A Zoom from this Wilderness


I just turned in my grades for my final Saint Leo’s “The Women of Art” class and for my ODU Summer course of English composition. And I realized for the first time in a very long career, I do not know any of these people. This feels more like some clandestine operation than a college course. “I’ll leave the information in a video–we’ll call it ‘zoom’ like that kids show so no one gets suspicious–and you can private message me to set up a F2F meeting where we can chat in private.” Come on, this isn’t learning, it’s like a bad dating site. 

I miss the human touch, the handshake, the eye contact. I miss saying, “Hey there, what’s your major?” and “Where are you from?” 

Students and faculty now meet via zoom, on Blackboard, online however they can, safe from the masked masses making their way through city streets and infectious locales. Kids in kindergarten right through coeds on campuses all have settled into a new way of learning. But something essential is missing which completes a person’s education, the element not addressed in lesson plans or recorded videos or discussion boards: The before and after of it all.

Students waiting for professors to wander in from their offices make eye contact with each other, nod, build conversations from simple hellos to frustrations with the work to politics to sports. They connect over shared inside jokes and run into each other at the coffee bar, continuing their meeting on the sidewalks from building to building. Relationships begin, trust develops; multicultural, multigender, interaction ensues bringing lessons with which no lecture can possibly complete.

Depressed students make connections while the book-bound student finds friends with familiar isolating habits. Face to face learning includes interruptions and spontaneous tangents–and humor, oh the humor! So much can be recalled, so many details can reappear fresh with the association of humor, the benefit of bonding. 

Then the professor comes in and sits for a few moments gathering thoughts while the students quiet down but know hey have a few minutes, so they talk about their families, their weekends, the problems they had writing the paper, the illnesses and deaths and deployments and day to day drudgery. Professors make note of which ones tried but couldn’t do it and which ones did well without trying. They hear about issues with development or topic or incomprehensible reading material. They learn what to focus on, where to give slack and where to let someone talk back, vent, get to the point. One student says something and the professor’s pause before reacting can speak volumes, the quick smile, the side glance, the small nod of approval impossible to convey to a computer camera.

It’s not hard to spot someone with a question who is afraid to ask, notice the dip of someone’s eyebrows in confusion who otherwise would not offer a hint of hesitation. A quiet confidence comes from face to face acknowledgement.

Early in the semester conversations are reserved, focusing mostly on course work or other classes or common haunts. Later, a fist bump, a smile, or quick tap on the desk to say “Hey, cool, good to see you,” without any words at all. And toward the end, they find they are bonded by something more than assignments and group work. They experience others’ failures giving a boost of self-worth that they’re not alone in their anxiety. They take note of another’s approach, broadening their efforts and enabling success unavailable from the “Resources” page of the course platform.

Then the professor begins. A few minutes might be dedicated to addressing situations overheard before class, or passing along a question someone had after class last time that the student was afraid no one would want to listen to but the professor knew everyone needed to know.

Maybe the most important lessons we take from classes are the ones which include some sort of social awareness. We cannot mask our need for companionship; we cannot distance ourselves from what we gather by gathering. Marriages have come from such connections

This move to online learning is necessary and in the long run makes the most sense during this global pandemic I’ve decided to call Bruce. If it is going to be with us until a vaccine is available, I’ve decided to personify the bastard. But we must stop pretending online anything is the same as face to face learning, or that we can get the same results. No. too much humanity is being left offline.



Father’s Day: Tuesdays With Fred


On Tuesday nights my dad and I drank Scotch. Dad always liked J & B, a blend to which he probably became accustomed early on. On occasions he drank Chivas, aged just right, and a few times he had a bottle of Edradour in the house. On Tuesday nights we poured two glasses on the rocks. Routine is important and I’d get there about nine and was no sooner in the door when he’d jokingly say, “My coaster seems to be empty,” or something similar with a laugh and a welcoming smile. I’d put my things down and offer to pour, and he’d insist he was just fooling and didn’t mind at all getting our drinks, which was true. He would walk in the kitchen and I could hear the cabinet and the ice and the heavy bottle he put back in the cabinet, never leaving it on the counter for more because we never had more. He’d return steadily and slowly and hand me my glass and we’d raise them to toast and he’d say, “Well,” nodding his head politely at a loss of words, and I’d interrupt and say, “to your health,” to which he would again nod and with his deep voice reply, “and to yours.”  Then we’d watch baseball, not really talking much. It was late. He sipped his Scotch.

