Category Archives: writing

The angels of Bread Loaf.

All around me in the half-light of thirty thousand feet, people abandon themselves to sleep: mouths slack as babies’, heads lolled back. A brown-skinned woman in a pale turban dozes under an airline blanket that in this light is startling … Continue reading

Posted in art, community, gratitude, spirit, writing | 6 Comments

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

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Your native town, and the world.

“Learn from me, if not by my precepts, at least by my example, how dangerous is the acquirement of knowledge, and how much happier that man is who believes his native town to be the world, than he who aspires … Continue reading

Posted in art, self-reliance, spirit, teaching, the past, travel, writing | 1 Comment

Touching through the glass: animals, people, reality.

Young parents laugh nervously as they film their child, whom they have placed up against the glass of a lioness’s cage in a zoo.  Behind the glass, the lioness is deadly serious:  she scratches and bites the barrier separating her … Continue reading

Posted in animals, attention, culture, politics, self-reliance, technology, writing | 2 Comments

The earth’s thin skin.

This season of hesitant and lovely changes began with a scrim of ash that colors the skin underneath, that asks us to look and wait in the times of boredom and worry and anomie, because something more is coming.  It … Continue reading

Posted in animals, art, attention, mystery, the past, writing | 8 Comments

Buon giorno, Signor Bianchi:, or, enchanting the world.

“If I had influence with the good fairy who is supposed to preside over the christening of all children I should ask that her gift to each child in the world be a sense of wonder so indestructible that it … Continue reading

Posted in animals, art, attention, biking, mystery, spirit, writing | 2 Comments

Impromptu Friday poem.

What Work Is For Hurry home through the warm bright afternoon with a load of students’ work to read, your laptop wheezing in your bag, to whirl white sheets into the cold machine and pin them to the line to … Continue reading

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Gardening in reality.

“A garden, you know, is a very usual refuge of a disappointed politician.” — Alexander Hamilton, 1802 (qtd. in NY Times, 9/15/11) As a society, we’ve got a reality problem.  A know-nothing right-wing anarchism designed to starve government to death … Continue reading

Posted in art, community, corporations, culture, politics, self-reliance, writing | 3 Comments

Expanding the plot.

This is the whole manuscript of my novel-under-revision, printed out in 8-point type and hung up on my guest-bedroom wall.  (Suitably redneck for my Alabama origins, the duct tape sticks to plaster where Scotch tape won’t.)  “So that’s how novelists … Continue reading

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