the same way.

The thought of giving up my freedom has never been an easy one to contain inside my head, and I still am not certain if marriage is the path I want to walk.

I do know with certainty; however, that I want to say;


Sunday, November 11, 2007

Alone Time: privacy is culturally defined

Wow! I have the house to myself for a few sacred hours; the first time this has happened since I arrived in Maroc. I miss Taha, the 4 year-old bundle of energy, just a little bit. That kid mocks my pronunciation of Arabic and makes crazy faces while he does it. When he makes fun of me, I can hear where I went wrong, and I have to laugh at myself too.

Taha is also the light policeman. Electricity here is expensive, and I freely admit that I sometimes forget to shut off the lights. With Taha around, I always have a mini patrolman who helps me see the error of my ways.

Taha in the Potty

The Perfect Photo of the Perfect Boy on the Pot

We spent one week in Meknes, and as we were preparing to leave by train for Fes, I caught site of Taha on the potty clutching his blue car tightly in his hand. I snapped a photo of him and told him that I would delete it if he wanted me to do that. Taha told me to take another and made this spectacular face for me. Only kids!

Photo to follow soon: I had a problem with the upload

Tuesday, November 06, 2007


My Favorite Superhero

Taha learns many of his punches and jumps from Cartoon Network fighters for justice, and he tries these moves out on me at his house in Rabat. Some of the chops are painful. Taha is 4 years old and the youngest member of the Rachad family.

on the road in North Africa

Moulay Idriss, Maroc


Olives in the hand of Zahra

Olives are good for the health, and I am surrounded by olive groves here in Maroc.


Volubilis, Maroc

That is me showing my Roman ego in the ruins of Volubilis.

Monday, November 05, 2007

The Berber Wedding in Imlil, Maroc

The Bride

After a trek up the mountain, at last; she arrived at four in the morning. It was a long night of eating, drumming, singing, and wondering when she would finally appear.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Help: Everything is in French

Travels in North Africa upside down

Friday, November 02, 2007


I am living in Rabat speaking French, trying to learn Arabic and hanging out with a Mexican, German, Greek and the family Rachad. I am having a ball.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Glinda and Elphaba met in college!

Did you know that Glinda, the good witch of the north, and Elphaba, the wicked witch of the west, met in college? They were roommates.

I am reading "Wicked" and searching for the land of OZ. A serious note: "Wicked" is one of the best books that I have read this summer.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

The Journey Begins Again

I have this feeling stroking the soles of my feet that a new journey is beginning.

As always, photos will be a visual testament to my personal growth, so let the games begin. I have no intention of standing on the sidelines.

Liberace's words kickstart the ride:

I had to dare a little bit. Who am I kidding—I had to dare a lot. Don’t wear one ring, wear five or six. People ask how I can play with all those rings, and I reply, "Very well, thank you."

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Harkin Steak Fry 2007: Such Is Life

Oh politics; My friends won't let me swim in apathy, and to be true to self, I realize I need to get involved. There is just so much about politics in America that I don't like.

Such is life!

Sept. 16, 2007

Simple Attention is not so simple

The Tricycle Daily Dharma for Sept. 18, 2007 is something I work on each day. The joy of being completely present and involved in every moment of our own lives is simple and rewarding. This dharma reminds me not to overlook the simple truths of living.


The secret of beginning a life of deep awareness and sensitivity lies in our willingness to pay attention. Our growth as conscious, awake human beings is marked not so much by grand gestures and visible renunciations as by extending loving attention to the minutest particulars of our lives. Every relationship, every thought, every gesture is blessed with meaning through the wholehearted attention we bring to it. In the complexities of our minds and lives we easily forget the power of attention, yet without attention we live only on the surface of existence. It is just simple attention that allows us truly to listen to the song of a bird, to see deeply the glory of an autumn leaf, to touch the heart of another and be touched. We need to be fully present in order to love a single thing wholeheartedly. We need to be fully awake in this moment if we are to receive and respond to the learning inherent in it.

