Friday, September 30, 2005

a steady drizzle cast a greyish haze over downtown spokane. some people hate the rain, but i think it was a beautiful day...
Copyright © 2005 Barry G. Moses.

Felony Flats

What a strange day. All my clients either re-scheduled their appointments at the last minute or stood me up altogether. I felt like an orphan as I wandered the streets of downtown Spokane, rushing off to meetings that would never occur.

One of my clients lives very near the first home my wife and I purchased together on the lovely plains of "Felony Flats," the proud home of drug pushers and gang lords. As our children came into the world, Rhonda and I realized we did not wish to raise our family in that kind of environment. We moved north, but it really was a beautiful home.

From Felony Flats, I took a walk down the hill and across the Spokane River on a new footbridge connecting the West Central Neighborhood (the real name of Felony Flats) to People's Park. I visited the archaeological dig once again, and had a wonderful opportunity to talk with Spokane Tribal elder Vi Frizzel.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

As I visited the monment to the Battle of Four Lakes, I was struck by the final line about maintaining "...lasting peace." In our day of political divisiveness, war in foreign lands, and devastation here at home...I reached out to that final word: PEACE.
Copyright © 2005 Barry G. Moses.

Battle of Four Lakes

Once again, I walk the trail of history in search of places connected to my Native ancestors. Not long ago, I visited the site of Colonel Wright's massacre of over 800 Indian horses, and as part of that same story, I decided to find the site of the Indians' defeat and surrender at the Battle of Four Lakes.

In 1858, the Spokane Nation joined a coalition of other indigenous nations in resistence to the hostile advances of the United States of America. We prevailed in our first battle against Colonel Steptoe, but our victory only served to stoke the fires of retribution. Colonel Wright descended upon the combined armies of the Northwest tribes and engaged my ancestors in battle at the present-day site of Four Lakes, Washington. The tribes set fire to the plains hoping to deter the U.S. Army, but the tactic failed. Colonel Wright defeated the Indians.

As we sought the battle site, we had to navigate through road construction and the back roads of Four Lakes, Washington. I didn't even know there was an incorporated town in that vicinity, but the site was not too difficult to find. It stood less than half a block beyond the Four Lakes Post Office, on the edge of an empty lot. Power lines, trailer houses, and a "lovely" view of Interstate 90 precluded any romantic ideas of good photographic opportunities. It's odd to think such an important moment in our history now sits so nearly forgotten and deteriorated.

The monument is a triangular granite slab, pointing skyward and reading:

Battle of Four Lakes

On this historic ground, Sept. 1, 1858, 700 soldiers under Col. Geo. Wright, U.S.A. routed 5000 allied Indians.

Four days later, the allied hostiles were decisively defeated in a running battle. They sued for mercy and have ever since maintained lasting peace.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Ophelia Araujo-Islas, Associate Director of A.R.M.S. (Abuse Recovery Ministry and Services)...
Copyright © 2005 Barry G. Moses.

Confronting Abuse through Faith

Ophelia Araujo-Islas stands as a commanding witness of God’s strength to the powerless, hope to the abused, and grace to the outcasts. She speaks forcefully, not with doctrines or creeds, but with moral authority born of her own journey through abuse, addiction, and despair. She freely shares the story of her own transformation with others, offering a message of hope to women who suffer abuse.

Ophelia is Associate Director of A.R.M.S., Abuse Recovery Ministry and Services, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing education, validation, and support to abused women, based on Christian principles. She describes her mission with conviction, “We’re bringing the truth about abuse and how God wants women to be treated.” She says many Christians misunderstand or misrepresent Biblical teachings regarding the submissive role of women, overlooking verses that admonish women and men to submit to each other (Ephesians 5:21).

“We’re all equal in the eyes of the Lord,” she says.

She readily credits the sustaining hand of God in all she does, but also acknowledges daily challenges to her work. Changing the world is never easy. Some challenges are internal, such as her awareness of weaknesses and failings in her own personality. Other challenges are external. For example, she describes confronting machismo in her native Hispanic culture, and ignorance within the Christian community. She says many people don’t recognize the extent of abuse in their churches and communities, and others simply do not wish to share power with women on an equal footing.

