Saturday, March 31, 2007


I stopped on the bridge by Nine Mile Falls on my way to Wellpinit. I love to see the spring river flowing high with water. It reminds me of how things might have looked before the dams, even though this picture was taken just below the dam. I wonder if we'll ever see salmon in these rivers again?

Friday, March 30, 2007


My daughter was in a school play yesterday, portraying one of the evil step-sisters in the children's classic Cinderella. She did her hair in beautiful ringlets that day and recited her lines wonderfully. I am very proud of our little star.

Light and Shadow

The other night, I looked up from my classroom and saw the sun shining through the building across the street. I immediately dropped what I was doing and ran outside with my camera. I couldn't let the moment pass without recognizing it somehow.

It reminds me of deeper spiritual truths I've been exploring lately.

What is the blessing of shadow? Why should we curse the darkness when it appears to us? In a strange way, the darkness always points the way toward the light, for all we have to do is turn about and we shall see the sun in all its glory. Shadow is an ironic blessing because it will always point the way back home. Most of us would never seek the light, if we didn't occasionally know the sting of darkness. Think about it.

Hand of God

This painting resembles the graffiti style seen on city streets across the country. It depicts hell as best I can describe it, people lost in addiction and despair, and then the hand of God reaches down and reclaims the one who reaches back. This mural is on the back side of a church down the street from my work place. It reminds me to look for the hand of God in my life, every moment of every day.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Religious Illiteracy

The Deseret News in Salt Lake City recently published a thoughtful review of religious illiteracy in America, based on the work of Stephen Prothero, a professor of religion at Boston University. Prothero uncovers a disturbing trend in American culture where a majority of people are falling into religious ignorance. For example, in one poll, 10% of respondents said Joan of Arc was Noah's wife, and 56% of born-again Christians did not know Jesus said, "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for their's is the Kingdom of Heaven" (the Sermon on the Mount).

But religious literacy entails more than remembering trivial facts from history. Religious references influence hot-button politics and major world events, including abortion, stem-cell research, capital punishment, and war in Iraq. As Prothero says, "Religion is the most powerful piece of culture. After 9/11 it's really hard to pretend anymore that religion doesn't matter; that it's not literally a life-and-death matter."

Prothero advocates talking about religion in public schools, not to indoctrinate young people in any particular religious philosophy, but to give them a basis to understand the role of religion in politics and culture. We would do well to understand the basis of our own religious views, as well as the views of others.

The full text of the Deseret News article can be found HERE.

Prothero also published a religious literacy quiz. You can read it HERE. Take the quiz and don't cheat by scrolling down to the answers. I scored 92.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Hiking in the Rain

Dakota's 10 mile hike was beautiful, but very long and wet. He struggled to keep up as we climbed the steep switchbacks, and the drizzle turned into a steady downpour by the time we reached the summit. He complained a little about the cold and sore feet, but I did everything I could to stay happy and pleasant. I encouraged him along the way, and occasionally visited with other members of the group who fell back to check on us. I had a great time, and even though Dakota complained, I think he had a good time too. He told me later that place was one of the most beautiful places he ever saw.

10 Mile Hike

Dakota's scout group went on a 10 mile hike near Liberty Lake; and of course, he invited me along. It was a beautiful hike; cedar trees, waterfalls, and panoramic views of the lake (shown above).

Thursday, March 22, 2007

The Dancer

My daughter continued dance class this year, but she changed from ballet to jazz. She wore her dance outfit for the first time this afternoon and was happy. Her passion for dance is a light in her eyes and her smile.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Decay and Renewal

The neighborhood surrounding my workplace reminds me something I heard once about urban decay. Once thriving businesses sometimes relocate, leaving emptiness or economic depression behind. To show my point, we occupy an old supermarket building, across the parking lot from yet another old supermarket. Various other buildings sit abandoned nearby.

The decay doesn't bother me, however. Actually, it creates an interesting opportunity for growth.

My GED students come to us for a wide variety of reasons. Some take my class because they were home-schooled and now they seek some kind of diploma or completion certificate. Others sign up for my class because they once faced the decay of their own lives, and now strive for something better. I'm pleased to say many of my students succeeded this quarter. They faced whatever challenges confronted them, and earned their GED. From decay springs renewal, and that is the promise of education.


Leaving work tonight, I walked across the parking lot to my car, and for the briefest moment, I found myself transfixed by the pattern of tangled shadows and moving lights created by this thicket. The sky seemed to hover like a deep blue shield over my thoughts and moods. Artificial lighting from neon signs and passing cars heightened my sense of disconnection, even though they represent a distinctly human creation. In that moment I felt isolated from everyone, and cold.