But I hate Scotch, so I preferred to pour. When I went in the kitchen, everything was the same but instead of Scotch in my glass I had mostly water. Dad’s eyes had faded in those last few years and he wouldn’t have noticed the lighter tint of my drink. And anyway, it wasn’t about the Scotch. We sat together a long time those Tuesday nights and he would turn once and say, “Boy this is good, isn’t it?” and I’d agree. Sometimes I felt guilty and would pour a bit more for myself as well, but usually only when it was a single malt. After a while he would head upstairs to bed. Then I’d sit alone in peace after a long day, but inevitably I’d wish he had stayed up longer even just to sit quietly. I’d promise myself that the next Tuesday while drinking Scotch I’d make more conversation, talk more about the game or about my day or anything really, since he wouldn’t have minded even turning the game off, but the following Tuesday would come and like clockwork I’d be exhausted and silent and we’d watch baseball and he would get tired and go to bed. It was always fine.

My father aged well, and sitting with him on Tuesday nights was the purest time I had during those days. I can still hear him say, with a slight laugh, “My hand feels very light,” or “Sure I’ll have a small glass,” even while my coat was still on, and sometimes I can recall it with a laugh, but other times, when I get home late and stand in the driveway on a clear, cold night, it is too real to think about.

And as odd as it may seem, it isn’t simply my father in the paternal sense that I miss; that we all understand. No, it is the small things that rip at my seams, like seeing someone eating a bowl of blueberries or a cup of she-crab soup, the sound of ice in a glass, someone jingling coins in his pocket, baseball. The sound of golf on television, the aromas of Thanksgiving Day, the opening theme music for “Law and Order,” lunch specials at boardwalk restaurants, cardinals in spring.

When Dad first retired I’d bring his toddler grandson to the mall where Dad walked in the afternoon and we’d “run into” Grandpa. I never promised either my father or my son we would meet so as not to disappoint either if we didn’t. But when we did, nothing could distract Grandpa from walking around at the apex of three generations. Dad’s smile exploded with happiness when he watched his young grandson run toward the toy store, or when we stopped for ice cream and Dad would pretend to lick some of my son’s cone. The two of them would laugh hysterically until my son offered him an actual lick, which Dad always refused with a strong, “Thank you very much.”

Once it really was an accident, meeting Dad at the mall. On that occasion my son and I walked around and discovered Dad sitting on a bench, taking a break from his walk. His face lit up, of course, when his grandson ran up to him. It was as if an ordinary day of routine was suddenly cracked wide open by this small but exciting surprise. I believe the spontaneity of unexpected meetings must have made it seem more like my own youth, when siblings and cousins and countless friends lived close by and visiting was normal and running into each other at the store was an ordinary occurrence. Dad lived for family. So sometimes seeing his grandson at the mall was a beautiful mixture of possibility and recollection.51685774_10216748550053582_4324075431826292736_n

When that did happen I would often hang back as we walked so it felt to both of them like they were alone. They discovered the stores together and Dad always allowed his grandson to pull him into the ones he wanted, namely the toy store or the bookstore. Dad bought more than a few books on those visits, and somewhere in my attic is a box of those books from those days. I thought a lot about those walks when he died almost five years ago when after the funeral we all went to a restaurant, and my now adult son ordered Scotch on the rocks. Perfect.

Perhaps if I become a grandfather, my son will take those books with him—I am sure of it. And when I sit somewhere with my own grandson on my lap to read to him, I’ll picture some inconceivable moment in the past when my father and my son laughed hard together turning the pages, and I’ll think about the passing of time and the persistence of memory. It makes me keenly aware that my father might very well have sat with my son and remembered our time when he was a young father and he’d read “Big Little Books” to me, or how every Christmas he bought each of my siblings and me a book to suit our personality and hobbies.

Someday I might sit in a comfortable chair and a golf tournament will be on. I’ll offer to get us a couple of ciders from the refrigerator, or perhaps even a good, aged Scotch. I’ll offer to pour but my son will insist I stay seated and he’ll retrieve them himself, knowing, of course and without offense, in that particular instance, it is my own father I’ll be thinking of.

          Happy Father’s Day Dad. Dear God I miss you.

Flumen: Latin, meaning River


When I was fifteen years old, my next-door neighbor Karen and I went canoeing out on the Lynnhaven River. Neither one of us had canoed much—Karen was just twelve at the time—and while we both could swim well, it’s a pretty murky river. At the time the eastern shore of the river was all wild (now, condos, restaurants, and beautiful homes line the banks), and it wasn’t unusual to see snakes and other critters.

