Bev Riverwood: An Accidental Activist

My guest this past week on KOWS Wise Woman Storytime was Beverly  Riverwood. Bev has had many careers over her long life as a teacher, potter and stone carver. She founded  the Marin Women Artists’ Collective and Marin Women’s News Journal. She opened a successful riding school in Marin where children traveled the trails between Pt. Reyes and the Golden Gate.  She has a degree in law, sings with the Occidental Choir,  plays the harp and writes.  She is one of the 9 members of the West County Writers’ Circle who just published their first book,  Stories From the Left Coast: Nevertheless They Persisted. 

In the late 1960’s Bev moved with her husband and young children to Denver, Colorado expecting an idyllic, serene and laid back lifestyle in the beautiful Rocky Mountains.  Surprised by a series of earthquakes that were not part of the natural geological order and unsettled by a suspicious notification in a local newspaper,  Bev did a bit of delving and discovered a dangerous dark cloud looming over her new home.  Her subsequent actions, inquiries and organizing ultimately preserved the health and vitality of the Rocky Mountains and the humans and creatures who live there while forever altering her life path.

I invite you to listen to Bev’s story and learn how she and a small cadre of young women successfully challenged the Atomic Energy Commission, The Bureau of Mines, the gas and oil industry, local and state governments and halted the use of nuclear bombs to frack oil out of the Rocky Mountains.

Margaret Meade said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” 

This story took place over 40 years ago and is as relevant today as it was yesterday. Bev’s story demonstrates how a few passionate and determined people can fight injustice, challenge the  system, and indeed make a difference. There are many lessons here for all of us.  I invite you to listen.

By Roberta Teller

 

 

 

Sher Christian: Star Kissed Shadows, Poetry, Divination and More

Poetry as an art form probably predates literacy. It is believed that the earliest poems were recited or sung as a way of remembering oral history, genealogy and the law.

And today, this magical art form is alive, well and thriving.

Step into any library or bookstore and you will see shelves filled with past and current poets. Almost as easily, you can find an open mic, or poetry slam nearby and hear local artists reciting their own and others poems offering us windows to the deepest parts of ourselves and the world we live in.

This week’s Wise Woman Storytime Show was about this ancient art – its allure, magnetism, power and potential for new visions, insights, vistas and understandings.

My guest Sher Christian, the author of Star Kissed Shadows: Divining Poetry, is a Sonoma County poet and visionary and has her own unique take on poetry.  Through poetry, Sher offers us all some new avenues for personal introspection and transformation.

I invite you to listen to her show, hear her story, enjoy her poetry and learn how writing poetry or listening to others words and images may open up new horizons for you.

Mary Oliver said, ”Poetry is a life-cherishing force…for poems are not words after all, but fires for the cold, ropes let down to the lost, something as necessary as bread in the pockets of the hungry.”

Sher Christian offers us a window into this life-cherishing force. Today you get to hear her story.

If you would like more information about Sher, read her poetry, attend an Open Mic or purchase her book, you can contact her at http://lusciouspoetry.typepad.com

By Roberta Teller

 

From the Ashes: A New Vision

Just a few weeks ago, in the early hours of October 9th, some of us started looking around our homes and stepping outside because we were smelling smoke. We were met with ashes raining down in  50 – 60 mph winds.  In other parts of our beloved Sonoma and Napa Counties some of us  were being awakened by frantic knocks on the door and bullhorns screaming “Evacute now.”  As doors were opened, raging 20-30 foot flames were bearing down on them, their homes, businesses and communities.  With no time to waste, frantic choices had to be made about pets, neighbors and what should be gathered as people ran for their lives. Inhaling toxic smoke, hearing the  sounds and smells of exploding gas lines and propane tanks and flames traveling at 230 feet per second, our friends, neighbors, and family members fled into the night and into a community that soon would embrace them with food, shelter, financial and emotional support and open arms as they faced the unknown.

A little over 2 weeks now, with containment still not 100%, hot spots are flaring up, our hills and lands are still parched and dry,  over 40 people are dead, neighborhoods have been decimated, 5700 structures and local institutions destroyed and everyone – the fire victims, the evacuees, and the witnesses are just beginning to assess and process the magnitude of this event.

