Tuesday, October 27, 2009


This week I made an amazing recovery from illness.

On Friday morning, the first symptoms of a cold appeared, just in time for the weekend. The physical signs manifested through a scratching ache in my throat, a faucet nose, and an increased sinus pressure. At first I hoped to avert a full-blown illness, but at some point my physical discomfort destroyed all hope. My only escape would be to pass right through the middle of the sickness.

My prognosis provoked a genuine sense of dread. In years past, this same level of infection led to bronchitis or worse. About ten years ago, I caught cold just before my birthday, which progressed quickly into a dreadful case of pneumonia. My temperature rose in deadly fashion to 105 degrees, which probably should have sent me to the emergency room, but I was too delirious from my fever to ask for help. I used to call this my "signature illness," because the symptoms never changed and always progressed in a predictable order from one cruel stage to the next. In the end, I always required medical intervention through powerful antibiotics. I've been lucky the last couple years, but this weekend I braced myself for the worst. I felt sure that my luck had run out.

But then my good friend suggested an herbal remedy that he learned from our tribal tradition. He showed me how to prepare the medicine, which I then took for the next three days. On the first day (Saturday), my health made no obvious improvement, but on the second day (Sunday), I noticed a decrease in sinus pressure. By the third day (Monday), the pain ended. When I woke up this morning, my nose stopped running and all other symptoms disappeared. Never in all my life have I escaped this level of illness without running the entire cycle if my "signature illness." Never.

The gift of plant medicine amazes and inspires me.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


The seasons are finally turning, from summer to fall.

My morning run brought toward a chilling fog that clung to me skin and crackled on the power lines. I began my run with focused intent, but the brilliant fall colors drew me into their spell. By the end, I found myself renewed by the yellow leaves and the cool, damp air.

Sunday, October 18, 2009


This weekend, I participated in the opening retreat of the Leadership Development Program at the Community Colleges of Spokane. I joined with fifteen other instructors, administrators, and professionals selected from the three colleges and the central offices of our district. Within the first day, we formed a caring, supportive group without regard for degrees or positions. In a small but significant way, we got to step outside our normal roles and to share authentic experiences from a clear heart space. Throughout the year, we will continue to meet for ongoing community-building and professional development.

Before I began, I had hoped to build an increased sense of community and renewal within my career. The Leadership Development Program will no doubt open this doorway to me and all the group.

Our opening retreat convened on the campus of Spokane Community College. During our lunch break, I had the chance to hike the river trail and take some wonderful autumn pictures.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Derrick and I spent the weekend on the Spokane Reservation, driving the back roads and hiking through remote mountain trails. We saw some magnificent scenery, like this sunset over Matthews Lake and the view from Grouse Ridge Mountain. We rested from the pressures of a modern world and immersed ourselves in a time and space apart.

Even my blog took a rest for the weekend.

Unfortunately, I didn't get pictures of the most amazing part of our trip. We went down to the river before sunrise, just as a herd of elk ascended a narrow mountain ridge. They walked in single file and created silhouettes against the pale blue sky. The bull elk stood at the end of the line, his antlers rising toward the sun.

Just a few minutes later, we saw another herd of elk, even larger than the first. They ran across a field toward the east, casting trails of dust into the sunrise. I'm still kicking myself for not having my camera in that moment.

Francis and Derrick walked up the last portion of Grouse Ridge Mountain.

We drove to the top of the mountain on an old, overgrown logging road that became so steep we had to put my truck into four-wheel drive just to move ahead. Several times we also had to forge a path off-road around fallen trees and other natural obstacles. It was quite the adventure.


Last week, my daughter dressed up for a pajama/weird-hair day combo at school. She wore monkey pajamas and put her hair in wires, Pippy Longstocking style. No doubt she was the cutest thing at school that day.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009


Some folks have reported problems with the PayPal process.

When you click on the PayPal button on my blog, you'll come to a page that asks you to enter an amount of money. After entering the amount, make sure that you press "Update Total." You MUST press Update Total, or the page will not allow you to proceed.

If you already have a PayPal account, you then simply need to sign in using the prominent blue box displayed on the right hand side that says: "LOG IN TO PAYPAL."

