My career began as modern dance choreographer and teacher. International travel and graduate study led me into international program management, curriculum development, teaching, and administration at institutions including: New Era High School in Panchgani, India, World College West, California, the University of Oregon, and US Peace Corps where I was Associate Director responsible for Peace Corps Volunteers serving as teacher trainers in Namibia. I taught courses in: International Development Issues and Ethics, Intercultural Research Methods, Intercultural Communications and Adaptation. For twenty years I lived and worked in the West Indies, India, Nepal, and Namibia, respectively. Now I live in Oakland, across the bay from San Francisco, where my multicultural experience began as a child.
Photo by Eileen Ekinaka
Writings and publications include:
Noble Passing Guide for End-of-Life Planning, made possible with the support of the Morris Graves Foundation Artist In-Residence award.
Sapelo Time Is Winding Up, a play co-written with Diane Ferlatte, based on five oral histories of descendants of the first colony of enslaved Africans on Sapelo Island, Georgia
Keep Eyes Behind, a novel
Noble Passing - Regarding burial, funerals, & related matters
But a career gives only one side of a person’s life. These are among my favorite things, along with John Coltrane’s version of that song.
Shoghi Effendi is my twentieth century hero. His achievements as the Guardian of the Bahá’í Faith are awesome, amazing, and mystical. He unified people of diverse cultures, classes, and nationalities across the world. He taught them how to build, at the grass roots, the infrastructure of an administrative order based on the unifying principle of the oneness of humanity. For me to read his writings, especially God Passes By, his letters to Bahá’ís in North America published in The World Order of Bahá’u’lláh, The Advent of Divine Justice, and Citadel of Faith, are like studying for an advance degree in the combined disciplines of political science, international relations, history, philosophy, and theology.
I thrive on the process of learning, of practicing deeper ways of developing spirituality, and being an active participant in building community wherever I live. After retirement from academia I studied to be a hospital chaplain and then a Heartmath® Certified Coach. In this evening of my life I am still eager to learn more.
My day begins with a ritual of tea, prayers, and private thoughts. My favorite tea is Earl Grey with a pinch of cardamom and Turkish honey in a Persian glass.
My most satisfying social occasions include gourmet food in the company of intimate friends engaged in deep conversation spiced with hearty laughter.
Of the extraordinary coastlines I’ve lived near in the world, my favorite is Nye Beach on the central Oregon coast. I love walking there on the cold sand with bare feet at sunset.
I’m thrilled with the synergy of consulting and collaborating with friends on a new creative project.
When I walk with my husband Richard and dog Jade along the fire trail above Montclair Oakland, I like to pretend that we’re in an ancient redwood forest with cougar, fox, black bear, deer, and coyotes hiding nearby. It’s the closest comparison to my experiences riding elephants through Chitwan forest in Nepal where rhinoceros and tigers wandered nearby, and observing the excitement of animals and the awakening of the forest in Etosha Park, Namibia after the break of an eleven year draught.
As the last living letter writer, I like putting pen to paper while thinking affectionately about the recipient. I like post offices, stationery stores, postage stamps, elegant paper, and artistic greeting cards.
A sign of God for me is great theater, a novel or a movie I don’t want to end, a glorious music composition, dance performance, sculpture, and handmade textile.