Category Archives: attention

Dreams of sun.

There’s a particular kind of sleep that waits for you when you’ve been outside working all day, especially in a garden: a kind of heavy, instant falling-off that nevertheless feels light, as if your sleep-sodden body might lift and rise … Continue reading

Posted in attention, gardening, mystery, seasons, spirit | 4 Comments

The twentysomething brain (and beyond.)

(from my manuscript-in-progress) Significantly, Buddhists call looking at an object or emotion steadily for some time and processing the emotions that arise “sustaining the gaze.”  The ability to “sustain the gaze” without distraction from within or without is the ability … Continue reading

Posted in attention, home, money, resilience, stuff, technology | 6 Comments

Let there be light.

On an ordinary November afternoon I sit on a chair in my eye doctor’s dim exam room, chin in the camera-machine, straining not to blink against the stinging dilation drops leaking through my lashes.  A white flash jolts straight to … Continue reading

Posted in art, attention, body, mystery, spirit, teaching, travel | 1 Comment

First snow, new light.

The first snow of the season started coming down as I hurried to substitute for a colleague’s 8 am class this morning – Seamus Heaney-esque sleet-milt came in pats and splats against the umbrella, white rims thickening.  By the time … Continue reading

Posted in attention, Driftless region, seasons | 2 Comments

Darwin’s Beetle: On geeking out.

I wrote this for another “official” college blog but want to share it here. Darwin’s beetle: On geeking out October 23, 2013 Our first-year common course doesn’t fit into neat disciplinary boxes, and that’s the point.  Ranging across literature, history, … Continue reading

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The pleasures of okra.

If I had a dollar for every time somebody, emboldened by my Southern accent, asked me a question about okra — “What is that?” when they see it growing (once somebody asked, “Is that marijuana?”), or “How do you cook … Continue reading

Posted in attention, food, gardening, gratitude, the past, the South | 8 Comments

Cleaning out, again; or, my first yard sale.

As I have written here, getting rid of stuff you aren’t using anymore feels pretty damn good, for so many reasons.  There’s the knowledge you’ve freed up space (and money) for more mindful choices about what comes into the house … Continue reading

Posted in attention, gratitude, money, stuff | Leave a comment