Category Archives: mystery

The force that through the green fuse…

Pop quiz: I took the photo above on a) December 15 b) January 15 c) April 15 The answer, as anyone in the Upper Midwest can guess (channeling Prince) is C. And yet, despite more fierce thick snow today, it’s … Continue reading

Posted in animals, attention, Driftless region, mystery, seasons | Leave a comment

Little bitty Christmas trees.

A rerun from 2011 that’s been on my mind. Merry Christmas, y’all. — “I’ve been a pastor for more than 15 years, and I am still amazed at folks in nursing homes, many unable to remember the majority of their … Continue reading

Posted in community, mystery, seasons, spirit, the South | Leave a comment

Harpooning the comet.

Struggling to absorb the wondrousness of Philae, the observatory device shot into space this week to stick to and photograph a comet, I can only fasten on the verb: harpooning.  It’s a suitable invocation of an attempt to fasten ourselves … Continue reading

Posted in attention, mystery, technology | 3 Comments

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

“Learn, little cousin:” Seeing with Signorelli.

Something about Christmas mixes emotion and memory like no other time.  This is the hinge of the year, the liminal space where we could step one way or another way, where we can and can’t see what’s coming.  Where we … Continue reading

Posted in art, body, culture, mystery, spirit, the past | Leave a comment

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

Essentializing the animal: owls, war horses, and poetry.

Coming out of my office late this afternoon, I spotted a barred owl up in a tree outside the building, hunched against the trunk, squinching his eyes against the light and stoically standing off a pair of crows who were … Continue reading

Posted in animals, art, attention, body, mystery | 1 Comment

Creature tracks.

What is it about a swimming animal that is just so endlessly delightful? Don’t know. But biking past the sloughs down near the river yesterday — yes, I did spend the first real sunny afternoon of spring up in the … Continue reading

Posted in animals, attention, mystery | 1 Comment

Small is beautiful, and big: writing, opening, embarking on Lent.

“Call a thing immoral or ugly, soul-destroying or a degradation of man, a peril to the peace of the world or to the well-being of future generations; as long as you have not shown it to be ‘uneconomic,’ you have … Continue reading

Posted in attention, mystery, spirit, writing | Leave a comment

The humility wheel.

Pottery class, day three. Clay in hair.  Clay in eyelashes.  Clay on neck.  Clay on shirt and jeans.  Clay on sandals, tracked inadvertently across studio floor.  Clay deep in cuticles.  Hands and arms trembling when held out to examine clay … Continue reading

Posted in art, attention, body, mystery, self-reliance | 3 Comments