In spite of obstacles, Ophelia carries her mission with conviction and love.

A.R.M.S. offers a variety of services around the issue of abuse. For example, the organization sponsors a 15 week program called “Her Journey,” where abused women gather in “healing circles” for mutual caring and support. In some cases, they also refer clients to outside counselors who deal specifically with issues related to abuse.

They also offer education and training for pastors who address issues of domestic violence in their congregations. She says many church leaders simply do not know how to effectively intervene when they suspect abuse. As a result, women and children continue to suffer needlessly.

The Spokane chapter of A.R.M.S. hopes to eventually expand their program to include a group for perpetrators of abuse known as “Mankind,” dedicated to teaching men alternatives to violence.

A.R.M.S. in Spokane currently hopes to raise money and awareness in order to expand program offerings. They are planning a conference, a benefit dinner, and other public events. As those plans solidify, Paqspya will offer more details to the public.

For more information, contact Ophelia at:

or (509) 484-0600.

Monday, September 26, 2005

ryan ives from eastern washington university answered many of our questions about the dig...
Copyright © 2005 Barry G. Moses.

archaeological dig near people's park in spokane...
Copyright © 2005 Barry G. Moses.

Archaeological Dig

My sister Michelle and I checked out an archaeological dig currently in progress near People's Park in Spokane. I heard about the dig from my uncle Pat and in the Spokesman Review. Without repeating too much of the original news release, the city of Spokane planned to build some kind of drainage project on that site, but had to complete an archaeological survey before beginning. An archaeological team from Eastern Washington University began the survey several weeks ago. The project was expected to end quickly, but the team made a few surprising discoveries, including stone tools not previously believed to exist in this region and many layers of human habitation. They estimate continuous human occupation of this land dating back at least 4,000 years, and perhaps as many as 12,000 years!

Spokane Tribal elders have always said: our ancestors have been here a long time. New scientific evidence confirms this fact.

When Michelle and I arrived on site, the archaeological team received us graciously and kindly answered all our questions. Of course, I think it helped them to know my uncle Andy Andrews Jr., who daily represents the tribe in overseeing the cultural impact of the dig.

As a member of the Spokane Tribe of Indians, I felt a deep connection to the land, especially knowing my own ancestors likely used this location for as many as 12,000 years.

Of particular interest, Ryan Ives from EWU showed us several layers of human habitation, including several ancient campfires with the burned soil was still visible. He even gave us a sample of fire-broken rocks dating between 4,000 and 6,000 years ago. As I held a rock in my hand, I couldn't help feel humbled to know it came from a campfire thousands of years ago.

Special thanks to Ryan Ives, Sara Walker, and Eastern Washington University.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

jenni at duncan gardens in spokane...
Copyright © 2005 Barry G. Moses.

Senior Pictures

I have to tell you something really awesome happened today; I completed my very first PAID photography session. Our friend's daughter asked me to take her senior pictures, and paid me $100 for the shoot. She posed at Finch Arboretum, Duncan Gardens, the Spokane Conservatory, and the Japanese Gardens. Her parents and my family spent the afternoon together during the photo shoot and enjoyed a picnic together. I'm not bragging, but I have to say the pictures turned out pretty good; of course, it helps to have an attractive subject.

Thanks to the Wiltse family for trusting me with this project!!!

Saturday, September 24, 2005

me and jason on the spokane indian reservation...
Copyright © 2005 Barry G. Moses.

Jason Riley

I received a surprise visit today from my old friend Jason Riley. He drove up to Spokane from his home in Baker City, Oregon, and stopped by to see my wife. I was in Wellpinit, so he drove to see me all the way out there. I guess it's not too far, considering the distance he already drove.

As we caught up on old times, we realized we've known each other for 22 years (man, do I feel old). Our friendship is actually kind of ironic in the way it developed. When I was in the 7th grade, I became best friends with his brother Jack when we were transfered into the same home room on the same day. A few months later, our homeroom teacher had surgery, and Jack's mom was the long-term sub. Jack and I became good friends, and I'm sad to say Jason was the "pesky little brother" (4 years younger, to be exact).

