Remarks Made at the High Desert Museum's 2015 Rendezvous Auction and Dinner August 29, 2015

We’ve just heard what it takes
to keep the High Desert Museum going.
The question is…
do we have what it takes?
We do.
Of course we do!

Executive Director Dana Whitelaw mentioned
moments” in her comments.

What High Desert Museum moments
are special to you?
Right now has to be one
Because…guess why…

tonight you and I
and all of us,
together,
can influence the future

of Oregon’s outback,
sage steppe,
great basin,
empty quarter.

This moment is ours to shape and ensure
the future of everything
this High Desert Museum embraces:
critters, people, magical places,

all this Museum brings to life…
so those who follow can also rejoice
in earth’s bold collision with sky,
the iridescence of the raven feather,
rabbit brush’s fall flavesence.

So all who follow
can also learn to discern
the feint contrails of human
triumph and tragedy
writ across this scape
and within those chalky tracings
see their own uncertain stories
as we have, as we do.

This is one of those moments
to do what it takes
so the High Desert Museum can continue
to seek the questions worth asking,
to ask the answers worth seeking.

In this moment it is for us to make sure
this museum remains a call
to what must continue to thrive
if, in ways real and imagined,
we, all of us, anywhere, are to survive.

So tonight
we’re going to shout
so loud
the future can’t help but pay us heed,so loud
this straight-faced desert cracks
a smile
of deep gratitude.

On these grounds, under this roof
a national treasure
of inquiry
, vision, adventure
that needs you to secure
its robust growth.

Indeed, tonight you are conductor and composer both…
so pick up your paddle and pen
think, as Jarold Ramsey says, like a canyon.
Think BIG, think BOLD like a canyon!
Turn this moment
into momentum
for the High Desert Museum
starting
right
now!

(Photo courtesy High Desert Museum)