Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Considering Fundamentalism

I have finally begun reading John Krakauer's Under the Banner of Heaven. It has spurred many thoughts and conversations at work about religion, fundamentalism, belief systems, and, believe it or not, South Park! My quick research into Mormon Fundamentalism, the UEP (United Effort Plan), and polygamy yielded interesting reading. Here are a few sites to consider: -- Bountiful, BC is rather close to our new home. We may have to make a trip soon!

The book poses deep questions about the zeal of fundamentalism, religious patriarchal hierarchies, abuse in the name of God and the interplay of church and state. It is not lost on me that the U.S. is sending troops to their deaths overseas to stamp out Islamic fundamentalism, at the same time turning a rather blind eye to the abuses of various churches right here on our soil...

Happy reading!

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Scotchman Peak

Our friend Carla came to visit and we took a gorgeous hike up the highest peak in the Idaho Cabinet Mountains. Lovely views and great stone art up top. The girls were so excited to be up top, they were dancin'!

On Sunday, we took a long, but lovely drive to Christina Lake in Canada to meet Shannon's relatives -- definitely worth a stop if you are in the area:

Friday, August 26, 2005

A new tact...

Here is one company trying to change the means of production...

Or their website:

Of course, they are using sex to sell...ah well.

Corporate Interests

I have been inspired to continue my investigations of "the corporation" due to recent conversations at work with Dennis Pence, the founder and CEO of Coldwater, as well as some friends in the merchandising department. There seem to be conflicting opinions as to the nature of our relationship with our overseas suppliers and manufacturers. It seems Dennis believes that the company is conscious and intentional (or at least seeks to be) in ensuring that the factories which produce our products are "healthy" and in compliance with health and safety standards. According to some folks in the sourcing department, this may not always be the case. So, I have decided to investigate. I made a lunch date with the VP of Sourcing, who is currently in Guatemala and will also try to speak with others involved in these matters.

My intention is less to stir the pot internally and cause rebellion -- but more to get a better understanding of the complexity of "First/Third World" dependencies when it comes to manufacturing. I also care to avoid the comfort of ignorance -- to be at least somewhat accountable for the decision to work within a corporate setting and the impact it is having. I want to know when the earnings are announced and the stock jumps 4 points in a day that this is not at the expense of many other lives. Perhaps I already know the answer to this truth...perhaps I already do know that this is the case -- but I want exposure to the details. I realized yet again the other day that I pay taxes to a government that I really do not know -- that I am ignorant as to my participation in what the U.S. does around the world. Such powerful collusion that keeps that average "American" dis/mis-informed...

So,there will be a few postings coming on the subject. I was ashamed at my first visit to Wal-Mart recently -- only underscored today reading this article:
I am continuing to consider "accountability by participation" and the complexities of it all. More soon.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Motivational Message of the Day

"I can't spell success without 'u'!"

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Sunday in Sandpoint

My first Sunday at work...we are preparing for tomorrow's start of the Coldwater Creek University -- a week-long manager training extravaganza. The whole team is here, getting feels good to be part of a team that is psyched to work together, even on the "sabbath..."

A few recent highlights:
Check her out -- she is an AMAZING fiddler from Cape Breton. What a show!

Shannon and I met a slew of new friends this week, which bodes well for our future and continued enjoyment of Sandpoint.

We also found a wonderful location for a new Java joint by morning, wine store by night which I think would be a fabulous gig for Shannon! It is operated in conjunction with the local art/film house, the Panida Theater. Anyone want to invest? We were thinking we would host "Stay out of Starbucks Sundays!" Stay tuned!

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Considering the Corporation

Took a night out to watch the first half of the documentary, The Corporation -- an indictment of the "corporation" defined as "a legal person under the law." This classification, the film explains, allowed for the business entity (and all its constituents) to be protected by the 14th Ammendment, which was instead designed to free and enfranchise African-Americans from the devastations of slavery. The film likens this "corporate" body to a psychopath and features many brilliant minds giving commentary. It is a must-see.

Watching it made me long for the days of active theoretical discussions about Foucault, about power structures and about "exposing the apparatus." It made me squirm a bit to find myself back inside the corporation; and, at the same time, asked me to consider how Coldwater Creek is attempting (to the extent possible given its corporate imperatives) to create structures to give back to it employees. HOWEVER, and this is one big however, I am disquieted this morning in my imaginations of the environments in which our clothes are being sewn, the cottons are being harvested, the dyes are being recalls the Sweet Honey and the Rock song, "Are My Hands Clean?" Listen here:

Of course, my hands are not clean -- for even if I am not working here, training managers to sell more of our clothes and serve the customer with grace -- I still wear products produced by corporations, still eat foods manufactured by corporations, buy gas, pay utilities, purchase cds, drive a you see the ubiquitousness of it all...right back to Foucault's "subtle madness of Western institutional logic."

