perhaps this is what happens every time I press a key on the piano. A string pulls sound toward itself. I press a finger to pull sound into me. I keep the memory of tones, of grandparents, of parents, of time itself. I keep and I keep and I keep. Perhaps keeping is what ages us, compels us to evade or ignore what we can no longer pull. … More In Brief, 2021: What the Brain Does
My dreams were full of poetry and strange wisdom this year. Lines would appear from the landscape, like “the water that baskets me full,” or “chasing questions in a manner of patience is the same as chasing the journey.” My dreams also foretold death. … More In Brief, 2020: Child Again
“What are you?” asks the chickadee. “Your humble relative,” replies the Chief. “What are you?” asks the chickadee. “Your savior!” replies the colonist. “What are you?” asks the chickadee. “Lost,” replies the wanderer whose inherent meandering means not planning ahead. “What are you?” asks the chickadee. “This moment,” replies the philosopher, monk, or new-age spiritualist … More The Chickadee (& Humanity)
He can cry to me in a way that the desert can’t. When he buries his head like he wishes to do with his heart, whispering, “I miss them so much,” the yucca and the cacti stretch sunward, silent. If you are to walk into the desert far enough, a jackrabbit will dart from a bush or a pile of decomposing Joshua Trees… … More In Brief, 2019: The Jackrabbit Will Run
Waves of distraction. Eye contact avoidance? Why does consciousness require/benefit from ritual? Does nature (beyond us) engage in ritual?
“I just want people to remember that we are nature…to contemplate: when do we become the tea?” … More From the Journal: Matters of Being
I can’t see them, but surely they are playing and happy with life. Yipping. Like I’ve stuck my head into a creek and am hearing the little stones gurgle and roll. … More From the Journal: Earth and Survival
It is the saguaro that tethers its roots to the stones and it is me that runs over them. We are each with instinct and duty for life and yet I do not belong here. … More Saguaros and The Art of Time
And just like the deer, and how the creek left ridges and curls in the sand, did I leave notions of myself, too. Just like that — we take and are taken. … More In Brief, 2018: My Human Craft
Grief is personal knowledge. We didn’t need to understand. We read the way the poems shaped her shoulders against the white slopes, or the way her head bowed after each one — starting with the chin and ending with the eyelids. Snowflakes dusted her hair and dampened her hands. She’d wipe them against her pants or against her reddening cheeks and she slowly dampened, too, unraveling there in the morning glow. … More From the Journal: Dampened
These feats seem narrow and superficial when I compare them to the work my brain does when dreaming at night. The nightmares are such because they contradict me, risk everything, go beyond the threat of death by hypothetically starting the process. … More The dreams that scare me and how they nurture my curiosity
We quake in defiance of peripheral death. How we all engage in some form of spastic fervor to never be forgotten. Me saying that most climbers choose their mountains for a reason, could also be me saying that most people choose (however subconscious) what is to be perceived as an obstacle in their own lives. … More From the Journal: Echoes
Funny how I impose my loneliness and social anxiety onto them, in that I refuse in having them acknowledge me by refusing to acknowledge them. It really is a matter of self in these moments. … More From the Journal: Exhales of Air
When the festival began at the Spring Mountain Ranch State Park, I pitched my tent into a corner of the designated grass field, near the barbed-wire fence, so strangers couldn’t flank me on all sides (pro-tip?). I’m glad I did so; when the crowds arrived, tents were stacked next to each other like dominoes—and domino pieces are exactly what I thought of that very night. At 2:45 a.m., I woke to my tent pressed against my face. … More My First Red Rock Rendezvous
Patrick kneels into the mattress and leans over me.
“Sara,” he whispers. I open my eyes slow—
“The power keeps going in and out.” … More From the Journal: Mountain Farm Life
Fittingly abstract, but alluringly stoic. She is obviously not facing into the light, but she is pensive…who is she?
If I had to pinpoint the questions I asked myself the most this past year, they would be thus: Who am I, really? and What are my intentions? … More My Day of Birth, 2017: Persona
The cracks in my skin and the chalk that settles there, skin woven, white lace over burning sand. These are the things I’ve remembered, among things I carry, ephemeral as the action of having written them down: … More Yosemite Notes: The Things I Carry
It’s a Monday in Salt Lake City when we arrive and we’re sweaty and pressing Hydro Flasks into bathroom sinks, pens full of ink for the pages in our palm-sized notebooks and stacks of freshly-printed business cards. Locals always know when to cross the streets before we do. Exhibitors in the Salt Palace are in a mad dash to finish their booths and large crates of gear line the streets. We pick up our badges and wander around an outdoor mall. … More Outtakes and Off-the-Record Reality: Outdoor Retailer
All our shoulders are sore. My feet incite anxiety when they get wet. Tired legs. Today is more or less a do-nothing day but my body is in a funk. I’m quiet. Almost somber. Energy low. Raging headache. I ask Hatie for some of her Advil. I’m in an endurance hangover, it seems. I don’t even want to expend the energy talking so I daydream about napping. … More Boundary Waters, Part 3: Memory of Sounds
I can’t explain everything, honestly. We got lost. We might have been in Canada for a few hours, who knows. The water levels this year are high, Hatie says, and the islands don’t look the same – nothing really was matching the map anymore. So we paddled and paddled. Sonya brought an Oru Kayak and her paddling was even more exhausting I’m sure. We also decided to wear stick-on mustaches today; I have my silver leggings, Hatie has gold, and Sonya is decked out in champagne leggings and a matching tutu. We could most certainly be the lost girls of Peter Pan. … More Boundary Waters, Part 2: Lost
Sonya has started the fire and the light against the lake fools you into believing that if you follow the stone steps down to the water’s edge, you’ll fall away, airborne. Yet as romantic as it all may be, the mosquitoes are what keep you sane and seated, layered in clothing and swatting, occasionally smearing blood that is hopefully yours. … More Boundary Waters, Part 1: Inception