Just yesterday, back in May, when the lilacs were blooming and a spring breeze blew in through my window, I let myself sink into the luxury of it all, only to wake up one morning and find it is July-pushing-toward August, and the lilacs are long gone, as are the rhododendron and the honey locusts and the roses. Even the blackberries have raced from blossom to berry to briar, and those cool breezes have been stilled by some invisible hand, hot air settling into my little holler, compressing light and sound so that if feels as if we are all inside a dim bubble.
Since I don’t have air conditioning, my ceiling and window fans have been running pretty much nonstop, the earlier music of peepers and wood thrush replaced by a constant, vibrating, metallic hum.
Well I left my happy home
To see what I could find out
I left my folk and friends
With the aim to clear my mind out
Cat Stevens’s song, “On the Road to Find Out” was pretty much my anthem during my ChasingLight journey. Hitting the highway and headed for the next town, I’d crank up the speakers and rock out, believing, as I had since I was an eighteen-year-old college freshman, that Cat (now Yusef) understood something fundamental about me, about my raw hunger to know all I could, and about what would become my lifelong quest for stories and wonders and glimpses behind the veil.
Well I hit the rowdy road
And many kinds I met there
And many stories told me on the way to get there
Two years ago, I was learning my way around the northern California mountain town of Mt. Shasta, named for the stunning 14,179 f...
The time has come for Roadcinante and I to part ways. She is too noble a vehicle to be sitting parked, impatient for her next journey. I have the sense out there somewhere is the perfect person, planning her own pilgrimage, scheming his own getaway. Toward that end, Roadcinante is up for sale. Heave a sigh with me, won’t you?
It has not been an easy decision. Letting go of her feels like letting go of the last remnants of that magical 2016-2017 journey that took me 12,000 miles, there and back again, and the roads that carried me into both my own storied past, as I revisited old haunts and called out to the people who once we...
I am writing this on a Sunday, mid-morning. Once upon a time, in another life, I would have been standing in the pulpit, preaching hope, proclaiming good news, reminding the congregation how love always wins.
Or I would have been behind the altar, my eyes moving from the gathered people to the bread and wine in front of me, to the open book of worship printed with the sung liturgy and words of institution.
“On the night in which he was betrayed…” I would’ve been saying, lifting the bread heavenward, repeating the ancient story.
“Again, in the same way, he took the cup…” Lifting the chalice, looking past it to the faces, some hopeful, som...
It is Day Six of my eighteen-day residency at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. VCCA is in Amherst, Virginia, home of Sweet Briar College, and within easy driving distance of Lynchburg to one side and Charlottesville to another. I am staying put, though, happy to be sequestered here on this renovated dairy farm. We work in an old friendly concrete block barn with a cozy kitchen surrounded by small, well-appointed studios. An eighth of a mile down the lane is the residence hall where we sleep and take our morning and evening meals.
From nearby train tracks comes the low rumble of passing trains, and red-tailed hawks call from the distant woods.
There are writers and poets, painters and photographers, and printmakers and composers. In the evenings there are readings and open studios and music...
We are now on the other side of the Winter Solstice, and 2018 is history.
In my mind’s eye, the earth hangs in inky black space, like the “Blue Marble” the Apollo 17 astronauts showed us way back in 1972, but I see it with a drawn-in axis line like from my seventh grade science book, showing the earth shifting from its “maximum tilt” away from the sun on 12/21 to turn and face the light again.
I am greedy for light right now. I devour those extra two minutes and several seconds (increasing daily) of sunlight we are getting. From time to time I run out onto my front porch and sit in the corner to catch a few warm rays, and that is true even on the snapping cold days, wrapping myself in a down comforter and turning my face...