Hold It Right There–how we feel and why

Aristotle, 14; Charles Darwin, 5.  It sounds like the final score in the big-names-in history wrestling contest. Aristotle destroys Darwin. It’s actually the number of human emotions these thinkers could think of. Both list fear and anger. Aristotle distinguishes between shame and shamelessness; Darwin doesn’t bother with either of those. Darwin includes love; Aristotle, friendship.…More

Ride It–desert miles and wild horses

“That’s two,” Tizi says. “You’re counting?” Whatever she murmurs in response I can’t hear. Because even with my hearing aid cranked to HIGH, I can’t hear murmur in the car. And besides, this I don’t really want to hear. It’s a little tense at the moment. We could be counting wild horses. When we drive…More

Facsimiles–the West, a breakfast, some shade

I couldn’t be this lucky, I think to myself. What are the odds of finding a rattlesnake skin that’s been sluffed off, left behind in one piece, and in pretty good condition? But there it is, of all places on the driveway of the Fairfield Inn, in Laramie, Wyoming. I figure, Well yeah, I’m out…More

iThink–towns, cows, silence

“Don’t forget the cows,” Tizi says. How could I? If I think Iowa, I’ll think corn; in Nebraska, it will be cows. Since we crossed the state line they’ve appeared on hillsides, in fields, standing, sitting, lying. A few lucky ones, wading. It’s hot. There’s a hurricane in in the Pacific—Hilary, weather people are calling…More

Barns End–a roof, a wedding, Georgia O’Keefe

I’ve got barns on my mind. I’m driving across Illinois on 88 West. This is corn country. On this bright sunny afternoon, there’s a lot of amber waving going on. The fields run from the edge of the road to the horizon. Amidst clusters of trees far into the countryside, barns. Farms with enough shade…More

In Defense of Fiddling–fix it, if you can

This morning I was reminded of Marc Maron and JB Smoove’s wacky conversation about fiddling, on Maron’s WTF podcast. I was outside early, like 5:00 a.m. I take short walks around the house at that time, lighting the way with a small flashlight, careful to stay on the sidewalk to keep my feet dry. It’s…More