Category: Talks and Presentations

A Hunger for Joy — Lorca’s TEDx

This has been a long time coming -- when what needs to be talked of is a stronger voice than that of discomfort.  There is a special kind of work that occurs at the intersection of courage and vulnerability.  I arrived at that place here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bA4s-0D9AK8 Lorca Smetana found herself a survivor in the aftershock of one of the worst climbing accidents in the history of this country. For 33 years, she has been giving herself to resilience and compassion – adding light in every direction. And the daily return arrives in gift after gift of joy. Lorca Smetana is fiercely for

Radical Awakeness: Living Among Animals

Spoken to the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Bozeman for the Blessing of the Animals... I was invited to share today in part because my life and my work has become embedded in so very many animals.  Our river farm is and has been home to homing pigeons, white doves, Icelandic sheep, pigs, dogs, chickens, turkeys, ducks, geese, honeybees, rabbits.  It is also home to great horned owls who called as I wrote this, nesting kestrels and red-tailed hawks, eagles, magpies and snipe, woodpeckers and Eastern kingbirds, snakes and mice, porcupine, foxes, coyotes, raccoons, trout, turtles and whitefish, and the occasional moose, bear

Adventures in “Deathbed” Conversations

A story and an invitation and a challenge.  The story is here in this short Pecha Kucha video. This was about people playing with courage... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Th9KqjiXSL8 So the invitation and challenge is a game, an experiment I play, composed around freedom and courage and the awareness of mortality. The project had its roots in the letter writing workshops that I led over years.  I taught people to be more open and fun and colorful in the letters that they put into the mail, but I also started inviting people to write the amazing letters, the life-changers, the kind that are powerful in the lives of

Burnout is an open door.

Sometimes I feel I must be an alien, because I really, really love to talk about death, and about burnout. But this is really why. When I start from death, and burnout, we skip over the trite, and the hiding places, and the escape hatches, and go deep into the real. And then I can speak into survival, vulnerability, leadership, and of recovery and resilience into a listening of reawakening, because over and over, if we do it right, the deepest parts of ourselves become our new skin. Tomorrow, at the Bozeman Public Library at noon I'll be talking

7th Bozeman Pecha Kucha — The Anti-Internet Experience!

It's time again! If you don't know about it yet, you should because you'll LOVE IT! Such a great Bozeman evening, repeated twice. Tickets sell out each time, so go online at theellentheatre.com to get yours! Homing pigeons, dancing prisoners and the Hawaiian hula highlight Pecha Kucha nights at the Ellen Sept. 11 and Sept. 12 Homing pigeon aficionado Lorca Smetana, former Santa Rosa deputy police chief Scott Swanson and hula scholar Caroline Klarr are among the 11 eclectic presenters at Bozeman’s 8th Pecha Kucha event, Wednesday, Sept. 11 and Thursday, Sept. 12 at the Ellen Theatre. Additional

Survivors, Creativity and Leadership presentation at the Bozeman Public Library

Lorca Smetana From Chaos to Beauty: Survivors, Creativity and Leadership Brown Bag Lunch Presentation at the Bozeman Public Library Community Room Wednesday, May 29 at 12:00 noon Please join us at noon, Wednesday 29th in the Community Room of the Bozeman Public Library for a presentation by Lorca Smetana of A Dove Above Montana. "We are surrounded by survivors in every community, people who have moved through trauma or pain, drawing from themselves deeper resources of strength, creativity and meaning than they had ever needed before. Live media connection with traumatic events such as the Twin Towers, Columbine, Newtown and

Library release with kids!

How fun was that! Over fifty people filled the big new conference room at the Bozeman Public Library for an hour-long talk on the 5000-year history of humans and homing pigeons. They touched birds I walked around and held, saw the different colors of feathers of the 20 birds I brought, held grains and wooden eggs and leg identification bands. They met white homing doves from the ceremonial team and our champions from our racing and breeding teams. Afterward we took all the birds out to the front lawn on Main Street. Half of the birds I gave

Bozeman Library Presentation and Release

The birds are loving these late October sunny days, but we've gotten out the warmers to keep the waterers from freezing at night. The pigeons are just fine down to -60 degrees! Come visit the Bozeman Public Library this Sunday at 1:30. I'll be bringing a flock of white ceremonial homing pigeons and some of our racing champions as well. We'll have a presentation on the 5000-year history of humans and homing pigeons and if the weather's not crazy we'll release them afterward from the front lawn to fly home. Great for all ages. Hope to

Belgrade Senior Center Visit

This Wednesday I took a basket of birds to talk at the Senior Center in Belgrade. I especially enjoy talking at senior centers and retirement homes because there are often people who personally remember the bravery and the feats of the military homing pigeons in the two World Wars. Or sometimes someone had relatives in the old country who had a family loft. We had both of these this time. In a special twist this time we combined the talk and release at the end with a field trip to visit our loft. Five