Notional – The Oxbow episode 2

Casey Jones by The Grateful Dead https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_x2m6i4KFqg Before Writing: From Counting to Cuneiform by Denise Schmandt-Besserat Nature word of the day from Home Ground: Language for an American Landscape Ganderbrush: In the dense backwoods of the New Jersey Pine Barrens, swampy sinks are commonly filled with a shrubby plant called leatherleaf. These plant communities, known…

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Brodo – The Oxbow episode 1

In the premiere episode of his new podcast The Oxbow, Matthew Stillman sets the stage for a series of free-flow ruminations centered around a single word. This episode’s word – brodo – inspires memories of the classic tortellini in brodo Matthew first tasted in Italy many years ago, and branches off on an examination of…

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The Pure Chestnut: The Grammar of the Gone

This isn’t a story about the American Chestnut. In the world over but very broadly in the Northern hemisphere there is a persistent mythical understanding of a World Tree. An Axis Mundi. A Tree of Life. The Spine of The Great Mother. The Source of All Wands. This tree might be holding up the heavens,…

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Beset By Mystery: The Wiffle Ball

So often I write about indigenous people or a traditional cultural pathway. But the other day I saw a few minutes of a baseball game and I haven’t watched baseball in years. I used to be a fan and then it fell away for me. Then the same day I saw some kids and a…

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We Are The Stars Which Sing

The Schoodic Peninsula in Maine comes from the Passamaquoddy Indian word  ‘skut-auke’ meaning ‘place of the fire’ or ‘land that has been burned’. Whether this was a place that was the origin of their fire story or a place that they burned at some interval to spur new growth or a spot that was prone…

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Artist as Antennae: On Kubla Khan and the Breathing, Heartbeating Earth

In the fall of 1797 Samuel Taylor Coleridge, the famed English poet, fell ill in some unspecified way while out walking and when he returned to the farmhouse he was staying in he took some opium to quell the pain. While opium conjures a particularly exotic and hazy kind of stumbling degeneration to the modern…

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Walking The Counsel of the Round Raised Hills

I would venture to guess that anyone reading this will have, even occasionally, gone for a walk. Even a short one down the street after you park your car counts. The vast majority of the places and paths that are walked are sanctioned, determined, marked and mapped. Whether it is Broadway or 9th street or…

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The Umwelt of Anting

Recently a rare picture of a crow in a strange spread out and prone position was snapped in the Swan Lake Nature Sanctuary in Victoria, British Columbia by nature photographer Tony Austin. Austin described the moment as “a very odd and violent dirt bath.” But only later when looking at the photo did he notice…

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Boro: The Necessity and the Asymmetry of Resourcefulness

I don’t know about you but I don’t keep my ear to the ground much on high end denim lines or so called “fashion drops” where very limited runs of particular pieces are put online to a waiting list and then snatched up and resold at much higher prices than they were bought at. But…

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Uasau Soap: Weaving The Arctic World Together

Silently, I move towards destiny. Quietly, you Iñupiat, await my destiny. I can hear you as I move, I can see you as I surface. Together we wait, both know what the other thinks. Although we live in different worlds, we exist for each other. I move towards you Inupiat, because it is my destiny.…

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