No, I'm not related to Gustav Mahler (1860-1911, at right), the famous European classical music composer. My "Mahler" ancestors came to the U.S. in 1881 from Germany's Hanover province, settling eventually in suburban Chicago. The suggestion is flattering, but I'm virtually tone deaf. You can learn plenty about Gustav and his impressive compositions by searching the Internet under his name, or check out the International Gustav Mahler Society at www.gustav-mahler.org. The ancestry of my late mother, Mary Vencill Curnutte, is a polyglot of French, Scot, Irish, English, Norwegian, Italian, Dutch, and Basque origins. Mom was born and raised in Texas, where I was born in 1951.
Looking for other Richard Mahlers? Guess what, here are plenty of us! Find the deceased (1947-2007) director of pornographic movies (real name, Roger Watkins) at www.atomiccinema.com (search site under "Richard Mahler"), the esteemed Manhatten endocrinologist specializing in diabetes at www.healthgrades.com, the Staten Island financial advisor at www.carterskids.org/highlights/rita-richard-mahler, the Australian family law mediator at www.mahlerfamilylaw.com, and the U.S. Navy veteran at www.bergall.org. I don't sell real estate in Pennsylvania, distribute earth-moving equipment in Canada, play professional sports, practice law or go to college in Florida, run for Congress in the Carolinas, get dismissed from juries in Wisconsin, serve on a city council in New York, or teach school in Australia. But we're an impressive lot, aren't we? Let me hear from you! (Maybe we can start an International Richard Mahler Society.)
Here are some recommended links to other writing by this Richard Mahler: the Los Angeles Times entertainment section, public radio's Living on Earth environmental news program, and Eartheasy's Solutions for Sustainable Living website.
My current projects? I'm promoting The Jaguar's Shadow: Searching for a Mythic Cat, my 376-page book about a five-year quest to see a wild jaguar and the conservation story of this remarkable (and endangered) cat. Read reviews, a free sample chapter, and order a copy here.)
Want to learn more about the big spotted cat? I'll send you articles I've had published by Arizona Highways, Tucson Weekly, E Magazine, New Mexico magazine, the Christian Science Monitor, and Pacific News Service. I'd love to hear from anyone interested in jaguars, particularly those who've studied or taken photos of them. For more information on the subject, I recommend Panthera (the top organization helping big cats), the Wildlife Conservation Society (which does terrific work around the world), or my own jaguar-oriented website.
I'm also selling my critically-acclaimed book, Stillness: Daily Gifts of Solitude, which describes the 97 days I spent living alone in the New Mexico wilderness and my subsequent research about the importance of (fast-disappearing) silence, solitude, and stillness in daily life. I'm a passionate advocate for the preservation of "quiet zones" in public places. Consider my thoughts on the subject by clicking here.
Finally, I'm looking for opportunities to teach Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), a therapeutic approach using yoga, meditation, and body-scan techniques for which I was trained in 2000 under the direction of Drs. Jon Kabat-Zinn and Saki Santorelli, through the Stress Reduction Clinic of the University of Massachusetts Medical Center. I can provide details to those interested. For background on MBSR, go to eMindful.com or the aforementioned Stress Reduction Clinic.