“To know the pleasures of an unspectacular landscape, such as that of Indiana, requires an uncommon degree of attentiveness and insight.” ~Scott Russell Sanders, “Landscape & Imagination” There’s something to be said for learning to value the less-than-spectacular: that which is merely here, in front of us, right now.
A long, long time ago, when the current century had yet to be born and we were all wearing plaid flannel shirts tied around our waists and urging one another to think globally and act locally, a co-worker handed me a copy of Wendell Berry’s essay, “Out of Your Car, Off Your Horse,” which had … Continue reading An Old School Influencer
There’s no solace in knowing it has always been so — the angry mob, the fist and the fury — knowing doesn’t help at all. Today I took an online test to see what mathematics I might recall from decades of long ago learning, word problems concerning trains and speed and distance, angles of intersecting … Continue reading Locomotive Breath
If my imagination were not so much a part of me I could write about places less frigid. But I am a package deal. Body cold. Mind cold.
Found in a notebook: “Don’t wait for a whole idea. Half an idea or even the slightest hint of an idea is a good enough place to start working.” (via Naked Geometry)
The yard is utterly overgrown. I wave to my neighbor through a tangle of grapevine and mow a path alongside the explosion of honeysuckle. Volunteer mulberry trees appear out of nowhere, three feet tall before I even notice them. How can this be? A far corner of the lot out back goes unmowed season after season, … Continue reading Late Summer
Was it ever the case that the times weren’t hard and the money wasn’t short? So asked Emerson, friend of Henry by the Pond, gentle scold and scholar. I remind myself of this when the times feel too hard, the money too short. The cicadas thrum in the humid August evening and the air conditioning … Continue reading If It Breaks
They asked us: if a tree falls in the woods, and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound? I said: if there is a woods, then there is always someone. Tens of thousands of someones. Millions of someones. In every woods. Even the falling tree is someone. It’s arrogant to think … Continue reading A Tree is Someone
There are boomers and there are stickers, wrote Wallace Stegner: those who need to go and those who need to stay. The boomers push on, restless and searching, the stickers linger, setting up towns and local governance. My introduction to Stegner was Beyond the Hundredth Meridian: John Wesley Powell and the Second Opening of the … Continue reading Boomers & Stickers
All day long it’s been raining. The river is crazy high. Driving home, I saw three news vans parked at a scenic point, cameras aimed at the swollen Ohio. There will be floods. Every year there are floods. The floods make things rough on the city’s aging and non-EPA-compliant sewer system that co-mingles storm runoff … Continue reading Flood Stage