- Christina Feldman and Jack Kornfield, Stories of the Spirit, Stories of the Heart from Everyday Mind, a Tricycle book edited by Jean Smith

Monday, September 17, 2007

Joy of Liberace in the Kitchen

I want this cookbook: “Joy of Liberace: Retro Recipes from America's Kitchiest Kitchen.”

The cover is enough to make me wish that I had been part of the editorial and graphic design team who put this masterpiece together.

Learn more at the Liberace Museum in Las Vegas, Nevada:

Diamonds and Furs: A Boy’s Best Friend

If I had the national authority and calendar control clout, I would declare today National Liberace Appreciation Day. His outlook on life had so much to teach us!

Liberace in concert:

“Go ahead, try it! Live Dangerously!” [my editorial comment: Not with your sex life!]

Right on Liberace. You are one of my heroes with all your bawdy faults and human wisdom. I love you.

Practice safely.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

What embraces you? What abandons you?

I love librarians and always have. Because of this love, I usually form friendships with the librarians in my life.

This passage from the current book that I am reading- “The Tender Bar” by J.R. Moehringer- was recommended by a lovely librarian and touched me when I read it. I crave the sensation of words cuddling and jolting my emotions, and I want to share. Comments solicited.

“While I fear that we’re drawn to what abandons us, and to what seems most likely to abandon us, in the end I believe we’re defined by what embraces us.”

Monday, September 03, 2007

Oh, Iowa

This photo speaks for itself. If you are not familiar with Casey's and fishing worms, welcome to Iowa.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Lingering with Delicate Sitting Ducks

I was examining the shape, color, texture and black underside of mushrooms today. They are visually interesting, a delicate sitting duck in the too-tall grass of August.

Mushrooms are popping up everywhere after the torrential rains in the state. I want to photograph them and see what comes of it.

Modern Photography: Mushrooms dallying in the breeze.

I am including a visual of marbles on fabric to demonstrate what experimenting with colors, textures, shapes and lighting can do in a photograph. I have been exploring these concepts while reading “Photographic Lighting: Learning to See” by Ralph Hattersley.

Consider this thought from Hattersley,

“We insist to ourselves that we see things, whereas our eyes are only constructed to see light. In truth, nothing else is visible.”

Friday, August 24, 2007

Words Like Rain

I am often thinking of words: words of a lover, organized tiles from the Scrabble games; in my head they tumble and fall spilling like warm rain in my hair.

Excerpt from "Romance"
by Claude McKay

To lie at full length, taut, with cheek to cheek,
And tease your mouth with kisses till you speak

Love words, mad words, dream words, sweet senseless words,
Melodious like notes of mating birds;

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Cy and Lori at the 2007 Iowa State Fair

Here we are, Cy the Cyclone- the Iowa State University mascot- and me. I enjoy the days that Cy strolls around the ISU campus waving the thumbs up to everyone. It's a signal that all is well in the universe when a large red cyclone bird is high-fiving humans on the planet earth.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Fully in Touch

I needed the Daily Dharma for today! I am posting it so that I can read it when I need a reminder; Feeling pain is part of life and learning.

Tricycle's Daily Dharma: August 5, 2007

Fully In Touch

The person that desires to have only pleasure and refuses pain expends an enormous amount of energy resisting life--and at the same time misses out enormously. He or she is on a self-defeating mission in any case, for just as we evade certain forms of suffering we inevitably fall victim to others. Underlying our glitzy modern consumer culture there is a deep spiritual under-nourishment and malaise that manifests all kinds of symptoms: nervous disorders, loneliness, alienation, purposelessness . . . So blanking out, running away, burying our heads in the sand or videotape will take us nowhere in the long run. If we really want to solve our problems--and the world's problems, for they stem from the same roots--we must open up and accept the reality of suffering with full awareness, as it strikes us, physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually, in the here-now. Then, strange as it may seem, we reap vast rewards. For suffering has its positive side. From it we derive the experience of depth: of the fullness of our humanity. This puts us fully in touch with other people and the rest of the Universe.

