Wind, the uninvited houseguest

Perhaps 500 yards from my door—up an icy, winding driveway, a short way down a gravel road, beyond barbed wire fences and snow-skirffed pastures and the wind-twisted trunks of piñon and juniper trees—is a barn that shelters two sailboats in the middle of the Colorado desert. I first spotted them on a walk and stopped […]

Redux: The Wonderful World of Oz…and Science

Adventure! Newfangled flying machines! This book has it all! This post originally appeared here on December 3, 2013.   Lately I’ve been reading my way through the series of Oz books. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is only the first in a series of 14 books, and it’s not remotely the best. It’s fascinating to reread books […]

The Last Word

January 2-6, 2017 To assert one’s humanity is to make choices, even when that choice is to die, says Jenny. “When the time was right, the woman nodded to her doctor, who deactivated the pacemaker that was pumping blood to her heart. The woman died quietly with friends close, exactly the way she’d intended.” Ann finds […]

Reason for Hope

I joined a film crew several years ago in Chilean Patagonia where we put together a  flick opposing dams along the turquoise rivers of the Aysén region. At the time, stopping the advance of some of the biggest investors in the world seemed impossible. But soon more films were made, protests ignited across the country to save […]

A Matter of Choice

My friend, I’ll call her Anna, is dying today. She was dying yesterday, too, and tomorrow she’ll be even closer to death than today. That’s true of all of us, I suppose, but she’s on the fast track: Her gut is so clogged up with cancer that there’s nothing left to do for her but […]

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 […]