Article s About This Journey Of Life

Earth Day ~ Sense of Place XI

By Caroline Fairless / April 18, 2018

It is a very good thing to celebrate Earth Day. Any time people are encouraged to spend time outdoors is an opportunity for breathing and healing. Being outdoors can be a mystical experience, quite beyond a “task oriented” proposition. Earth Day then, need not be a call to action, for example, environmental clean-up. Earth Day…

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Kibble Walks ~ Sense of Place Part X

By Caroline Fairless / March 24, 2018

             I am often asked by people who have read my most recent book, The God Presumption, if I really gift the bark of trees with dog kibble. Yes I do, even in the coldest of our New Hampshire winters; on my return from the early morning walk, I sometimes require half an hour in…

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Book Announcement ~ The God Presumption

By Caroline Fairless / December 8, 2017

 

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Ray Charles and His Gift of America

By Caroline Fairless / July 4, 2017

The 4th of July holiday has always been a difficult one for me, for reasons I will name below. But because of the public nature of my work, I have never been able to pretend it away. During the many years I was an active clergy person, and despite underground grumbles of “separation of church…

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White Pines, Slugs, And a Wayfinding

By Caroline Fairless / June 28, 2017

Before I address the fact that I’ve not posted in a long time, I want to share a story. My three rescue dogs and I walk through our woodlands three times a day, maybe four, maybe more, depending on how the day is unfolding. We walk through a predominantly white pine forest, with some birch,…

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To Know Them By Name

By Caroline Fairless / February 24, 2017

The early 14th century Sufi poet Hafiz writes: Listen to the music. I am the concert that flows from the mouth of every creature, singing with the myriad chords. The story from The Daily Good to which this verse was attached was titled Singing to Tomatoes, and it caught my fancy. I am enthralled with…

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Citizen of Earth

By Caroline Fairless / February 15, 2017

Francis Bellamy was a Christian socialist minister ousted from his own pulpit for espousing Jesus as a socialist, and preaching against the evils of capitalism. Maybe this is new news for some of us, but Bellamy’s original version of The Pledge of Allegiance was intended for citizens of any country. I pledge allegiance to my…

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Eco-Justice and Social Justice, Entangled

By Caroline Fairless / July 30, 2016

I have said many times in my writings and teaching that it is not possible to address the issue of human social justice without embedding it in the broader concept of eco-justice. Not is it possible to address the issue of human diversity without embedding it in the concept of biodiversity. The reason I say…

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There is no “We” in White

By Caroline Fairless / July 9, 2016

I can’t seem to find my starting point today, the week of Alton Sterling’s killing in Baton Rouge and Philando Castile’s killing in Minnesota, and now the fatal shootings in Dallas. So I’ll begin with what I know. The planet – the biosphere – is a web, interconnected, and interdependent. Everything provides sustenance – and…

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Sacred Water ~ Sacred Ritual

By Caroline Fairless / March 31, 2016

Because I am convinced that it’s through ritual designed for what people are calling the new narrative that we come to know earth and water, creature, air, and fire as sacred, deserving of our most respectful and devout care, I’d like to share with you a ritual for the coming of spring. A group of…

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Getting to Know You ~ Sense of Place Part IX

By Caroline Fairless / March 2, 2016

I once thought that my husband Jim and I had bought and therefore owned this beautiful land parcel in Central New Hampshire. But over the years we’ve lived here, the idea that we actually own the land we walk – or any other land, for that matter – has become increasingly untenable. We do not…

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To Re-establish Kinship ~ Sense of Place Part VIII

By Caroline Fairless / December 29, 2015

To Re-establish Kinship As pastor of a California congregation whose commitment was to the development of a paradigm for multi-generational worship, the challenge for me was to honor the traditional practices of the church while at the same time redesigning the elements of the ritual in such a way that any one, of any age…

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A Sense of Place Part VII ~ Coming Home

By Caroline Fairless / October 29, 2015

Lori Arviso Alvord is the first Navajo woman surgeon. In her book The Scalpel and the Silver Bear she chronicles her wayfinding, first to Dartmouth College as an undergraduate, then to Stanford Medical School. Born of a Navajo father and a “blond-haired, blue-eyed, and very attractive” mother, there was not ever a time that Lori…

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The Paris Summit on Climate Change ~ Why We Care

By Caroline Fairless / September 24, 2015

“As you prepare to come to the Paris Summit in December, we would like to ask you to think about your personal role, and answer a simple, but profound, question: Why do I care?” Organised by Nicolas Hulot, special envoy for the French President for the protection of the planet,  the letter asks each delegation member…

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Sense of Place Part VI ~ The Dance of Beauty and Gratitude

By Caroline Fairless / August 2, 2015

It is not new news that my three dogs walk me or entice me at least three and sometimes four times a day down to the little pond which borders our property. It’s not a long walk, maybe half a mile round trip, and my husband Jim, by cutting a switchback trail up the ridge,…

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Anthropology ~ In Search of a Broader Context

By Caroline Fairless / February 15, 2015

Throughout her lifetime, my mom was a naturalist. She had a way about her with the other-than-human world, and was never more content than when she was in the moose and bear country of Montana. She had been moving rocks, one day, in a portion of the creek that ran through her property, and felt…

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Eco-spiritual Dimensions of Green Burial ~ Sense of Place Part V

By Caroline Fairless / December 30, 2014

In my growing up years, we didn’t talk about carbon footprints, diminishing rain forests, loss of wildlife habitat, and the destruction of boreal forests. We certainly didn’t talk about dying and death, nor our cultural propensity to send off loved ones in mahogany coffins placed snugly into plastic or concrete vaults. We didn’t talk about…

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From Beavers to Deep Ecology

By Caroline Fairless / December 30, 2014

I can’t imagine a better real life drama of the battle between those who dismiss beavers as good-for-nothing rats with wide tails and those who understand the ecological benefits and offer hospitality and protection to them, than the one that lives right in my neighborhood. It’s a battle every bit as enthralling as some of…

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Re-imagining the Lowly Spider

By Caroline Fairless / August 24, 2014

It saddens and sometimes angers me that spiders generate such fear and sense of repulsion. And so it’s heartening to know that there are people who love spiders, who are fascinated by them. I wouldn’t claim to be particularly comfortable around spiders, but I wish them no harm. In fact, when I know my husband…

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Sense of Place ~ Today my Home Floats

By Caroline Fairless / June 5, 2014

It is two o’clock on a Wednesday afternoon, the spring semester of 1971. I am sitting in the back row of a basement classroom. The room is hot and airless; my black beans and rice squat heavily in my stomach; it’s the drowsing hour. We are beginning part two of a three hour senior level…

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