We were in one of the inlets surrounded by high marsh grass when Karen asked if I’d heard about the girl at Busch Gardens who was killed on the flume ride. I hadn’t. She kept turning to talk to me, rocking the aluminum Grumman canoe, and said the eight-year-old girl was alone in the front of the log—which at the time were made of real logs; it would be after this incident they replaced the logs with fiberglass ones—and a muskrat which had nuzzled down beneath the wood near her feet, proceeded to repeatedly bite her up her legs. Her screaming went unheeded since the others in the back of the log assumed she was screaming at the falls. She died on the way to the hospital. Some time later in our outing when it was quiet and we paddled along listening to the cardinals, I slid my oar under her seat and hit her legs and feet with it. She screamed and stood up, falling out into the river. It was only about two feet deep at that point so she climbed in and we went home laughing and wet.

I’m not sure whatever happened to Karen.

But I know all about the flume.

Growing up I went to Busch Gardens whenever company came to Virginia from New York to visit, or when high school or college friends and I spent the day in the park, visiting the pseudo European countries, drinking beer at the Festhaus in Germany, and riding the Loch Ness Monster. In the early ‘90s, we had a family reunion in Williamsburg where the park is located and one day the entire Kunzinger clan, which is not a small number, invaded the Old Country. My cousin Audrey and I rode the Loch Ness Monster, but just as it came out of the first loop and headed toward the cave, it stopped on a dime, at a slight angle so that Audrey in the seat next to me was just above me. We were there about fifteen minutes when we heard a few people behind us getting sick. I prayed Audrey had an iron stomach and looked across the rest of the park. It turns out I liked the roller coaster better when it wasn’t moving and I could just look out and enjoy the view.

Then about seven years later we bought season passes and Michael and I spent more than a few hours riding the Loch Ness, the Alpingeist, and other such ridiculous structures designed to kill college professors while their sons sit by laughing.

Then one year we approached the Flume. The line was long, about thirty minutes, and from the switchback corral we could see the tracks which carried the log cars to the top, followed by a quick drop into the water, then another climb, another drop and around a few bends into the sawmill, where as the log turns slowly around the far back wall, it approaches a giant saw blade which, of course, the log plummets under just before getting there, down the watery drop into the pool below, where it finally moves another fifty feet to the end. Everyone screams. Really, everyone, all the time. A sniper with a shotgun in the trees could shoot away and would never be exposed by the victim’s screams.

The worker filled the logs leaving Michael and I next for the log making its death-defying plunge at that moment. Clearly, this clerk wasn’t even born when the girl died, but I had to say something.

“Did you know about the eight-year-old girl who was bitten by a muskrat and died on this very ride?”

“I didn’t,” he said with a chuckle, thinking I was trying to terrorize my son (Michael heard the story and knew the new logs were safe), or the patrons around us. To be fair, it was working on one couple who stood nearby. “Maybe I wasn’t working when that happened. When was that?”


“Oh, I wasn’t born. You’re serious though?”

“Yes, the logs were wood then and, well, everyone thought her screams were out of fun.”

“Oh, I guess so,” he said. “I suppose if it happens again no one would know until the ride was over.” We both laughed, him more than me.

Our log came and the worker, Michael, me, and the two behind us all checked the front and under the seats and climbed on. It would be the first of dozens of trips on the flume for my son and me.


What a ride. What a way to be completely and absolutely without exception in the moment. The cool splash of the water, the grinding of the tracks and the gentle heavy bump of the log against the blue, fiberglass walls of the flume. The sawmill “blade” buzzing away at full speed, and the laughing and screaming. There is no way to ride such rides and be wondering about anything else; not food, not what to do next, not anything, not even whether you remembered to lock the car which you could almost see from that height. Just now, just the thrill of pumping adrenaline and mist.

Then the drop.

Then the walking around the park soaking wet, thinking it might be best to do all the water rides at once and then change.


Out on the Rappahannock in the early hours, we paddle up Mill Creek and then over near Locklies Creek, up near the Norris Bridge and across to Parrot Island where we beach the Old Towne Canoe and walk about the marsh. A century ago the island was farmed, but now there’s barely enough solid ground to walk on but for a small patch in some woods where someone built a small blind. We’ve seen beaver there, and deer, and water moccasins move about the water but they’re skittish around people and boats.

