vermont views magazine

Home page

“Quality of Life, Spirit of Place”

 

Contributors To Vermont Views Magazine


Patrick Leahy


See More Contributors ➤

Photograph by Vermont Views

This page is sponsored by Neil Taylor "The Blind Masseur"


Special Feature

An American in Cornwall




Carmela Wilkins, 19, completed a foundation course in art and design at Falmouth University in May and will return to do an undergrad degree in the UK. She is from Rhode Island, US. Photos in this essay are all from Falmouth Cornwall.


Why the UK?

I got bored with my surroundings after high school. Rhode Island’s a big place, but I was too used to it. The UK has always appealed to me because of the culture. People communicate differently from Americans.

One main difference is sarcasm, which I found funny at first because I wouldn’t catch on. I’d have to ask “are you being sarcastic, or not?” and it took about four months before I was able to be cheeky in my comebacks.


What was the best thing about studying in the UK?

It’s between two things – the environment and the people. Before leaving for the UK for the first time, I wrote down my expectations of what it would be like, and how it would look. I thought England would have big grassy plains with wide open skies and farm animals. But it was completely different. I started going on road trips and really seeing England – the environment exceeded my expectations. And the people – the friends I made at Falmouth and outside of university. I’m still friends with them now and I plan on staying friends with them, they’re amazing.


What are the biggest differences between US and UK student culture?

I’ve heard from my UK friends in the States and my American friends in England that nights out are different because of the laws around drinking ages [in the US it’s legal at 21, in the UK, 18]. At the same time, teenagers being teenagers, we don’t let regulations stop us from doing things.


How did British students act around you?

I stuck out like a sore thumb in my first week – not only had I dyed my hair white, but I was also the only American on my course. People would say: “Have you been to all the 50 states?” And I’d say: “No, America is really large.” People were always intrigued by the culture.


Have you experienced any hostility because you’re American?

Not really. My friends would take the piss every now and then and point out when I said things like “pants” instead of “trousers”, or “jelly” rather than “jam”. They’d say: “No Carmela, you’re in England.”

But now that I’m in the States, it’s reversed. I’ve said to my sister: “You should go and put some trousers on.”

<extracts> Read More ➤


Weekly Feature

In Conversation with Eugene Uman



Phil: Good acoustics in this room according to this recorder.


Eugene: This room is built for sound. We can get 150 people in here pretty comfortably, over 200 if they’re squeezed in.  The size of the space is about 2,000 square feet, it’s a great room. We put up behind the curtains there, carpeting, behind these and those wall hangings, and the stage also has heavy carpeting, and what we’ve done is reduce the liveness of the room until it sounds really good, to just the right amount so that things sound live but not overbearingly so.


Phil: How long have you been in this space?


Eugene: About 14 years.


Phil: And the space is at Cotton Mill Hill, with huge old wooden floors and high ceilings in a brick building which used to be a … [laughter]


Eugene: Right, a cotton mill, then the Dunham’s shoe factory, and some of these markings on the floor come from old machinery. This building has seen a lot of action. I remember when my wife and I were looking for space for the Vermont Jazz Center, we looked at a lot of spaces around town, and were thinking of buying a house, building an extension to it, and then we found this space. It was smaller at first, but we thought, this is it! One of those spaces that you walk in and you know it’s right. Very high ceilings, good sound quality, aesthetically pleasing.


Phil: When you say you were looking for a place does that mean you were moving here and looking for a place to start up?


Eugene: The thing is that Attila Zoller started this place, a magnificent guitarist from Hungary, and he started it 36 years ago. This place(the jazz center) has a venerable history; Zoller is a very famous person in the world of jazz. He had a place up in Newfane but most of his time was spent in Queens, New York City, where he had an apartment.  He was originally from Hungary and fled, on foot to Austria in 1948 after the Russian occupation.  He kicked around Europe for a while and then he moved to the United States in 1959 due to invitations from Lee Konitz and Oscar Pettiford, and partly to play with Benny Goodman…


<extracts> Read More ➤


Publisher’s Challenge

Challenge #6




Publisher’s Challenge


Respond to the current challenge by sending your contribution to the publisher here


Selected responses will appear in this column.