In time, Jack and I kind of grew apart, and I didn't see any of the Riley family for some time. Then Jason showed up on our doorstep, looking for a place to stay while he tried to straighten his life out. He only stayed a couple days, but ever since then, he calls or visits about once every year or so.

So I say it's quite ironic that I never speak to my old best friend, but after 22 years, I'm still friends with his little brother.

sunset over wellpinit...our family gathered for ceremony on saturday night...we prayed for our children...
Copyright © 2005 Barry G. Moses.

sacred fire from my uncle's sweat lodge....friday night...
Copyright © 2005 Barry G. Moses.

Friday, September 23, 2005

McKenna's 8th Birthday

McKenna had her 8th birthday party today at the Ramada inn...with birthday presents, pizza, and loving family members. She looked so happy, and innocent, and sweet. I cherish my daughter!

Thursday, September 22, 2005

I had lunch at a nice little Mexican restaurant on 3rd Avenue: Emperadores de Mexico...
Copyright © 2005 Barry G. Moses.

A sample of my work...

Another busy day on the road to the wonderful desert cities Moses Lake and Ephrata. One client stood me up (again), while another waited for me with two cushioned chairs sitting outside her home. We visited in the yard, under the bright September sun and a refreshing breeze. This job has its difficulties, but visits like this sure beat sitting all day in a cubicle in an office somewhere. Another client speaks hardly any English, and I certainly do not speak her language. Needless to say, communication has been extremely difficult, but today I decided to try a new strategy. I wrote down everything I wanted to say on the computer, then plugged it in to an online translation program. I have no idea if it worked, but she seemed to appreciate the gesture. I think she did understand a little better. We'll see if she understood when she keeps her appointments.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

a view of spokane falls from the newly renovated monroe street bridge...
Copyright © 2005 Barry G. Moses.

the entrance to an old ruined building near downtown gotta know how much i love old things...
Copyright © 2005 Barry G. Moses.

Work is Picking Up

Nothing too exciting to report today...

...except maybe my job has taken a positive turn. My supervisor gave me seven new cases yesterday, making it more likely I will be able to stay on this job AND still pay my bills. It's always nice to have enough money for things like food and mortgage payments; that's not to mention all the extras like going out to eat or watching movies.

My job is kind of fun actually; I mean, there is a lot of variety. For example, today I spent a good portion of the morning helping a client make purchases at Goodwill Industries. Afterwards, I helped her move everything into her little apartment. A little later, I was down on east Trent visiting another client in her motel room. I would never visit these places on my own, or know about the bizarre twists and turns of life encountered by my clients. In a weird sort of way, I feel real lucky to be so personally involved with these people. They share things with me they wouldn't tell anyone else. It's a sacred trust.

In other news, the Monroe Street Bridge opened after closing for two and a half years. Yeah, I know...this is really boring news for a personal blog, but I am SO happy about it. I was really getting fed up with driving around the construction. Besides, the renovation preserved all the historical that's cool.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

anthony at the plaza; he's feeling happy to have some cash in his pocket. i hate to be cynical, but i wonder how long it will last...something tells me it will be gone pretty fast...
Copyright © 2005 Barry G. Moses.

anthony showing off a fat wad of cash...
Copyright © 2005 Barry G. Moses.

Anthony's "18 Money"

Our oldest son Anthony received a check in the mail for a rather large sum of money, especially considering his youth, and that he did absolutely nothing to earn it. The check was part of what we call "18 money" in Indian Country...usually consisting of royalties from Indian land and/or enterprises, collected over a number of years, and then disbursed when the person turns 18. He's been feeling somewhat discouraged with life lately, but having cash in his pocket did a lot to bolster his spirits.

Monday, September 19, 2005

dakota is learning to play the cello...
Copyright © 2005 Barry G. Moses.

Dakota Starts Learning the Cello

My son Dakota went to his first meeting tonight regarding the school orquestra; he's learning the cello. Rhonda attended the meeting with him, and to my surprise, he actually came home carrying a cello on his back. He unzipped the cover enthusiastically to show me his latest venture. He held the instrument with care and demonstrated the sound of the bow moving across the strings. I'm very excited for him and hope he enjoys learning this new instrument.

