Category: resilience

The twentysomething brain (and beyond.)

(from my manuscript-in-progress) Significantly, Buddhists call looking at an object or emotion steadily for some time and processing the emotions that arise “sustaining the gaze.”  The ability to “sustain the gaze” without distraction from within or without is the ability to rest in the relative stability of a mature understanding of reality, to pay attention […]

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The patient gardener? Labor and humility.

I spent the middle of May — just after classes ended, even before turning in my grades — in a fever of garden work, reclaiming a quackgrass-infested lily bed and moving and spreading a giant pile of mulch and constructing a long-dreamed-of raised bed by hand.  All of this I did by myself, in one […]

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After the election, the way forward.

Today a friend of mine, an African-American woman and PhD candidate, writes: “I tested a subject today whose very existence is the opposite of mine. He is an older (near octogenarian), White Republican, and I am…not. But during the session, we spoke respectfully of our political differences. Though there were the inevitable moments of awkward […]

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Common ground: politics, water, and life.

Checking my email on what is going to be my last full morning in Alabama for a while, I found some very troubling news: fracking may be coming to our beautiful little corner of northeast Iowa. You might say it’s technically not fracking, since the proposed mine in Allamakee County would be for what’s called […]

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Moving home: (re)thinking the organic South.

Sometimes I think “home” in my mobile life has become less a specific place than a kind of place where certain conditions obtain — the sense of comfort, practicality, and freedom that comes from being able to move around on foot and bike as well as car; the ability to eat healthy food that didn’t […]

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Pigs among the windfalls.

September, with the smell of fall caught and blowing around in the trees as Keats inevitably rustles inside my head: season of mists and mellow fruitfulness….  One afternoon I take a break from my massive sabbatical writing project — which features among other things Keats (of course), John Cage, Marina Abramovic, yoga, gardening, pottery, snails, […]

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Friendship, community, and sensory delight: now on sale.

Just back from an excursion to our local farmers market – amazing that because of travel and what-have-you, this was my first visit to the market this summer. As ever, I had a wonderful time greeting and talking with friends, exchanging local news (when will they replace the bridge on Happy Hollow Road? hope it’s […]

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Gardening in public.

Our little town’s gardening group has been buzzing after two of our members — following a neighbor’s anonymous complaint — were notified recently that they might be in violation of a city ordinance against gardening in the “boulevard,” the strip of grass between sidewalk and curb in front of most houses.  The issue: our members’ […]

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