The Hard Choice

If there’s one thing I know how to do, it’s how to prepare for and survive disaster. I’ve spent over twenty years living at elevations above 8000 feet in places threatened by fire and flood and I’ve had a bit of practice making evacuation’s hard choices: what to take and what to leave behind.  During the 2003 Overland Mountain Fire—then the largest fire in Boulder County history–I loaded a bed and food for my dog,…

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The Winged Life

  He who binds himself to a joy Does the winged life destroy He who kisses the joy as it flies Lives in eternity’s sunrise.                —-William Blake   I’ve been pining. Every day, I wake and think of some distant thing to lash myself too:  PR events related to the paperback release of Rough Beauty (radio and print interviews, new website and blog, readings); an end of summer…

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The Hard Prayer

For this post, I excerpt the prologue of my memoir, Rough Beauty: Forty Seasons of Mountain Living, a Colorado Book Award Finalist, out in paperback on June 4th.  The passage details the cabin fire that claimed all my possessions and most of my writing two months before I turned 40 in the Spring of 2004.  The challenges of high altitude spring have been much on my mind as my corner of the Rockies has expierenced…

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Tilting Toward Embrace

On the coldest morning of the season, when the day dawns just above zero and the expected high is only 5 degrees; on the same day when the windchill will plunge to the minus double digits, and I’ll drive home through pockets of swirling snow so thick, the road disappears, River begins to blow out his coat.  It began as a net of fur coating my hand whenever I pulled on his ears and ruffled…

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Lucia & Me

Mind you, sometimes the angels smoke, hiding it with their sleeves, and when the archangel comes, they throw he cigarettes away:  that’s when you get shooting stars. —Vladimir Nabokov I spent late Christmas day and the next morning with Lucia Berlin. Greg made a present of her recently published memoir, Welcome Home, and I picked it up immediately.  As I read the book not once but twice, Lucia’s voice came back to me–earthy and rich, but…

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