Musings . . .

on the passing scene

Changing the Pattern

Moving house and home after so many years has been a big deal made even bigger by ‘shelter in place’ rules, since being able to do it with family and friends had to be scrapped. The work was mine to do alone, which meant clearing a 10-room house down to what could fit...

read more


This morning I tried to figure out how to bring Russ’ alabaster sculpture, which has been on extended loan to us for the past 10 years, back to his house around the corner. But it’s very heavy - no way either Russ or I could carry it there. Maybe I can ask...

read more

Moving On In Place

In an uncanny twist of fate I find myself in transition, packing up house and home of fifty years to move onto a farm community, just when the rest of the world is also in transition, this virus having put all of us in Stop mode for the time being. We do not know what...

read more


The other night I had a nightmare of being covered with oily beetles in clumps all over my body. I could feel them crawl down my legs and up my chest, their pointy feet prickling my skin and their hard bodies clicking as they rubbed against one another. I woke up...

read more

Facing Fear

The other night Destiny Arts Center, as they could not perform their new show to an enthusiastic live audience, held an online Gala instead. But it was not so much a performance as a spirited conversation between all of them and us, their larger community; it was a...

read more

Endings & Beginnings

My favorite exercise these days, during this time of quarantine, is going on walkabout in the neighborhood, all gloved and masked like a bandit with a basket of books on my arm destined for the Little Free Library kiosks on every other block. Much of my time at home...

read more

Virus: Definition

for Gavin on his birthday

In other words, “We don’t really know.”

I looked up the word ‘virus’ in the dictionary this morning, and got variations of this definition: “submicroscopic infectious agents that cannot replicate on their own but need a host cell in order to survive.”
Unlike a bacterium, a virus is invisible even under strong magnification, so what exactly is it and where does it come from?

Again, we don’t know.

read more

Scared To Death

I grew up scared. My people were frightened refugees, and my boyfriend was a survivor of the Holocaust. Our lives were shaped by fear, as were our neighbors’, so once I was old enough to leave, I went back to the Old Country to see where I came from. I was also keen...

read more

Power Playing

for rbr

Many years ago I had a spiritual teacher who was brilliant, tall and charismatic. What he lacked was wise judgment, self-honesty and compassion for others – in other words, the teachings themselves. Carried by his charisma, he played the guru role to the hilt, allowing his female students to adore him, and his male students to copy him. The teachings themselves mostly rang true, however – perhaps despite himself – although I sensed him prowling behind his title like a trapped wolf wanting out.

read more

My Vote

for Noe and Bob and Christina and Massey and the whole crew on Hilltop

I go numb worrying over who to vote for – or even if I should vote at all, Lord help me!

For me, the real problem in the first place is the two-party system itself, as if we were playing some kind of Olympic Game – one winner takes the Gold Medal and everyone else goes home crying. What about the person coming in sixteenth place? I want to shout. Wasn’t she also fabulous in her own way – even if she slipped on the final slalom?

read more
Photo of Carolyn North by Susan Wilson

Carolyn North

Photo: Susan Wilson