--John Snelling

Monday, June 18, 2007

China 0n-line: Poems and Perspectives

I was exploring the “Embassy of the People's Republic of China in the United States of America” web site while I questioned the credibility of the site with my keyboard clicks. I could not find the address for the Chinese Embassy in D.C. or the consulate in Chicago on the site. Perhaps I can market my editing skills in Shanghai; important things get lost in translation on many of the web sites I have encountered where Chinese is translated into English.

Judge the credibility of the “Embassy of the People's Republic of China in the United States of America” web site for yourself. The excerpt from the news release about human rights in the United States is a matter of how you choose to process and culturally understand the world.

China issues human rights record of the United States (03/08/07)

China issued on March 8 the Human Rights Record of the United States in 2006 in response to the Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2006 issued by the U.S. Department of State on Tuesday.

The document says the United States has a flagrant record of violating the Geneva Convention in systematically abusing prisoners during the Iraqi War and the War in Afghanistan.

A report released by the U.S. Census Bureau on Aug. 29, 2006 says there were 37 million people living in poverty in 2005, accounting for 12.6 percent of total U.S. population. The report also says there were 7.7 million families in poverty and one out of eight Americans was living in poverty in 2005. "The ethnic minorities are at the bottom of American society," the Chinese report says.

I read about volunteering for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing and found a link to a site called "Chinese Poems."

After the Rain - Yue Fu

After rain, the forest's sleek,
Between the pines, the moon startles my heart.
I smile and think of home,
A foreign guest in a foreign land.

That will be me in September.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Guard Your Banana

I have been thinking about bananas and traveling lately- somewhat due to this passage from "The Inheritance of Loss."

"No fruit dies so vile and offensive a death as the banana, but it had been packed [for the trip] just in case."

I have had banana-horror-black-spots and mush traveling incidents myself. But look! Justin found this lovely gift for his friend Rachael, and it might solve the problem of banana death on the road.

THE BANANA GUARD, available in assorted colors:

What snack do you pack when you travel?

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

A Tea Bar Visit Plan: My New City September '07

I was reading about tea houses in Shanghai on an expat web site that a friend sent me. I am planning a visit to this tea bar, and I would really love to meet the person who wrote the following review.

Shing Shung Tea Bar
Address: 195 North Huang Pi Road
Phone: 86 21 6358 2682

Information: Although outside the Old City walls, this cozy tea house-cafĂ©, in the shadow of the wave-like Shanghai Grand Theatre near the People’s Square, is worth the cross-town trek just for its chilled black apple tea and coconut toast. When lunch hour is over and the well-heeled corporate types have departed, the tea house takes on a more turn-of-the-century European feeling as huddles of Othello players and pensive smokers reclaim the chairs around the dark, wood-paneled room and the try to make senses of the Edith Piaf tunes floating in from the kitchen.

Investigate tea houses and other surprises in Shanghai for yourself:

Monday, June 11, 2007

Books I Want To Peruse This Summer

Can't believe I am involved in a Facebook on-line community food fight. Watch out, I may throw a cake at you when I get my lunch money. How old am I? Paul, you started it!

It is great to have so much free time this summer. I love it!

After reading book reviews this morning, I think I should go back for my Ph.D. in literature, but I need some time off first.

Appreciate this thought from Khaled Hosseini, author of the “The Kite Runner” and “A Thousand Splendid Suns,” with me.

“As a writer, the things that always move me are the intimate human stories, the links between the characters, their dreams, their disappointments, their crushing defeats and their atonements.”

Books I want to peruse:

Ian McEwan - On Chesil Beach

***** Ryszard Kapuscinski, Knopf - Travels with Herodotus

National Geographic - The 100 Best Vacations to Enrich Your Life

Quirk, edited by: Erik Torkells - The Smart Traveler’s Passport: 399 Tips from Seasoned Travelers

Friday, May 25, 2007

Gone Fishing

So Long.
Auf Wiedersehen.

I'm taking a sabbatical from blogging.

Can't say when I will return. Enjoy your time and appreciate each minute.

Friday, May 18, 2007

More Continents and More Dreams

I practice Buddhism, so it is very possible that in possible past lives, I may have lived happily on the continent of Asia or Africa, which exempts me from the pressures of conforming to the American Dream (AD) today.