On some mornings, early, Michael in front and me in the back, we row down the river toward the Chesapeake which rolls past right here to the east. There we beach the canoe and wade the water looking for shells and oysters or clams, beachcomb for driftwood and an occasional horseshoe crab in the sand. We rarely talk, and we never scream at the top of our lungs. We take it in, absorb the moment, completely caught up by the rising sun as we settle down into a routine of discovery and peace.

It is my blood pressure medicine; my anti-depressants, my muse. I’ve made many mistakes in my life, made some wrong turns, spent more than a few remorseful hours wishing I could do some things differently, hoping beyond hope for enough time to set it all right. But not out there, not where the water pushes us along as I push backwards. The very nature of canoeing is you must push what’s in front of you out of the way and behind you in order to keep moving forward. Out on the water one believes in himself, understands what comes next and how to approach it, what to aim for, what to push out of the way.

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Once and When

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Mother Theresa. Malcolm X. Neil Armstrong. Jimi Hendrix. Pope Paul the Sixth. Lech Walesa. St. John Paul the Second. Thomas Merton. President General Eisenhower. Elvis. Pablo Picasso. Grandma Moses. Albert Schweitzer.


Rwandan Tutsis. The Lost Boys of Sudan. Steven Biko. Pol Pot and Bosnia. Treyvon Martin. George Floyd. I shared time with these people; I stood witness to these events. These saints and sinners brushed my sleeve simply by sharing the earth during my tenure. We have a loose connection to miracles and massacres and we remain merely guests.

An old dilapidated house near my home dates to the seventeen hundreds. It sits in the middle of what was once a slave plantation. Just across the land long ago gone were the slave quarters. Today the house is covered by vines and trees; some dying themselves after a century of life. Generations of neighbors have come and gone, and generations of foliage and storms and crops have come and gone and what’s left of the house crumbles into the earth.

Some say let it crumble; some say tear it down and build a new place on the land and give it to the slaves’ descendants, many of whom still live on the same road; oppressed people either don’t move very far or never come back. Today not far from this parcel, in whose soil most certainly are the bones of stolen men and women, a battle ensues for the removal (or not) of statues of Confederate figures, many of the monuments created almost a century after the end of the Civil War. We share the earth with people who wish to defend their actions, insist on overlooking that part of their persona. I ask them, in all honesty, when they honor the man who chained up and repeatedly raped their great grandmother, where would they like them to erect the statue?  

When I walk past I am painfully aware I shared this space, separated only by time, with people who whipped men and women, others who were whipped and shackled. This isn’t a movie; it isn’t even history when you stand on the muddy lane at the end of the path and look toward the once-was porch and picture a fine-dressed overseer ordering humans to commit inhumane acts. This is where I live. We live. My friends freezing up in Buffalo and my family in Seattle all live here too; just beyond reach, a little out of time.

This world has some serious issues; always has. It is at best, though, a hotel, and every once in awhile I take a look at the register to remind myself who else stayed here. Alexander the Great, Charlemagne, Mohammed, Ivan the Terrible, Ghengas Khan, all guests just over the slope of the horizon, just beyond some small slice of linear time. On the same human trajectory as mine but before, is Geronimo, Moses, Jesus, Christ think about the gentle bend of time, the careening swerve of place that separates me from the Disciples, the Visigoths, the founding fathers. All here but just before.

Closer to now, when I look between those two rays shooting off toward my birth and my death, I can see the souls who at one time or another shared with me this spinning blue wad. Not short of miraculous, we claim the same particles of stardust, and that’s what keeps me looking around when I walk down some city street; I want to know who on earth is with me. 

With me. Not so much, I suppose. There are very few it seems with each other anymore. But for hope, we are among monsters. But for hope. 

And that hope lies in our compatriots. My swift life falls on the same graph as Richard Wright and Ernest Hemingway. And when that shack in the woods around the corner from my home was still in its prime, the walls still absorbing the shrieks of rape, the cries of bleeding men, Grandma Moses was a toddler. Grandma Moses, who painted her last work about the time I learned to swim. I was alive when someone was alive who was alive during the Civil War. No, this isn’t history. 