Have a nice day!

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Coming Attractions

Locals and non-locals alike flood to Sandpoint this week for a festival of music and art. Shannon and I are going to see Natalie MacMaster and the Be Good Tanyas tomorrow night when she returns from Seattle. Should be great! Then Saturday, we peruse art down at City Beach, as we get set up on a "blind date" with other lesbians that our friend Bob the Bartender wants us to meet! The fun never stops!

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Morning Feelings

The last 24 hours I have had unsettledness in my mind/heart. I felt moody without cause or predisposing event. It was frustrating me as I drove into work this morning -- then, I remembered that I was a 4...

Some things, you just can't fight.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Local Birds of Prey

The birds here are incredible. Yesterday, as I was swimming, I watched a bald eagle hunting over the water. The most plentiful bird of prey is the Osprey -- Pandion haliaetus. They are swift, large and create huge nests atop electric poles.

Then there are the of the greatest automotive hazards in the area...

"It's Elementary, My Dear Watson!" or "I think we may have a problem..."

We are trying to work with Shannon's brother, Chris, on more appropriate early child education for his son Watson...

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Playing Cards

This morning as I drove amidst the early mornin fog back to Sandpoint, I was considering the origin of playing cards. The thought-train went something like:

Recollections of the dream that I awoke to in which my house in Seattle was falling into its foundation -- How things change when we are not there to see them -- Impermanence -- A house of cards tumbling -- Illusory control -- Deconstruction -- The fleetingness of youth -- play -- playing cards -- When did playing cards arrive on the scene...

So, to spare you the whole journey:

Priest Lake with the Barnes Crew

Family reunion of the Barnes gang -- Buddy and Bonnie hosting kids and grandkids to a lovely weekend of fun, sunshine, food, wine, chatter. This will be the same gang that will travel together to Maui for Thanksgiving.

Buddy was center stage with the wine tasting on Sat. night. We sampled an array of Tandem "Peloton" wines -- Pinot blends from 2001, 2002, 2003. Opinions varied, but the 2002 seemed to prevail. We learned that the Cabernet is the "king" of wines, while merlots are more the red-headed stepchild...go figure, I love merlots.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Morning Poetry

Two of my favorites from Rumi

...the way of love is not a subtle argument.
The door there is devastation.
Birds make great sky-circles of their freedom
How do they learn it?
They fall, and falling, they're given wings.

A moment of happiness,
you and I sitting on the verandah,
apparently two, but one in soul, you and I.
We feel the flowing water of life here,
you and I, with the garden's beauty
and the birds singing.
The stars will be watching us,
and we will show them
what it is to be a thin crescent moon.
You and I unselfed, will be together,
indifferent to idle speculation, you and I.
The parrots of heaven will be cracking sugar
as we laugh together, you and I.
In one form upon this earth,
and in another form in a timeless sweet land.

About Rumi
"Rumi was born on the Eastern shores of the Persian Empire in 1207 (in the city of Balkh in what is now Afghanistan), and finally settled in the town of Konya, in what is now Turkey. His life story reads like a fairy tale. A charming noble man, a genius theologian, a brilliant sober scholar, meets a wandering and wild "holy man" by the name of Shams, and almost overnight is transformed. It seems that the universe brought these two opposing characters together to remind us for eternity that it is never what you expect when it comes to personal transformation. It is impossible to know where your next inspiration may come from, or who will become the conduit for your transformation. For Rumi the life of mystics is a "gathering of lovers, where there is no high or low, smart or ignorant, no proper schooling required." Rumi and his spiritual friend Shams left an undying legacy of the way-of-the-heart triumphing over pure, cold logic." --Shahram Shiva

Thursday, August 04, 2005

For those who do not yet know her...

This is the lovely Shannon Elizabeth Barnes...

Java's First Skunk Detox Bath

Recipe for Success:

Hydrogen Peroxide + Baking Soda + Cider Vinegar + Dawn Dish Soap + a lot of scrubbin'!

A view into our world

Here is a mini-tour of our living digs. We are 8 miles out of Sandpoint proper, 6 miles away from Coldwater Creek. We love our home and the surrounding area. We have our own little beach cabana down at the lake; and we are walking distance to the bird sanctuary.

Shannon has become adept at mowing the great lawn...I am becoming the family cook. The animals are exploring new ways of being. As Shannon often says, "There is nothing else I would rather be doing and no one else I would rather be with..."

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Sunday Fun

Check out #108 and #142 overall!

It really is this good...

Thought sitting down at the lake while Java chases dragonflies...

To find happiness amidst the pains of our humanness – to eek out whatever pleasures she can come to know in whatever state of mind/body she is to find herself in. To simply give herself to the moment – to the now – to the enormous impossibility of it all.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

This is the beginning...

We have arrived and life is at full throttle. We begin at the beginning...