In other "news," I interviewed an exchange student from China regarding the educational system in her homeland. I will report more on that later.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

I took a bunch of pictures of the LDS Temple, but I decided to publish this's a little unusual, I know, but I like it...
Copyright © 2005 Barry G. Moses.

The door knobs on the LDS Temple in Salt Lake City...
Copyright © 2005 Barry G. Moses.

Evergreen Conference

My wife and I flew to Salt Lake City, Utah last Thursday to attend the 15th annual Evergreen Conference. For those of you who don't know, Evergreen is an LDS orientated organization dedicated to supporting those who "struggle with same-sex attraction."

I'm in strange place really; a cultural and spiritual no-man's-land. On the one hand, I essentially disagree with the Evergreen/LDS notion of same-sex attraction as a "sin" to be reformed and changed, and yet I really love my wife and truly need support in my marriage. I may disagree with the theological underpinnings of Evergreen, but I receive invaluable support from other individuals and couples who struggle in a similar way.

This is the third year Rhonda and I attended the conference, but this year was special because Rhonda's brother Mike was the keynote speaker. He used many of the same stories I heard him tell in other workshops and seminars, but this time was so much closer to my heart. He surprised me by talking about me from over the pulpit during the fireside, but he was so gracious and kind. I wept through his expressions of love for me and Rhonda.

I had some anxiety about posting this, but as I wrote to a friend, this is an important part of who I am:

"You know, when I updated my blog tonight I decided to talk about my experience at Evergreen. I've been pretty open about my life, but I know there are a few people who still don't know about my orientation and the issues in my marriage...and yet I had such a sacred experience; I want people to know about it. I realize the best parts of me...the most tender and holy places in my heart exist because I struggled through this issue. People can never truly know my heart without knowing this essential history."

There are so many other people we met at the conference, or who we met online and then got to see in person for the first time at the conference. I wish I could name them all and say how much they impacted my life for the better, but many of them struggle in their own ways, and have not publicly ackowledged this issue in their lives. Out of respect for their privacy I simply say: thank you for all who reached out to me and blessed my life!

I took this shot of the Great Salt Lake last Thursday as we flew into Salt Lake City. Does anyone know why the lake looks like that? Are they growing something there?
Copyright © 2005 Barry G. Moses.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

wedding rings
Copyright © 2005 Barry G. Moses.

Diary of a Somewhat Average Day

Diary of a somewhat average day...

Woke up with a headache this morning after a long night of insomnia. I didn't fall asleep until after 7:00 am.

Fog this morning as we drove to Spokane Valley to pick up my rental car...the sun came out as I drove to Moses Lake to meet with clients. I felt increasingly ill as I made the long drive home.

Stopped at a rest area...feeling bored, so I took pictures of the trees, being careful to cut off the sight of trucks and garbage cans in the background. I'm surprised, some of them actaully turn out okay. Earlier I took pictures of the ketchup bottles at Burger King for lack of better subject material as I ate lunch. As an act of bordom, I photographed my wedding rings...later I admired that picture for its odd simplicity and beauty.

I race home to pick up my girls for their first day of ballet lessons. When I pull up to the house, I see them anxiously awaiting my arrival in the front yard, already dressed in their little pink tutus. Their little faces are pictures of sweetness and innocent expectation.

From ballet, I race of to class; my first with Dr. Sharon Mowry; Educational Leadership...weighty stuff.

Monday, September 12, 2005

site on the spokane river where colonel wright slaughtered the indian horses...
Copyright © 2005 Barry G. Moses.

horse slaughter get there: going east from spokane, take the state line exit; take a left, go under the freeway, pass the westbound freeway entrance and take a left. park near the centennial trail and then walk about a mile toward the west on the centennial trail. the monument is on the north side of the trail...
Copyright © 2005 Barry G. Moses.

Horse Slaughter Monument

Within the history of the Spokane Tribe resides one dark chapter from the days of Colonel George Wright...who in retribution for resisting the hostile advances of the United States of America, slaughtered over 800 horses belonging to Native People. Today, a granite slab marks the location for all generations to see. It reads:

In 1858 Col. George Wright with 700 soldiers was sent from Walla Walla to suppress an Indian outbreak. After defeating the Indians in two battles, he captured 800 Indian horses. To prevent the Indians from waging further warfare, he killed the horses on the bank of the river directly north of this monument.

