Welcome to the newest incarnation of Zacate Canyon, a website I began a decade ago as a way of sharing stories, reflections on teaching, and interviews with fascinating people. Have a look around: the website is now cleared of some dated and irrelevant material, easier to navigate, and also incorporates my blog, Still Amazed.
I think you will find some good company here. The interviews are the result of an oral history project I started several years ago in which my students and I had conversations with a number of remarkable people. These include ranchers and elders of our community, Chumash descendents, inspiring teachers, a physician who founded a health care clinic along the Amazon, even a world-famous musician and songwriter. Each was gracious about talking with us and sharing their stories and life wisdom.
The blog is an ongoing collection of essays, memories, and thoughts, often about life here at the Ranch, the unlikely place where I make my home. As the blog’s name, Still Amazed, suggests, it is a documentation of wonder — along with bewilderment and searching, of course, but mostly amazement, and hope.
I am a former teacher, a freelance writer, and a fellow of the South Coast Writing Project. I believe, as the poet Naomi Shihab Nye expressed it, that “Our words and images, land to land, era to era, shed light on one another. Our words dissolve the shadows we imagine fall between.”
So maybe Zacate Canyon is a place for dissolving some shadows, feeling less lonely, and pausing to be present.
If any of these words touch you, please send your comments and responses.