The Grass Canoe

Autobiographical essays

The Jaguar’s Teeth

This is a biographical essay that describes my forty-year journey (so far) of question-asking and creativity. It begins with a snapshot I took of a Mayan ruin when I was thirteen years old, which lit a fire that has never gone out. The philosopher Socrates once said our mission in life is to “know thyself” – which is a lot easier said than done! Every life is an adventure and every path we follow a mystery; hopefully, I’ve been able to make some sense of mine.

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An Invitation to Join the Radical Center

Twenty ranchers, scientists and conservationists wrote a declaration ending the grazing wars and inviting people to join the emerging radical center.


Originally read at The Quivira Coalition’s 2nd Annual Conference, January 2003.


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Reflections From a “Do” Tank

“Recently, an acquaintance asked me what I did for a living. After explaining that I ran a nonprofit that worked with ranchers and conservationists in the Southwest on land health and sustainability issues, he said summarily “Oh, you run a Think Tank.” Without pausing, I replied “No, Quivira is a ‘Do’ Tank,” which elicited a nod and smile.”


Originally published in the Quivira Coalition’s Journal, no. 37, January 2012


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