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Living a Connected Life. Kathleen Brehony, Ph.D. Become a Lake. “We are here to awaken from the illusion of our separateness.” -- Thich Nhat Hanh, Vietnamese Buddhist Monk. The Landscape of Connection. The Biology of Belonging The Psychology of Belonging The Nature of Attachment

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Living a Connected Life

Kathleen Brehony, Ph.D.


Become a Lake

“We are here to awaken from the illusion of our separateness.”-- Thich Nhat Hanh, Vietnamese Buddhist Monk


The Landscape of Connection

  • The Biology of Belonging
  • The Psychology of Belonging
  • The Nature of Attachment
  • The Failure of Attachment
  • The Evidence for the Power of Connection
  • Social Capital and Where We Collectively Stand
  • The Usual Suspects
  • A New Paradigm/Honoring the Wake-Up Call
  • A Thousand Words for Snow

A Social Animal

“By our very natures, humans are prepared to be social animals. We are biologically and psychologically prepared for attachment and bonding. Our need for connection is – from birth and beyond – a fundamental survival need.”-- Living a Connected Life


Some Evidence for Human Sociability

  • Infants cry at sound of another infant’s cry.
  • Menstrual synchronization.
  • Without touch and closeness, infants die.
  • Fine tuning of thousands of physiological events – blood pressure, heart rate, body temperature, sugar levels, hormones and salts are affected by others and they, in turn by us.
  • Heart-to-Heart.

Attachment is Not Just In The Brain

“It is only with the heart that one can see rightly.For that which is essential is invisible to the eye.”

-- Antoine de Saint-Exupéry “The Little Prince”


Attachments of the Heart

  • The heart forms in the developing fetus before the brain (within the first 18 days post-conception) and a regular heartbeat can be measured within days of that.
  • Heartbeat is “auto-rhythmic” self-initiated from within the heart itself.
  • Generates the strongest electromagnetic field produced by the body (40-60% more amplitude than the brain).
  • Electricity generated by the heart can be measured in the brain waves of another person when people are touching or near one another (measured up to 12 feet).
  • Entrainment – heart cells from two different people will begin to beat together even when in two separate petri dishes – synchronization.

Human Infants and Baby Sea Turtles

Compared to every other species, human infants are born premature and must continue to develop outside the womb. We’re biologically hardwired to ripen through loving, secure experiences with caregivers.


Psychology and Biology of Belongingness

Brain Development in Infants

  • 75% of Brain develops after birth through experience
  • 100 billion neurons and trillions of glial (“glue”) cells
  • Interconnections are most critical and forming
  • Changes 100,000 times more rapidly than an adult brain
  • Consumes far more calories than adult brain (65% v 15%)
  • Pre-wired and Pruning (“use it or lose it”)
  • Synaptic pathways

Renée Spitz Research – 1940’s

  • Infants taken from felon mothers and raised in “sterile nurseries” where they were fed but not handled or cuddled:
  • Failed to thrive and were diminished in height and weight for their age
  • Developed brains that were 20-30% smaller than normal
  • 25% died within the first year. 37% died within the second year
  • Ironically, 40% of the infants who contracted measles died when the mortality rate outside the institution was only .5%
  • Scored 72 on the WISC (average intelligence is 90-105)

John Bowlby“The Father of Attachment Theory”

Bowlby said human attachment was much more like imprinting in geese and less like the reward and punishment schedules that allowed behaviorists to make rats run mazes or shape pigeons to peck levers. Attachment is innate and neurologically based - An instinctive reciprocal relationships with implications for the survival of the species.

Konrad Lorenz and baby geese


Harlow’s Monkeys – 1960s

Infant rhesus monkeys separated from their mothers were apathetic, sometimes hyperagitated, aggressive and given to outbursts of violence. The were socially inept, highly fearful, failed to interact normally, showed inappropriate sexual responses and often rocked like autistic children. As adults – the females were not able to care for their offspring, would not breastfeed, and behaved violently toward their babies.


Mother/Infant Proximity & Breastfeeding

  • Balances levels of cortisol (a stress hormone) in the infant and sends messages to the brain to make connections
  • Flood of prolactin and oxytocin in mother (“mothering hormones”)
  • Infant’s core body temperature coordinates with that of her mother (called “thermoregulation”)
  • Interval of their heartbeats is the same

Fathering and Attachment

  • Not as clear as research with mothers – probably because little research attention has been paid to attachment and human fathers
  • New research is documenting dramatic endocrinological changes for fathers in preparation for and after the birth of offspring. Clear effects of paternity in several species of mammals and rodents and most species of birds
  • Human fathers – reduction in salivary testosterone in response to infant’s cries
  • Fathers’ levels of cortisol, prolactin and testosterone changed dramatically during partner’s pregnancy

Infants Are Born Ready to Relate

  • Hearing is fully developed at birth – the developing fetus has taken in 60% of the sounds surrounding his/her mother
  • Even 2-day old infants show a decided preference for human sounds and music over all other sounds
  • Preprogrammed to look for and see human faces – will orient to a mask if it has two eyes, a smooth forehead, a nose and moves. A mouth is not necessary! Between 3-6 months, infants smile – “innate releasing mechanism”
  • Can discriminate between miniscule changes in emotional responsiveness of people around them

Erik Erikson’s 8 Stages of Human PsychoSocial Development

  • Trust/Mistrust (Infancy – ages 1 or 2)
  • Autonomy/Shame (ages 2-4)
  • Initiative/Guilt (ages 4-6 – formal school)
  • Inferiority/Inferiority (“school age”)
  • Identity/Identity Diffusion (Adolescence)
  • Intimacy/Isolation (Young Adult)
  • Generativity/Self-Absorption (Adulthood)
  • Integrity/Despair (Maturity)

Mastering Trust/Distrust

When an infant learns to trust others, herself, and the environment when her physical and emotional needs are met and she is free from uncertainty, feels safe and protected, develops secure attachments, and knows that others will help and care for her. With this early experience, the infant will grow into a person with abilities to form and maintain relationships. She will have positive expectations about others and a long-standing belief in her own worthiness and the expectation that the world can be a safe place.


Failing to Master Trust/Distrust

If the infant cannot (for any reason) master the challenge of trust/mistrust, she will carry remnants of this uncompleted task into the next and subsequent stages of development and mover through life with high levels of fear and insecurity. As an adult, she will see the world as an unfriendly, unpredictable, and chaotic place and will be unlikely to develop deep and intimate relationships with others.


Types of Attachment

  • Secure – Upset at mother’s departure and easily soothed when she returned (about 70% of infants tested this way in the “Strange situation”)
  • Insecure/Avoidant – May or may not be distressed at mother’s departure but avoided or turned away from mother on her return
  • Insecure/Ambivalent – Distressed at mother’s departure but seeks both comfort and distance on mother’s return. Crying and reaching to be held but attempting to get away once picked up. Actively or passively showed hostility to mother

Mary Ainsworth et al


Attachment: When Things Go Wrong

  • “Needy,” lonely, disaffected, pessimistic
  • High levels of psychological (e.g., low self-esteem, depression, anxiety) and physical problems (e.g., failure to thrive, infections, chronic illness)
  • Antisocial: sometimes aggressive or violent
  • Difficulties with trust, intimacy & affection
  • Attachment Disorders form a continuum bounded on one end by “secure attachment” and the other by the most severe Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD)e.g., Romanian Orphans (1960s – 1990s)

Reactive Attachment Disorder – Sad Statistics

  • Attachment disorder is transmitted intergenerationally. Children lacking secure attachments with caregivers commonly grow up to be parents who are incapable of establishing this crucial foundation with their own children. Instead of following the instinct to protect, nurture and love their children, they abuse, neglect and abandon. The situation is out of control. Consider the following:
  • The number of children seriously injured by maltreatment quadrupled from 1986 (140,000) to 1993 (600,000).
  • Three million cases of maltreatment were investigated by Child Protective Services in 1995. Over one million were confirmed as serious abuse and/or neglect with risk for continued maltreatment. Surveys indicated the actual number of cases are 10 to 16 times higher.
  • Child Protective Services are unable to handle the vast increases; only 28% of seriously maltreated children were evaluated in 1993 compared to 45% in 1986.



Symptoms of Reactive Attachment Disorder

  • Behavior: oppositional and defiant, impulsive, destructive, lie and steal, aggressive and abusive, hyperactive, self-destructive, cruel to animals, irresponsible, fire setting.
  • Emotions: intense anger and temper, sad, depressed and hopeless, moody, fearful and anxious (although often hidden), irritable, inappropriate emotional reactions.
  • Thoughts: negative beliefs about self, relationships, and life in general ("negative working model"), lack of cause-and-effect thinking, attention and learning problems.
  • Relationships: lacks trust, controlling ("bossy"), manipulative, does not give or receive genuine affection and love, indiscriminately affectionate with strangers, unstable peer relationships, blames others for own mistakes or problems, victimizes others/victimized.
  • Physical: poor hygiene, tactilely defensive, enuresis and encopresis, accident prone, high pain tolerance, genetic predispositions (e.g., depression, hyperactivity).
  • Moral/Spiritual: lack of faith, compassion, remorse, meaning and other prosocial values, identification with evil and the dark side of life.



Our History MAY Become Our Future

  • Habits are formed through repetition
  • Psychological and neurological “ruts” (Synaptic pathways)
  • Negative self-image, internal self-talk, self-defeating beliefs
  • Lack of skills required for intimate connections

The Good News! People can change through insight and action!Specialized Therapy is necessary for severe cases of attachment disorder.


Attachment: When Things Go Right

“Secure adults find it relatively easy to get close to others. They’re happy, socially competent people with high levels of resiliency and persistence. They don’t worry about being abandoned or having someone close to them. They’re “emotionally intelligent,” empathetic with others, solve many problems on their own but aren’t reluctant to ask others for help when they need it. They maintain close, intimate connections with others.”– Living a Connected Life


Well, You Got To Have Friends

Loneliness breaks the spirit -- Jewish Proverb


The Power of Connection/Belongingness

“If you could do just one thing that would lengthen your life, help you stay psychologically and physically healthy, and support your healing when you did become ill, you would maintain strong connections to other people. The effects of belongingness are so potent that if they could be bottled, they would need FDA approval.”-- Living A Connected Life


The Early Evidence

As early as 1897, French Sociologist Emile Durkheim observed that one could predict rates of suicide by looking at the quality of social ties in an area. In areas where there was strong “social solidarity”, suicide rates were low. Areas where social ties were weak had much higher rates of suicide.


The Roseto Effect – 1950s

A small town in Pennsylvania – A close-knit community of Italian immigrants who lived longer lives than people in neighboring towns and were virtually free of heart disease.

Had they found the alchemical Elixir Vitae?

No! They had high levels of social cohesion, trust, and mutual respect. They were connected.

From 1979 to 1994, eight large-scale community-based studies confirmed what those early researchers found in Roseto.


Scientific Studies

  • Five decades of medical and epidemiological research has shown the powerful and positive effects of connections on:
  • Heart and cardiovascular disease
  • Stroke
  • Respiratory Diseases
  • Cancer
  • Allergies, Colds, and other Infectious Diseases
  • Depression, Stress and other Psychological Problems

Positive Effects of Connections

In his book Love and Survival: The Scientific Basis for the Healing Power of Intimacy, physician Dean Ornish summarizes the power of connections this way: “I am not aware of any other factor in medicine – not diet, not smoking, not exercise, not stress, not genetics, not drugs, not surgery – that has a greater impact on our quality of life, incidence of illness, and premature death from all causes.”


Interesting Gender Difference

  • When women are stressed – they move toward greater connection with other (“Tend and Befriend” rather than “Fight or Flight”).
  • Men under stress tend to “hole up.”
  • Women respond to stress with a surge of brain chemicals (such as oxytocin) that buffer the “fight or flight” response, pushes them toward social contact, which releases more oxytocin which calms them further. Estrogen (a female hormone) has an enhancing effect on oxytocin whereas testosterone (a male hormone) reduces it.

Klein, Laura & Taylor, Shelley (UCLA Stress Research Lab), 2002


“Social Capital”

Social capital is the “glue” that holds societies together and refers to the quality and depth of relationships between people in a community.


The Collective Benefits of High Social Capital

  • Joining one group cuts your odds of dying over the next year in half. Joining two groups cuts it in quarter.
  • Communities with higher levels of social capital produce children with higher SAT scores and higher performance on a broad range of testing.
  • Communities with higher social capital have lower dropout rates, higher retention, and less youth violence.
  • The more connected we are in our community, the less colds, heart attacks, strokes, cancer, depression, and premature death we experience.
  • The higher the social capital, the less murders and violent crimes in our neighborhood.
  • Blood donations are higher in communities with high social capital.
  • Road rage is reduced in communities with high social capital.
  • Measured happiness goes up when we are socially connected in mutually respectful, trusting relationships based on exchange and reciprocity.

The Sorry State of Our Connections

  • Family dinners and family vacations or even just sitting and talking with your family are down by one third in last 25 years.
  • Having friends over to the house is down by 45 percent over the last 25 years.
  • Participation in clubs and civic organizations has been cut by more than half over last 25 years.
  • Involvement in community life, such as public meetings is down by 35 percent over last 25 years.
  • Church attendance is down by roughly one third since 1960s.
  • Philanthropy as fraction of income is down by nearly one third since the 1960s.

How Connected Are You?

How many of your neighbors’ first names do you know?

How often do you attend parades or festivals?

Do you volunteer at your kids’ school? Or help out senior citizens?

Do you trust your local police?

Do you know who your U.S. senators are?

Do you attend religious services? Or go to the theater?

Do you sign petitions? Or attend neighborhood meetings?

Do you think the people running your community, care about you?

Can you make a difference?

How often do you visit with friends or family?

The Social Capital Community Benchmark Study –


The Usual Suspects for our Dwindling Social Capital

  • Mobility
  • Where You Live
  • Sprawl
  • Not Enough Time
  • Television
  • Technology
  • Breakdown of Traditional Families
  • Women in the Labor Force
  • Generational Effects


  • U.S. Census Bureau reports that residential mobility has been exceedlingly constant over the past 50 years, but if anything, we’re relocating LESS now than in the 1950s (when social capital was high by every measure)
  • 1950s = 20% of Americans moved each year compared to 16% (1999).
  • Adding to the stability of present-day communities, home ownership in 1999 was at a record-setting high (67%).



Where You Live

  • Residents of large metro areas compared to small-town counterparts are less likely to join groups, attend club or public meetings, attend church, or visit with friends.
  • BUT – metro residents are only about 10% less trusting and join different kinds of groups – More nationality-based and political clubs while smaller cities have more veterans’, fraternal, agricultural, service, and church groups.




  • Suburban sprawl has created an environment in which most Americans no longer live where they work
  • The average commuter spends 72 minutes every day behind the wheel and most commute alone (2/3 of all car trips are made alone)
  • Commuting represents twice as much time as the average parent spends with kids
  • Every ten minutes of additional commuting time cuts all forms of social capital by 10%

Get back in the lineup, son!


Not Enough Time

  • Time-use studies show that leisure time from 1965 to 1985 actually increased by 5 hours per week
  • The average American schedule has more than 40 hours a week that could be used to make deposits into our social capital account
  • Question of priorities, not of time




  • Americans spend more hours alone in front of their TV sets (3-4 hours per day) than in any other activity except work & sleep
  • TV watching accounts for more than ½ of all leisure time activity
  • Heavy television watchers are more likely to be pessimistic, overestimate crime rates, and spend less time engaged with others
  • The only leisure time activity that is associated with decreased (rather than increased) social capital
  • “The data suggest that most Americans would rather watch Friends than have friends.” – Robert Putnam, Bowling Alone
  • Longer work hours are associated with more (not less) civic engagement and connections (e.g., report 30% less TV)

Get back in the lineup!



  • Some studies suggest that people who spend a great deal of time on the Internet are less connected to other socially.
  • Other studies have shown that technology has enormous power to create and maintain relationships.
  • “The Digital Divide” is a serious social issue.
  • Conscious use of technology needs further exploration.

The Jury is Out!


Breakdown of Traditional Families

  • Strong families increase social capital – at the core of our sense of connection, belongingness
  • Changes in basic structure of family: number of married Americans has declined from 74% (1974) to 56% (1998); ½ of all first marriages end in divorce
  • BUT, the sharpest jump in the divorce rate occurred in the 1970s – “long after the cohorts who show the sharpest declines in connection and social trust had left home”
  • Traditional family structure only associated with churchgoing and youth-related activities. Single and divorced people are more likely to attend club meetings and hang out with friends. Married folks more likely to have dinner parties
  • Divorce and changes in structure of families have only a moderate effect on social capital



Women in the Labor Force

  • In the 1960s only 37% of women held jobs outside the home, 60% of women now do (2003)
  • Men belong to more groups, but women spend more time with the ones to which they belong
  • Women who work outside the home actually spent more time with clubs and organizations than women who did not work outside the home
  • Working outside the home or not, women still spend more time in informal socializing than men



Generational Effects

  • Throughout the life cycle, people born before 1932 experienced more civic involvement, trust between people, feelings of belongingness, and relationships to neighbors and groups
  • “The Greatest Generation” vote more often (double the rate for other generations), trust people more (60% compared to 25% for their grandchildren) and are more engaged in civic and neighborhood life – they’re more connected

Get back in the lineup!


