Thus Spake Sila: The Sun Rises Once Again In Greenland

In Greenland the sun goes down in about mid October and rose just a few weeks ago. I’ve never been to Greenland but I’ve known a few folks who have spent time there and have a great love for the place. I was leafing through “This Cold Heaven: Seven Seasons in Greenland” by Gretel Erlich…

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On Cilantro and Grief: Forbearance In The Presence Of The Bruise

Cilantro has a fascinating ancient pedigree. The seed. The leaf. The root. It is all edible and some people love it. Obviously some people are neutral about coriander/cilantro. And some people are deeply disturbed by the flavor of it. Julia Child is one – she said that when it came near her she wanted to…

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On Dice, Death, and Endings: The Whispering To The Old Gods of Chance and Fate

Knowing what the last two years have been like it is no wonder that while some folks are profoundly hopeful that “it’ll all be better” others are more reticent and one person who I know said that entering 2022 with any kind of hopeful composure was like thinking you have good odds in a game…

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3:20 and Chopsticks – The Oxbow Episode 8

In this episode, Matthew explores a replica of an Etruscan drinking cup and how it connects to a more felt sense or embodied squatting culture and some of the implications of design that is emergent from table and chair and plate culture and connects that to Asian chopstick use. He also thinly recounts the Romani…

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Bees Wax – The Oxbow Episode 7

In this episode Matthew skitters widely on folklore about bees and honey, false etymologies, real mythologies, and how the bee and its six-foldedness might connect the spirit world to the living one here on earth. Things talked about in this episode: Telling of the Bees painting by Hans Thoma Telling of the  Bees – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telling_the_bees The…

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Woodcarver Business Card – The Oxbow Episode 6

This episode gets a reference to a specific episode from Stephen Jenkinson’s book “Come of Age: The Case for Elderhood in a Time Of Trouble”. But that inspires some considerations on the history of business cards and what that has meant for commerce and community. And then the language of the business card spurs thoughts…

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No Hats: The Prayer Of The Virgin Condor

This is a very broad generalization about sports but I’ll say it anyway. Sports where there are hats involved are more explicitly about control of your opponent than the free flow of play. This is not to say that there aren’t amazing and improbable and improvisational and miraculous things that happen in football or baseball…

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Rocks – The Oxbow episode 5

In this episode of The Oxbow the suggestion from a postcard was “rocks.” After a joking chastisement of the submitter for giving too specific a suggestion (The Lessons that rocks can teach us) some considerations of how rocks inspire the phrase “rock ‘n roll” which brings in a discussion of oral and literate culture. Other…

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Cinnamon Tea – The Oxbow episode 4

In this episode of The Oxbow a Benegal Spice cinnamon tea teabag is the mailed-in suggestion. This ends up being a springboard for sourcing good spices, reflecting on offerings to the divine in texts like the Hymns of Orpheus and the Bible. And then the great tale of the emergence Sri NarasimhaDev, the lion man…

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Speed – The Oxbow episode 3

This episode’s word is speed.  Matthew reminisces about questionable childhood gifts, walking with Thoreau, the time man spends with his automobile, and traveling at “human speed”. Let’s also contemplate the flexibility and utility of language, and how a word like “clang” can only exist in a world where that sound is made. Zoom is a…

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