And She’s Off!

I have this thing I do when deciding about a book. Do you do this too? Whether standing in the bookstore or the library stacks, at a rotating book rack in the airport or, even, in front of a bookshelf in the home of a friend: I open the book at random and I read. … More And She’s Off!

Hope and Vision

The work is not the vision itself, certainly. It is not the vision filled in, as if it had been a coloring book. It is not the vision reproduced in time; that were impossible. It is rather a simulacrum and a replacement. It is a golem. –Annie Dillard, The Writing Life On July 29, 1981, … More Hope and Vision


“You can’t really see the days. I mean, look at the days with your eyes.”                                                                   -Theo, age 4. 1 July 2015December 1990: For … More Holidays

The Color Green

This blog post is a gift to my mother, whose birthday was April 21st. And in loving memory of my grandmother, Grace Everett, whose birthday was the 27th. The field guides were kept in the dining room. Not obtrusively on the kitchen table or counter, but just around the corner, accessible to a quick eye … More The Color Green

How It Works

A well-known writer got collared by a university student who asked, “Do you think I could be a writer?”“Well,” the writer said, “I don’t know…. Do you like sentences?”The writer could see the student’s amazement. Sentences? Do I like sentences? I am twenty years old and do I like sentences? If he had liked sentences, … More How It Works

Reclaiming His Own

Giovanni GiacomettiChristmas Now burn, new born to the world,Double-natured name,The heaven-flung, heart-fleshed, maiden-furled,Miracle-in-Mary-of-flame,Mid-numbered he in three of the thunder-throne!Not a dooms-day dazzle in his coming nor dark as he came;Kind, but royally reclaiming his own;A released shower, let flash to the shire, not a lightning of fire hard-hurled.-Gerard Manley Hopkins, excerpt from “The Wreck of … More Reclaiming His Own

From Trees

Every year it comes to this, I would imagine–though I can’t say I remember it, surprised as I am every time: the air cleared of humidity so you could see for miles if the way lay straight; the leaves in that state of going, that thinned-outness–falling or still clinging–that makes every breeze into its own … More From Trees

Scott and Annie, Baz and Jay I love going to the movies. Despite all that Netflix and Amazon have to offer, there is something so simply great about going to the cinema and sitting there in the dark, releasing yourself to the larger-than-life narrative unfolding on the screen. I love it. One of the best classes I took in college … More Scott and Annie, Baz and Jay