As the cinders cool and our friends and neighbors return to what is left and what is no longer, we are all beginning  to reflect on what was, what is and maybe what can be. There are lessons here that not only can transform how we keep our homes and families safe in the event of a disaster, but there are bigger and much deeper and profound personal learnings about community, living on our beautiful and precious planet, and about death and grief and life. 

My guest today is one person who can glean a new vision from these ashes. She is someone who can look amidst the rubble and with a different lens find the precious non material gems that offer us all a new paradigm for living richer, fuller and more connected lives. 

I invite you to listen to her story and see if you too can envision a new life trajectory that values aliveness over numbness, stewardess over ownership and a path to deeper connections to ourselves, others and our planet.

If you would like more information about Death Cafes,  future workshops beginning in 2018, and to be added to Tess’s mailing list, you can contact Tess at tesslorraine@mac.com

By Roberta Teller

 

Keeping Cannabis Compatible with Local Communities

Every once in a while Wise Woman Storytime puts the spotlight on a wise elder man and we get to hear a personal story from his life.  Such is the case this week. Local activist, farmer, and teacher Shepherd Bliss, a supporter of medical marijuana recently was part of a neighborhood action when it was discovered that 2 illegal industrial sized cannabis farms had sprung up overnight in his community defying environmental regulations, ignoring code requirements and just plain common decency and respect for all. The two farms were shut down by county officials within a few days.

These events have taken Shepherd on a path towards unraveling the complexities of how this now legal and potential billion dollar crop will be managed and enforced by government. It has motivated him to explore the environmental, political and cultural impact on the quality of life in rural communities and the ramifications of this industry on longtime small local growers as large corporations and rogue growers  buy up land, begin large scale production and may very likely  process and distribute the cannabis in local communities as well.

While Shepherd’s story begins in a small rural neighborhood in west county, this is an issue that potentially affects our water safety and supply, our environment (including increasing the possibilities for more floods and out of control fires) and the quality of life for everyone.

Sonoma County is currently issuing permits to growers while still figuring out the rules, codes, and zoning regulations.  Corporations are moving in and rogue growers are setting up industrialized farms in local neighborhoods as small local growers are being pushed out. 

Never has our involvement, participation and input in this process been more important. The future of our county and quality of life is at stake. 

Margaret Meade said, “ Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

Scroll down to listen to Shepherd’s story and read the links.  Learn what is going on and help us create the county we want to live in.

Sonoma County Advisory Group Meetings:

         The next meetings of the Sonoma County Group are scheduled for Wednesdays October 25 and December 6th.  All meetings begin at 3pm.  Arrive early to get a seat.  The meetings are held at the PRMD Hearing Room 2550 Ventura Blvd. Santa Rosa.

                

Cannabis articles by Shepherd Bliss

                                September articles

Shepherd Bliss: Cannabis cultivating re-visited, Augusta Free Press-Sep 25, 2017, Readers of this reporter’s August local and national articles on unpermitted cannabis growing expressed both appreciations and appropriate …

(Virginia, permits comments)

http://www.hopedance.org/home/food-news/3080-cannabis-cultivating-re-visited (permits comments, well illustrated)

ZCommunications » Latest ZNet, https://zcomm.org/latest-znet/Shepherd Bliss: Cannabis Cultivating Re-Visited. I support cannabis growing by locals on appropriate sites that do …(Boston, allows comments)

International Cannabis Laws | Cannabis Research Consultants

cannabisresearchconsultants.com/laws/international/Check out our news feed of interesting international cannabis laws. … Shepherd Bliss: Cannabis cultivating re-visited · Shepherd Bliss: …

Health Canada to Launch Cannabis Awareness Public Health …

https://doncastercannabis.club/health-canada-to-launch-cannabis-awareness-public-he…Health Canada to Launch Cannabis Awareness Public Health Campaign. 25/09/ … Shepherd Bliss: Cannabis cultivating re-visited. next post …

Cannabis Cultivating Re-Visited : Expats Post

Cannabis Cultivating Re-Visited, Dissident Voice-6 hours ago

Sonoma County, California — Readers of this reporter’s August local and national articles on unpermitted cannabis growing expressed both …

http://www.smirkingchimp.com/thread/shepherd-bliss/75331/cannabis-cultivating-re-visited. (comments allowed)

https://dissidentvoice.org/2017/09/cannabis-cultivating-re-visited/

Cannabis Cultivating Re-Visited – Counterpunch

https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/09/26/cannabis-cultivating-re-visited/

