About the Writer

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michael aspen

In the early 1980s I worked on a video project documenting the lives of hunting guides and outfitters in the wilderness east and south of Yellowstone Park. I spent a considerable amount of time alone and horseback, riding from hunting camp to hunting camp, sometimes spending as much as a week alone in the wilderness.

On a three day ride between camps, I stopped for the night on a ridge overlooking a lush valley of the South Fork of the Shoshone River. I tended my horses and made camp.

I noticed a variety of birds flitting through the aspen close to the camp, and I thought to myself, “If I just sit here quietly, I’ll bet they’ll come closer.” So I sat down at the base of a stately aspen and watched the birds.

As the birds flew closer my awareness expanded to include the tree I leaned against, down to the roots beneath my butt. I became one with the tree, aware of myself as tree-me and people-me… me leaning against me.

My awareness continued to expand to include the interconnected root webs of the aspen grove, the mountain on which they congregated, the mountain range stretching north to south, the continent supporting the mountain range, the planet on which the continent floated, the solar system through which the planet whirled, the galaxy spinning beyond the solar system, and the Universe within which the galaxy played… all the while aware of myself leaning against the base of the aspen tree.

My expanded awareness quickly returned to the local, and I have never forgotten the feeling of oneness with a the All That Is. Not an illusion, a knowing.

Since that time, I have sought to find a Way to that balance of physical and cosmic that I felt that day. My mind rarely rests for very long on any one subject, from archaeology to genealogy to tales of environmeddling daring-do, so you will find a variety of topics offered on these pages.



“Long live the weeds and the wilderness!” — Ed Abbey, 1927-1989


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