what we can control

2002. I stood waiting in line at a bagel shop in Rhode Island. My kids were about 3 and 5 years old. The person who was preparing food behind the counter kept touching her nose, scrunching her hair and rubbing her eyes. She was not wearing gloves. Freaked out about germs, I couldn’t bring myself to place an order. I told the girls we’d get bagels at the grocery store and make them at home. They happily skipped to the car and climbed into their backseat booster seats. At a red light, I looked in my rearview mirror at my … Continue reading what we can control

Observing Love

I take note of what lives here: evergreen, burdock, grass, ramp, fox, fisher, mink, raspberry, woodchuck, black bear, maple tree, coyote, butterfly, bat, rabbit, deer, birch, chipmunk, red squirrel, grey squirrel, mouse, bobcat, dog, goldfinch, bluebird, robin, hawk, owl, jay, hummingbird, bee. My husband has lived on this land for twenty years. I’ve lived here for two. I notice the things he’s planted and cultivated: striking bee balm, reverent monkshood and the flowering crabapple tree, Weeping Louisa. Can your love for someone increase when you notice what he chooses to plant? Brilliant red, widespread span, broad and bare. My husband … Continue reading Observing Love


I work very hard at collapsing delusions when I write. This isn’t easy. The French philosopher, Catherine Malabou, talks about how a “cut in one’s biography” forces a person to alter his/her perceptions of self. I’ve written a lot about this in literary terms, but on a personal level, to face these cuts and alterations of self, takes a lot of honest self-reflection–in other words, time to feel pretty bad about oneself and one’s life. The current state of the world has brought some of my delusions crashing down. I always thought I was a responsible caretaker of the earth, … Continue reading Delusions


For Jay RossierApril 7, 1961-May 6, 2012 I’ve been trying to develop my personal sense of sovereignty during this shelter-in-place time as structures fall and people suffer. While addressing my own accountability each day, I’m also trying to keep a sense of humor (strictly for sanity’s sake). Brad and I have started transforming our space here in Vermont into one that enables us to be more self-reliant.  As you might know, Jay wrote the book, Living With Chickens, and was kind of “the chicken guy” around these parts. Brad and I have been engaged with the book, following Jay’s practical … Continue reading Sovereignty