When the problem is larger than you are—your experience, skillset, wisdom, or imagination—the best course of action is to do nothing. Simply wait. My seven-year journey has demonstrated this again and again. Unlike Frodo’s course, our family’s quest has carried us away from the fires of Mordor, and all that corporate disfigurement, toward a sustainable … More Arriving at a solution vs imposing one
The best part of our family having carved out a niche through farming, writing, and the creation of fine art, by far, is having a seat at the community’s dinner table, which enables us to join the larger conversation. This brings immense joy, particularly when our contribution is the least important part, but somehow remains … More Finding a seat at the table
For the first time in a quarter century, I brought the perfect book back to this secret cabin on the Pigeon River. The choice of reads, being such a weighty decision, always stymies me. The journey back to this cabin demands serious effort and unwavering commitment, requiring 4-8 hours journey through 4-5 feet of snow, … More Our 2,000 year old Little Library, a great read, and an epic adventure.
I wrote the short piece below for the paper. I had hoped to encourage people, but was surprised at how controversial it became (judging by the comments on a local website). The experience caused me to see why the vast majority of individuals keep to themselves. Once again, Gandalf’s comments seem appropriate: Saruman believes it … More What this country needs most is you
The city needs surrounding rural areas just as a rubber tire requires a metal rim. Neither will truly thrive without the other. Living in the city, as I do, my wellbeing requires a regular inoculation of the country. And by country, I don’t just mean the land, although it certainly includes that. The people who … More Making America Great Again
This week I found myself, somewhat reluctantly, attending a theatre production that included an Eddy Gilmore character. I expected to gain nothing from the experience. Blessed beyond belief by an atmosphere of utter richness, I left with more wealth than could be carried by pockets, wheelbarrows, or even an armored truck could be expected to … More Entering the story, painting the dump gray, and the last chicken
Pure, unvarnished joy. Rosy red cheeks. Pearly white teeth. This photo, snapped from a neighbor’s iPhone, captures the evening and spirit of Cornucopia better than any I’ve seen. Hosting the event was like running with wild horses. Pictured above is Duluth’s Mayor, Don Ness, now in his final month of service. The lovely woman at his … More Reflections on a remarkable evening. Also, I have another book in the cooker!
My wife, Shawna Gilmore, just painted the back of Charlie Parr’s guitar. It’s the one you see here, which he has been touring the country with all summer and fall. I think she did a darn fine job. Here’s the finished product: Charlie’s instruments are essentially irreplaceable, so it’s amazing that he trusted her with … More Painting Charlie Parr’s Guitar, and Who the heck is Dave Hundrieser?
Coffee chaff in the chicken coop??? This chicken is pondering the same thing, but we’ve determined that it’s completely awesome! A byproduct of the roasting process, they are light, fluffy, compost much more rapidly than the pine shavings these are replacing, smell fantastic, block odors, and are free! I collect mine from high-end coffee roasters located … More Caffeinated Chickens, Castoffs, and How I Finally Used My Master’s Degree
In just about the craziest turn of events ever, I’m organizing an event that will feature two mayors (one present and the other future), four well-known bands/musicians/musical savants, and a freaking tap dancer. It all started when the current Mayor nonchalantly mentioned, “Hey, we should do a book event.” Since this is much like Cinderella … More CORNUCOPIA 2015, A Lavish Feast of Local Talent