Initiation: Reprinted from Immerse Journal

Immerse Journal just published (in their November/December issue) my tale of my sons’ initiation into adolescence.  Here’s the story below:


On the occasion of my son Noah’s thirteenth birthday, seven men (uncles, family friends, the lone grandfather) gathered to accompany him through his passage from childhood into adolescence.  It was the last Saturday of November and we’d begun the day in our living room within a wide circle of extended family.  After prayers, blessings, and hugs, the men and Noah left the others and drove thirty miles up into the Siskiyou and Cascade mountain ranges that collide along the Oregon-California state border. While the men unpacked, Frank, an old family friend, accompanied Noah to the highest mountain peak within the Greenspring wilderness.  They followed deer trails and logging roads while mulling Noah’s hopes and fears about entering his teenage years.  When they reached the summit, the autumn sun was an orange poppy, wilting across waves of firs, pines, and rusted oak trees.  They paused to take in the descending sky, then Frank embraced my boy, handed him a journal full of soul-searching questions, and spoke the final instructions, “When night falls and the stars begin to shine, look for a fire, then make your way.  We’ll be waiting.” Read More

The Thirteen Requirements

I do a lot of retreats, workshops, and speaking.  Before each event the host often asks about my needs.  Here’s my updated list of requirements:

1. Ham and cheese hotpocket

2. A well dressed Italian

3. 8 fire torches soaked in authentic Jerusalem palm oil

4. A bic lighter

5. Female Appalachian yodeler

6. Wireless microphone

7. Trained squirrel monkey with bellhop uniform

8. Water bottle mixed with 1/3 tiger urine

9. A podium made of old growth Lebanon Cedar

10. Laser Light Projector with 360 degree Lycra screen.

11. 33rpm of Spandau Ballet’s True.

12. 15th Century Gutenberg Bible

13. Custom T-shirt that says, “I Just Awesomed All Over the Place”