My son's class offered a musical tribute to the heroes of the American Revolution, featuring several contemporary pieces, alongside modern "raps" designed to help students learn the fifty states and the Bill of Rights. It was a great performance, and Dakota got a solo part in a song about the United States, set to the tune of "God Save the Queen."

By the way, my son has an amazing voice. No kidding. He'll be a star someday.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007


Driving home from work, my mind wanders through a thousand residual thoughts of the day, papers to grade, helping students with math problems, or reporting stats to the college, but then I look up toward the setting sun, and the moon pulls me back to an awareness of beauty and life. I'm reminded how I sang once during a ceremony, and the Moonsong resounded gently in the night air. It sounded haunting and lonely, like a bell ringing beautifully from another world.

Sunday, March 18, 2007


Buttercups represent a simple yet powerful harbinger of spring. Even before the leaves return and nature still appears to sleep beneath a layer of dead vegetation, these little flowers sprout from the ground, reminding me of everything good and beautiful in the world. Just when I think hope has failed, it returns in brilliant shades of yellow and green.

The Cure for Darkness

Have you ever wanted to find a cure for darkness, gloom, and general depression? On Friday morning, my family discovered just such a cure, if only for a moment. It was a medicine for pure happiness. We took a family walk to the park, and had races through the hills and trees. We even let the dog run free and breathe the cool morning air in peace. We took goofy pictures and laughed. What a beautiful family!

This photograph represents Whitney's attempt to jump "wheelies" over the hills, even though we didn't have a bicycle. No matter, the imagination is sometimes better than reality; or perhaps it's more accurate to say imagination is a finer version of reality.


PapaNo is perhaps the strangest nickname we ever dreamed up for one of our children, but it has an affectionate and noble history. It partially originates from the Spanish diminutive word for father, papa; in some cultures, it's something you might lovingly call a son. In time, he also began referring to me as papa. Perhaps you might consider it a code word for the father-son bond we feel. Of course, some day soon he'll outgrow the diminutive status of the little PapaNo, and will evolve into a Father in his own right, full of strength, wisdom, and gentle command.

The Princess

We call this one the Princess, even though she thinks we should elevate her status to Queen or Empress. I once called her princess, and she got real serious and said, "No dad, I'm the Queen." I gently explained her mommy is the Queen, to which she responded, "Well, then when I grow up, I'll be the next Queen."

Okay then.

Until such time as her ascension to the throne, she seems perfectly happy to continue in her graceful role as Princess of the Realm.

The Bug

We call her "the bug," but of course we mean it in the most affectionate and loving sense possible, perhaps like the old backwoods saying, "cuter than a bug's ear." We would never think of her as an ugly bug, and certainly not a stink bug. We only imagine her as the most beautiful and wonderful of all bugs, like ladybugs or butterflies.

Thursday, March 15, 2007


The Voice told me to fly to Jupiter with all the strength and speed I could manage. "Take your sins, your worries, and your regrets to the rocky core of Jupiter, and the Grandfather will care for them, remove them from you, and hold them with his massive strength."

"But what about the pressure," I protested, "I'll be crushed under the massive weight of the planet's atmosphere."

"Do not be afraid," the voice comforted, "I will help you."

So I flew to Jupiter singing the old man's song, into the tempest and the hurricane winds of the upper atmosphere, sinking deeper into the blackness of the massive planet. The surface was a barren rocky place, and the pressure was nearly unbearable, but the man had spoken the truth. I left my worries with the Great Grandfather of the Night Sky and returned home lighter and freer than before.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The Cave

I've been dreaming about caves, underground houses, and digging into the earth. These symbols represent looking into the subconscious for hidden fragments of wisdom. In one dream, I was in a cave, digging through filth to find a single lost diamond. In another dream, I journeyed to the bottom of an elaborate cave system only to return after I achieved my goal. The realm of shadow is important to visit and know, but it doesn't belong to us. In the end, I return to the surface and back to light.

Monday, March 12, 2007


Those of you who know me well, know the importance dreaming plays in my life. When I was younger, I used to sit around the breakfast table with my father and talk about dreams from the night before. All these years later, I still make major life decisions based on dreams, and gain important insights into my life.

This picture reminds me of my dreaming. I added the tears, not because I feel particularly sad in this moment, but because my dreams have touched upon deep emotions lately. It is all very enlightening and transformative, even when the dream images are unpleasant. In the end, the shadows and tears from the dream world hold the potential to unlock major life obstacles.

Sunday, March 11, 2007


The winter is passing away and the warm air returns. Walking down by the Little Spokane River, I take in the feeling of new life all around me. Finally, I can breathe again.

This photograph is from the sunset I saw on my way home this evening. Beautiful.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

The Moses Men

My twin cousin Diane Moses sent me this amazing photograph from my youth. It shows me standing with some great men I truly admire. From left to right, my father Edward Moses, my uncle Richard Eli, my uncle Pat Moses, my great uncle Sam Moses, and finally me (Barry Moses). Seeing this photograph after all these years makes me feel connected to something greater than myself.

