Oregon Pilgrim

writings about travel


52 Weeks to Simplicity

Week 32: Giss

In Malcolm Gladwell's enjoyable read, Blink, he builds a case for how to "thin-slice" situations. By honing our abilities to focus on small, but important, things, we can make quick and correct judgments. We have words to describe this particular... Continue Reading →


Week 31: Keep On

I don't have much to say. I'm starting a new job. I'm managing the homeschooling of our four daughters. I'm trying to be strong for a husband frustrated with his life in the world. His little brother committed suicide a... Continue Reading →

Week 30: Things I Know

Today, I found a crumpled piece of paper at the bottom of my briefcase. This is what it said. Things I know: * I am a writer * I am a reader * I have committed publicly to complete a... Continue Reading →

Week 29: An Alphabet of Grace

Martyrdom is out of style today -- at least in relationships. Sacrifice is often spun as dysfunction and accepting abuse. The key to sacrifice is having a self to lay down. Without possession of a self, sacrifice becomes oppression. Think... Continue Reading →

Week 28: A Pipe Smoke

We don't have a single "clean freak" in the family. Some of us have always had a high tolerance for "messy"; some of us have learned over time that "messy" isn't worth stressing about. That would be me. I grew... Continue Reading →

Week 27: A Few Forces Below

Over the years, I found one rule. It is the only one I give on those occasions when I talk about writing. A simple rule. If you tell yourself you are going to be at your desk tomorrow, you are by that declaration asking your unconscious to prepare the material. You are, in effect, contracting to pick up such valuables at a given time. Count on me, you are saying to a few forces below: I will be there to write. Norman Mailer.

Week 26: Sacred Rituals

Last week, Paul baptized the girls in the Deschutes River. Friends and family witnessed the sacred proclamations made by our daughters. Rituals, when done right, help us tap into our imaginations. They help our minds and hearts to leap beyond... Continue Reading →

Week 25: Sacred Idleness

Certainly work is not always required of a man. There is such a thing as a sacred idleness - the cultivation of which is now fearfully neglected. George MacDonald. This week we gained access to a third car which freed my... Continue Reading →

Week 24: More on One-Liners for Life

A few weeks ago, I said I would publish my one-liner for life. A one-liner for a novel is a quick summary. So many people ask, "What is your novel about?" It's important to answer that question in a sentence.... Continue Reading →

Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: