About Rory Holland

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So far Rory Holland has created 563 blog entries.

This is what I believe, maybe.

By |November 27th, 2014|

I was having a discussion with my son. The topic was universities divesting from fossil fuel companies. The argument was how can they be offering sustainability programs on the one hand, and feeding the climate change contributors on the other? Good question.

At the risk […]

Accidental Privilege

By |November 25th, 2014|

I have it made. Through absolutely no effort on my part I have ended up at the top of the societal food chain. I’m a card carrying member of the lucky sperm club. I am a white, heterosexual male with a Canadian passport.

Given my […]

Just One Thing

By |November 24th, 2014|

I met a guy whose life’s work has been harmonicas. He even changed his last name to Harp. About a month ago I was at a workshop with a fungus expert. Mushrooms have been his sole endeavour for the last forty years. Then there […]

Po’ Monkey

By |November 21st, 2014|

A long way down a dirt road, far off the highway, the little building stands on its own on the edge of the bean field. It’s mid afternoon. There is a huge bonfire threatening the trees. An older man walks slowly towards us. He […]

Point of View

By |November 20th, 2014|

Began the day in Leland, Mississippi looking for a cup of coffee. I asked a guy on the street. “Yo’ options are the laundramat, or the Kwikimart”. Great. We decided to wander around town a bit anyway. In the next block we found a […]

Blue Front

By |November 19th, 2014|

Off the highway, around the corner, and across the railroad tracks, it was there on the right. A small standalone cinder block building painted blue with the faded sign out front. If I hadn’t read about it, I would have driven by without a […]


By |November 18th, 2014|

I’m traveling in the Jungian shadow of the United States. What with the Indian Removal Act, slavery, the civil war, and segregation in its past, east of the Mississippi has gotta be the epicentre for shame and resentment. No wonder every once and awhile […]

Church of Blues

By |November 17th, 2014|

“This yo’ first time? Well, enjoy like you been doing it yo’ whole life” was the greeting offered in a friendly growl by 85 year old Henry ‘Gip’ Gipson as we walked into the shack in his backyard. It was long after dark, on the outskirts […]

The Soil and the Sun

By |November 14th, 2014|

Seven of them on stage. In high school they would have been the one’s found down the end of the hall, sitting, backs against their lockers, arguing about obscure bands. These short years later they are no longer just talking music.

We stood in the […]

The Risk of Certainty

By |November 13th, 2014|

Today I’m heading south, driving from Kentucky to Tennessee. The map says I have options. There is the direct route, shorter in time and distance, and then there is a more circuitous way, longer, but undoubtedly more interesting.

I like it when the traveling is […]

The Commons and Gravity

By |November 12th, 2014|

The commons. I think that’s just a lefty way of saying ‘us’. I am pretty late to the party, but I am coming around to believing there is no ‘them’. The worst part of that is, if true, there is no one left to […]

My Remembering

By |November 11th, 2014|

My mother was adamant. Nothing with a trigger that could be pointed in the direction of another was allowed in our house. Not even a squirt pistol in the shape of an eggplant. It’s probably the most enduring, indelible lesson I learned growing up […]

Feeding and Reading

By |November 10th, 2014|

A missed connection meant a five hour exile in O’Hare Airport. Wandering the halls I passed the food court – counter after counter of empty calories. Next to it was a bookstore with shelves of business and self help titles. The two places had […]

The Price of Cheap

By |November 7th, 2014|

Are you sure you want to put that in your mouth? You have no idea where it’s been. Do you trust who gave it to you? These are questions, not for gum found under a table, but for what we order at restaurants or […]

Waking Up

By |November 6th, 2014|

It’s early and still dark outside. I imagine those I know waking up and beginning their morning routine. Breakfast, shower, considering the day ahead. Some are really looking forward to what’s going to happen while others have that realization about thirty seconds after their […]

Turn it Upside Down

By |November 5th, 2014|

“It’s upside down thinking” says my friend describing his faith. “You know, the first shall be last”. It’s counter intuitive. Evolution would suggest that our basic instinct is eat or be eaten. To survive it’s far better to be at the front of the […]

Lessons from the Neighbourhood

By |November 4th, 2014|

Most of my meetings in town are in the downtown east side. It is a four block radius of mental illness, drug addiction and homelessness. A friend once said that when he drives through that area: “the windows are rolled up, and the doors […]

Of Finger Pointing and Stone Throwing

By |November 3rd, 2014|

I have been a card carrying member of the self-righteous brigade this past week. I’ve been reading the news articles, refreshing the tweets, and shaking my head. With figurative stones in my hand I’ve been more than ready to throw.

The villain* is now under […]

All Hallow’s Eve

By |October 31st, 2014|

Imagine getting to dress up, collect as much free candy as you can, AND blow things up. It was definitely the best night of the year, by far. For a costume, I had two go to’s: hobo or hippy. Simple, easy, and, other than a […]

How Good Am I?

By |October 30th, 2014|

“I’m a total hypocrite, the milk in my coffee is from grain fed cows” says the local farmer who does all she can to raise and slaughter animals ethically. While I am challenged by her commitment, I wonder if the bar might not be […]

Over Thinking

By |October 29th, 2014|

My compost hasn’t been turned in over ten days. Its temperature has dropped. I am neglecting my duty, and frankly, it’s causing me stress. I’m not sure, but does that fall into the category of first world problem?

I choose the strangest things to get […]

Who I Am Voting For

By |October 28th, 2014|

I was at a political event last night. I showed public support for someone running for office. I have the button on my coat to prove it. I think the last time I was that close to politics was when I shook Trudeau Sr.’s […]

The Price of Checked Bags

By |October 27th, 2014|

“ People in life come and go, experiences happen, I don’t take any of it too seriously or hold on, even death isn’t such a big deal,” said the Nutritionist from Los Angeles. This was table conversation over breakfast yesterday.

I am not sure what […]

Cool to be Keen

By |October 24th, 2014|

The guy’s been at it over 40 years, yet he’s talking like he just discovered these things yesterday. Paul Stamets is a lover of wonder. His chosen focus of attention is fungi – in all their glory.

There are a lot of things I like […]

Heavy Peace

By |October 23rd, 2014|

Eyes for eyes and teeth for teeth. It’s fairly axiomatic that violence only generates more violence. I can’t think of a single instance where my anger calmed a situation, or where my threats brought any resolution. It’s the worst part of who I am, […]

No Words

By |October 22nd, 2014|

I was trying to use language to explain why at times what we experience is beyond words. It was at a dinner with a group of guys I’ve known for over a decade. They are all sensitive and caring, yet the point was rather […]

Be Here Now

By |October 21st, 2014|

I am trying to pay attention to the ground underneath my feet. I’ve lived in over a dozen places, and never given so much as a glance back before moving on to the next. Where I am hasn’t been nearly as interesting as where […]

This Shit Matters

By |October 20th, 2014|

We were on our second truckload of manure. Between fork loads my friend says, “you need to be pragmatic about these things”. I’d been wondering if the hay had been sprayed with herbicide or the animals fed GMO feed. “You can only go so […]