My sister and I appear in the photo above at a time when we were still blissfully unaware that the AD existed in the collective consciousness of our elders. What a light hearted time.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Everyone is Related and Connected

Reminder to self: Don't forsake the inside for the outside please!

We are also, each and every one of us, whole and perfect as is, interrelated, essentially non-separated, and equal.

This, too, must be realized.

If we forsake the inside for the outside, it is not just Buddhism that is diminished but the horizons for true social transformation as well.

-Helen Tworkov, Tricycle: The Buddhist Review, Vol. IV, #1 From Everyday Mind, a Tricycle book edited by Jean Smith

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Free Will and Fate: Which horse should you trust?

The Wisdom to Know the Difference

Elizabeth Gilbert, in her book “Eat, Pray, Love,” describes the intersection of free will and fate in our lives like the job of a circus performer who is riding two horses at the same time.

The secret to controlling both horses, she writes, is to have the wisdom to know when to give free will the lead and the common sense to realize when you don’t have a choice; fate will create your path.


As a Buddhist, I would add that it is important to take responsibility for the actions that we take when free will decides to gallop madly or go lollygagging down the path.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Good Fortune is My Middle Name

May it walk with me like the soles of my feet- everywhere and beyond.
May Good Fortune be yours as well!

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Merrie Monarch Festival

The Merrie Monarch Festival in Hilo, Hawaii, April 2007

Ancient Hula Night
Put on my Buddha boots and continue on my journey

These are Brent's boots from the free box, so they must have positive traveling energy that will float with me on my path. I donated the boots to the Landscaping Department at Kalani when I left so other members of our crew may be wearing them now. These boots get around. We like to share at Kalani. That is the spirit of community.

As for myself, let's see where I end up in my Buddha boots walking tour of the world.

Join me on the adventure?

Friday, April 27, 2007


Shooting Kalani Love

Sunday, April 08, 2007

The Surf Is Rising In Maui!

Maui: The Hana Highway and the Drift Wood of Nine Days in the Sun

I have just returned to the big island from a nine day sunrise-filled vacation on the island of Maui. Do I have visuals to dazzle your consciousness? Yes. Tales to tan your skin? Double positive.

Tune in for the rest of the story: Coming soon to a blog spot near you.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Letting Go: from my vacation in the sand

Clinging Imprisons Us

Although I am on vacation in the sand in paradise, Aloha!, I read Tricycle's Daily Dharma today. I am always working on letting go, but this thought was especially comforting to me.

"It is important to understand that anything that can be lost was never truly ours, anything that we deeply cling to only imprisons us."

--Christina Feldman and Jack Kornfield, Stories of the Spirit, Stories of the Heart

I hope that you all have a vacation in paradise too.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The Art of Hedonism

To all of my friends out there finishing their Ph.D. degrees:

From: "
The Hedonism Handbook: Mastering the Lost Arts of Leisure and Pleasure," by Michael Flocker

At some point, "the good life" became some distantly imagined finish line that could only be reached through psychotic effort and willful determination. Like over-caffeinated hamsters on a wheel, we began running, sweating, sacrificing and panicking. Could there possibly be something wrong with this master plan? Is there something out there, some lost key to the kingdom of happiness that is being overlooked? You bet your ass there is.

Eat the cake, drink the wine, lie in a hammock and stare at the stars with the hottie you picked up on the beach, but don't try to jam it all into a tightly-scheduled, six-day "vacation."

If you give in to beauty, pleasure and self-indulgence on a daily basis, not only will you be happier day-to-day, you will be less likely to go off the deep end when it all gets too much and you finally cave in. One must practice the art of hedonism regularly to get really good at it.

Balance and Grace and Coconuts

Go Roy!

It was exciting shooting as coconuts were falling all around me. Heads!

Coconut Delight

The Juice of Life

Work is never the same in the landscaping department at Kalani.

Today, for example, we transplanted three large banana trees to a new location so that their leaves would provide privacy for the general manager's outdoor shower.

