“[We must think of fungi] not as a thing but as a process: an exploratory, irregular tendency.” – Merlin Sheldrake, Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds, and Shape Our Futures Fungi burst borders and boundaries. Of matter, of thought, of mental categories. They tendril between previously discrete things […]Read more
“Gaze Upon This World” is now an ORION Father’s Day feature.
Thanks to the good folks at ORION Magazine for featuring my essay about my late father, “Gaze Upon This World,” online as a Father’s Day special, with an updated introduction from me. Previously print-only, this piece (workshopped with Scott Russell Sanders at the 2016 Bread Loaf/Orion Environmental Writers Workshop) is now online. They’ve also been […]Read more
Barns and Edens: metaphors and the virus.
Like soap punctures the fatty envelope around its own RNA strand, coronavirus punctures our human envelopes of comfort and forces rethinking, in so many ways. One is metaphor (x “is” y) and simile (x is “like or as” y), which guides us – for better or worse – in comparing unlike things, and thus helps […]Read more
Protection. Rebellion. Incarnation.
Easter Sunday, 2019. Westminster Abbey and Parliament Square. Extinction Rebellion and Brexit and Eucharist. Two hundred years on from Shelley’s “Mask of Anarchy” and Keats’ Odes. What if this is the site of Incarnation, here and now? parliament square easter sunday Carn, the root: meat, flesh. Incarnation: the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. […]Read more
Life in the word.
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men. …. […]Read more
Moving the house.
On the morning of November 9, 2016, I walked out of my front door into a world I wasn’t sure I’d recognize. It was the warmest November ever, but with just enough nip to the air to remind us it was still November after all. The sky was creamy blue, the air exhilarating, with a […]Read more
Putting our hands on it.
Today in Internet horror: rare Argentine dolphin dies after being passed around by a selfie-taking crowd. Sticky and sandy and dry and eager, eager, seeking hands, all over that moist skin, sucking its moisture away in curiosity or excitement or wonder or unexamined narcissistic need, suspending it out of the sea until it heats and […]Read more
Wilderness, experience, and commodity.
The Internet’s aflame with outrage over the killing of a male lion in Zimbabwe – a park favorite named “Cecil” – by a dentist from Minnesota. The lion was baited outside of park boundaries by the hunter’s guides so he could be shot, which is not only immoral but illegal. I mourn the death of […]Read more
“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived [….] Our life is frittered away by detail […] Simplify, simplify.” […]Read more
It’s that time again: the latest round of the anti-weed, lawn-spraying wars. In our town, this plays out not only in individual lawns but on the campus of our college, which routinely comes under fire from lots in the community and some on the faculty for its annual spraying (usually around Memorial Day.) I am […]Read more