I have visited small and medium-size cottage cannabis operations and been …. Shepherd Bliss teaches college part time, farms, and has …

http://winewaterwatch.org/2017/09/cannabis-cultiva…r-shepherd-bliss/

Augusta Capital Ltd: NZE:AUG quotes & news – Google Finance

finance.google.com/finance?q=NZE:AUG, Shepherd Bliss: Cannabis cultivating re-visited. Augusta Free Press .

13. http://www.waccobb.net/forums/showthread.php?124061-Re-Illegal-Cannabis-Growing&p=215516#post215516 (allows comments)

                                   August Articles

Neighbors Shut Down Illegal Cannabis Grow – Sonoma County Gazette

www.sonomacountygazette.com/sonoma…/neighbors-shut-down-illegal-cannabis-gro…Neighbors Shut Down Illegal Cannabis Grow. Aug 30, 2017 by Shepherd Bliss. Share: Disclosure: I am a Peace in Medicine patient. CBD-rich cannabis …

Shut It Down | Open Mic | North Bay Bohemian, http://bit.ly/2wIU4DA

/shut-it down/ Neighbors rally against illegal cannabis grows. … Shepherd Bliss (3sb@comcast. net) has farmed the Sebastopol countryside for 24 years and …(allows comments)

“Thank you for posting this. It’s been an open secret for many years that people have been growing pot here in Sonoma County. We have a pre-existing culture already in place that supports this underground business. Now, with the legalization of cannabis, it is has never been more important to move towards county policies of accountability on everyone’s part – and that includes growers, lawmakers, code enforcement, clearly articulated zoning laws and neighbors not looking the other way, but instead holding their neighbors accountable.

I voted yes to legalize the growing of cannabis. I did not vote yes to support blackmarket businesses that suck the life out of our communities. We need everyone on board to stop the rogue growers now.”

Posted by Roberta Teller on 08/23/2017 at 5:31 PM, Bohemian online.

Waking Up

I greatly appreciated Shepherd Bliss’ “Shut It Down” (Open Mic, Aug. 23). His and his neighbors’ actions inspire me to rouse from my “it’s inevitable” victim attitude toward possibly illegal cannabis operations. Taking action against rule breakers has nothing to do with whether we ourselves are cannabis consumers, or how we feel about the burgeoning pot culture.

—Randi Farkas, Sebastopol, published 8/30, Bohemian.

http://augustafreepress.com/neighbors-shut-illegal-cannabis-grows/ , from Virginia, (allows comments)

http://www.smirkingchimp.com/thread/shepherd-bliss/74742/neighbors-shut-down-illegal-cannabis-grows (allows comments)

http://dissidentvoice.org/2017/08/neighbors-shut-down-illegal-cannabis-grows/

Neighbors Shut Down Illegal Cannabis Grow – Wine And Water Watch, winewaterwatch.org/2017/08/neighbors-shut-down-illegal-cannabis-grow/ Neighbors Shut Down Illegal Cannabis Grow by Dr. Shepherd Bliss. Disclosure: I’ m a Peace in Medicine patient. CBD-rich cannabis improves …)

Pacific Views, www.pacificviews.org/ Neighbors Shut Down Illegal Cannabis Grows by Shepherd Bliss.

Wine And Water Watch | ecology.iww.org

https://ecology.iww.org/aggregator/sources/511, Neighbors Shut Down Illegal Cannabis Grow by Dr. Shepherd Bliss … I support cannabis growing that follows the rules and does not endanger creeks, wildlife, …

Posts by Shepherd Bliss | Orbitt.net, https://orbitt.net/author/shepherd-bliss/

Aug 23, 2017 – Sonoma County, Northern California — One of the United States’ top four cannabis-growing counties is Sonoma County, California. In 2016, it …

Out of the Mountains: The Chick fil A Recipe

thisandthatat.blogspot.com/2012/08/the-chick-fil-recipe.html

Neighbors Shut Down Illegal Cannabis Grows by Shepherd Bliss;

Mendocino County Today: Thursday, Aug. 24, 2017 | Anderson Valley …

theava.com/archives/72573, (Dr. Shepherd Bliss {3sb@comcast.net} has farmed in Sebastopol for 24 …

Regulation – Friends of the Eel River, eelriver.org/tag/regulation/feed/

The basic questions about Humboldt’s commercial cannabis industry are land use issues. ….. Sebastopol organic berry farmer Shepherd Bliss has helped rally a ..

