The point of this new public face is to honor my New Year's resolution: I'm going to write and speak with my heart outstretched as if it were my hand. (That's from a line in Mary Chapin Carpenter's song Goodnight America: "dreaming with my heart outstretched as if it were my hand.") I've had this intent for a while now, and this year, I'm working on stretching that heart/hand even farther.
So I spent the time between Winter Solstice and New Year's Day thinking about what I believe, how I live my life, and why I do the work I do. I'm determined to articulate my core values and my experiences more clearly and more compellingly in order to help others who seek a deeper connection benefit from what I've learned. Hence the credo on the home page of my new web site, which begins with these lines:
It seems to me that many of us feel lost, as if we've cut ourselves off from something we deeply need. I think that what we're missing is an everyday connection with nature, the home of our species. ... We may have forgotten nature, but the community of the land has not forgotten us.What's important in our lives is not how much we earn or how big our houses are, or whether we have the latest electronic toys or reach the highest rung on whatever job ladder we're on, but how we live each moment of every day. I believe in living a green and generous life, "green" in the sense of making my life a positive contribution to a healthy Earth, and "generous" in the sense of spreading around the blessings I have, sharing them with family, friends, and the larger community, both human and wild. Just what constitutes a green and generous life is the topic I'll be exploring in the coming weeks, and I hope you'll join me in that conversation.
But first I have to work through a thicket of technical glitches that have come up as I've designed & integrated my new public face. The web site is up, but still has some formatting glitches that need fixing as soon as my site host works out their server permissions issues. The blog was all ready to go until the blog host lost its address; resurrecting the latter ruined the custom formatting I'd labored over so I'm back to the virtual drawing board there. (You'd think that Mercury, the planet which rules communications, was going into retrograde with all of these hang-ups--in fact, Mercury IS going retrograde starting the 11th of January and continuing through February 1. So I may be in for a long slog!)
Communications issues aside, I'm starting off the year with great news: My memoir, Walking Nature Home, will be published in March by University of Texas Press, and I've been invited to debut the book with a talk and signing at Denver Botanic Gardens on March 25th. So if you'll be in the area, join me and special guest, photographer Jim Steinberg, for "Bringing Wildness Home: Nature as Everyday Inspiration." If you can't get to Denver for that opening appearance, check my web site in the coming months for other events. Also, you can sample the book at the publisher's web site.
Starting next week, I'll be in writing heaven: I've been awarded a three-month fellowship that frees me from my accustomed deadlines. So until mid-April, I'll have the luxury of working on my next book without having to worry about generating an income. Wow! My profound thanks to Terra Foundation for supporting my work, and to Colorado Art Ranch for making the fellowship possible.
Here's my wish for all of you for 2009: May you find what you need to follow yourr heart. And in the doing, may you know much love and joy!