Jim Moonan

Owner/Artistic Director, NorthWind Education


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If you could live anywhere on earth or beyond, where would it be and why?

"There's no place like home" as Dorothy said in the Wizard of Oz. Strange thing was, she lived in that notorious place called "Tornado Alley" in Kansas, Missouri, US.

There are all kinds of reasons why we love certain places on this planet and why we choose to stay or not.

There are the practical reasons of job opportunities, politics, the weather, language and such.... But then there are the other reasons, too - to be near someone you love, to be next to the ocean or snug in the mountains or deep in the country or...

I live in New England and don't think I'll ever move again. I was born in New Jersey, went to school in Delaware and London, England, lived in England, then in Spain, then was drawn to Boston by love. So here I stayed.

But I could live in Montreal, Canada, in the Vancouver Canada area (Victoria Island?) the US northwest, somewhere in Scandinavia, maybe the Netherlands. Definitely in England. Maybe Isla Mujeres, Mexico.

TED nation is among the most diverse of any virtual (or real) nation I have encountered!! I'd love to know your thoughts on what is arguably the most important decision we make in this life.

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    May 16 2011: One place.

    The pulpit (the White House).

    So that we could tell it like it is:

    Its either sustainability or we or our children or grandchildren will pay for it with our lives and any hope of a civilized future....

    Now, ‘Tis the Day of Dark’ning Dawn
    When terrors grow as powers grow,
    Our powerful faults threaten all we know.
    And so, it is today the Day of Dark’ning Dawn
    When famine awaits the end of combustion,
    When all is exhausted by our consumption,
    When we await a war of mass destruction,
    When species die in mass extinction,
    When the weather grows weird,
    When the world avoids fear,
    And denies all evidence
    That horror is clear,
    That horror is near,
    By invoking
    The unreason
    Of darker times
    And the blind consensus of selfish minds.

    There’s toxic stew thats brewed within that cup of lead,
    The acid of despair or sweet denial’s poisoned air,
    A draught for those who’d let the world be dead.
    Drink not from lead, but try the golden cup instead.
    Beneath the cloud of growing power,
    Life is frail.
    But we can hope
    To save it all
    By drinking of the spirit found within the golden grail.

    The children look to us.
    Their children look to us.
    And their children look to us.
    The untold millions of generations
    Will not see life if we should fail
    To save their world…
    Us whole.

    (The Hopeful one).
    Standing strong,
    A Lonely voice
    Sings on
    With hope.
    Our hope.
    Our song.

    “We're coming to the edge
    running on the water
    coming through the fog
    your sons and daughters”

    “Let the river run”

    “Let all the dreamers
    Wake the nation[s]”

    “Come, The New Jerusalem.”

    Let us sing the call
    To build it here:
    The Holy Grail
    In spirit near.
    Become the love,
    That brick by brick
    Becomes the Holy Home,
    The Temple of the Light of Truth,
    The Temple of the Truest Love,
    The Love
    That fits
    The Golden Rule.
    The Narrow Path that travels to
    And through the sunlit gardens beyond our cave.
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    May 16 2011: Ive been all of the world and seen a lot..

    New York is just New York and I love it.
    I like city life and New York is the Barcelona of the Urban world.
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        May 22 2011: I make my periodic pilgrimages to NYC, soak it in, then leave it... For restaurants and the arts, it's hard to beat.

        I think people do, to an extent, become a product of the environment in which they live. We are curious creatures of adaptation. We look for a place to anchor ourselves; for a place to throw down roots. Maybe not forever, but for a long enough time to find a connection. In my late teens and twenties I was the traveler, the drifter, the chameleon. But it was unsustainable on so many levels. Now I’m happy to live in a place with four strong seasons, cultural stimulation, opportunities to work and live the way I like, and nature at my doorstep to walk into whenever I want.

        What is it that makes us call a place “home”? I am always amazed that people will live in places that are hostile. Be it places where floods and famine and earthquakes and other natural disasters are always lurking in the shadows, or places torn by war corruption, etc. But they do. It says something about human nature, but I don’t know what it is…

        I still feel I have one more place to call home and I was hoping to get some good leads in this conversation, but nothing yet...
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    May 22 2011: I would like to live in Camelot.
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    May 20 2011: I would want to live in my dream.
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    May 19 2011: I'd most like to live where you could count upon people to care for one another; where patience was the norm; where no one was excluded; where children would be provided the education they needed, at the pace they needed, and bond levies would not be defeated, where the sun shines warm, except when it is misty or drizzly, or when the rain pours in sheets and the thunder shakes your feets, or when the snow dazzles and sparkles under the street light; where the breeze blows just hard enough to make the aspen leaves shimmer; where fast food joints encourage me to be more vegitarian by serving great vegitarian meals; where retaliation is unheard of, where forgiveness is ready at hand; where the bible is one interesing thought filled book among many other human creations; where children are treasured and their future is protected; where people get to play baseball or soccer whenever they want even when they are over 20 (and those over 50, too); Where no school ever permits anyone to be cut from a team or not make the tryout; where poeple always have friendly philosophical discussions going on, where the tv teaches you interestinbg things every time you turn it on; where the beach is around the corner, and you can hike for miles through mountain wildernesses and stlll come upon beaver bonds and see the brook trout rising for flies; where you can still go to the stock car races to see 32 Fords racing on a 1/3 mile oval; where public transportation means I can read, write, or tallk with neighbors instead of drive; where my family is nearby; where people enjoy the kind of person I am, etc., etc., etc,.....
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    May 16 2011: Fun question . . .I haven't been that many places but I can say one thing for sure: It would be an ocean beach with waves just the right height for boogie boarding and tidepools for me to explore. Not too croweded. Musicians and artists on the boardwalk.

