The Romance of the Road

I’ve hopped the Divide and traveled south of home, landing in Gunnison for a few weeks of concentrated writing, trading five consecutive weeks of winter storm warnings for a rolling sage brush chaparral. From the bench where I write, I can see across the valley through floor to ceiling windows to watch cars speeding toward Mt. Carbon and Crested Butte. The highway groans with restless hearts, I think, as I imagine people in their private…

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An Equinox Meditation

The arrival of Spring catches me off guard. As the planet tips the hemisphere where I live to equal night and day, I have forgotten its quickening. These long months in lockdown have me subdued. I’ve kept myself flattened for so long that I’ve forgotten what deep full breathing feels like. Scarcity is a second skin. One I wear far too easily. More difficult is to let it slough away. Today I realized the discipline…

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A Winter Solstice Reflection

“One must have a mind of winter” –Wallace Stevens I learned what it means to be human at the hands of winter. It came to me in a bleak time, when I’d retreated to a cabin in the Rocky Mountains to live alone with my dog, after a series of gut-punching losses that triggered dread for each dawning day. It was February—for me, the darkest month of the year, a month so brittle and cold,…

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Fire Season in America

“I know what the world is made of and I still love all of it” –The Solace of Open Spaces Sixteen years ago, my mountain cabin burned to the ground. In a matter of hours, all evidence of the life I’d lived—signed and annotated books; photos of me at five, eight, fifteen; a broadside gifted to me by the poet and writer Kate Braverman with a spontaneous poem she’d written on it—was reduced to two…

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Be Home Now

“Breathing in, I know I am breathing in, Breathing out, I know I am breathing out,” —Thich Nhat Hanh After a week of real spring on the mountain—weather so warm it melted the two-foot drifts in the yard and opened the path through the woods where I hike with River in the summer, drying the six inches of mud gumming up the road—a mild, late-season snow settled in overnight and threatened my potted herbs and…

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