Medium Short: Voicing problems

A week of giving voice to problems, learning, and listening for solutions

B. Lorraine Smith
5 min readAug 25


A view from the bus window heading from Montreal to Manitoulin Island yesterday. Long bus rides make space for learning. (Photo by me)

Welcome to the latest Medium Short, a weekly accountability practice highlighting what I’m up to along the unmarked trail to #IndustrialHealing.

I arrived on Manitoulin Island after a long bus trip yesterday. I’m here for a mix of family visiting and pitching in at Split Rail since it was so much fun last summer. A flotilla of mergansers is swimming past as I type this, reminding me I want to get outside. So here comes a quick recap of the week in which I gave voice to “the problem” as I see it, and spent time learning what to do about it.

Saying it (a little less scruffily) out loud

My dear friend Sarah Climenhaga (yes, this Sarah) was in town visiting last week. Among other wonderful things that her visit entailed, she thrifted me her podcast gear! Now my podcasting adventures can sound a little less scruffy.

And so I recorded the second episode of the Matereal World podcast, this one giving voice to the piece Purpose Is As Purpose Does.

It’s awkward to mention this here on @Medium but I am really loving the Substack Writing experience. I might unpick that more at some point.

Wait: what‘s the problem again?

Meanwhile here on Medium, I posted a piece about problem/solution awareness. This was a kind of Buckminster-Fuller-Precession-Moment (which, if you don’t know about, you should sign up for Christine McDougall’s Syntropic Enterprise course right now). I was prompted to look at problem/solution awareness by my friend Margaret (yes, this Margaret) who is encouraging me to take my marketing up a notch.

But the more I looked at it, the more I realized the whole field I’ve been steeping in for the last twenty years doesn’t know what problem we seek to solve. That took me in a totally different direction (my marketing can wait… sorry…



Over there, now

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B. Lorraine Smith

Recovering ESG "expert"; yarn spinner; distance runner; magical realist. Sensing a path to an economy serving life. also at