Challenge #6

Oct 15, 2014


Hemingway as editor


Apart from some informal work for F. Scott, Ernest avoided editing, except of his own material where he was famous for extirpating adjectives. ‘Wipe them out,’ he thundered.


This challenge is to find and forward a piece of your own writing, between 100 and 400 words all adjectives eliminated.

Can be prose or poetry.



View Contributions to this

and other Challenges


Guest Article

Beyond capitalism

First Published, The Guardian, UK. Oct 1, 2014.

reprinted here by permission of the author

Donnie Maclurcan Ph.D.



Beyond capitalism: not-for-profit business ethos motivates sustainable behaviour: For-profit capitalism has created social and economic inequality; successful not-for-profit businesses including Mozilla and the Big Issue point to an alternative path.


We have the structures and impetus for a not-for-profit world in which business is harnessed for collective flourishing, writes Donnie Maclurcan and Jennifer Hinton.At the heart of the failing capitalist system is the “for-profit” ethic. Based on the myth that humans are mostly selfish and competitive, the for-profit ethic says the best way to incentivise innovation and facilitate economic activity is to appeal to people’s self-interest.


This manifests in the for-profit business model, central to the current economy, where owners and investors go into business expecting a portion of a company’s profits in the form of dividends, options or shares. In essence, capitalism ensures that we live in a for-profit world.


<extract>

Read More ➤


Non Profit of the Month

Turning Point


People passing through downtown Brattleboro the last few months have been captivated by the bustle of construction activity and excavation at the corner of Elm and Flat streets. The Turning Point recovery center is restoring the 39 Elm Street property, severely damaged in Tropical Storm Irene, to use as our new permanent facility for serving our local recovery community. This restored and renovated building will give us a downtown home again, we hope before the year is out. This relocation brings us back closer to the community of people we serve. We love the idea that this building will experience a renaissance of its own while center guests enjoy their own personal recoveries from addictions. Our new home also brings us full circle, back to Elm Street where our story began more than seven years ago.


Our volunteer-led center has served this community since late 2006 as one of eleven linked yet independent recovery centers in Vermont, affiliated through the Vermont Recovery Network. Some guests go through treatment programs, and some have histories with the correctional system due to their addictions. Others find recovery through 12-step and other supportive, spiritual programs. Last year, guests made about 7,690 visits to our Center. About 6,550 were drop-in guests seeking peer support or a sober environment; about 1,140 attended 12-step and other mutual support groups. Attendance in programming has steadily increased as we have added services, although our visits dropped significantly after leaving our downtown location.


<extract>


Read More ➤


Vermont Diary

An unusual diet




Bob’s forwarded cartoon reminds me of an old anecdote from a place where I lived.


I was for over four years a resident of an intentional and spiritual community, a Christ centered community, in the highlands of Scotland. That term was understood there as a level of consciousness, and likely from a group level. The same Bob as sent the cartoon said in a brief address at the soup kitchen today, ‘ where two or more are gathered…’ and that was the sense of potential at Findhorn, not to do with personalities but degrees of consciousness achievable together.


One of the founders of the Findhorn community was Eileen Caddy, and at one time in her life she was 'getting fancy' about her own food, thinking that to be truly spiritual one should only consume refined foods and yet she felt unwell while doing so. Thereby she sought divine guidance upon the subject, which famously was her want to do, and usually provided direction which though sometimes uncomfortable, nevertheless proved out in her life to be a best course.


It was not the usual guidance this time. ‘God’ said to her that she should go on a steak and whiskey diet.


Read More ➤ 



Monthly Feature


William Hays, print maker


A visit with William Hays in his studio in Brattleboro. To accompany this article the current print he is working on now appears in a 7 stage slide show at Studio 3, click the link and press ‘play slideshow’.


I had previously interviewed the subject for an hour on January 21, 2011 almost exactly 3 years ago. Readers might like to read the transcript here. Then we progressed from art to the universe and all that.


This time we conspired to be more disciplined and attempt to illustrate a print in progress and something of the nature of the art.