The slaughter of Indian horses was itself a terrorist act, designed to cripple the economy and morale of the People.

I heard about this place years ago, but did not visit in person until I made pilgrimage today. The sky was grey and drizzly, casting a somber mood over the river. A bald eagle flew overhead and perched along side a second bald eagle in a dead tree. I hear the sound of passing trucks on Interstate 90, just a few hundred yards away. The monument itself reminds me of a passing footnote along the Centennial Trail...hardly worth remembering in mainstream and orthodox history, except today I feel the pain of animals and men, subjugated by a spirit of vengeance; humiliated by one nation's desire to dominate the continent.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

sunset near my house, september 11, 2005...
Copyright © 2005 Barry G. Moses.

Remembering September 11th

Like so many of us on the west coast, I woke up to scenes of the Twin Towers burning on Lower Manhattan.

Some time after 7:00 am, I got out of the shower and heard the phone ringing. Dripping wet, I threw a towel around me and rand to the phone and heard Rhonda's mother on the line weeping, "We're under attack! They bombed New York City! They bombed the Pentagon!"

"What are you talking about?" I shot back, thinking this must be a sick joke or at most an exxageration of some minor incident.

I turned on the television and became alarmed as I realized this was no exxageration... the Twin Towers were indeed burning on the screen in front of my very eyes. "Rhonda, wake up!" I shouted, and together we watched dumbstruck with the rest of the nation as one by one the towers fell. I was a half hour late for work, but it didn't matter; all the other staff were just as fixated on their classroom televisions. It was nearly impossible to was just so shocking.

* * * * *

The next morning, I remember waking up to the sound of silence. I live just a block away from Highway 395, and close enough to major airways to hear passing jets...but the morning of September 12 I heard no cars, no planes, no modern noises whatsoever, just the sound of the wind passing through the pine trees in my back yard. I realized them I had never heard that sound before.

* * * * *

Just a few weeks later, my family held the first winter ceremony of the season, and I remember during one of the breaks we all stood huddled around a small kerosene lamp in the middle room of the Green House talking about September 11. One of the elder members of the family said, "Well, if the white people blow themselves up I know I'll be alright. We still remember where to find our roots, berries, and traditional foods. If we have to go back to the old ways, we know how."

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Letter of Apology

Two days in a row down memory lane; I'm not sure what to do with it all...

I received a letter today from a retired general authority of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; whom I will not name in this post. Those of you who know me well may recognize the story.

Fourteen years ago I visited Elder _____ for a pre-mission interview, several months before I received my call to serve in the Guatemala Quetzaltenango Mission of the LDS Church. The short version of the story is this: he treated me rudely and only authorized my mission after insulting me for the better part of an hour.

I've harbored a certain measure of resentment ever since, until last some bizarre "coincidence," this same Elder _____ attended sacrament meeting with my wife Rhonda. She knows the story well, and wasted no time confronting him with his offense. She says he felt very sorry for his actions and asked for our address. She gave it to him, and today I received the letter.

I quote the letter in part:

"I was very sorry to hear from your dear wife Rhonda, that I had offended you very deeply a few years ago in an interview. With all my heart and soul I hasten to ask your forgiveness for my words and attitude toward you. Please forgive me for my lack of understanding, for my failure to help you in your time of need, and for my obvious shortcomings as a representative in the Kingdom..."

Now I sit with this letter on my shall I respond? Of course, I must forgive.

Friday, September 09, 2005

the little dormer window to my old bedroom...i look at it now as a doorway to the otherworldly memories of my childhood...
Copyright © 2005 Barry G. Moses.

What Dreams Haunt My Earliest Memories

I took an interesting drive down memory lane this afternoon.

Driving home from visiting a client in downtown Spokane, I encountered road construction and an unexpected detour. I cursed under my breath and lamented the closure and/or "detour" of nearly every major roadway in the city. We've had more construction than usual this summer, and no matter how cleverly I try to plan my route in advance to avoid unneccesary delays, unforeseen detours just seem to "crop up" out of no-where; like today.

