A favorite interview and an inspirational encounter

Earlier this year, on the cusp between winter and spring, I found myself in my old home stomping grounds of northern Minnesota for some speaking engagements and a showing of the film of Neither Wolf nor Dog.  The weather was blustery and the character of the north was on full display.  A young woman named Serene Lusano, recently transplanted to the north country from California in a move back to her husband’s home town, was assigned to interview me for the local paper.  I just loved her curiosity and insight, and willingness to look at life’s changes as an adventure more than a challenge.  She did what I thought was a wonderful interview because she knew how to listen.  She did not want information; she wanted understanding.  And she knew how to turn an interview into a conversation.

I mention this because we of the passing generation need to raise up the good voices whenever we can.  Serene, a stranger in a strange land, a fish out of water struggling to swim in a new environment, was one of those voices that abound, too often unnoticed, in the small towns and forgotten corners of America.  As America’s cities metastasize and crumble under the weight of their own growth, it will be the folks in the outlying areas who have the physical and psychological elbow room to think beyond problems and shape the world with dreams.  They are the new frontiersmen and women who can reenvision this country.  Small towns, reservations, rural enclaves — these are the places where new dreams can form.  Watch them, listen to them, learn from them, and raise them up.  Listen to them like Serene listened to me, and honor them for the courage they exhibit in leaving the apparent urban mainstream to light out for the territories.

Here is the interview.


5 thoughts on “A favorite interview and an inspirational encounter”

  1. We too would like to get you out for a talk at trickster Gallery in Schaumburg Illinois. Would like to know what month this might be possible. I also like to know what costs, funds we need to raise to accommodate you.
    I would like to arrange a presentation and some talks on constructing and living in an Earthlodge at the gallery. From the Talks, I plan on having a fundraiser out at an actual Indian Earthlodge I helped to construct. We would invite many native and interested peoples. Before I proceed I need to know the answers to the questions and your interest in this event thank you

  2. Yes. “… physical and psychological elbow room…” is a good way to put it. In a nutshell, that’s why we moved from Portland back to Gearhart.

  3. Evelyn Jackson

    I’ve been saying for years that bigger is NOT better and that we need to return to our small neighborhoods and communities to ground ourselves and remember what it’s like to live together. Interesting that you say that’s where the dreams of the future will come from. I’d love to read the article that Serene wrote about you.

  4. In 2000 I moved from the Seattle area (closing in on 4 million souls) to the northern Oregon coast (Cannon Beach) an artists colony of 1200 full time residents. After retiring, I moved to Medford in southern Oregon, at population of 81,780, after 3 years I found it too crowded, so I moved to where I now reside, Gold Hill, 1200 people. It is not only physical and psychological elbow room, but elbow room for the spirit. I visit family in Seattle a couple of times a year, and after leaving for home I remember all the reasons I left to begin with.

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