Skip to content

Monthly Archives: November 2012

Haunted State Parks!


One of my favorite things about Edward Abbey (and his friends) is that on his death his friends (at his request) took his body into the desert and buried in some hidden place, and like Moses, “No one to this day knows where he is buried.”  Texas is now starting a pilot project to make […]

Staring At Winter.


From my writing-desk.  At this stage of the year on gray days it just snows and snows and snows all day, a few flakes at a time.  Little accumulates, but there is an effect.

Hitchens, Stegner, Mortality, and Moderns.


Sickness very much getting the better of me in the days following Thanksgiving, I spent three days indoors and very nearly all the time in bed. Having a great number of books at my disposal, being in the family house, for whatever inscrutable reason I read Christopher Hitchens’ Mortality on Friday, and Wallace Stegner’s Crossing […]



This is not the first snow of the season, but it feels like it’s the first permanent snow – the season is now setting in.  Liquid water is getting harder to come by.  I went down to the spring this morning, and it was still open, but not for long.  I used snow to wash […]

How to Get Me to Keep Reading a Book.


Put this on the second page: When the mists in my beloved valley steam all around me; when the sun rests on the surface of the impenetrable forest at noon and only single rays steal into the inner sanctum; when I lie on the tall grass beside a rushing brook and become aware of the […]



Cutting through wood with an axe.  The wood is so pretty when freshly cut that I feel bad about using it for mere firewood.  But ’tis the season for cutting wood and burning it, and nature is such that its beauties are gratuitous all.

The Racially Conscious Society.


Above is the electoral map for Mitt Romney among white men.  Even in states like California and New York, white men voted for Romney.  Identity is crucial in presidential politics, but there is some danger that our society will continue to amp up these kinds of divides, and that elections will be more and more […]

In the Pseudo-Catholic Parallel Universe…


Those of us with conservative Catholic friends had to deal with the usual Facebook nonsense about how it all was coming to an end on Election Night – I couldn’t stop snipping at one of them, “Yes, a terrible night for legitimate rapists everywhere,” which indeed would make it a bad night for a certain […]

Timon of Athens, from the National Theater in London.


Chance led me, as it sometimes leads the prepared mind, to Plutarch’s Life of Marc Antony not long ago, and I was struck by the following incident. After the collapse of Marc Antony’s fortunes and his disastrous defeat at the Battle of Actium, knowing that the assassins of Augustus were on their way and that […]

Back in the Woods.


I returned to the Catskills last night, after a week and a half away, first in Ohio and then in New York City.  It amazes me how when I am elsewhere I can feel the same angst and uncertainty that I feel all of us thinkers feel – and then I come back home to […]