What Really Matters
A good teacher, a shared meal, a heartfelt apology
Featuring Barbara Kingsolver, Kathleen Dean Moore, John Elder, and more.
The Brave Little Parrot
Long ago, a little gray parrot lived in a green forest. She was a happy bird and loved to fly. One day a dark storm hovered over the forest. Lightning flashed and the forest began to burn.
It is blasphemy to separate oneself from the earth and look down on it like a god. It is more than blasphemy; it is dangerous. We can never be gods, after all — but we can become something less than human with frightening ease.
We Only Protect What We Love
Michael Soule On The Vanishing Wilderness
The reason we act when something threatens our family or our neighborhood is because we love these people and places. Maybe it takes a tangible threat to our home environment to make us realize that we really do love the earth.
My dad’s name was Ed, but his friends called him Eddie. In old photos he is Jack Nicholson handsome, with devilish good looks and a mischievous gleam in his eye. I can see why my mom fell for him.
One Flight Up
One can die in cleanliness, or one can die in filth. I’m not talking about your soul. At the Prince Hotel — an old Bowery flophouse — the men paid a few dollars a night to live in stalls, four feet wide and six feet deep, with chicken-wire ceilings.
A Place For Songs
In the summer we got word that the county forestland near our northern-Wisconsin home would be clear-cut. “Not my favorite pines,” I said, hoping. But, yes, those were the ones.
Mother And Child
My husband, John, calls me a good mother. He says this with a glint of unease in his eyes, as though he is telling a lie or working a charm.
My father hadn’t left us yet / but I have no memory / of him living there.
The Big Picture
I try to look at the big picture. / The sun, ardent tongue / licking us like a mother besotted /with her new cub, will wear itself out. / Everything is transitory.