    I lived in Venice Beach, California, before it was discovered. Pure heaven. Where is that place now?
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      May 16 2011: Maybe the question will allow for time travel too!
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        May 18 2011: Yes, time and space - Make your case!

        Here is a sweet little song from childhood on the subject of where you call home:

        Well, I'd like to visit the moon
        On a rocket ship high in the air
        Yes, I'd like to visit the moon
        But I don't think I'd like to live there
        Though I'd like to look down at the earth from above
        I would miss all the places and people I love
        So although I might like it for one afternoon
        I don't want to live on the moon

        I'd like to travel under the sea
        I could meet all the fish everywhere
        Yes, I'd travel under the sea
        But I don't think I'd like to live there
        I might stay for a day there if I had my wish
        But there's not much to do when your friends are all fish
        And an oyster and clam aren't real family
        So I don't want to live in the sea

        I'd like to visit the jungle, hear the lions roar
        Go back in time and meet a dinosaur
        There's so many strange places I'd like to be
        But none of them permanently

        So if I should visit the moon
        Well, I'll dance on a moonbeam and then
        I will make a wish on a star
        And I'll wish I was home once again
        Though I'd like to look down at the earth from above
        I would miss all the places and people I love
        So although I may go I'll be coming home soon
        'Cause I don't want to live on the moon
        No, I don't want to live on the moon
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      May 17 2011: I like islands. There are dozens of islands up and down the New England coast that are beautiful, serene, natural and surrounded by the sea - but also close enough to some cultural stimulation when you need it! For example, in the waters off of Portland, Maine.
      There is a place on the outer part of Cape Cod called Truro that is great... Then there is Isla Mujeres, Mexico
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        May 18 2011: Ah, the Isla Mujeres, Mexico . . . don't know it but it's south. Kinda tired of being cold although my husband says, cold is just a matter of clothes. Maybe I'm tired of bundliing up. POSTNOTE: Sorry you felt compelled to changed your photo, but this one is nice, too.
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          May 18 2011: Thank you! You live and learn....

          Isla is a beautiful little island just off of Cancun. Easy to get to from the east coast. We go once a year to rejuvenate.

          I need the four seasons, though.
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    May 16 2011: I once thought that Flores, the Azores, was my magical place and was actually preparing to retire there. Unspeakably beautiful, very floral, temperate climate similar ro Bermuda..wonderful sailing diving and swimming..undiscoverd and off the beaten path. But then through a strange twist of fate I came to this island in my homestate of Maine ..without a doubt one of the most beautiful places on the face of the earth..also off the beaten path. I can't imagine a more perefect place on earth for me. Here is a photo essay one of my cottage renters did on my island http://www.pbase.com/jwsphoto/deer_isle I hope that everyone who dreams of a magical place is lead there as I was to this place. I think for everyone there is such a place. I had never heard of this place, nothing about it was on my list of attributes I thought I was looking for and yet as soon as I saw the island I knew I would be here for the rest of my life, as soon as I stepped foot on this land by the sea I knew I was home. May it be so for each of you.
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      May 16 2011: What a lovely contribution, Lindsay. The photo essay made my morning. Thank you, You are blessed.
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          May 16 2011: Thank you, I enjoyed that too! Those lupins (they are lupins aren't they?) are glorious too!
          Paradise indeed.
          PS You look good in red!
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      May 22 2011: Maine is BEAUTIFUL, I was there last summer and was surprised at how tropical the east coast is?! I can understand why you'd call it home.
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    May 16 2011: You can change your sky, but you can't change your mind.........or something like that. While I am extremely fond of Thoreau's philosophy of "home-cosmography", and love the intimacy that I have with my land (northern California),I have itchy feet and like to wander, I would make my home on the road.
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      May 17 2011: Like your new name Meher Like Spring Rabbit..my indian name is "Laughing woman who climbs Trees" Think I may start using that here..what do you think?
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        May 17 2011: hahahaha, I know its not obvious but "spring rabbit" was supposed to be a mnemonic aid so that people pronounced my name correctly inside of there head (Spring Rabbit = May Hare) but the phonetics got lost in my attempt at cleverness. I like your Indian name though, its a combination of 3 of my favorite things!
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        May 18 2011: Hahahaha, If this was an out-loud conversation that would be a funny question (thats how my name is pronounced), so Yes! call me Mayhare:)
  • May 16 2011: I have not been to countries other than the United States and Canada. My time in Canada was short-lived as I was on a ski trip with my family. I enjoyed myself tremendously and the people I encountered were very respectful and interesting. I have a personal attachment to the state of Vermont. I have lived most of my life in New Jersey and really miss the winding hills and green mountains of Vermont. I consider myself to be a more liberal person and Vermont seems to encourage my belief system. I like that most of Vermont encourages buying food from local farms and buying organic. The trouble with Vermont is find an area that is the right proportions of seclusion and society.
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    May 15 2011: Somewhere in the wood.
    Totally freedom.
    Where the food is good! (not poisoned)
    A happy place.
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      May 15 2011: Can you name the place that you describe? How would you get there? What about in the event that you became sick and in need of medical help? What's the real place?????
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        May 16 2011: A forest, with my body, society,the wild

        And I don't need medical help for sure.. I need Nature! :P And humanism