In this photo, and the photo above, I at last had the opportunity to grab my Nikon when Roy was taking down coconuts from one of the trees near my worksite at the new campgrounds.

If a coconut were to fall on a human's head, this would be an unfortunate experience for that particular human.

Thanks Roy, we love you!

Monday, March 26, 2007

Shakti At The Nut Factory

Nutty Trivia

I bet that you did not know that macadamia nuts have legs just like you and me. We see packs of wild nuts running around in the jungle frequently, but I have never been able to catch one of them myself.

In the photo above, Shakti has managed to tame a rather large fellow. More power to her!

Feral nuts are a part of life on the big island that I enjoy.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Lava Lamp in the Land of Lava

Plug the lamp into the outlet and let it flow...

One of the treasures from the farmer's market in Pahoa that didn't work when tried in an outlet.

Juices Away...

Breakfast of Champions

Fresh carrot and pineapple juice from the farmer's market in Pahoa was part of my Sunday breakfast on March 18.

Come and join me for a glass.

Friday, March 16, 2007

The Van

The Kalani Landscaping Van: Hold on for the ride.

Oh lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz ?
My friends all drive Porsches, I must make amends.
Worked hard all my lifetime, no help from my friends,
So lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz ?

Arcus Barcus

Propagation Station News

Nathan found Arcus Barcus on a ultra sunny day when Brent was cutting down a tree and Nathan and I were assigned the task of hauling it off to rot in the jungle. Arcus is now the mascot of the Propagation Station here at Kalani.

Our wooden mascot stands proudly and does the boogie woogie when nobody is around.

Go Arcus Barcus. We love you!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Joy with Fruit: Oh the Papaya

Papayas resemble sexual bits of human beings when they dangle off the tree if you ask me, and they taste delicious.

Yoshiko and I were walking back to our room from yoga practice last week when two papayas called to us to pluck them tenderly from the tree, split them open with our hands, scoop out the seeds, and suck and chew the tender fruit merrily and with gusto. The juice ran down our faces and our hands were sticky in the afterglow.

Pure joy with fruit!

Lava, Lava: Sweet and Hot

Lava, Lava: Sparks Flying

Last night's three hour trek across the lava field into the direct path of the oozing orange flow was exhausting, exhilarating and dangerous. Yoshiko; Jonathon; Jim and I went on the trek, and today Yoshiko and I were overwhelmed by the memory of the lava's progress down the sharp and black glassy slope into the ocean.

I am still somewhat stunned that I could look down through several cracks in the rock and see hot lava glowing below me. Unrest was emerging from the core of the earth. The heat coming through the rock above was extreme, and I saw sparks flying from the back of Yoshiko's old sneakers.

We heard the crackling of the lava slowly making its journey across the old flow and saw clouds of steam sizzle and rise when Pele the Goddess made contact with her sister the ocean.

The sound and feel of the wind changed dramatically from a hot slap in the face to a cool breeze as we closed the distance, moving toward the hungry waves.

Earth and water united…


Friday, March 09, 2007

Roaring Fire, Wine, and the Moonlit Ocean

Living the Life Fantastic

There is nothing better on a Thursday night than decompressing after work with friends around a fire started by the adorable Maxwell, watching the moon rise over the waves, drinking directly from a bottle of red wine passed from hand to hand, and listening to the laughter of people I love.

Such is my life at Kalani. Such is the reason I want to extend eternally, although I know this is an unreasonable thought. Life should always be this sweet. When I leave Kalani, I will make it so.

This photo is a self-portrait taken while I was walking the property and photographing our landscaping projects- before and after shots of the work here at Kalani. The grounds are beautiful. If anyone is interested, I have talked to my supervisor about starting an internship program for ISU students to get their hands dirty in the jungle.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Reach for the Sky


This photo of Darren reaching for the sky represents the freedom and the room to grow that we as a human community give to each member: brother, sister and friend.

Darren's strength as a yoga instructor, and his warm and caring heart, beat at the center of our interactions with one another.

I enjoy the days when Darren wears his shirt with the message "FREE HUGS" splashed across his chest.

