Musings . . .

on the passing scene

Enormous Changes

For Leon, in memoriam, for Deb and for James

Before midnight on New Years Eve, my younger brother left this life. A farmer in Vermont, he had been out clearing brush in the fields two days before and now was taking his regular afternoon nap before friends arrived for the evening. In the waning hours of both the day and the year he took his leave of us quietly without any fuss, as was his way.

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Breath and Squirrels

I had a nightmare this week of being forced into an underground tunnel where girls and young women were lined up, and my job was to count them. I could hardly breathe and began to panic, knowing that if I didn’t get out into real air I would die! Scrabbling my way...

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Cleansing and Clearing

The fires are coming in closer, surrounding us on three sides, not quite here yet, but close enough. As I watch the winds pick up, die down and then pick up again, I feel my stress level rise, relax and then rise again. “Is this the end?” I wonder, straining to...

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In This Together

For Saroj Sachdev

When I was 19 and a student in France, I lived with a wonderful family as part-time nanny for their 5 children. One time, when the parents went off to Paris for a few days and left me in charge of their brood, Patrick, the 3 year-old, came down with a fever and I had to call in the doctor who lived near the old church.

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Psychic Disclosure

I had another interview with a reporter a few days ago, this time from the Los Angeles Times, about my decision to donate our home of five decades to a non-profit organization for affordable housing. We had a good talk over tea and a snack of dried apricots and...

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Sanctuary R Us

for Bayo Akomolafe

Yesterday morning a photographer appeared unexpectedly at the door to take pictures of me for an article that would be appearing in a small local newspaper. I had no idea this would be happening, had not yet combed my hair and was wearing different-colored socks.

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Apologizing to God

for the women of Sweet Honey in the Rock

In the sweet light of morning the other day, I stood in the garden in bare feet savoring the tart juice of a plum just fallen from the tree. The birds were busily flitting through the branches and knocking ripe plums to the ground, chattering like all get out. Suddenly my internal vision

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Born Again?

I am one of those romantics who find myself in love as often as possible, feeling those high frequency vibrations that accompany the force of attraction. That’s how I can sense, from the inside, how the whole world fits together. I am like the mountain climber who...

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for the Radishes and Christina

The old house next to the Wild and Radish farm has been boarded up for decades, and sat sad by the side of the main road until we bought it up this year. Right now it is down to rubble and the old wood framing as we demolish the house layer by layer to make a start on its next incarnation. Our idea is to demonstrate how an old worn-out building can be retrofitted with inventive technologies that support renewable systems and natural materials – and to make it beautiful. The whole process is being documented to demonstrate how this can be done, and the design plans will be made available to the public for the asking.

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Getting Through Hard Times

For Rebecca, Alonzo, Stjepan and Luka

Many years ago, on the day before I was to perform with a local dance company, a friend was shot and killed in the city, and I completely fell apart. There was no way I could possibly get up on a stage and dance, especially as the evening started with my solo – my first big chance to show myself as a dancer – and I was in quivering shock.

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Photo of Carolyn North by Susan Wilson

Carolyn North

Photo: Susan Wilson