Policy Forum: “We didn’t go in with a plan. We went in with a theory”

policywonk.blogs.com/oipp/2004/10/we_didnt_go_in_.html, Neighbors Shut Down Illegal Cannabis Grows by Shepherd Bliss;

Russian River Times (print edition only, accepts long letters).

15. Re: Illegal Cannabis Growing – WaccoBB, www.waccobb.net › … › Sonoma County Bulletin Board › General Community, Aug 24, 2017 – https://ecology.iww.org/aggregator/sources/511, Neighbors Shut Down Illegal Cannabis Grow by Dr. Shepherd Bliss … I support cannabis …

Louise Nayer: Are You Poised for Retirement?

Throughout our lives we go through a myriad of transitions…….we enter school, we graduate, we leave home, move, travel the world, get married, get divorced and start new jobs to name a few. All of these experiences are wrought with a complexity of feelings –  great hope and possibilities on the one hand and fears and anxieties of entering into the unknown on the other.

As baby boomers age, this year alone 3.2 to 3.5 million people will be transitioning out of the work world and entering into some version of retirement. 

Needless to say, there is tremendous potential for this time of life and yet  the dreams we have- whatever they may be- may be challenged with insecurities about money, self-identity and questions like, “ Can I afford it?” “ Who am? “ “Now what do I do?????

Louise Mayer, author of Poised for Retirement; Moving from Anxiety to Zen was my guest  this week on Wise Woman Storytime. Louise  is no stranger to personal introspection. On her journey towards  facing her own retirement, she met many of her fears and anxieties along the way.   Always reflective, she looked within, interviewed others and looked at research to best inform her decisions, choices and soothe her worried self.   Her inquiries not only resulted in her latest book, but provide real life, practical suggestions for anyone who will one day leave the work place. 

I invite you to listen to her story.  There are lessons here for all of us.

Louise’s website is louisenayer.com.

By Roberta Teller

 

Debby Meagher: Living in Joy

If you live in Sonoma County odds are that you have been to Coffee Catz  – that homey, friendly cafe where you might meet a friend or make new ones. At Coffee Catz you certainly might  enjoy a delicious  organic salad, a bowl of freshly made soup or a delicious pastry. Odds are that you very well  might walk into an open mic or poetry event, hear live music or sit down yourself and play a few tunes on the beautiful baby grand yourself.

It’s obvious from the first time you step into this legend of a business that you have entered into a very special space.  And if you have the good luck to be there when the owner is around, you will likely get a warm smile or a big hug.

My guest this past week on Wise Woman Storytime was Debby Meagher, the owner extraordinaire of Coffee Catz and a west county icon herself. I invite you to listen to her story.  Learn how and why she  created Coffee Catz and the special life ingredients that she puts into her cafe, food, relationships and life.

You can find Debby on Youtube’s Joy Channel Center for More Joy

By Roberta Teller

Leiah Bowden: Walking Her path. Living Her truth.

We live in a world today where information is literally at our fingertips and knowledge is highly valued. But knowledge is NOT the be all and end all.  Albert Einstein said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution.”

Today we’re going to hear a story from a woman who values imagination and intuition as a path to a richer, fuller  more fulfilled and connected creative life.  And she should know, because it’s been her life long journey and taken her to unimaginable places.

My guest this week on KOWS Wise Woman Storytime was artist, writer, animal communicator and spiritual mentor Leiah Bowden. Intution, imagination, and positive energy are essential ingredients in Leiah’s work and life path.

She has a story to tell that may very well change your view of the world and offers us all a new lens for living, learning, and connecting. 

You can learn more about Leiah and her work by visiting  her  website  at http://www.lightspeak.com/.  Her email is  yes@lightspeak.com.  

