Wolferland: A Balm For Widdershins

At the moment I’m reading a host of books. Who could say how my mind and attention is being torn or tanked, stretched or shorn? The screen time is shocking. The capacity for long term attention has, by my own compass, turned widdershins, which is to say the opposite direction it normally goes. So I…

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Tension: A Bi-Directional Beauty Bearing Friction

While I haven’t had cats as pets since I was kid I remember brushing them and being astounded at how much hair they had even though they were shorthairs. And I also recall cleaning up their shedding with adhesive lint rollers all over the house. I adored those Tonkinese cats so much and never really…

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The Scent of the Egyptian Blue Lotus

If you find yourself in the United States the news here is overwhelming, troubling, and confounding. So it would be understandable if you missed a small piece of news that emerged out of Egypt in just the last few days. In Saqqara an archeological dig has unearthed 59 mummies each in a colorful sarcophagus. While…

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Hydronyms: The Occupational and the Toponymic

In 1732 Thomas Fuller wrote his book of aphorisms, Gnomologia, “We never know the worth of water till the well runs dry.” The American anthropologist and nature writer Loren Eiseley wrote “If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water.” And of course the famous quote “Where there is water there is…

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The Burning: On The Fires That Make Us Human and Whence They Came

There is much burning happening in these times. Of old ways and norms. Of sensemaking. Of the grace of the tongue. Perhaps some of this is for the good. Perhaps not. I’d leave that assessment aside for a moment to say that the sweetly popping scent of the campfire and wood smoke isn’t readily available,…

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The Making Of A Roadside Prayer

I don’t know what the statistics are for Native New Yorkers knowing or not knowing how to drive – I know Native New Yorkers who can’t drive at all and never have and ones who can and do. I got my license when I was 16 but didn’t really drive much until I went away…

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The Softly Kinetic Tch-Tch-Tch: The Tobacco Rattle

A few weeks ago I wrote to you all about the tobacco growing prospects in my backyard and what the history of tobacco had to do with the history of viruses. You might recall that I was counseled that tobacco was a great plant teacher though there was nothing sure what that learning was going…

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Benign Majesty: The Very Much Alive Tomato

At this time of the summer in the United States if you have a garden or you frequent farmers markets there is a very high chance that you are going to have a run in with a tomato. While tomatoes are one of the world’s most consumed, highest valued and most widely grown vegetable crop…

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We Are Good Because Of Our Horses: The Post Office and Ancient Persia

The unofficial motto of the US Postal Service is:   “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.”   This grand proclamation is engraved on the lintels of the Farley Postal Building in New York City which opened in 1914. The Classical…

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The Culture Of Glass: The Mysterious and The Metastable

Somewhere along the road of your learnings you may have picked up the piece of trivia that glass is a liquid and not a solid. And maybe you read about crazed glass and how churches with windows that are hundreds and hundreds of years older are thicker at the bottom due to the slowly flowing…

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