Carl Jung lectured during my youth, and Ty Cobb watched the same Mets players as me. When I was still cutting new teeth and outgrowing my Keds, I could have headed downtown with my Dad and possibly been on the same train as William Faulkner, ee cummings or Marilyn Monroe. I might have passed them on the street, maybe stood in line at some drug store counter with my mom and behind us because of the blending of circumstance might have been Sylvia Plath or Sam Cooke; Nat King Cole; Otis Redding. We have overlapping lives. On a Venn Diagram, we share the shaded space.

If my family had gone for a drive the summer I turned eight and stopped to get a room in Memphis instead of the Poconos, we would have heard the shot that killed King. And in ’63, I was the same age, same small height as John-John and could have stood next to him, shoulder to shoulder, to salute his father’s coffin.

Judy Garland and I watched the New York Jets in Super Bowl Three. When I was born World War One vets weren’t yet senior citizens and World War Two Vets were in their thirties. Vietnam isn’t history to me; it is my childhood, my early teens. The fall of Saigon was announced over the loud speakers at my high school.

There are empty fields save monuments and markers where soldiers died defending this land against the British, against ourselves, and they stood where I stand and watched the hazy sun rise. Same sun; same beach, same blessed Commonwealth. Don’t mistake history for “back then.” Those people just happened to check out before us. It could have been us. It is us now and it must make us wonder how we will handle this history of our posterity. It won’t be long before our lives overlap with the crying call of a newborn Einstein. Did you see that boy running at the park? That girl climbing the tree at her home? Did I just pass by some senator, some Cicero or Socrates, some St Augustine?

I find it a crime we are not incessantly aware we were preceded by the likes of ancient civilizations, but also by evil. For God’s sake, Eichmann and I had common time, Hitler was my grandfather’s age, so was Stalin.  But so was Isak Dineson and Winston Churchill. My grandfather lived into my youth, yet was born before flight, about the time of the first Ford, before radio, and before long, some sweet woman and man will find each other softly adding to who comes next.

I like knowing the people I know now, these brothers and sisters, whose overlapping lives linger just within my time frame; we share the same air, watch the same news, share the same hope. In some divine book somewhere, these people and I are on the same page. My parents, my siblings, my children, my God what grace to have shared this passage from cradle to grave.

We are caught in the middle of once and when, like strangers buying the same house decades before, like a used car, like a new hire replacing some retiree. Like standing in line. Like sour-dough starter. Like a relay race.




Thinking at 3am about Last Weekend


A deer walked along the road about fifty paces in front of me for about five minutes. He walked on the grass and glanced back a few times. Probably out of nervousness but I like to think it was to make sure I was still following him. I do that sometimes, pretend old friends who are gone now are still looking back to make sure I’m still here, still following.

My son and I talked across a fence to my mother. This is life for us since March when she was still eighty-six and probably until she’s eighty-eight; hopefully not. We laughed a lot and I wondered if she still writes the days we will visit on her calendar on her table. I used to update it with her once a week. I haven’t seen her calendar in three months now.

One of the two colleges where I work is closing all Virginia locations and the other has so rearranged its scheduling it still doesn’t know what it’s doing so neither do I. Maybe it’s time to get the guitar out from behind the bookshelf and find a street corner. It’s how I started, after all, and with a major birthday looming a month away, it seems only fitting that I apparently need to change my tune again.

I finished writing about Siberia this past weekend. Of the fourteen chapters in the book, twelve of them have been published in fourteen different publications, nominated for four awards, and finalists in two contests. Still, it will never convey what it was like to travel in a cabin on a train for a month with my then twenty-year-old son, laughing, meeting people, sharing the journey. I was never able to find the words to do that part justice.

In the news the fires are burning. They’re burning in Minneapolis and Tennessee. There is a meme going around social media that says something to the effect of if you are more disturbed at the looting than you are the murder of a black man by a white officer than you’ve got to get your priorities straight. That pissed me off. I hate the simplicity of it, the feeble-minded either/or nonsense of it. It hurts me in the stomach to think about that man on Mr. Floyd’s neck. It makes me sick. And—and—it makes me sad and simply ill that so many businesses, many owned by Black Americans, were burned to the ground. I have room in my despair for both tragedies. This doesn’t mean I find them equally tragic. I do find it tragic, however, that people think others can’t be mad at more than one thing, cry over more than one thing.

I wake up at three am almost every night now. I think about what’s next; I think about borders and baseball games and crowded pubs laughing with friends over oysters. I know it’s coming back; of course. It’s just that now would be good. I think about hikes again out west, about sailing again but not sinking this time, about finally seeing London.