However, if you do not have a PayPal account, you can still make a donation. Look for a statement on the lower left hand side of the page that says: "Don't have a PayPal account? Use your credit card or bank account (where available)." Immediately after that statement, you'll find a link that simply says, "Continue." Press that link to proceed to the next page. (The "Continue" link appears near the credit card logos).

Some people are having problems because they think they have to sign up for a PayPal account, or they already have one, but don't remember the password. This is not necessary. Simply press the "Continue" link, as described above.

After you continue, you will come to a page that will prompt you to enter your information. You will then press, "Review Donation and Continue."

After reviewing the information, you will be prompted to complete the donation.

I hope this helps.

By the way, THANKS to everyone who has donated so far. Your contribution is greatly appreciated. I will be communicating with you shortly to express my gratitude.


This November, I have the opportunity to participate in a mission trip to Puerto Maldonado, Peru, located on the Madre de Dios River in the Amazon Jungle. I will provide education, inter-personal training, and translation support for a team of full-time service workers dedicated to improving the lives of those they serve.

The mission supports a number of charitable projects, including the construction of Hope House, which provides shelter and vocational training for young women leaving a life of prostitution.

This is an opportunity to make a meaningful impact in the lives of others, so I am requesting the prayers and financial support of my friends. You can donate by clicking on the PayPal button in the upper left column of this page, or you can contact me direclty for other options. I realize these are difficult times for many, so any amount is appreciated. If you have questions about this project, send me an email: barrymoses@hotmail.com

Monday, October 05, 2009

Salt Lake

This last weekend, I made a brief but intense trip to Salt Lake City, Utah. In general terms, I can speak to the purpose of my trip and say that I filmed a series of short biographical interviews, but I do not feel it appropriate to reveal the exact subject matter at this time. Perhaps I will say more after the interviews are released to the public. For now, I will simply address everything that happened between video shoots.

Mormonism resides at the heart of the spiritual, cultural, historical heart of Salt Lake City. It also resides at the center of the city's physical landscape with its temple, conference center, and offices dominating the skyline.

During one of my breaks, I walked downtown hoping to catch a glimpse of the crowds of people attending the fall general conference of the church. Unfortunately for me, the crowds were surprisingly absent. I think perhaps I arrived just after the beginning of the priesthood session, so most everyone had either gone home for the day or had already found their places inside the conference center.

The conference center plaza stood virtually empty under the glow of a magnificent sunset.

My new camera captured some of the finer details of the temple with much better quality than I'm used to getting.

And of course, protesters stood outside Temple Square hoping to sway Mormons from their faith. I always wonder if they ever succeed or if protests end up as a waste of time.

My hosts for this weekend trip put me up in the Anniversary Inn, which is a bed and breakfast that was converted from the old Kahn Mansion. I stayed two nights in a perfectly fabulous room, but I kind of felt that such a beautiful room was partially wasteful. It was like staying in the honeymoon suite without my honey. It got lonely sleeping by myself in those magnificent surroundings.

A view of my bed and the bathroom at the Anniversary Inn.

Early one morning, I got up to photograph Salt Lake City from a non-Mormon perspective. The photograph above was taken from the Catholic Cathedral of the Madeleine.

A stained glass window depicting Mary inside the Catholic cathedral.

Various views of the Presbyterian Church including a gargoyle.

The Masonic Temple.

In between meetings and video shoots, I also got to see a few old friends. I met with Candee and Jason McKnight. Back in the early 1990s, they served in the Quetzaltenango Mission at the same time as I did. We had dessert at the Old Spagetti Factory and laughed for hours about the good time we shared back in the day.

Also had a great visit with my friend Percy...

And my friend Nick...


Haven't posted in a few days. Been on the road. But even so, some things are unspeakable, beyond words, or ineffable. Sometimes things can't be mentioned out of respect for confidentiality. This is especially true when we work with people on deeply personal level. Other things are beyond expression because they represent some aspect of the sacred. This often happens when participating in tribal ceremonies or other sacred settings.

The best stories can never be told; they must be lived.


Related Posts with Thumbnails