“[We] never turn sentimental about something of real value — wilderness, wild animals, small towns, baseball, mountain music, our privacy — until the way we live and do business has pressed it to the edge of extinction. Then we administer affectionate last rites to everything we failed to love enough.” – Hal Crowther My boxing […]Read more
The museum of the too-good-to-use.
“My mother had a collection of old lace, which was famous among her friends, and a few fragments of it still remain to me, piously pinned up in the indigo-blue paper supposed (I have never known why) to be necessary to the preservation of fine lace. But the yards are few, alas; for true to […]Read more
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 […]Read more
Cleaning out, again; or, my first yard sale.
As I have written here, getting rid of stuff you aren’t using anymore feels pretty damn good, for so many reasons. There’s the knowledge you’ve freed up space (and money) for more mindful choices about what comes into the house in the first place from now on, and you have reminded yourself to make that […]Read more
Black as in Iowa soil, that is — its first couple inches just touched with frost, covering golden potatoes underneath. The cold came at last, the day after Thanksgiving in this unusually warm fall. Time to harvest everything that was left in the garden — carrots, potatoes, collards, beets — before the ground freezes for […]Read more
Somebody made this: who?
This morning, I took my first-ever pottery class, in the spacious studio in our college’s arts center, with a generous colleague, George, and a large group of students, several of whom had been in my classes before. I’m here on sabbatical, I said, to learn, just like you are. And the relief of being among […]Read more
The CI Icon’s origin myth!
“Who Made That Clothespin?”Read more
The Lenten closet.
Yesterday I went to Minneapolis to buy some sorely needed new clothes. Just a few good pieces that I was lucky enough to find on sale. This afternoon — energized by what Marilynne Robinson in Housekeeping called the “swift, watery wind” blowing all around my neighborhood, and feeling it disarranging me in a good way, […]Read more
Mary, Martha, and cheapskate intellectualism: the New Year’s organizing dilemma.
Every year, fresh from days away at my family home where there are friendly differences about — shall we say — organizing styles, I return to my own little house and see the place with fresh eyes. Somehow, as good as I usually am about filing and purging, the place just looks full. The line […]Read more