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I’m Damaris Zehner.  What I have to offer in this blog is a different way of thinking – about people, primarily, and how they interact with themselves, each other, and the larger world. I grew up on four continents as the child of an American diplomat, served as a teacher trainer in the US Peace Corps in Liberia, and spent seven years in the remote mountains of Kyrgyzstan with my husband and four children.  Because I've seen our culture from inside and out, I don’t take our way of life for granted.  I've lived without indoor plumbing, reliable transportation or communication, easy medical access, or luxury items.  I know the advantages and challenges of a life restricted to local products and limited by access to local sources of energy.

My academic background also provides me with a different way of thinking.  I have a master’s degree in Medieval comparative literature from Columbia University and continue to read extensively in history and anthropology as well as literature.  Currently I live in the rural Midwest and teach writing at the college level.

I am not advancing a political position or an organizational vision.  I’m not a conservative or a liberal, I don’t belong to environmentalist groups or to any chamber of commerce, and I’m not trying to sneak in some kind of agenda concealed in the Trojan Horse of this blog.  I write out of love and concern for our species and our planet.

If you like what you read here, check out my most recent book of essays, The Between Time.  You can also find my work on, Local Futures' Economics of Happiness blog, Mother Pelican, and in the magazine Small Farmer's Journal.

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