Michael Shook

Of Innocence and Demons, Part 2
Island Voices, June 2024

Of Innocence and Demons, Part 2

By Michael Shook Once one’s facade of innocence is peeled away – invariably in a painful manner – nothing ever again looks quite the same. This is a good thing. Among the many salutary effects I experienced as a result of my “fall to earth” was the collapse of the notion that humanity is perfectable….

Of Innocence and Demons
Island Voices, May 2024

Of Innocence and Demons

By Michael Shook This summer, I will turn 70. There will come an anniversary in August – late August, if I remember correctly. One would think I might remember clearly the date, given the life-changing experience that it was. Let it suffice to say, late summer.  Here, a little background is necessary. For my 40th…

Technology – Friend, or Foe? 
April 2024, Island Voices

Technology – Friend, or Foe? 

By Michael Shook The question came to mind because we bought an electric car. Well, a partially electric car, a plug-in hybrid. It feels like a tank compared to our 16 year-old Subaru, but nonetheless drives very nicely, and is quiet as can be, even when the gas/hybrid motor kicks in.  The Subaru was doing…

Winter’s End
Island Voices, March 2024

Winter’s End

By Michael Shook  “… the hounds of Spring are on Winter’s traces …”  They are indeed, lashed to a dead run by this year’s strong El Niño weather system. Buds are plump to bursting, daffodils, hyacinth, and crocus have been out and blooming for weeks, and the scents are shifting. In the late winter breezes,…

Dr. King’s Legacy
February 2024, Island Voices

Dr. King’s Legacy

By Michael Shook It is February, Black History Month. I think January and February dovetail nicely, since last month we celebrated the birthday of one of the great leaders of the twentieth century, the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. And as I’ve considered the history of recent years, and the legacy of Dr. King,…

The Old Man
Island Voices, January 2024

The Old Man

By Michael Shook Last year, 2023, marked 25 years since my father died. I did nothing in particular to mark the occasion, other than noting it was that accumulation of years whereby things are thought about, or spoken about because, well, because a certain amount of time has passed. And it seemed like not that…

… Replace
December 2023, Island Voices

… Replace

By Michael Shook When I hear the word “replace,” I usually think of it in the sense of something or someone being gotten rid of. As in, “Let’s replace that old vacuum cleaner,” or “Bill, we’re sorry, but we’re going to replace you with a robot.” But the first definition in my dictionary is, “To…

… Displace …
Island Voices, November 2023

… Displace …

By Michael Shook In 1972, when I graduated high school, there were about 3.4 million residents in the entire state of Washington. In 2022, there were 4.5 million residents of King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties alone. The state is now home to roughly 7.8 million people, with another million estimated to arrive during the next…

Place
Island Voices, October 2023

Place

By Michael Shook July marked 11 years at our property, and I feel I know the landscape now. The first trees I planted look like proper trees, rather than sticks. And the surrounding extant trees are familiar to me in ways they were not when first we moved here.  To get to know a place…

Life With Wasps
Island Voices, September 2023

Life With Wasps

By Michael Shook I finally got around to staining the gates in the back of the property this month. They were holding up well, but red cedar does last longer with some protection. So, back I went, stain bucket in hand, brush in the other. As I approached the largest of the gates, I could…

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