I saved three turtles the other day on the road out front. They tried to cross from the marsh to the woods; to visit friends I suppose. I helped them across before a neighbor’s tractor might accidentally run them over.

We saw an osprey building a nest.

And a small green heron.

In the past two months Michael and I have discovered a bunch of state parks along the waterways and we’ve been exploring them all. There is no oppression out there, no concern about what’s next, no judgments or deadlines or closings or small empty boxes on a calendar that remain empty, no plans jotted down, no lunch dates, no travel dates. In the wilderness areas we have walked there are no roads and the turtles all sun themselves on logs in the swamps. There is no stress out there. There are no ghosts looking back.

This past weekend I started writing letters to everyone I love and putting them in a very safe but obvious place in case I die of Covid 19 or a rabid turtle bite. They are all different because everyone I know is different. Even I’m different. I wish I had written myself a letter when I was twenty-five and put it in a safe but obvious place to read later, to better recognize the failures I swore I thought I managed to avoid.

In less than a month I’ll be sixty. So I’ll be eighty in the same amount of time it has taken to get to now from the millennium and, honestly, that doesn’t seem so long ago.  I need to stop doing the math on that.

The last thing I did last weekend was make a list of the things I absolutely wish I had done differently in my life. It had three items on it. Still, we can only move forward so I threw it out and decided not to go back there. Sometimes you need to be on that last thread, too tired to reach out to anyone, before you find your strength. So I threw it out.

But you can’t unring the bell. I’m still awake. I thought my writing would put me right back to sleep. No. I’m going out to save some turtles. 




It is never going to end, you know. It started at the dawn of humanity, this hatred, this discrimination and domination and hurt, and it has never ceased. Religion, ethnicity, money, land, and on and on and on, the reasons outnumber the results, the history is longer than the desire to curb the confrontations. War, poverty, racism, the fires that simmer in the bellies of small-minded people of power suddenly blaze with that hatred and encroach, dominate, suppress; it is never going to stop, humanity for all of its accomplishments and achievements from making a fire to docking with the international space station hasn’t figured out the most basic of skills—acceptance. Compassion. Empathy. These have alluded the greatest of empires, the humblest of men, and if we haven’t done so by now what in God’s name would make anyone believe we might stumble upon it anytime soon? We were not made to get along or we would. We were not built to tolerate those different than ourselves or we would. We were not created to show unconditional love to everyone else or we would. We were created, most apparently, to kill, and while the vast majority of us do not do so, those that do cannot be converted and those that don’t cannot understand that it is like it has always been and will always be. Humanity, as far as the idealistic hope of “togetherness” goes—or even simple distant tolerance goes—is a complete and monumental failure. We are war. We are callousness. We are greed and genocide. If I was God I’d have abandoned us too.


Unless we start early. Throw away everything we now know about education, trash the entire failed system, everywhere, and reinvent it starting with preschool to have a basis in making the students human. Teach them to be tolerant. Let education from the get-go be a place where before all else and because of all else young students discuss the beauty of our differences, the hope of our diversity, and the depth of our possibilities if and only if we do it together, share our resources both physical and intellectual. But we have to start early and we have to accept that even then it is going to fail miserably. It is that acceptance that is our hope.

Each one of us, each individual, is the only light we can count on to brighten up this dreary existence.

The inability to accept failure; the lack of humility to step back and let the other person talk, let him breath, let her let it out, is destroying every shard of hope that might be left in this shattered and suffocating world.

I have battled depression. But it is getting easier to do so since I found the cause: humanity sucks. We are not “just below the angels,” we are just above extinction, walking in the insufferable truth of us. Knowing this makes it easier.

Pay attention to the crushing of a dying man; pay attention to the manipulation of a broken system; pay attention to the narcissistic need for attention no matter the cost, take note of hypocrisy, mark the greed and indifference.

We cannot handle the advancements we have created. We are too smart for our own good.

We are much too smart for our own good. Certainly I can find kindness in an old man’s eyes, beauty in the deeds of a stranger; we all can, and we all can be them. But possibility is short of truth, and hope is an incomplete passion.

I find the grace and infinite purpose of the universe in the wildflowers in the field, in the flow and ebb of the tide, in the quiet flight of a wren. It is when on the water or on a hike in the mountains that I have no comprehension of power or hate. I can tolerate the evenings in nature. I can accept my insecurities there. And when all seems completely hopeless, I remember it is only humanity that has failed. The rest is hope.