From me to you, a free hug and respect to all your potential as a living being on the planet. Let compassion reign.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Vincenzo's Valentine

This is one of my favorite shots from my time at Kalani. Valentine wishes are often commercial and replicated in factories of consumerism. Sometimes, they can be hand drawn with lines and inks of intimacy and shared experience.

Vincenzo's Valentine was the intimate and vulnerable sort.

Shot on Feb. 24, 2007 by yours truly in the loft

Sunday, February 25, 2007


Today was pure fun, and I got some GREAT shots of friends. I was in the moment, and it felt divine.
Squashing six people into a Mustang convertible, ricardO (capitalized correctly) being well, well over six feet tall, was pure mayhem and adrenaline.

Side Note:

I love my starlet sunglasses because I feel so glam-girl when I smile for the camera. Shot by Vincenzo, February 24, 2007

"It's not about the earth suit and the costumes that adorn it. It's about the soul that twirls and dances in the interior temple."

ricardO (yes, his first name is capitalized correctly) verbally juggling concepts of identity on February 24, 2007. I enjoy meeting people who transcend their earth suits (outer shells) and the fit/price/designer of their costumes.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Tricycle's Daily Dharma Sat. 24 Feb 2007

I like the dharma for today. I want to remember it.

Remember that your thoughts are transformed into speech and action in order to bring the expected result. Thought translated into action is capable of producing a tangible result. You should always speak and do things with mindfulness of loving kindness.... For all practical purposes, if all of your enemies are well, happy and peaceful, they would not be your enemies. If they are free from problems, pain, suffering, affliction, neurosis, psychosis, paranoia, fear, tension, anxiety, etc., they would not be your enemies. Your practical solution toward your enemies is to help them to overcome their problems, so you can live in peace and happiness. In fact, if you can, you should fill the minds of all your enemies with loving kindness and make all of them realize the true meaning of peace, so you can live in peace and happiness. The more they are in neurosis, psychosis, fear, tension, anxiety, etc., the more trouble, pain, and suffering they can bring to the world. If you could convert a vicious and wicked person into a holy and saintly individual you would perform a miracle. Let us cultivate adequate wisdom and loving kindness within ourselves to convert evil minds to saintly minds.

-Henepola Gunaratana, Mindfulness in Plain English

ps from Lori: I continue to work on self [converting my own mind into a mind that embraces loving kindness most of the time.]
It would be arrogant of me to take on a role of "the missionary of loving kindness" because I am still learning myself; however, I appreciated the overall direction of the dharma for today. The message opened my eyes to our interdependence with our brothers and sisters in the world around us.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Taking Down Trees

In the photo above, you can see a sword fern. I pulled a number of these ferns out of the ground around the sweat lodge at Kalani. The fern is the home to mosquitoes and nothing stops them from attacking.

Bringing down trees with a chain saw is an exciting part of the landscaping job I do at Kalani.

I can't use a chain saw myself, but I watch my well-built crew member cut a notch in one side of the trunk and then cut cleanly through the other side, placing the entire tree exactly where we want it- three feet away and parallel to the sweat lodge. The chain saw is buzzing and the wood chips are flying. The woodsman is adorned in his red Mickey Mouse headgear to protect his ears from the noise.

When the tree begins its slow decent to the ground, I wait to hear the paradox of its harsh and gentle splash to earth.

Plop, its branches and leaves no longer reach for the sunlight.

It is my job to clear away the heavy logs that will be used for firewood on Thursday night during the women's sweat.

I am excited about attending the women's sweat. I plan to bring slips of paper containing experiences I want to leave behind in my life, scraps of paper, pain and longing for what never materialized or unfolded in a pattern of maladaptive behaviors.

I plan to let go with the help of the flames and the sweat dripping from my own body.

I am letting go here at Kalani.

About Me

My photo

What do I do? That’s a question with more depth than the deceiving three-word construction would lead us to believe.

I live on planet earth with other folks, and I’m involved in the field of education and learning. I’m a life-long learner with a passion for knowledge and the process of bending bits of ideas into new constructions of beauty.