Deep peace of the quiet earth to you. 

July 31, 2018

I'm not good with chaos, and I definitely consider messiness and its close cousin, clutter, chaos. That I have no artistic talent aside, that's probably why I became a writer--there's something so clean and satisfying about words on a page, so easily erasable and changeable. 

But I also learned that a love of gardening and a love of the outdoors required tolerance for a certain degree of messiness. So I developed an appreciation for soil, for dirt beneath my fingernails, for callused feet and muddy knees. I played up the romance of weather and uncertainty, seasonal shifts and unexpected results. 

Inoculating ourselves against the messiness of life by immersing ourselves in the clean, natural messiness of art, of the outdoors, of baking is one of the cheeriest ways we can strengthen our resolve, our tolerance, and our fondness for a little chaos.

June 8, 2017

I am not a dog person.

I wonder if I just alienated more than half of my audience by that remark. I don’t have anything against dog people themselves, I just don’t happen to be one of them. I also know I could never, really, live with a dog person (or, more accurately, they probably couldn’t live with me). Even without the dog. The dog, as it were, is, I think, inconsequential to the whole personality.

Why on earth is this important? Well, it's not, really, so feel free to skip it. But for some reason, dogs and the concept of devotion have been a philosophical interest of mine for ages. Perhaps it's all that time in the garden, battling the wild beings like slugs, mosquitoes, and blackflies. 

But I think a lot about devotion, yes, in the form of dogs, but also in the form of children, family. I think, though they may or may not be mutually exclusive, dog people and children people have a gift for fluency in emotion and mutual devotion. They (and I’ve always known this) are better peo...

April 18, 2017

I find wind either refreshing or downright torturous, depending on the temperature, the task, visibility/ice conditions, and gale force. The thing is, wind gives you nowhere to hide; it seeks out your secrets, your weaknesses, and (given the right circumstances) can cut anyone to the quick of their tolerance level. 

In other words, you learn a lot about the company you keep (yourself included) when faced with blocks to walk (or hours to sail) in wind-chilled conditions.

It's a pretty accurate, rather humbling, litmus test to scope the depth of your own well of compassion. 

June 15, 2016

Unconditional love is pretty easy to define, really. Those of you with children get it instantly, for some of us it's animals, plants, family, BFFs, whatever. But we know what it is--we've all felt it. Perhaps we experience it most profoundly when someone we love without end does something to really piss us off. So we don't like them for a day or a week or a year. But we love them. We love them so much that the period of non-liking hurts like the dickens. 

That's the beauty of unconditional love--love WITHOUT conditions. Every major religion, belief system, moral code has something to do with this sort of love. I like to call it tolerance. Equanimity. Every creature's right to exist. Your hatred/fear/confusion/disgust has nothing to do with my right to be here, my right to love and be loved. 

Why would we ever want to stop another creature from loving? It's silly, really, these lines we draw. Like, I (personally) can't stand the color orange. It hurts me, in my brain. But it's my sister'...

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