Where better to start than with the inks themselves? An immediate question I had was if the materials the artist used were generally the same as had Gutenberg (c. 1395 – February 3, 1468)? And they were. Stand oil, I discovered, is a base for the ink made from linseed oil thickened by heating in an oxygen deprived chamber, and linseed comes from flax and is a good drying oil for a process known as polymerizing.

Extracts Read More ➤


Selected Letters

Pete Seeger Tribute


Offie Wortham

Sep 25, 2014


I first met Pete Seeger when I moved to Beacon, NY in 1999. On the first Friday of every month he held a meeting at his Sloop Club in Beacon. The Sloop Club was an offshoot of the Clearwater, which Pete had formed to clean up the pollution in the Hudson River. I made up my mind to meet Pete, and within a year I was the treasurer of the Sloop Club and even lived with my family in Pete’s original small house right next to his home at the top of a private mountain.

I enjoyed accompanying him on the train, or driving him to visits to his doctor in Manhattan or to visit friends. It was amazing to see the crowds of people that gravitated to him in Grand Central Station, or walking down the street wherever we went.

Pete was so humble and kind to everyone he met, inviting some of us to Thanksgiving Dinner with his family. Mickey and I spent weekends with Pete and Toshie and their daughter Tinya. The guest room was on the top floor of the barn that Pete had built himself. It was crowded with boxes of letters, instruments, awards and photographs which were eventually heading to the Smithsonian. There were instructions written on the walls of the bathroom in magic marker on how to flush the toilet and turn on the shower. Mickey was horrified when Pete showed us to the small room, and then expected us to sit down and sing with him. He introduced us to a new song, “God’s counting on You”, and the three of us sang the 8 verses together for the next hour. 

It is still difficult to comprehend that Pete and Toshie are no longer physically with us. Their partnership, their vision for a just and clean planet, and his music and her drive, affected the world for the better, and we will never forget them.


Read More ➤


Monkey’s Cloak

run’way

Phil Innes

                             

(after dreaming I was Bob Dylan writing lines)




she wore a statue’s cloak

down where artists go to find

in the unsafe alley

a grant of any kind


way past

the golden dumpster

past the run’way

Amish girl


selling all her clothes

to men in suits

of just one syllable


Read More ➤



Column Untitled Work


True Story with Metaphor

Mac Gander

Oct 26, 2014


This is a true story. I came home late afternoon Friday after a brutal week—mid-term grades, 60 papers to read and answer, students in crisis—wanting nothing more than a nap and a bowl of pasta before bed. My small new dog, Sammy, part cattle dog and part blue-tick hound, was clamoring for a run but I had no energy for it. Then my daughter came home with a friend, and they were going to take a run so I suggested they take the dogs with them. They did.


I have two dogs. Seamus is big, old, with the thickest fur—a northern dog. Sammy is not yet two, and he is still learning how to be a good dog, though I know he will get there. Running with the two of them is a challenge, since Seamus, who can go off leash in the woods, lags behind, while Sammy runs ahead and would run to Burlington, I think, if we let him off the leash. When the girls came back from their run it was getting dark, and Seamus was not with them. They had forgotten to look behind to make sure he was keeping up.


I sent them back out to walk the loop in the woods where they had run, and then my wife and I headed out as well, splitting up on two different paths where they forked. I felt a sense of crisis. Seamus is a dog with very deep emotional intelligence, but he is not very smart, even for a dog—the kind of dog who is always knocking things over and then apologizing—and we never have let him roam on his own for fear he would be lost.


<extract> Read More ➤


Column 4our

Writers: Charles Monette, Laura Momaney, Matti Salminen, Nanci Bern

Upon Getting Ready for Samhain (Halloween)Why Are There No Mirrors in Tarot Cards?

Nanci Bern

Oct 25, 2014

                                           

Upon Getting Ready for Samhain (Halloween)-Why Are There No Mirrors in Tarot Cards?

What is a mirror? Is it a way to check yourself before you venture out in public so that you might not scare small children and the infirm? Are mirrors a decorating tool to make a room look larger than it is. There is nothing like a little illusion. We all indulge in it at some point. And why is it a bad thing to crack a mirror? If your vision of yourself is skewed, as a crack will do, how will you see yourself, how will the room look larger instead of crooked? Are mirrors a handy metaphor for spiritual development and relationship?


