Kickstarting an Audiobook to Tell True Tales

July 27, 2011

I’ve launched a Kickstarter project to enable me to make a short, powerful, professionally recorded audio book of Tales of the Whirling Rainbow: Authentic Myths & Mysteries for 2012. Check the project out by following this link.

You can support the project not just with a donation, but also by sharing it on Facebook, Twitter, and so forth.

Tales of the Whirling Rainbow is a true account of some of the key spiritual mysteries of North America and the land that supports all life. It’s also an arresting exploration of how those mysteries are resounding through real time.

Earlier this year I wrote the nonfiction stories as an e-book. But now I want to record the tales as an audio book and MP3 file for iPods, iPads, Smart Phones, any computer or digital audio player, and also on CD — so people can hear the tales told in a range of formats.

Sowing Seeds of Hope at Nuclear Disaster Site

July 21, 2011

As both gesture and deed, officials in Fukushima, Japan have this summer sowed sunflower seeds at a city plaza. The planting is part of their overall efforts to recover from the epic earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear plant disaster by removing radioactive materials from the soil.

For many people the Sunflower plantings — and the majestic floral coronas and seeds they promise – bring spirals of hope. Sunflowers, it is said, have the healing capacity to absorb radioactive substances. Having been seriously compromised with toxic nuclear radiation, much of Japan is in need of creative efforts to respond to the call of the land and restore balance. The planting of sunflowers is one positive, proactive step in that direction.

In technical terms, this kind of planting to heal poisoned land is called phytoremediation – the use of plants to absorb pollutants from air, water, and soil.

The Fukushima sunflower project is one of many international efforts at phytoremediation, including an extensive planting at the Chernobyl nuclear disaster site in the Ukraine. Phytoremediation takes advantage of the fact that green plants can extract and concentrate certain elements within their ecosystem. In this way, pollutants are either removed from the soil and groundwater or rendered harmless.

Many institutes and companies around the world are testing different plants’ effectiveness at removing a wide range of contaminants. Overall, phytoremediation has potential for responding creatively — and gracefully — to the call of the land by using flowers and other plants to clean up toxic metals, pesticides, solvents, explosives and nuclear radiation.

The Sunflowers

Come with me
into the field of sunflowers.
Their faces are burnished disks,

their dry spines

creak like ship masts,
their green leaves,
so heavy and many,
fill all day with the sticky
sugars of the sun…

— by Mary Oliver

Sower & Harvester: Agrarian Apha and Omega

July 8, 2011

now is

The Harvester by Dale Nichols.

The Bone Creek Museum of Agrarian Art,  will host an educational event from 1-4 p.m. Saturday, July 16. The event will begin with Chief Curator Mark Moseman introducing this year’s Chautauqua on artist Dale Nichols, the renowned Nebraska artist.

Journalist Steven McFadden of Lincoln — author of Farms of Tomorrow and The Call of the Land — will offer a Chautauqua presentation on the theme, “The Sower and the Harvester: Nebraska’s Agrarian Bookends.”

The Chautauqua will conclude with Ruth Nichols sharing Reminisces, and then The Frontier Strings — 15 violins led by Dr. David Jasper — will close the afternoon out with a performance guaranteed to stir creative agrarian impulses.

Bone Creek – America’s preeminent agrarian museum — is located at 575 E St., David City, Nebraska.

The Sower - 20-foot high bronze statue by Lee Lawrie atop the Nebraska State Capitol in Lincoln.

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