Musings . . .

on the passing scene

On Generosity

Twice this week I was rendered speechless by the power of unexpected generosity. The first was an actual gift from someone I barely knew, and the second was a story of survival that took such courage to write that I experienced it as a gift.  The gift was brought...

read more

PSYCHIC DISCLOSURE

I had an interview with a reporter a few days ago from the Los Angeles Times, about my current work with affordable housing. We had a good talk over tea and a snack of dried apricots and cashews. The journalist stared at the bowl when I offered it to him, and then...

read more

COPING WITH DESPAIR

I will start by admitting that I am not very good at coping with despair, my own or anyone else’s. Things have been hard lately, for multiple reasons, so I’ve been taking myself down to the Bay these mornings for quiet times by the water, watching the morning melt off...

read more

EMERGENCE OR EMERGENCY?

About 20 years ago, I met the Psychiatrist Dr. John Mack at a gathering to celebrate his new book, PASSPORT TO THE COSMOS, which was about his work with people who had experienced what were called “alien abductions,” and this week, I am finally reading it. I don’t...

read more

SCARY TIMES

Years ago I had one of those life-changing dreams that happen if we are very lucky, and it is as clear to me today as it was the morning I awoke from it: In the dream I am high in the hayloft of a large barn, looking down, and below me is a circle of dancers brightly...

read more

… AND THE REST IS HISTORY

This week I was stung 3 times—figuratively and literally. The first was an angry wasp that dive-bombed my face with its hot stinger, leaving me in pain and my lips swollen to twice their normal size. The next day my old Prius lost its catalytic converter to...

read more

A WALK IN BAD SHOES

Years ago, a good friend and I hiked the cliff trail on the Cornwall coast in England from Land’s End to Padstow and back, then further to Tintagel—over 100 miles—and it all but destroyed me, as I was wearing new hiking boots I’d neglected to break in before the trip....

read more

Migrations

I have just read the following sentence in a book of stories by David James Duncan: “I’ve heard that migration has been defined as a bridge—a bridge that birds, animals and nomads cross as the world behind them becomes uninhabitable. A bridge that vanishes behind them...

read more

Back to Normal?

Back in the 60s when we were a young family starting out, we could just about afford a small house in the flats of Berkeley for $28,500, near downtown and just a bike ride away from Herb’s office at the University.  We brought up our three children there, I wrote...

read more

Confessions of a Renegade

Hello Friends,Rather than sending you all a new “vignette-type” piece, I am sending the text of the beginning of a new season of my podcast Carolyn North Out Loud. The new season will be coming out shortly, and will be ongoing until I’ve told all the stories I can...

read more
Photo of Carolyn North by Susan Wilson

Carolyn North

Photo: Susan Wilson

Subscribe to Musings