Category: self-reliance

Your native town, and the world.

“Learn from me, if not by my precepts, at least by my example, how dangerous is the acquirement of knowledge, and how much happier that man is who believes his native town to be the world, than he who aspires to become greater than his nature will allow.” – Victor Frankenstein to Robert Walton, Frankenstein; […]

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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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The humility wheel.

Pottery class, day three. Clay in hair.  Clay in eyelashes.  Clay on neck.  Clay on shirt and jeans.  Clay on sandals, tracked inadvertently across studio floor.  Clay deep in cuticles.  Hands and arms trembling when held out to examine clay deep in cuticles; I’m still trying for less muscular effort and better touch, but kneading, […]

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A Cheapskate Romanticist abroad.

“Experience enlarges the space for the self to swim in.” – George Eliot, from a manuscript in “Writing Britain” at the British Library. A month of travel has left me with more than I can say, and more than I can put into words, even to myself, even as I’m settling into a fall sabbatical […]

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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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Touching through the glass: animals, people, reality.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6fbahS7VSFs&hl=en_US&feature=player_embedded&version=3] Young parents laugh nervously as they film their child, whom they have placed up against the glass of a lioness’s cage in a zoo.  Behind the glass, the lioness is deadly serious:  she scratches and bites the barrier separating her from one good bite of food.  Incredibly, the father giggles, “Say hi, kitty, kitty.”  […]

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