In my last column, the Muse inspired me to write about dreams. And since then, I’ve been thinking about other types of altered consciousness. As a guy who often hangs out with Catholic monks, and who practices “Will Rogers spirituality”—that is, I’ve never met a religion I didn’t like—I take an interest in miracles and myths of all sorts, and the season of Christmas, Chanukah, and the winter solstice (the pagan Yule), which all speak of the miraculous arrival of light in darkness, is a good time to reflect on such matters....more
Posts Tagged: nature
At the New York Times, Adelle Waldman, author of The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P., writes about how a national park in Montana left an indelible mark on her and her marriage:
We were both intoxicated by the place, not only by its beauty but by the feeling of remoteness that is as much psychological as geographic.
I became tantalized by the idea of a genius poet whose talent was nourished not by extensive travel, nor by formal literary training, but rather by an intimacy with the kinds of creatures Americans routinely encounter and rarely appreciate.
For Slate, Ferris Jabr dives deep into the imagery of Emily Dickinson’s poetry to find new appreciation for the level of detail Dickinson’s knowledge of nature lent to her work....more
This is where poetry approaches music. Because you cannot put meaning in words as intellectually comprehensible. It’s just there, and you know it’s there. And it is the rhythm and the beat and the music of the sound that carries it.
In a hauntingly poignant review of Helen Macdonald’s lovely H Is for Hawk, the Los Angeles Review of Books’s Dinah Lenney writes about her own experience of loss and the turning toward the natural world:
In grief, what I found: birds reassure.
The New York Comics & Picture-Story Symposium is a weekly forum for discussing the tradition and future of text/image work....more
In a borrowed bed, in a foreign room, I woke up to a cry, raw and guttural like a baby’s first breath. My bedside lamp was still on, and the mild darkness of morning stretched outside my window. I slept on a book for a pillow, and yesterday’s jeans rutted into my waist....more
Nature investigates the rising number of terrorism attacks, and threats, against researchers in the field of nanotechnology. Those perpetrating the violence claim to be environmental activists, and believe that nanotechnology will result in further harm to our planet. They are not afraid to make their mission known:
“The next day, an eco-anarchist group calling itself Individuals Tending Towards Savagery (ITS) claimed responsibility for the bombing in a 5,500-word diatribe against nanotechnology that it published online....more
Evolutionary biologist David Sloan Wilson applies Darwinian theory to an urban landscape, in order to help improve Binghamton, New York.
A city is the perfect subject for studying social dynamics among people, applying his research of evolutionary social traits to schools, churches and playgrounds to help reform the city....more
In July, 2010, I delivered a keynote address at Goddard College’s MFA Writing residency in Port Townsend, Washington, on the theme “Composing the Wilderness.” This essay is included in an anthology of addresses given by Goddard College MFA faculty, to be published in early 2011....more