My father Edward Moses was a great man. He dedicated his later years to learning the spiritual traditions of our ancestors and became a teacher in his own right. He taught me everything I know about my spiritual walk. Sadly, he passed away in 1994.

My uncle Richard Eli always treats me with kindness and respect. As a Vietnam vet, he often battles his own demons, and yet I always feel his concern for me. When I see him, he always says, "How's Barry?" The great part is he really cares about the answer.

After my father died, my uncle Pat became something of a spiritual mentor for me. I can take my questions and problems to him and he'll listen to everything I say. Sometimes he doesn't respond until he dreams about the matter, but when he does respond, he always seems to give just the right words of wisdom for that time in my life. I'm thankful to have him.

My great uncle Sam Moses was also a great man. He always treated me with such respect and reminded me of what matters most in life. Sadly, he also passed away a couple years ago.

And finally, there's me... the baby of these Moses men. There's so much I don't know about how to be a good, honorable man. I struggle to keep up and remain worthy of the trust they've given me. Thankfully, I still have Richard and Pat. I can call them any time on the phone for advice or support. And in my darkest hours, my father or uncle Sam show up from beyond the veil to lend support of a different kind. I thank the Creator for these great men in my life.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007


Today is my 36th birthday! Hooray for me.

My kids threw me a surprise birthday party when I got home this evening. I really had no idea, that is until I walked up to the door and saw the lights going on and off, and I heard hushed voices telling each other to be quiet. It was very cute, actually, especially since my kids thought of it on their own. They even made a cake and gave gifts. It was more than I ever asked for.

Monday, March 05, 2007


I saw this exact place in my dream several weeks ago...

Not everything I see while I sleep comes to pass, but sometimes the watery edge of my dreamtime seeps into my waking life.

A few weeks ago, I had an odd little dream about "hell." I saw a spiral staircase leading up into the sky, and deep into the earth. The stairs seemed nearly endless in each direction, either up or down. I've seen those stairs before, in other dreams, and usually I reach the top to a whole new dimension. But this time, I walked downward, and with each step, I recited a litany of insight into human suffering and misery. "What causes suffering?" I asked rhetorically, "What creates this place we call hell, and how can we uncreate it?"

As I descended deeper into the pit, the way of suffering became clear. We create misery every time we hold guilt, shame, vengeance, fear, jealousy, arrogance, or ingratitude. Even our churches and those who seek to "help" us, sometimes contribute to our suffering.

What is the answer? How do we uncreate hell?

My dream offered a simple answer: release your fear. Relinquish your death grip on the causes of misery, and joy will replace unhappiness.

After discovering the secret of freedom, I left the mythical stairwell and found myself on a college campus. I saw a street rising to a slight hill, and a tall building on the left side. I saw farm buildings in the distance. I found myself teaching college students about everything I learned on my journey about how to uncreate hell.

NOW...return to the present; back to "real" time.

Rhonda and I visited the University of Idaho this morning to follow up on a job application I submitted. We had hoped to meet with members of the hiring committee, but did not have much success. We were about to leave the campus when I saw the street from my dream, just as plainly as I had seen it in my mind several weeks ago. "Rhonda," I said to my wife, "I saw this street in my dream." I walked several yards closer to that exact spot.

For a brief moment I felt myself slipping into an almost other-worldly state of mind, but then Rhonda interrupted my reverie. "Look!" she said, pointing to our right, and there we found ourselves standing directly in front of the Native American Student Center! We went inside and introduced ourselves to the staff and learned these very people would be my co-workers, if in fact I'm hired. It was the strangest experience! It was like we had known each other before. One of the women at the center even remembered meeting me several years ago. We had a wonderful visit and enjoyed a fast connection and rapport.

I cannot tell the future, but I indeed SAW that place in my dream before visiting the campus. I followed the vision and met some wonderful people. Somehow the hand of the Creator is in all this.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Walk With God

I got yet another birthday, two in a row. I got this one from my step-mother Inge Mebes. By the way, for those of you wondering, my birthday will be on March 6.

Inge wrote:

Nature taught her child to read and write and spell,
And with her books before him, he learned his lessons well.
He loves his mother country, where all her creatures trod,
Yet he is called a heathen, who has always walked with God.

Birthday Wishes

My step-sister Heidi Mebes sent a birthday card this week. Wow! I don't think I even remember her birthday, and yet she never forgets mine. Heidi, if you're reading this, tell me your birthday. And while you're at it, tell me Jonas' birthday as well.

Friday, March 02, 2007


Little Falls at Night...

Night without stars, cold and alone,
Empty my soul, heaviness bears down,
But the river flows still.


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