Spirit Animals

Originally posted on My Life Among the Eukaryotes, on March 24, 2015.

Four years ago next week, my dad died. People often die this time of year. People who hung on all winter, creaking through the holidays and dragging themselves out to the easy chair for a spot of TV, just give up. It’s a tough time of year. Winter hangs on, spring can’t get a toehold. It’s cold — often bitterly cold — and messy and dismaying outside. Inside it’s messy, too, and it smells funny because the windows have been closed tight for more than four months.  Continue reading

Super Tuesday 2.0

profile-picIt’s March 15, 2016. Primaries today in 4 or 5 dozen states. The “big” ones: Florida, Ohio, Illinois.  Mainscream media trumpets this “day of decision” as the one where, at the end, we “all know” how “this thing” is “going to play out.”


I thought we had that day already. Continue reading

Jane Sanders for First Lady

jane-buttonThe Florida primary is next week, and her spouse is drawing ginormous crowds there. We are even starting to see pictures of these crowds on TV. Finally, Big Media seriously entertain the thought that Bernie Sanders’ campaign for a political revolution has grown some legs. Now, inevitably, the searchlight swings Jane Sanders’ way. America and its punditry will begin to look long and critically at Jane. Continue reading

Carpetbaggers for President

bernie-blog1Old Bernie Sanders is quite a rig. He is by miles the most exhilarating presidential uppity-comer, our Bernie – he’s the Real Deal. A real Democrat-Plus: that is to say, not just your basic Democrat — no, Bernie is the deluxe model: he’s an Independent.  Democratic. Socialist. Fully loaded. The “real” Democrats, though, are giving him an awful hard time for this.  They say he’s not really one of them. They say he’s a Johnny-Come-Lately. They say he’s just using the Democratic Party to get himself elected.

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Never Say No

neversayno.gifI like improv because the first rule is: Never say no.  You can say “Know” or “Noh” even “Gno.”

But you can’t say “No.” You have to rise to the moment. You can’t whine about it. You can’t bargain over participating. You have to meet the moment wherever it finds you. Because — hello? — now it’s your turn to make something of it.

You’re not consenting to let the moment just have its way with you. You don’t have to let yourself be carted off, although that has its magic, too. You are allowed to steer. But first  you have to take the wheel. And don’t settle for just the damned hubcap, either.

Absolutes are not my thing as a rule. But if ever I were to cave on this point and adopt a “never” or an “always,” it could be this one before a lot of other possibilities.

Never  say no.


swim1Goodness I love to swim.

I love slipping through water that is the same temperature as my skin. I love the way a cupped handful of water resists being pushed out of the way. I love the way my body feels, stretched all the way out, rolling in a rhythm, and weightless.

I especially like that my chest is weightless in water.  That it stops pulling on my neck and shoulders and getting in my way. That for this interval I get a break from the pain this causes me the other 23 hours of the day.

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Gravity: Not Just “A Good Idea”

The gravity waves that rolled through our area last September finally — finally! — bulled their way up through the primary season fizz-over and into the news this week.   These waves were generated a long time ago when two black holes collided. They turned up on CNN because they comprise the first direct evidence of rippling space/time as predicted by Albert Einstein over a century ago. These waves are Big News.  Big news, but not local news:

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This Year’s Obligatory North-Country-Sure-Is-Cold Post

sm-thermometerI have a house thermometer, but it’s a cheap one. It only goes down to zero degrees. I also have a good, Northeast Kingdom thermometer that goes down to minus 60, but that one’s nailed to the outside wall of my milk house, a good hundred yards away across my dooryard and the paved road. Entirely too far from my kitchen door, in other words, to just casually “go check” on an early, arctic morning like this one. Especially before coffee — because in such cold as this, the trip requires dressing up: Continue reading