Jacaranda: On The Mandatory Mess of Beauty

The Jacaranda is concussively beautiful tree. Seeing one or seeing a host of them together gets your eyes drunk with a purple wine that is hard to conceive of. The luminous quality of their purple, lilac, and lavender blooms seems to be interior to the petals. You might even say that the saturation of the…

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Tending The Scars In The World: On Birches, Play, Sand Pipers and Childhood

There is an awful lot to like about Robert Frost’s poem “Birches” but the first three lines will do for now: When I see birches bend to left and right Across the lines of straighter darker trees, I like to think some boy’s been swinging them. It is such a sweet vision. That those trees…

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The Snail: The Purple Donned, Still

Four thousand years ago in Crete ancient fisherman left huge crushed shell middens of a particular kind of sea snail in massive piles in spots in their old cities. We aren’t completely sure what those middens were a sign of but there is a very good guess. Three thousand years ago in ancient Phoenicia, those…

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The Elder Function of Surfing at Huanchaco

I have never surfed. Or ever really tried. I’ve swam in the ocean. I’ve body surfed. And in my youth I used boogie boards on loan from time to time. And I’ve loved the ocean and I have loved surfing movies and video clips and I’ve loved watching from the shore too. How easy it…

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Leaping Man, Leaping Carp, Leaping Dragon: The Animal Ancestor

In the last few days a friend sent me this image above. He thought I would like it. And I did. But it was sent without any sense that it had any meaning beyond “this is a cool image.” Being on the receiving end of an image like this can set you to either quickly…

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In The Presence of the Ancient Sulawesi Pig: A Remembering

I came across these two prayers for pig hunters recently… ‘Dear Lord. May all dogs be blessed with your grace. To all who wander the fields and forests, may you guide them safely back to camp. Thank you for the blessing of hog meat. Let the hunters always remember it is a gift from you.…

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Soil: The Steady Decay

The last few days have brought the biggest snowfalls in New York City, where I live, in quite some time after many years of quite mild winters or at least light on snow. One of the tiny consequences of these storms have been the flipping over of one of my planters where I have grown…

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The Tree, The Squirrel, The Superflight: On The Propitious Flight of Finches

If you live in the northern half of the United States or Canada you will know that the trees there produce fruit, seeds, and nuts that hang out all winter. Sometimes still on the branches and sometimes on the ground at the base of the trees. Trees produce different amounts from year to year based…

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The Scrambling True Mirror

If I ask if all be right From mirror after mirror, No vanity’s displayed: I’m looking for the face I had Before the earth was made – William Butler Yeats, Before The World Was Made, 1933 There is a popular social media celebrity who has emerged in the last few weeks named Bunny. Bunny is…

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The Media Ecology of the Feather Born Brush

When a reporter asked Marilyn Monroe if she had anything on during her nude photo sessions for Playboy, she famously said “the radio.” While this was a funny rejoinder it speaks to the way that a media environment covers and informs us. Shape us. But also how easy it is to be immersed in them.…

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