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Monthly Archives: January 2014



It’s sometimes hard to believe that the good news from the Vatican just keeps on coming.

The Memory of Old Jack, by Wendell Berry.


Certain things in life surprise me, though I suppose they shouldn’t. Two days ago I visited a large New York City Barnes and Noble – one of those multiple-level bookshops where thousands upon thousands of titles are on the shelves – and I asked if they had any Wendell Berry books. Berry has written more […]



“Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy?” – Isaiah 55:2

You Know It’s Cold When…


You know it’s cold inside your cabin when you grab your shoes in the morning to go off to work, and they won’t come up – because they’ve frozen to the floor overnight.  And it was a lot colder outside the cabin.

Bear Tracks in the Snow.


Someone is awake and hasn’t eaten in a month and a half…



I’ve been terribly busy lately – it’s tapping season, the busiest time of year on a maple farm – and I haven’t had time to write down the long thoughts I’ve been having, but one of the themes in my mind has been an examination of the idea of self-sufficiency or self-reliance.  I’ve long thought […]



When I woke up this morning it was 33 – inside my house.  I got up (reluctantly) and went off to work.  We were tapping the trees this morning.  But by noon it still hadn’t gotten above zero, and the boss had mercy on us and sent us home at lunchtime.  It wasn’t so bad […]



This winter I’m working for Catskill Mountain Sugar House, a maple syrup farm in Grahamsville, the next town over from Claryville.  I get a lot of questions about what it’s like working there, and there’s absolutely no way to do the place justice in this blog format, but I can give some sense of what […]



From a Jim Harrison interview: I remember this—it might be an apocryphal story—they gave some old Zen master seven hits of acid. And nothing happened. You see what I mean? You have to accept your dream life as part of your life. Only our culture would neglect the dream life. I mean my God, it’s […]