The detour route led traffic away from the main arterial and into a quiet residential neighborhood lined with trees. The orange detour sign indicated which of the sideroads to follow, but suddenly I found myself feeling strangely familiar with my surroundings. I drove one block ahead of the detour sign and stopped at the next crossroads. A street sign to my right read: Calispel. Across the street to my left stood one of several houses I lived in as a little boy, before my parents divorced.

The house was an old two story dwelling converted into a duplex. When I lived there with my parents and my baby brother, the landlord occupied the ground floor, and we occupied the upper story. I had a small room to myself, only slightly larger than a walk-in closet, with a dormer window facing the street. I was only four or five years old at the time.

Memories from that house hold a certain hazy, if not surreal quality for me. I started to become aware of my dreams during that time, but I did not easily distinguish between my inner dreamworld and the outer reality.

Once I dreamed my parents were arguing and my mother started throwing my father's beer bottles out the kitchen window. When she couldn't find any more bottles, she started throwing glass plates and bowls. I clearly remember seeing her, her long dark hair flinging wildly as she screamed; I distinctly remember the sound of shattering glass; it seemed so real, and truly, I thought it was real, but when I got up the next morning, the kitchen window was whole and unbroken. I ran outside to the yard expecting to see broken beer bottles and smashed kitchenware, but there was nothing; only the green grass and the happy, calm blue sky above.

I ran back into the house and up the stairs to our little apartment, and nearly out of breath, I confronted my mother, "Mom...what happened to all the glass?"

"What glass?" she said quite softly, almost sweetly; altogether different than I remembered her sounding the previous night.

"The glass you threw out the window!" I stated impatiently.

"Don't be silly," she said, "I didn't throw any glass out the window."

One night, not long after the mysterious incident with the disappearing broken glass, a little red-headed boy wearing a blue and green striped shirt woke me up to play with him. I followed him out of my little room into the kitchen; it was dark, and I could see the light was off under my parents' bedroom door down the hall. " quiet," he said, "I want to show you something. Follow me." He tiptoed across the kitchen floor and opened the cupboard under the sink. A bright light shone out from the opening and the little boy crawled in. "Come on!" he motioned for me to follow. As I approached, I could see what looked like a sandy beach or field on the other side of the cupboard. The sun in that other world shone as bright as day. I started to follow him, but felt suddenly afraid. I awoke with a start.

The dream seemed so tangible and real...I ran from my bed and threw open the cupboard fully expecting to see the same strange opening to the other world. Once again, there was nothing extraordinary... only pipes and a few cleaning bottles.

I had other bizarre, otherworldly dreams, of people walking through walls and floating like ghosts through the air; but one final dream stands out with chilling clarity.

I awoke in the middle of the night, or at least, I thought I awoke. The house was dark, except for an eerie blueish light shining from the bathroom. I felt compelled to see what was causing such a strange light, but at the same time, I felt a terrible sense of dread. When I entered the bathroom, the door slammed shut behind me and I saw a tall man dressed in a black suit standing on the ceiling. Now I knew this had to be a dream, but as much as I tried, I could not escape; I couldn't scream. The man lowered himself from the ceiling and stood hovering in the air above me. He smiled a wicked grin with a perfect set of shiny white teeth, and would have seemed handsome were it not for the aura of pure evil surrounding him.

He smiled, but he spewed hatred through his perfect teeth; "You know Barry," he said, "I don't like you very much." He then picked me up by my ankles and plunged me head first into the toilet water as he laughed.

I woke up screaming; drenched in my own sweat. What a terrible and graphic dream for a four-year-old. Oddly, I remember very little of the experiences I actually lived in that house, but the dreams remain with me still. As I parked my car across the street, I could close my eyes and still see that horrible man. Why did I ever dream such awful things? Why did fate bring me back to this house today? Why did the universe ask me to recall this horrible memory at this time in my life?

I feel vulnerable and weak sharing these things with you, my unseen audience, but I also feel lighter knowing others now see what dreams haunted my earliest memories.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

i took this photograph earlier this year...
Copyright © 2005 Barry G. Moses.

