Seeking Texture on the Page, Finding it Everywhere Outdoors

With the floods in Houston at Biblical proportions, it feels almost flagrantly disrespectful to go on enjoying the glorious weather we have had at this end of August in New England. But we are watching and listening and, as this evening’s news reports from Boston show, finding ways to help from a distance. May the patience of people waiting to be rescued be rewarded with their safe transitions to places providing comfort. And may Louisiana be spared a repeat of … Read More

He’s Two Hundred and Not In A Hurry

Do you have a full plate of activities today, a long to-do list? Are you focused on accomplishments? Then this guy’s approach to life might seem a bit odd:   I think that I cannot preserve my health and spirits, unless I spend four hours a day at least—and it is commonly more than that—sauntering through the woods and over the hills and fields, absolutely free from all worldly engagements.   This proud wanderer just turned 200 a week ago; … Read More

His River, My Canal

The past week has demonstrated for me, as if I didn’t already know, that life can be all about natural flow, heading downriver freely and perhaps in tune with a larger power; or it can be about getting through a bunch of sometimes momentarily jarring locks on a canal that will, you hope, take you where you want to go: open water. Sure, it’s possible to imagine life without waterways at all – being firmly planted without any forward movement … Read More

Attention Must Be Paid…Or Maybe Not

Less is more…especially in June, a dazzling and also tumultuous month that might as well be called “Jewel of a Jumble.” Shifting to a watery image, because it’s so hot today, I would also offer another name: “A Time to Keep Paddling, A Time to (Mostly) Refrain from Plunging.”     At this everything-is-happening-at-once time of year, deciding what not to do a deep dive into is just as important as deciding how to keep swimming forward through all the … Read More

Emily Dickinson Returns, with a Rocker’s Mom

It’s Mother’s Day, but this will not a Mother’s Day blog; or at least, not one exactly. The culture that surrounds us spews out more than enough material on this tired theme. The person I have most on my mind never was a mother in the regular sense, although she left almost 1800 offspring that live on and on. She also spent a fair amount of time thinking about death, not a very celebratory subject, in the Hallmark sense anyway. … Read More

Short on Reading Time, Long on Pleasure

The way I see it, time is getting more and more precious, so I’m less and less embarrassed about reaching for the simplified version of something I still want to learn. If there’s a long and a short, I’ll often opt for the short, with clear conscience. The birds are twittering, the field is more soggy than snowy, Easter is coming, and days continue to be jam-packed: kind of like a bulging suitcase that you have to press down hard … Read More

‘Tis the Conflict of Interest Season

President-elect Trump is certain that “the president can’t have conflict of interest.” Oh really? Not much mentioned during the campaign, this controversy now has reached a boiling point. Never before has someone presided over a world-wide multi-million dollar business at the same time as presiding over a country. It sounds like some kind of magic show: now you see it, now you don’t. Maybe he could be called Hoodwinker-in-Chief. Don’t worry—in this post-Thanksgiving blog, politics will be only a “side.” … Read More

Stick-to-itiveness, Rocky style

The closer the election gets, the more I love my dog. And once it’s over, I’ll love him even more. Recently my Rocky has gotten me thinking about a certain quality, one he demonstrates every time we’re out on the non-campaign trails (= daily). In humans, it’s just about always considered a good thing. In dogs, maybe not quite so much. What is it? Stick-to-it-iveness. By that I mean, in canine terms at least, something like “the compulsion to find … Read More

Trading One Kind of Tumult for Another: The Beatles as Antidote

As the World Series gets underway, it’s as good a time as any to celebrate the idea of fervor, in a variety of forms. I propose to start with baseball, move gingerly through politics to rock & roll, and end up at religion. Are you with me? Defined as “an intense and passionate feeling,” the word can definitely go either way—that is, there can be a kind you like and another kind you can’t stand. The fervor that Chicago fans … Read More

Wishing I Were There

My husband, lucky duck, got to go to this place a few days ago. Due to an overwhelming feeling of Pride and Joy, not to mention a connection across several states states with My Guy, I’m writing an unorthodox blog this week.Wait, have I ever been orthodox? Rob is out in Detroit with the House of Bishops for a whole week. You can read the detailed daily briefings here. My own topic, commencing shortly, will be something else entirely. I’m straying … Read More

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