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Of the world

Gas in the car – up 10 centsGarbage to the dump – damn bag split3 two-by-fours – no red paintSquirrel on the road – get outta wayDriver going…

You are here?

Are we ever there if we’re not aware? If we’re in the woods and fail to notice the creak of the maples? Or if the musical rhythm of…

Waiting for nothing

I’m sitting on a bench outside my house. It’s four feet wide – enough for two, if that’s your thing. I’m waiting for nothing. Stillness, you see, is…

The goodest dog

For Freddie – the goodest dog in the world – everything old is also new. On that same maple with the broken branch chats a cheeky squirrel, too…

The journey home

Ten minutes by bike (all downhill) from the house I grew up in was Bobbits Lane. And down Bobbits Lane was a wheat field, a meadow, some allotments…

The easy, small things

Tiny seeds that flirt with the sun and fall like sparks. The hummingbird, so hurrying bird for that next frantic hit. This turpentine pine cone, warm and gluey….

Beautiful mortality

I don’t want to go skydiving or rock-climbing. I won’t jump between rooftops or race Highway 401. Instead, I’ll sit here, feeling mortal and adoring the scent of…

Know me not name me

I’m surrounded by birds. I can hear their beating wings, their squawking and tweeting, pecking, drumming. Flocks of birds. Birds I haven’t seen before, black and white birds,…

Masked

I’m getting accustomed to the whole Covid thing. But from time to time, I see a familiar place turned apocalyptic, with the masks and the distancing and such….

Leftovers

I got two bush cords of firewood delivered this week; truckloads tipped with the sound of thunder. There are round logs and square logs, wedge logs and deformed…

Visit Sitges

One day in – I don’t know – 2002, I found myself in the Catalan seaside town of Sitges. I was stress-working in Amsterdam, flew to visit a…

A beautiful day

I’m from England, where it rains from time to time. I remember as a kid in the back of the car, following the drops on the windows as…

Where do we go when we’re asleep?

Where do we go when we’re asleep? Are we like the bee on the thistle? Fuzzy yellow on spiky purple, a color wheel contrast in stillness? Are we…

On thoughts

I was sitting on my couch the other day, looking out the window and thinking about this and that. Along came a flock of tiny birds, into the…

Do be do be do

We have a woodchuck that lives with us. Well, not in the house (we have no wood to chuck) but around and about, on the sandy bank and…

Sifting flour with a fishing net

As a child, my family vacations consisted of walking up big hills in the rain. My dad called it “savage amusement” and we loved it. Sometimes there was…

Questions of light

That patch of light. You see? The one that’s making the leaves of the raspberry bush shine so white? That patch of light, whose photons journeyed 93 million…

Seeing stars

The secret to viewing shooting stars, as I discovered while I lay on the gently rocking dock, with the crickets buzzing behind me and the Milky Way misting…

Good bad

Of all the world’s inhabitants I’ve fallen in love with recently, I fell hardest for the song sparrow. Its melody relieved the early days of Covid, and it…

At the dump

I was at the dump today. With seagulls and eagles (and maybe a bear). Cans and bottles and scrubbed out jars. Boxes, more boxes and (oops!) legal files….

Dead daisies

Dead daisies are beautiful and I don’t care. Look at them, with their crusty petals and hollow seeds. So brown and so defiant. But they’re dead! they say….

Attention is the beginning of devotion

I fell in love with my saucepan this morning. We’re not getting married or anything. But I noticed a deep affection – a warm swelling in my chest….

Between everything and nothing

Love says ‘I am everything.’

Wisdom says ‘I am nothing.’

Between the two, my life flows

On OKness

One of the (shush!) side benefits of the whole Covid thing was that my 2020 sales goals went for crap. In January, we’d set targets that were higher…

About the rain

The birds here are singing just as loudly although it’s raining. Yet we as humans tend to think of the rain as “bad”. Interesting.

Addiction

More=Better=Addiction (h/t @lynne_twist)

Head in the future

Driving down the highway, going somewhere different, I noticed the trees, like a wall. Sometimes, I would steal a look to the right and see what was through…

Names that say nothing

The other week, my nephew found a flower, shyly living in the jungly green. “Look at its colours,” he said. “The purple that fades to pink. It’s so…

Current status

Awareness zone

Childhood holidays were a five-hour hot slog up the motorway – with a stop for tuna sandwiches on the way – to camp in a field in Yorkshire…

Drowning out

When I was a child, I would lie in the bathtub so my feet could turn on the taps. Then I would block one of the spouts with…

Moose body

I thought I was going to die as I drove into the moose; that moment as control is compressed into brakes and steering-wheel knuckles when there’s nothing to…

More of less

In February, which seems three decades ago not three months, I was in Lisbon. The Portuguese capital, famous for salted cod and custard tarts, is also known for…

Haircceptance

I was a teenager in the 1980s. The era of big hair. I was no exception. I let my locks storm upwards and outwards, a hormone-powered thicket of…

Together but separate

The night train from Madrid to Murcia had the type of carriages where passengers sit in compartments: a row of 3 facing a row of 3, for eight…

Spring insists

The autumn term (as they called the first semester of the school year back in England) started bronzed and enthusiastic in September, and ended tinseled and over-excited at…

Awe

One day I thought I saw a falling satellite but it was probably just a seagull. When I was very little, legend has it I looked up at…

Divine pause

About 45 minutes from where I grew up, in sniffing distance of the River Alde, is the Snape Maltings concert hall. Inside the varnished room are taught strings…

Collapsing sandcastles

When I was about three, I was terrified of collapsing sandcastles. It was the kind of terror that infiltrates every cell. It was visceral and it was total….

Distant together

A friend once told me that the way to walk busy city streets was to fix your gaze ahead, focused on exactly where you wanted to go. With…

Zoom, where real life is seen

At the age of 11, I started high school, two bus rides away into another world. I was a fish scooped from his cozy bowl, poured into the…

It’s the noticing that counts

When I was eight years old, I went on a school trip to the British county of Derbyshire. Our youth hostel was in spitting distance of the village…

Broken ladders

At the age of 16, I was sent to see a career counselor. She made me fill in a form and then the computer spat out a list…

In praise of a small life

My last silent meditation retreat lasted seven days. There were clouds of mosquitoes and deer flies that bite your head. The food was good. Life gets small on…

Fear and truth

Yesterday I sold a newspaper ad to a woman who makes soap. Today I unsold her. I have this new job – publisher of a local community newspaper….

Mind movie

One of the most dangerous things about driving in a Canadian winter isn’t the black ice (although that is dangerous) or the freezing rain (although that is dangerous…

Judgment spectacles

I’d been married only two years – and then I was in a room with the dead uncle. Well, the uncle-in-law. It was the first time I’d seen…

Real seeing

The best night of the year was when Father Christmas came to my street. Never has a truck looked so magical, transformed by lights and music into CHRISTMAS…

Defiance

Mr Redgrave was the headmaster of my first school. His face was crumpled, he smoked cigars, and his office had a scratchy carpet the colour of a kingfisher….

Finding truth

I never knew if I was being hazed or if this was how it was. At the end of the 90s, I did editing shifts on a big…