the Coldest Morn

One of my writers group sent out a prompt this morning: "Winter's coldest day..." My bay is frozen flat, and white with snow. In my youth I would have strapped on my skates... The scrape of metal on ice changes as I move. there's the soft shish of gliding on perfect smoothness, and the scrape…

The Magnificence Right Under Your Nose

A friend called to day, sharing coffee and gratitude though many states apart. She shared a thought experiment: what if everything, what if I were completely perfect right now, in this moment? What if the fear, disappointment, worry, grief were all lifted from our shoulders, without effort, right now. If it crosses our mind, it…

Those year end reflections…

I've been slurping up the "best trash cans of 2017" stories that most media organs pump out this time of year. Why? So I can muse about 2017 without thinking too much about reality in America. You haven't seen "Greatest Hits of the 115th Congress," have you? As indulgent as they may seem, this NYT…

The Real Deal

In the early 1960s I was in grade school, and my mother let me stay home to watch NASA's Mercury and Gemini spacecraft launches on TV. We'd follow the whole exciting run-up and count-down, and cheer for blast-off, willing the fiery ship up, up and away into space. This gave me my life-long love of space travel…

Oldest Library in Europe?

Reblogging for all you book and library lovers: Never before seen images of the oldest Bodleian Library reading room. How I'd love to write there, surrounded by history!  Click through to the article for more images.  Photograph by DAVID ILIFF. License: CC-BY-SA 3.0 Built in 1487, Duke Humfrey’s Library is the oldest reading room in the…

The Wildflower Calendar

Chicory blue and creamy Queen Anne's lace give way to the hot happy yellows: first the Mullein, then state flower Tickseed Sunflower. But it's the first young tendrils of Goldenrod that cause my heart to pause- September and back-to-school is nigh. It's bitter-sweet, this moment, every year.

Law of the Jungle

I saw Disney's new Jungle Book film, and it's a magnificent experience - a beautiful, heart-wringing adventure. As one of the millions of kids who were a captive audience for the 1967 animated version, I watched it in rapt delight and breathless anticipation. I'm more of an experiential viewer than a critic; thus I fell in…

Cherry Blossom Joy!

I try to get out and paint plein-aire from the Yoshino cherries during their brief and glorious blooming. It's always unpredictable! This year it seemed imminent, then a cold front delayed their progress, then BAM! an explosion of flowers. When I first came to Washington, I expected something gaudier. I was amazed by the subtle…