Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Excerpt in Which I Relate to a Ground Squirrel

Petals and Thorns, 2013
"One morning I looked out the window and saw a ground squirrel draped in a coat of cotton. She was picking the cottonseeds off her arm and eating them. Suddenly a weasel emerged and began wildly chasing the ground squirrel around the yard. Just as the weasel was about to grab the ground squirrel's neck, ensuring a quick death, the squirrel made an abrupt turn, faced the weasel, and screamed. The startled weasel jumped in the air and fell onto its back as the ground squirrel ran away."

Excerpt from When Women Were Birds by Terry Tempest Williams

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Quiet Time

Sunshine, 2013

It always seems I need more than others. So here I am, enjoying the beautiful sunlight sneaking through the blinds and listening to a live version of Rain King.

Wishing you much of whatever you desire this weekend.


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Stovetop Granola

Autumn, 2013

This is so easy and delicious. Experiment with different seeds and nuts. I've used walnuts and pistachios. Adjust salt, pepper, and sugar to your liking. I really like this less-sweet ratio and always include good black pepper. Black pepper in granola is a revelation.

Stovetop Granola
2 very generous servings 
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
½ cup chopped almonds
1 cup rolled oats
¼ teaspoon fleur de sel
⅛ tsp fresh ground pepper
1 tablespoon brown sugar

Heat oil in small sauté pan over medium heat, add seeds, chopped nuts, and oats. Stir gently to coat with oil. Add salt, pepper, and brown sugar. Stir gently until oats begin to turn light brown. Remove from heat.

Serve warm over Greek yogurt and top with thinly sliced Fuyu persimmon and pomegranate arils.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

White Lies

What Was She Thinking, 2013

She called me on the 17th and wished me a happy birthday, even though my birthday was on the 20th. She’d done this for years. I never mentioned the discrepancy. I didn’t want to make her feel awkward. Luckily, I hadn’t met her too early in my life.

Something in me changed between ages thirty and forty. Before the change I would have laughed comfortably at her mistake and corrected her. My response would have been without malice and I wouldn’t have thought much about the consequences, but somewhere in my thirty-forty decade I began thinking more seriously about my words and how they made other people feel. I didn’t transform into an angel, but I did pull back a little bit. I told a few more white lies.

Why not, I thought. Confirming everyone had the proper data began to feel unnecessary. I replaced it with the satisfaction of knowing I would not be the killjoy needlessly interfering with anyone’s happiness.

But I still carry a nasty sort of anxiety each time I walked along Columbus Avenue. I have not come to terms with the clearly able-bodied tourists who amble along so slowly in front of me. I do not consider myself an especially fast walker, which makes each slow person in front of me that much more intolerable. They simply live at a different pace, a pace I do not understand. I assume this anxiety will eventually dissolve and be replaced with something even better than white lies, but I'm not sure I want it to go.

Thursday, November 14, 2013


Guest Room, 2013

Okay, I'm ready to feel even now. But is there such a thing?

Monday, November 11, 2013

Be Where You Are

From Here, 2013

Warmth. The sunny barstools. The plant. It has been years, but it doesn't feel so. This space is familiar. Comfortable. I return to an earlier self and order a cappuccino. I wait, quietly. Sip. Open a slim book to its first page. I am immediately in her world, as if she is sitting across from me and telling her story. I ask her to pause on several occasions. I know it is just the beginning, but she pulls at me and wants me to understand her pain, to break just a little bit, and I do. 

When I leave her and step into the cold air I press my tongue against the inside of my bottom teeth, hoping it will hold back my tears. I know she isn't finished, and I do want her to continue, but I have others who need me. Later, I think. Later. Don't forget to be where you are, now, as you walk down this cold street with her voice still in your ear, and later, when you sit at another table, surrounded by new voices.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Down the Rabbit Hole

Charles, 2013

I listened to Bill Evans on Pandora while reading these pages on my laptop. About halfway through my reading I was distracted by the sunset and got up to take a photograph with my mobile phone. Now, in the dark, I type with my glowing screen in the foreground and the lights of city buildings and passing headlights shimmering on the river outside my hotel room, and I share my sunset with you, here on my blog.

Monday, November 4, 2013

22 Unicorn Street, 2013

She spoke loudly of her comfort with herself, a strong clue it did not exist. I picked up my book and returned to the quiet upstairs.