wonderful it is to write once again! I have been on the road for the past three
weeks, connecting with many of you in Olympia and Boulder and sharing photos and
stories about my work here in West Virginia and what I have learned thus far in
the movement to end mountain top removal during two evening events and in a
class at Colorado University. Some of you are receiving an e mail from me for
the first time. I try to send out updates with photos about my work every two
to three weeks. If you do not wish to receive these just send me a line, no
problem. It has been nearly a month since the last one so I apologize for the
delay! I am home now and have changed my phone number to be a local number
here. Please note the change that my new number is 304-640-7960.
say anything else I want to highlight a significant action item that you can
each participate in. While I was away, the Environmental Protection Agency,
EPA, took a major step towards ending mountain top removal by placing 79 out of
86 pending mountain top removal coal min permits on hold and opening up a 14
day public comment period. The Bush administration rubber stamped all of the
permits and this is the first time a public review period has been opened.
Please write a comment! Today!
There is a plethora of information
about the specific permits and watersheds in danger through this webpage. There
is a sample letter ready to go there which you can send or write whatever you
want. These comments are really important and yours counts a lot. We are sure
the coal industry will try to fill up the comments with words about how clean
and safe the process is, and I can personally testify that the effect of
mountain top removal mining is devastating and virtually permanent.
Write from your heart as someone
who cares about communities, mountains and water. To date, over 500 mountains
have been destroyed and the more conservative estimates say something like
2,000 miles of streams have been filled in when the former mountain tops are
reduced to rubble and pushed into the valleys, filling them in completely.
are done sending in your comments, feel free to read the rest of this letter if
it suits you
I have finally returned to my cabin here in Hico,
WV and am beginning to settle in more. I
was away nearly three weeks and am nearly done with the work of moving as I
shipped my belongings here during my adventures away.
In early September, my dear friendOcean brought me to Olympia
where I was able to soak up the love and support of my oldest friends. I
celebrated my 31st birthday on Watch Mountain, above the town of
Randle and spent time with the trees I used to live in and the water and
mountain which moved through me enough to change the I-90 Land Exchange 10
years ago by saving Watch Mountain and parts of Fossil Creek. It was a delight
to camp out with Eva, my god-daughter and offspring of dear Rachel Goeke in a
place we lived before her birth nearly 7 years
ago. I ate smoked salmon and shared stories and songs with Lupin, Rama, Jim,
Leon and others from our
I flew from
Olympia to Boulder to attend a conference on American Buddhism hosted by the
Lenz Foundation which made it possible for me to go to graduate school where I
met new friends and was able to share some of my favorite stories from Naropa
such as the student group I helped form called the Cult of Vimalakirti with
Robert Thurman who translated the Vimalakirti Nirdesa Sutra the group was
founded to promote. While in Boulder
I also packed my earthly possessions into a freight truck to ship to West
in West Virginia before my
belongings but only for a moment because my Mother met me in Charleston,
WV and we drove together to Covington,
KY for a fabulous wedding between Todd
Buell and his love Leigh. I spent precious time with my dear friend Elisabeth
Buell and her whole family, which was a true delight.
While driving back home, the impact
of all that travel dawned on me – I was engaged in geographical integration,
weaving the stories of what I am doing here in Appalachia
in places I love with people who live inside of me. I will go to Maine
this winter, and being with good Maine
friends helped seal the deal as it were. I am sure you know that moving is
overwhelming, and by returning to my home places and sharing what I am doing
here I was able to synchronize the experiences more and create some sort of
social continuity in my heart.
Buddhist Leadership Conference at Naropa, I was moved by a discussion on social
action between Venerable Thubten Chodron, Robert Thurman and Bernie Glassman.
Ven. Chodron is an American nun and she spoke about living through the
generosity of others through donations. Her words resonated with my experience
as I am currently living one hundred percent through the kindness of all of
you. Receiving donations from all of you has been a great honor which helps me
feel supported and truly like we are all here adding to this movement together
through my body. I received $521 in donations during my journeys which helps
tremendously and am still in the process of raising enough money to cover rent
and living expenses while I establish my work here.
sending love through the internet to each of you. The leaves are beginning to
change here and there is a chill in the air at night. I am playing old time
music in the pavilion in Ansted on Saturday night with my friend Sage (he on
fiddle me singing and playing backup chords on my guitar) and fixing to spend
as much time as possible outdoors enjoying the colors while I continue to fall in
love with this devastating and wonderful new home. Thank you for sending in
your comments to the EPA.