By Roberta Teller

 

Tess Lorraine: Death: A New Paradigm for Living

In our culture, aging, dying and death are often talked about in whispered and hushed tones and often viewed as an enemy to be defeated and overcome. 

But what if we had a different paradigm……one that accepts and even embraces the end of life as a passage as sacred and blessed as the birth of child?

What if we looked to death as a great teacher informing us about living fully and reminding us about who we are, the gifts we have and the potential for a legacy that goes beyond our finite years?

My guest this week on Wise Woman Storytime, Tess Lorraine offers us a new lens and worldview that transforms conventional thinking about aging, dying and the end of life with a template for the rich possibilities that this life stage can offer.

Deeply personal, Tess’s story is a universal tale.  It is what can happen within a family system as each family member comes face to face with their own attitudes, values, and belief systems as they individually and collectively care for and attend to all the needs of a dying loved one.

It is a story of how despite having end of life directives, one’s intended wishes can be misunderstood, misinterpreted and misdirected by those who love us the most.

All of us have or will eventually face the death of a loved one and certainly all of us are facing our own mortality.  Do we really know what our loved ones’ end of life wishes are?  Do we really know what we want? And have we clearly articulated our wishes both legally and informally?

Tess Lorraine’s story is a mirror for us all to look at our own lives, deaths and legacies.  There is practical information in her story about death and dying. But, perhaps more importantly, she invites us to look into the portal of death as an avenue to become our most authentic selves in life and as we are dying so that we can ensure we give those we love and ourselves the life and death we really want.

Tess Lorraine designs seminars and retreats on “Awakening to Life and Death- an in-depth approach to exploring our choices at end of life”

She facilitates Death Cafes.  https://www.facebook.com/deathcafesonoma/

You can contact her at tesslorraine@mac.com for more information.

By Roberta Teller

 

 

Jami Taback -Through the Lens of an Artist

Artist, printmaker and teacher, Jami Taback was my guest this week on Wise Woman Storytime.

Jami’s  journey has taken her to art schools around the world. She has studied  with master teachers, and has been both an enthusiastic visitor to museums and  a passionate art historian for others.

Through color, texture, illuminated light, and words  Jami examines the world, finds meaning for herself  and now through her story offers her unique lens to others.

This is a beautiful and passionate story of Jami’s journey as an artist and how her life path has shaped both her inner and outer world views.  Join us and witness art, color, light, texture, and history through her lens.

Edgar Degas said, “Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.”  Today you will meet someone who easily could have written this quote, but would be likely to change it to……. “Art is not what you see, but what you make others and yourself see and feel.”

I invite you to listen to this visual artists’ story of her lifelong exploration and deep love and devotion to art. You may never enter a museum or view a work of art the same.

You can see Jami’s art, check out some classes and and connect with her at  jamitaback.com.

By Roberta Teller

 

Leslene della Madre: Death and Dying from a Sacred Feminine Perspective

In our culture, aging, dying and death are often talked about in whispered and hushed tones and often viewed as an enemy to be defeated and overcome. 

But what if we had a different paradigm……one that accepted and even embraced the end of life as a passage as sacred and blessed as the birth of child?

The key to this revisioning of life and death may very well begin with an exploration of how the framework of our patriarchal system shapes our thinking, way of life, and our political and social justice systems. And it may very well inform us how male dominance, hierarchal ordering, violence and the ever present assent to power, shape every aspect of our individual and collective lives- even our deaths. 

My guest this past week on Wise Woman Storytime, Leslene della Madre offers us a very different look at death and ultimately a new look at life. An initiate in the metis Paiute medicine tradition of Grandmother Mahad’yuni, and an initiated daughter in the Nepalese lineage of Ajima, protector of women and children, Leslene draws on ancient wisdom, the sacred feminine and her 45 years on the shamanic path of awakening.

Leslene’s message is an important one.

When we embrace a sacred feminine paradigm of aging, dying and death, whose foundation rests on peace, acceptance, solace, generosity, connection and love – we not only die peacefully, we live fuller and happier lives.

This is Leslene’s story and there are lessons here for all of us.

You can find out more about Leslene and order her book Midwifing Death: Returning to the Arms of the Ancient Mother at her website midwifingdeath.com. Check out her Facebook page as well.

By Roberta Teller