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In Conversation ©Suzanne LaGrande, 2020

Make a hospitable place to listen and also to be understood

Meaning is in the words, but people stop there. They think words contain the meaning. But the meaning flows through the shapes, is carried on the sounds the shapes make on the breath, when put to music and blended with the other sounds and the silence that surround and permeate the meaning.

When I started to talk to trees I had to wait a long time to hear what they were saying to me. They spoke to me, but I was not attuned to hear them. I had learned…


What salmon know about how to defy gravity

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Wikimedia commons

It turns out facing things is not as hard, not nearly as hard, as resisting them. But to face things, especially forces that oppose us, we must go against every instinct we have to continue to believe and do what we believed and did before.

Facing things requires we undo and unlearn the well-worn emotional habits that we have repeated so often we forget we can do something else, and mistake them for cause and effect, the way the world is and will always be.

Salmon have much to teach us about…


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Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

The Covid-19 Pandemic makes clear access to technology is a basic human right

“We often hear in our community that technology is the thing that will save us technology will change the world. But technology and innovation are really just buzzwords: If they don’t include everyone, technology just becomes another systemic barrier…It’s our goal that when we talk about innovation, we’re really including everyone in the digital future and not leaving folks who are systemically disadvantaged left even further behind.”

The following is an interview with Hilary Shohoney ,who is the Director of Community Development at Free Geek in Portland, Oregon.

Free Geek: Solving Two Social Problem At the Same Time

At Free…


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Photo by Giuseppe Argenziano on Unsplash

An interview with Nicole who works in a grocery store.

The following is an interview I did with Nicole, a grocery store associate with 20 years experience who is working full time in a grocery store in Portland, Oregon.

“We are working long days, we’re working long weeks, and long hours. We want to be able to go home with our family and friends as well. But we’re putting our our health at risk away from our families instead of saying home because this is part of the job and this is what people need.”

Working in grocery store during the COVID-19 pandemic

It’s been extremely busy. Every time the…


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Photo by Mathyas Kurmann on Unsplash

But We’re Not All In The Same Boat

An interview with Leah Klass, creative consultant, mother of two, neighbor who is working with asylum seekers during the Covid-19 Pandemic.

We don’t always communicate well with our neighbors and with the people in the places we frequent on a daily basis, whether it’s schools or stores. I don’t think we can assume right now that everyone’s connected to the same websites or internet pages, and we’re certainly not getting the same messages from all of our governors or leadership. I feel like there’s there’s a disparity of connectedness. …


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Photo by Volha Flaxeco on Unsplash

One group’s efforts to make protective gowns (PPE)during the Covid-19 Pandemic

I’ve been really moved by the heart that people show also at the local level and around the world, that even when our leaders are demonstrating complete incompetence, in so many regards, with this crisis, there are communities of people locally and around the world that are creative resourceful, energetic, and are willing to tackle this problem — everyone from high tech 3d printer groups around the world, to people with a pair of scissors who are willing to get a cheap shower curtain and make it into something useful.

The following is an interview with Judy Burke, a freelance…


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Photo by Avrielle Suleiman on Unsplash

Teaching Yoga with Zoom during the Covid-19 Pandemic

“Yoga teachers talk about “holding space” for their students or for a room. It is an important part of finding calm in yourself and finding calm within a group of people. I wouldn’t have thought that it was possible to do that over a computer screen. I’m finding over and over again that that is possible. We really can find really meaningful social connections, we really can share and occupy space and similar experiences in real time over our screens.”

The following is an interview with Tara Atkinson, a yoga therapist and teacher who teaches diverse communities in Portland, Oregon…


Data-Bias in a World Made for Men: An interview with Carolyn Criado Perez

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Photo by Good Eason on Unsplash

“We have a situation where half the world’s global population is women and yet in terms of how things are designed, it’s as if women don’t exist. They’re invisible.”

Facts we are told, are objective.

According to Carolyn Criado Perez, it turns out that most of the data we rely upon to make decisions about everything from room temperature, to car design, to symptoms of disease, to language, is gender-biased.

The following is a transcript of an interview I did with Carolyn Criado Perez, about her book Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed For Men.


3 Ways Women Can Safely Express Their Opinions Without Disturbing the Status Quo

“Throughout history women, angry women have been called harpies, bitches, witches and whores. They’ve been labeled hysterical, crazy, dangerous, delusional, bitter, jealous, irrational, emotional, dramatic, vindictive, petty, hormonal. They’ve been shunned, ignored, drugged, locked up and killed, kept in line with laws and threats and violence… a woman should aspire to be a lady, and ladies don’t get angry.” (Lilly Danceyger, Burn It Down: Women Writing About Anger)

Women, do you not enjoy being called a bitch when you express an opinion someone doesn’t agree with?


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The Shaman’s notebook by Suzanne LaGrande

From the Shaman’s Notebook: Case Studies in Healing

Irene Jones is a poet, a former union organizer, a teacher and a storyteller. With flame red hair, she stand no more than five feet tall and speaks with a southern accent.

She tells me about growing up in the rural south, about her grandmother’s rage, her mother’s anger and about her determination to be the one in the family who would see the good in people.

Irene has a love of houses and a story for each one of the many houses she’s lived in throughout the country.

These days when…

Suzanne LaGrande

Storyteller, poet, rabble-rouser. I love to talk to strangers. suzannelagrande.com

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