The Mind is a Fire to be Kindled

Fall semester began tonight for me at Whitworth College with a class called "Milestones in Education." I surmise from the introduction the class will address philosophy, history, and psychology of education throughout the ages. We began our study with a quote:

"The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled." ~Plutarch.

The professor asked us to write several points in support of the quote, and several in disagreement. I actually liked what I had to say in support of the matter:

"On a neurological level, the mind very literally burns; the neurons fire and form connections and create a whole living experience. The more neurons we have firing, the more meaningful connections we form, and the richer our lives become. In contrast, apathy is the opposite of fire. It is the slow atrophy of neurological connections produced by lack of use."

We ended with a reading and discussion of Plato's cave allegory; rather than recite the allegory here, I close with the final paragraph of his writing:

"The power and capacity of learning exists in the soul already; and just as the eye was unable to turn from darkness to light without the whole body, so too the instrument of knowledge can only by the movement of the whole soul be turned from the world of becoming into that of being, and learn by degrees to endure the sight of being, and of the brightness and best of being, or in other words, of the good." ~Plato.

this picture nearly got me in trouble with a federal officer...
Copyright © 2005 Barry G. Moses.

i like this view of the masonic temple; the different colors, the lighting, etc...
Copyright © 2005 Barry G. Moses.

Minor Incident at the U.S. Federal Building

As an amateur photographer, I've become quite fascinated with the some of the more subtle features on my camera, and I enjoy experimenting with various levels of light. For example, I like to take repeat photographs of buildings and scenery at night using different exposure lengths. I've been sick the last few days and cooped up in my house, so I decided to go outside last night and take some time lapse pictures of several buildings downtwon. Unfortunately, my innocuous little hobby created a few minor problems.

The Federal Courthouse has an illuminated fountain...perfect subject matter for a time lapse photograph. I set up my tripod, set the timer and started photographing the water and the trees. After taking five or six shots, I noticed a federal officer approaching from across the plaza, speaking into a radio transmitter on his uniform. I suddenly realized the awkwardness of my situation: there I was, photographing a United States Federal Building at night, during a national security crisis... "What should I do?" I thought to myself. I contemplated just walking away, but reconsidered my options. I didn't want to look more suspicious than I already did. I decided to stay put and try to make pleasant conversation.

The officer was courteous and non-confrontational, but was obviously concerned about the photographs. "Are you photographing the scenery?" he asked.

I explained the whole thing about my interest in time lapse photography at night and offered to show him some of my pictures. He declined at first, but then thought better of it and asked to see what shots I had taken. He asked me how many megapixels my camera takes and various other features, probably to assess how much of a threat I really was.

Finally I apologized for causing him any trouble, to which he said, "It's no trouble. I just wanted to make sure you weren't trying to photograph any of the building's safety features."

"I don't even know what those safety features are," I said quite honestly.

"And I'm not going to tell you."

The incident ended simply enough, but I suppose a camera can be a powerful weapon.

Monday, September 05, 2005

the dancers paraded through the powwow grounds, led by a lone rider...sharon zanca told me the horse's regalia belongs to her family and has not been used in 65 years...
Copyright © 2005 Barry G. Moses.

While I was away...

A lot can happen in a week...

On the world scene, Hurricane Katrina, the biggest storm in U.S. history, made landfall on the Gulf Coast, leaving death, destruction, and devastation in its path. It's been difficult to watch, even from the safety of my television set; thousands were left stranded four, five, or six days in the Superdome, as they sat in their own rotting waste; the city of New Orleans was completely under water; dead bodies were strewn on the streets and floating in the's absolutely horrifying! I've never seen a disaster of this magnitude in the United States in all my life! Hundreds, maybe even thousands were killed.

Here at home, my family took ill one by one, though I won't describe the symptoms here. I was in bed most of the week.

Wellpinit Powwow started on Friday, but we missed it because of illness. We didn't go until Saturday...even though I didn't feel all that much better. It was hard to be there for a lot of reasons, including many of the people who have harmed our family; but there were friends too, loved ones, and allies. Powwow was a good experience too: my family set the headstone for my uncle Sam; I saw Samantha's baby for the first time; I visited with old friends.

stick game hall at wellpinit...the same view as last week's photo...
Copyright © 2005 Barry G. Moses.