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Skiing and the Poetry of Snow

Poetry comes as close as language can to capturing that out-of-body lightness of swishing through the trees, of jumping off a cornice, of floating through the bottomless powder. This book is about joy and loss. It is about danger and consciousness. It is provocative, full of wit and insight, and helps us meet the challenges of self-discovery.


Peak experiences give us a glimpse of a world beyond what our senses report. It is a world we can feel but not articulate; know but not describe. In the poet’s words, the sight is within us—speak and it is gone. The bliss of memory persuades us it is real.
 

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Carrying the Clubs

This joyless plod down the emerald-green fairways of indifference has thrust humankind into a bad mood for the last five hundred years, and that obnoxious hole is to blame.

Let’s face it: life is not perfect. We all make mistakes. The law calls it negligence. Golf calls it shanks, chunks, slices, hooks, tops, whiffs, 4 putts, yips, dubs, airmails, worm burners, 404s, and that is just on the front nine. Humiliation defines the game.


We can learn to be our own best friend. We can be nonjudgmental of failures that matter less and loving critics of those that are crucial, and we can teach ourselves the difference. Since ethical issues arise everywhere, every day, and since a golf game takes about five hours, there is ample time to ponder some of the issues this book addresses as you stroll from shot to shot. It will help you forget the disaster your last swing produced.

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Leaving Town Alive

Brimming with optimism, John Frohnmayer journeyed to Washington, D.C., in 1989 to serve a cause he believed in deeply: the arts in America. Appointed by President Bush to be chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, he was abruptly fired two and a half years later in a storm of front-page controversy.
Leaving Town Alive is Frohnmayer's lively and startlingly candid account of his trial by fire in the brutal world of power politics. Taking over the NEA amid the uproar about Robert Mapplethorpe's sexually explicit photographs, Frohnmayer stood at the center of the emotional debate over public funding for the arts. On the left were staunch defenders of free speech and the artists whose confrontational works came under attack. On the right were Jesse Helms and the fundamentalist proponents of traditional values.


At first Frohnmayer assumed that he could negotiate anything and that everyone had the best interests of the country at heart. He was wrong: the White House, for instance, just wanted the problem of "offensive art" to go away, while right-wing fund-raisers wanted to keep the issue alive as long as possible. In the end, Frohnmayer's harrowing education changed him. He entered the fray a First Amendment moderate; he emerged a free-speech radical.
John Frohnmayer had an insider's view of Washington during the Bush years, and he writes with remarkable frankness about the bitter battles over the government's involvement in the arts. Passionate, witty, and wonderfully readable, Leaving Town Alive is, finally, an eloquent plea for the liberation of American culture from the narrow concerns of partisan politics.

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Out of Tune

Reflective essays on the meaning of the First Amendment and how we must work to protect and enforce our democratic birthright. This primer on the nature of democracy contains chapters on politics, ethics, censorship, religion and government and finding common ground. It also contains the full texts of The Declaration of Independence, The  Constitution, The Gettysburg Address and  Letter from Birmingham Jail.

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Socrates the Rower

The shirtless guy is slapping an aluminum baseball bat in his palm, threatening to brain me because I have a dog in the back of my truck and his sign clearly says that they don't allow no dogs, no how at his fleabag motel. When I say she can stay in the truck, he replies: "She's still a dog, ain't she?" and thereby absolutely nails the essence of ontology. As we peel out to avoid being smacked, my wife flips him a single digit gesture--a perfect example of what the Supreme Court calls "pure speech." Philosophy isn't so hard, after all.

Philosophy is about everything: how we know what we know, how we define our place in the universe, what we believe and how we judge truth, beauty, and justice. Ethics, in particular is about the good life and how we learn to be happy. But all of this is just words on a page unless we can actually use it in our lives and that is where rowing comes in. Rowing, and especially competitive rowing, teaches us about teamwork, community, courage, steadfastness, and a host of other qualities that have been the subject of philosophical musing for all of recorded history.

What this book does is make philosophy useful by tying it to physical activity. Our minds and our bodies have lessons to teach to each other and the successful athlete as well as the successful scholar learn these lessons through sweat, pain, and ultimately, inspiration.

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Sunriver: A Legacy

Sunriver Resort didn't just happen; it was the result of years of meticulous planning. While all facilities have been lovingly updated over the years, the goal has always been for humans to live with, rather than in spite of, nature. It is a place of fun, of repose and of exquisite beauty. This is its compelling story.

© 2019 John Frohnmayer. Website Design by Luminare Press.

John is available for readings and lectures. For inquiries,

and scheduling use the contact box on this website.