I’m in love with a houseplant. It’s a maidenhair fern, its frilly little leaves dangling from willowy stems. There’s something about it that just makes me incredibly happy. It’s true, my heart even flutters a bit when I see it. This is my first adult relationship with a houseplant. As a kid, we had plants […]

The Last Word

Feb 13-17, 2017 Rose loves watching people dance (check out her favorite YouTube videos). This paper about women dancing? She does not love it so much: Oh, so, the paper here isn’t really asking “which woman is a better dancer” but rather “which woman would you rather sleep with?” That is… a completely different question […]

Wish We Were Here

This is a travel story about a place I’ve never been. Maybe it’s a strange destination—a single, cold room. It’s thousands of miles from where I am, though, which makes it seem fascinating based on distance alone. But even better: inside it, you’d find pieces of the whole world. More than 500 million tiny pieces. […]

The Last Word

January 23-27, 2017 Hey, you. Yes, you. You are underestimating chickens. They’re more like us than we imagined, says Jennifer. Chickens are rarely given the benefit of the doubt. No one goes to a chicken for advice. No one expects a chicken to do its own taxes. Chickens babble a lot while saying very little. […]

Same River Twice

Since last week, we’ve been watching the weather forecast with something that’s almost joy, but won’t quite let itself be. Often, the weekly report has a beaded string of sunshines, with different ways to describe them. Abundant sunshine. Plenty of sun. Hot. Sometimes, there are clouds. But even when the slot machine lineup of my weather […]

The Last Word

December 26 – 30, 2016 Last week, Craig’s house lost power. And in the darkness, Craig reclaimed the winter: I turned the place into a constellation of oil lamps and candles. The wood stove flickers, sending shadows across the globe and behind the rocking chair. This feels like the best way to witness the heart of winter rise up […]

Redux: Water Year

This post first appeared on October 8, 2015, when I was still hopeful that a good strong El Nino could hold off California’s water problems a while longer. Where I am, it didn’t work. One of our reservoirs is now at 7 percent capacity. At another, the dam worker now needs water trucked in to […]

The Last Word

December 5-9. 2016 At a writing residency in Oregon, Emma finds a bird foot in coyote scat, and then sees death all around her in the forest. When I stopped for lunch, I took out my notebook and wrote, “Thinking mostly about nothing much except how the forest is death, death, life out of death, death accumulated so it […]