This animated adaptation of my favorite short reading, “The Man Who Planted Trees” by Jean Giono, won an academy award in 1987. In my opinion, the translation is the best out there: similar to the most common one, but more accessible in its English. A transcript wasn’t available online, so this morning, I transcribed it to include in my readings packet for the field. I hope you enjoy it!
Many years ago, I set out on a walking tour high in the Alps, a region quite unknown to travelers where ancient mountains thrust down into Provence. The trek began on barren moors twelve or thirteen hundred meters above sea level through land that was bleak and monotonous. Nothing grew there but wild lavender. My route led across Continue reading >>
I’ve been telling people all summer
about a tradition I’ve heard of.
In some Australian and American cultures,
nobody celebrates birthdays.
Instead, when they’ve reached
a new stage in life,
become a new and better version of themselves,
they take on a new name.
And I ask,
how would I know when it’s time?
Which questions would I need to ask?
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In working fall semesters for NOLS, students have the privilege to explore some of my most loved places: backpacking in the the Wind River Range, boating on desert rivers, and canyoneering on Cedar Mesa in southern Utah. This is a short selection of films I’ve been showing students this fall (and watching myself) for inspiration about upcoming adventures.
The Important Places
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I have been examining in myself the same question you asked me: how to keep the experience alive. While I certainly don’t have the answers I hope I can offer some ideas. To start, I think that the question you ask might not be the right question. I think that it’s very common question to ask for anybody who has just lived one of the biggest (if not the biggest) adventures Continue reading >>
I have a strange love for leaving places. I love the nostalgia. I love the feeling of starting new things and the feeling that the world is bigger than I can imagine. I even have special music that I listen to when I’m getting everything ready to go. Last night, Van Morrison sang “Into The Mystic” from a portable speaker as I stuffed the last shirts into my backpack and searched the instructor flat for anything I might have forgotten. When all my things were packed though, something was still unfinished though. I needed to say goodbye. Not goodbye to Continue reading >>
On the final night of the 10-day Buddhist retreat in Bodh Gaya, I walk with five students to the Bodhi Tree. On an ordinary day about two thousand six hundred years ago, Siddhartha Gautama sat down to meditate under this tree and made a vow not to move until he had realized the answers to life’s biggest questions. Seven weeks later, he arose Continue reading >>