Robert Putnam et al. Saguaro Seminar John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

Analyzing the Guilty Suspects

Generational Effects 40-50%

TV 20-25%

TV Generation 10-15%

Sprawl 10%

Work/Time Pressures 10%


A Terrifying Prophecy

“Creating (or recreating) social capital is no simple task. It would be eased by a palpable national crisis, like war or depression or natural disaster, but or better and for worse, America at the dawn of the new century faces no such galvanizing crisis.”

-- Robert Putnam (2000)

…until now


A Changed and Changing World – Post 9/11?

Americans dramatically shifted their stated priorities after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Multiple polls showed we said we wanted closer connections, and more time with our friends and family. But, unfortunately, this shift in values didn’t last very long. By the spring of 2002, the surveys showed we were back to business as usual.


Honoring the Wake-Up Call

  • Crisis and Opportunity
  • Paradigm shift
  • Establishing Values & Priorities
  • Respecting the Yin

What is Old Can Become New

  • Indigenous Cultures are strong in places where ours is weak:
  • Native American Tribes
  • Hawaiian hanai and ho’oponopono and aloha
  • Canela people of Brazil

The Downside of “Belongingness”

Al-Qaeda, Nazisim, Aum Shinrikyo, Gangs

Everything of substance casts a shadow

  • Closed systems
  • No respect for individuality/diversity
  • Patriotism becomes jingoism
  • “Us” v. “Them”
  • Deference to authority and conformity abounds
  • Fragments, polarizes & abuses

Collective and Individual Balance

Both ruthless collectivism and rugged individualism are unbalanced and destructive to human life. Either one in its extreme form fails to provide the kind of society that allows human beings to flourish in their individual achievements and freedoms while nestled in the loving embrace of community, social responsibility, and safe harbors.


Integration of Dualities

As in all dualities, the wise strive to “hold the tension of the opposites” to integrate and balance opposing forces as we walk in both worlds.












Right Brain

Left Brain



“Shady Side of the Mountain”

“Sunny Side of the Mountain”







Relatedness, Communalism

Individualism, Separatism

Open Systems

Closed Systems



Assumptions for the Model

  • Everyone needs a variety of people and relationships in their lives
  • Relationships are not static; they change, as do our lives and needs.
  • Think of the “rings” in the model as semi-permeable membranes
  • It is the inner circle of relationships – those with whom we are connected by the heart – that constitute our “tribe” or true safety net. These are the containers that serve as our containers for emotional and spiritual growth
  • With the possible exception of our biological family, most relationships do not begin within this inner circle
  • Don’t mistake the “map” for the “territory” – life is really more complex than any model can describe

The World At Large

  • Global Planet
  • Non-local Consciousness, Subatomic Particles and Random Event Generating Machines
  • The Power of Love
  • More opportunities for connection than you may ever have realized
  • Mitakye Oyasin and Namaste

Not Quite Strangers & Acquaintances

  • We may have hundreds of people in our network of “not quite strangers” who are wrested from the great web of being
  • Friendship develops when one person says to another, “What! you, too? I thought I was the only one!” (C.S. Lewis)

Moving Closer to the Center

  • Shared values more important than shared interests. But shared interests are a good place to start
  • Move relationship out of its original context (e.g., ask a co-worker to your daughter’s wedding)
  • Original context makes a difference (Chinese saying: “We will often forget those we’ve laughed with. We will never forget those we’ve cried with.”) A refiner’s fire
  • Unexplainable chemistry

Friends For A Season or Reason

  • May have a number of “casual” friends but are tied together for a season or reason
  • When season or reason changes, friend may not be so close
  • Our expectations should be realistic
  • These friends may become attached-at-the-heart with time and nurturance

