an extra salted fish

From Stewart Brand’s website called the Long Now Foundation (full article here….) …..a poem written by a woman dying in hospice.

Ostaseski ended with a story. One day at Zen Hospice in San Francisco he was in the kitchen reading a book called Japanese Death Poems. A tough old lady from the streets named Sono, who was there to die, asked him about the book, and he explained the tradition of Japanese monks to write on the day of their death a poem expressing the essential truth discovered in their life. He read her a few. Sono said she’d like to write hers, and did, and asked that it be pinned to her bedclothes when she died and cremated with her. She wrote:

Don’t just stand there with your hair turning gray,
soon enough the seas will sink your little island.
So while there is still the illusion of time,
set out for another shore.
No sense packing a bag.
You won’t be able to lift it into your boat.
Give away all your collections.
Take only new seeds and an old stick.
Send out some prayers on the wind before you sail.
Don’t be afraid.
Someone knows you’re coming.
An extra fish has been salted.

–Mona (Sono) Santacroce (1928 – 1995)

Douglas Tompkins: Wild Legacy

Here’s a couple of films about Douglas Tompkins, who founded the North Face and the Esprit companies.

If that was as far as the history went, it would be a successful but boring story.

Who wants to learn about another businessman?

There’s more to the story, though.

Doug Tompkins took his money….and worked to affect the ecology of Chile (and the world) in a big way by saving large tracts of land and protecting them from development.

Here’s the description of this movie from YouTube:

Douglas Tompkins was a world-renowned adventurer, entrepreneur, and conservationist. Co-founder of The North Face and Esprit, Doug spent the first half of his life building successful, global brands, while simultaneously adventuring around the world, completing first descents of the world’s toughest rivers. In 1968 Doug embarked on a trip to Chile, driving with friends from California to the tip of Patagonia. Documented in the film Mountain of Storms, the trip solidified Doug’s place as rock climbing legend. In the early 1990s, Doug sold his part of Esprit and moved down to Chile to do conservation work full time with his wife, Kristine McDivitt Tompkins, the former CEO of Patagonia, Inc. Together, over the last 25 years, Doug and Kris have protected 2.2 million acres, more land than any other individuals. The foundations under the Tompkins Conservation umbrella, along with their partners, have created five national parks in Chile and Argentina and are in the process of creating five more. A Wild Legacy tells the story of Doug’s incredible life, his lasting impact on the wild landscapes of Patagonia, and Kris and the Tompkins Conservation team’s efforts to continue his audacious mission.
Doug was tragically killed in a kayaking accident on Lago General Carrera, north of Patagonia Park, on December 8th, 2015. Douglas Tompkins: A Wild Legacy was presented to audiences at the Telluride Mountain Film Festival on May 24th, 2016 during the festival’s tribute to Doug.
“If anything can save the world, I’d put my money on beauty” – Douglas Tompkins
The work goes on at

Film from Outside Television.

This second video is one from Tompkins Conservation….a tribute program….a eulogy.

This guy was an interesting character with an interesting life….and he had some good and interesting friends.

It’s long….but worth watching if you have a couple of free hours.


perfect isolation

I guess that isolation can be good.

I guess.

I figure that it’s kind of nice to have some people around, though.

I don’t know that this is really all that “perfect”.

Maybe “good” in some ways, but not perfect.

That’s the tradeoff sometimes for living someplace this beautiful….the places that remain beautiful and unspoiled are hard to get to…and, if they’re hard to get to, the other people might be few and far between.

I don’t know if I’d put my kids through this, either.

That’s what makes the world go round….all these different kinds of people.

Round…and round, huh?

How do you get to the bush? You go to the bush.

Here’s a short film about a couple who live in the New Zealand wilderness.

Every couple of weeks, she goes into the city to play music and buy groceries with the money she makes….so they don’t live completely off the land….but, still, it’s a pretty lo-tech existence.

I’m fascinated by back to the land and living in the woods stories!

I could watch YouTube videos of people doing it all day!

(Kidding….you have to get out and do it. Don’t be a dreamer….be a doer. Lace up your boots….get the kids in the minivan….do it. You have to do it. Right?)

Here’s a link to Miriam Lancewood’s book on Amazon.

what if we change?

I listened to some talks that Yvon Chouinard gave a while back while I drove the mail around today.

Noble stuff….capitalism with good intentions.

I don’t involve myself with ecological activism much….

We’re too busy raising a family.

We recycle….grow organically….all the good stuff that is pretty easy once it becomes a habit…but we’re not radical environmentalists.

Our habits could be better, I suppose.

Whose habits couldn’t be a little better, though….right?

Here’s a short film about damage that’s happening to the environment….and possible solutions…..called “What If We Change?”

You can’t back up from things that have gone too far, though.

Some of the damage we do to the environment is hard to fix.

That’s depressing…unless knowing about any of this stuff becomes a motivator to make a change.

Action is the only thing that keeps bad environmental news from depressing the heck out of me.

I better get a move on.


money to the good

There are a lot of ways to use your money.

This is one of the good ones.

From the YouTube description:

Almost 50 years ago, fried chicken tycoon David Bamberger used his fortune to purchase 5,500 acres of overgrazed land in the Texas Hill Country. Planting grasses to soak in rains and fill hillside aquifers, Bamberger devoted the rest of his life to restoring the degraded landscape. Today, the land has been restored to its original habitat and boasts enormous biodiversity. Bamberger’s model of land stewardship is now being replicated across the region and he is considered to be a visionary in land management and water conservation.

I don’t know what I can do on a large scale.

I don’t have the money for that….yet.

But, I will bet that I can start with making something better on a small scale.

Make something better?

Sounds good to me.