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Category Archives: Uncategorized

For Trinh Huynh, A Good Friend.


We live in an unusually violent country, and death by firearms shows up in all of our actuarial tables as a relatively common way to die, so it stands to reason that as you go through life you will eventually have friends who get murdered. And my friend Trinh Huynh became one of them. As […]



Sitting at a desk in my mother’s house to write, my daughter gave me perhaps thirty seconds before she followed me and crawled into my lap.  As I pecked away, now onehanded – whenever I tried to use my right hand it would get in her face a bit, and she energetically would thrust it […]

April Snowfall.


We returned to the cabin and found spring just beginning in the mountains.  Down in the Rondout Valley the hepatica (H. acutiloba) bloomed March 30; the bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis) the following day; April 2nd saw spring-beauty (Claytonia carolina) bloom on Wildcat Mountain.  And then on April 3rd the snow came, in the middle of the […]

Home Birth, Part 1.


[This was originally begun January 10th, but it took ten days of editing and tinkering for me to finally cut the whole essay in half and post this first half.  The other will follow shortly. [it is here]] I’m disregarding, as I write this, the good advice all new parents disregard. Like most wise counsel […]

Bob Dylan, Conscience of a Generation.


A few weeks ago I was cleaning up after a party at my house and came upon a paper bag full of books which a guest had apparently left as a gift.  They were all recent books, the kind of stuff that makes me hate being in bookstores – I always feel like I have […]

First Hour in New Orleans and First Crawfish Boil


My host and I got into his little compact and drove to this crawfish boil, which was being held by the Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center. This center sued in cases of housing discrimination (and just to remind you that this is still a problem I will note that the last president of […]

More Disasters.


I had prepared for this moment for days, by going to the ATM machine bit by bit: my account does not let me draw more than five hundred dollars out on any day, and I don’t have a credit card, so for large expenditures like this I have to pay cash and draw the account […]

Port Royal, Kentucky.


I love the enchantment that love sheds over the world. It is the best companion for an adventure: the unknown is no match for it, the same way you do not fear to hear the worst things about a person you truly love: you love them so much anyway, knowledge can only add to the […]

The Two Economies, Wendell Berry.


I’ve been reading “The Two Economies” by Wendell Berry again and again the past few days.  I don’t quite understand the structure of the essay – or if it really has one – but on point after point, I can’t quite believe how much another man’s paragraphs contain the contents of my own heart.

Thoreau on Chopping Versus Buying Wood.


And on economics in general: If I buy one necessary of life, I cheat myself to some extent, I deprive myself of the pleasure, the inexpressible joy, which is the unfailing reward of satisfying any want of our nature simply and truly. From his Journal.