Attached-At-The-Heart Friends

  • “My friends are my estate.” Emily Dickinson
  • “A Friend is a single soul dwelling in two bodies.” Aristotle
  • “One loyal friend is worth ten thousand relatives.” Euripides
  • “Friends are the masterpiece of nature.” Emerson
  • “Friend, our relationship is this that wherever you put your foot, you feel me in the firmness under you.” Rumi
  • “Friendship? Yes, please.” Charles Dickens

Our Safe Harbor

  • Plato – searching for our missing half
  • Fictive Kin and Aunt Franny
  • Last a lifetime, call at 3 AM, good times/bad times
  • Celtic Anam Cara (“Soul Friend”)
  • Ceremonies pledging unconditional loyalty:
    • “Blood brother” (Native American)
    • Hawaiian pili hoaloha
    • German & Swiss Duzen (to address informally)

A Map To Connection

  • Your Friendship Values
  • Know Thyself
  • Social Skills
  • Acceptance – Are you a friend?
  • Boundaries: Armor, Gelatin, and semi-permeable membranes
  • Communication Revolution
  • Good Times/Bad Times
  • That Time Thing

“We have all known the long loneliness and we have learned that the only solution is love and that love comes with community.”-- Dorothy Day, humanitarian and founder of the Catholic Worker Movement, 1933


Your Friendship Values

  • Values are the foundation upon which everything else relies
  • Conscious understanding and living one’s values
  • Yogi Berra – “If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll end up somewhere else.”
  • Rocks in a Mason Jar

Know Thyself

  • You can’t have a better relationship with anyone else than the one you have with yourself
  • What do you bring into your relationships?
  • How well do you know yourself?
  • The Persona and The Shadow
  • Emotional Intelligence (EQ)
  • “To know others is to be wise, to know oneself is to be enlightened” – Tao Te Ching

Known to Yourself

Unknown to Yourself

Known to Others

Open Self – Known to Yourself and Others

Blind Self – Unknown to Yourself but Known to Others

Unknown to Others

Private Self – Known to Yourself and Unknown to Others

Unknown Self – Unknown to Yourself and Unknown to Others

The Johari Window

A model for awareness in interpersonal relationships Joseph Luft, Ph.D. & Harry Ingham, MD, 1955


Social Skills

“Great news! You can learn social skills just like I did! Let’s do lunch!”

  • Verbal Aspects
    • Self-Disclosure
    • Me, Me, Me – The Song of Narcissism
    • Listening Skills
  • Non-Verbal Aspects
  • Cognitive Aspects (self-defeating beliefs and negative self-talk)
  • Emotional and Physiological Aspects

Acceptance: Are You A Friend?

  • Similarities and Differences
  • The Futility of Seeking Perfection
  • Unconditional Love and Acceptance
  • Giving AND Receiving

Boundaries:Armor, Gelatin & Semi-permeable Membranes

  • The importance of Interpersonal Boundaries
  • Turning Toward, Turning Against, Turning With
  • Unable to risk v. Co-Dependency
  • When friends hurt/Toxic relationships
  • Schopenhauer’s Porcupines

Communication Revolution

  • Express Yourself
    • Self-Disclosure
    • Clarity
    • Assertiveness

2. Advice and Truth

  • The fine (and lost) Art of Listening
  • The gift of communication technology at the top of Mount Haleakala

Good Times/Bad Times

  • “Be more prompt to go to a friend in adversity than in prosperity,” Chilo (6th Century BCE – Greek)
  • Two Travelers and the Bear (Aesop)
  • Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes (“Friendshifts” – Jan Yager)
  • Shared Interests/Shared Values
  • History and Remembrance

That Time Thing

“If you want to make good use of your time, you’ve got to know what’s important and then give it all you’ve got,” -- Lee Iacocca

  • Identify your use of time
  • Analyze your present situation
  • Develop a plan – short and long-term goals
  • Implement your plan
  • Re-evaluate your use of time

Lessons From Toulouse

  • Be patient, persistent, never give up
  • Welcome the stranger

Finding Your Pack

“Wolves love to howl. When it is started, they instantly seek contact with one another, troop together, fur to fur. Some wolves will run from any distance, panting and bright-eyed, to join in, uttering, as they near, fervent little wows, jaws wide, hardly able to wait to sing.” – Lois Crisler, Arctic Wild

There is no house like the house of belonging.David Whyte, poet


Thank You. Mitakuye Oyasin.


Good Friends: Kathleen & Dorothy