I was coming to the end of my road, trembling at the edge of life. My addiction was progressed to the point that I could not live with drugs or without drugs. I was stuck, hopeless.

This was my state when I experienced a divine interruption which landed me under the care of very special man. He set me onto a path. This path has taken me around the world and across the spectrum of the human experience to where I am today, Whole.

While this journey has been my own, never to be replicated or recreated, the tools I have needed along the way are universal. Making Whole is a distillation of my experience  over the past 20+ years, it is the collection of tools that I have used along the way, and most importantly it is directions on how to use those tools.

The Framework

Making Whole is an addiction recovery process built into the framework of a traditional apprenticeship program.

Men are taught the creative process– a method of problem solving that is practical, relatable, tangible, scientific, and spiritual. Making Whole is built on a simple premise: the mentor/student relationship overpowers the ego barriers of addiction. Once these barriers are broken, the work of building studio-quality furniture provides a perfect metaphor for sustainable recovery and a successful life. In short, Making Whole embodies the two things that are indispensable for someone new to recovery:  intimacy and direction.

The Studio

Making Whole is a world class studio equipped to design and fabricate in wood, metal, and concrete at the highest level of craft.

Masters of craft from around the world will provide mentorship through collaboration in creating fine furniture and architectural objects across multiple disciplines.

The Dining Table

Meals are prepared daily under guidance and mentorship. The dining table is a gathering place for members of Making Whole, as well as guests from around the community and the world.

Meals are a reflection of those who mentor the preparations, ranging from the highest level of craft from renowned chefs, to humble meals that have been passed down through generations.


The Little Owl

Carl moved on. His dance with depression, with shame, with disillusionment, with fear had taken on a new shape, a shape that I won’t pretend to know. Betsy and I talked about it, and decided that the best thing I could do was to go to Athens with an aim to be present and helpful.

I spent the week immersed in the work of transition: cleaning up the blood from the floor, helping to coordinate the community in their coming together to grieve and to celebrate, speaking about the mechanics of moving forward, and suffering. I drove home late in the night, arriving with nothing left to give.

The next morning the silence was both welcomed and deafening. I was disoriented and exhausted, trying to make sense of my next move for just getting through the day. I felt like a naked man in the middle of a battlefield; all of my armor against life’s blows dissolved.

The fog lifted with the chorus of crows. More than a chatter of mockery and bickering, they were carrying on about some urgent matter. On opening my front door, the racket of the crows on my roof fell into distance. There, sitting on my front stoop, was an owl staring me in the face. Continue reading “The Little Owl”