Rocky Road Ahead …

Rocky Road Ahead ….

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Each Self

It is good to honor and remember who we used to be, because it made us who we are today!

hero_expert_dusk_photography

Andrea Potos’s poem, “Each Self” won the James Hearst Poetry Prize in 2004. Her poem is featured in issue 289.2, Spring 2004.

Notes from the author: As my daughter is now on the verge of leaving for college far away from home, I reflect again on what she inspired in me when I wrote this poem years ago:  all the invisible, infinitesimal, yet totally inescapable changes that propel us forward, willingly or not,  into new lives.

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Each Self

My six-year-old daughter stares into the purpling
copper sky and names it dusk, a just-learned word
she is happy to declare, comparing it to evening
and afternoon. We talk of how the Earth turns away
from the sun each night,
a motion so encompassing,
our bodies cannot know it.
I don’t tell her how the child
part of me still disbelieves it – that this globe
actually spins while we breathe, while my…

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Remembering Memorial Day

True Boots

Memorial Day ceremony on the deck of the USS Intrepid, 2009 Memorial Day ceremony on the deck of the USS Intrepid in 2009, where veterans of many generations unfurl an American flag to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice

I have to admit that I bristle every time I hear someone say “Happy Memorial Day” or see an ad for Memorial Day car or furniture sales covered in American flags.  On one hand, it’s great to have a long weekend where a large share of American working families get to have time off together–we work hard, we sacrifice, and we build the best quality of life we can in this country.  We love the beach, the lake, the river, the backyard, or wherever we choose to celebrate that.

But it’s also well worth taking some time to remember why Memorial Day is a federal holiday in the United States.  This isn’t the same as Veteran’s Day, where we honor and…

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Are You An Anthropocentrist?

Interesting! Never knew these things before!

Laura Grace Weldon

animal intelligence, anthropocentrism, Paradise, by Gillis d’Hondecoeter circa 1575

When I was growing up we were taught humans were at the top of every chart, far superior to all other living beings. Our textbooks, illustrated with stereotypical images of “cave men,” proved the assertion with a long list of what our species could do that others could not. The list was so smug that I was a bit embarrassed on behalf of my fellow homo sapiens. A skeptic even then, I thought the list was somewhat prejudicial. Worse, it didn’t acknowledge what feels obvious to young children, that we are all things and all things are us.

I don’t for a moment dismiss our many human accomplishments—among them language, science, the arts, and shared rules meant to advance mutual compassion. I simply mean to point out that we’re not better, we’re different.

Besides, what I was taught as a kid doesn’t really hold up. Here are…

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Everything at Once: Notes to My Son

Journal by Dad!

Jonathan Hiskes

Originally published in River Teeth, Spring 2015. (Subscribe here; River Teeth is great, and it’s named after an excellent David James Duncan essay.)

Puget Sound from San Juan Island

June

We returned from the hospital, our family, and immediately I shrugged the bags off my shoulder and set to work unpacking dirty clothes. I’ve always had this compulsion to unpack right away, always in a hurry to restore order. Then I turned to watch your mother. Unshowered, still exhausted from labor, she lifted you from the car seat into her arms. “This is our couch,” she whispered, walking softly. “This is our kitchen.”

You won’t comprehend any of this for months, you shriveled, squinting creature. You haven’t even learned to hold your eyes open. Yet Hannah paced the house, letting the familiar squeaks in the floor comfort herself, if not you. I stopped to watch–the laundry could wait. She showed you the nursery…

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search for meaning in the nepal himalaya

A Great Photo Essay !

In A Search of Balance



***
Update: Less than a week after we returned from Nepal, the 7.9 earthquake struck… what a disaster! We’re all lucky, but also really saddened by the news of this tragedy that is still unfolding in Nepal. Even the news that my post will be featured by WordPress is bittersweet, the upside of which is that more people will see the beauty of this place. In support of the people there, my friends and I have decided to organize a photo exhibit (check out my travel buddy’s great post on the kids of Nepal), the proceeds of which we’ll donate somehow to a charity there. We’re still working out the details, but I’ll keep you posted.

I urge you to donate as well. If you don’t know how to help, please consider purchasing a full resolution image from me and I will donate on your behalf. Get in touch if…

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A Strange Kind of Homesickness

Very deep and honest!

rondelet by Cara

Going back to France this time was a grand project. A challenge. Something motivating and exciting.

I hadn’t felt that motivated and excited in a long time—probably not since the last time I was in France. Last summer and fall, whenever I talked about going back to France, I lit up. Besides fitting snugly into the new “plan” I’d outlined for myself, it just felt right.

I envisioned this séjour as a fresh start, the easy answer to the complex, convoluted, and downright tough questions I’ve been grappling with. About who I was versus who I am now, about what I really want out of life and how to get it.

But answers don’t come easily and fixes aren’t quick, no matter how drastically you change your life.

I made my drastic change. I moved to Paris—PARIS for goodness sake, one of the most beautiful cities in the world!—and I quickly fell into a funk.

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At…

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