And, so I ponder again, why are there no mirrors in Tarot cards? Does the Tarot know something we don’t? Did the Tarot spirits obscure that particular thing from all our symbol seeking minds when creating a deck? What would a mirror on a card look like? Or perhaps we should just move on and trust that there is a reason for this. But, wait, what about that card, or that card, or that other card?

So what are mirrors about? How typical is it when something or someone annoys you that someone else says, “She is just a mirror of yourself.” What the does that mean? That I find myself annoying to myself? Does it mean they are a mirror and so they are my reflection? Well, if they are better looking than I am, that might not be so bad, but I don’t think that is what Martin Buber meant in ‘I and Thou!’


So what about that annoying ‘otherself’ who is chewing in your ear in the seat behind you at the movies?  Did I ‘call’ this chomper into my general gestalt because I am a chomper myself and so am reflecting back that I am annoying to others? Am I ‘chomping at the bit’ about some issue or something I want to do. Am I ‘chomping off’ something that is too much for me to chew? Is this showing me that I have the ability to choose how I want to deal with adversity? I can always move seats; which says perhaps that I deserve to be treated better and will make a move toward that. I can nicely ask said Chomper to go buy some cotton candy (although he may also be a lip smacker), and even hand him some change. I can accept the noise, as perhaps this person has had a horrible day and needs some compassion and not another confrontation or criticism; or maybe he has a horrible jaw disease that precludes any other more mannered tone of eating. Or maybe he is not even aware and would be horribly embarrassed, or maybe he is just a selfish jerk. Am I then, a selfish jerk?!


<extract> Read More ➤


Pilgrimage — Part 1:

Len Emery

Sep 1, 2014

                                                                        


I have lived adjacent to or very near the Atlantic Ocean and its estuaries most of my life. I have been fortunate enough to be able to spend some of that life enjoying the bounty and occasionally the fury of that ocean. Throughout those years I've been able to photograph and more often simply watch the ocean and lately have been able to travel back to the ocean from my home in southeastern Vermont. This series of short essays each with an accompanying photo I hope will give some insight into my enjoyment and respect for the ocean, its moods, its bounty and the men and women that live nearby. I have taken my short working vacations in Machias Maine for the last two years and have made it my base of operations. I chose Machias for its central location and close proximity to the various fishing villages along this vast and sparsely populated coast. I have been privileged to talk with and photograph the fishermen of this region.



I begin this adventure with a short drive along US Rt. 1 then join Maine Rt. 187 in Jonesboro for my short ride to the harbor of Jonesport but first a definition:


"reach (oceanic): An arm of the sea extending up into the land"



As you turn off US 1 and onto Rt. 187 the narrow road begins its slow decent toward the ocean. The day is gray and sullen not at all a vacation day as one would like it to be. Through low rolling hills, scrub pine and birches and vast fields of wild blueberries the road winds along. Occasionally there is a small settlement, not quite a town not quite a village but a settlement. As you pass through each settlement there are large stacks of small cages of wire mesh and netting, boats of all sizes in various states of repair and brightly colored Styro-foam floats with numbers painted on them skewered on wooden pikes. And still the road descends toward the sea with brief glimpses of Englishman Bay and an occasional rain shower.


<extracts> Read More ➤


Column Articulate

Leadership

Kate Anderson

Jul 15, 2014

      

I tend to think leadership asks us to be willing (though it's not prescribed) to also take on the fool's role.  By that I mean Hamlet as fool.   Push, confront, place it out there, demand evidence of some good grappling with the grand what ifs.   Failure?  Yes, and of course, to be expected. 


Let things be muddied and watch the joy and vigor by which they sort themselves.  

An arts district.  A name is a rose,  is a rose.  It is wise to call the question, is it important, useful, good to designate such such, that which is.  Are we to petition the State for formal designation of an Arts District, a Cultural District?  Brattleboro is that already.  And an arts campus, and a de facto arts colony.   Or, it can be that we are no more an arts town than a sports town or a retail haven.


What  does matter is for us to see how we function.  Take  the engine apart.  Look at all the pieces. Tinker.   How do they work with one another.  Oops ?? Did we just innovate to another compound?   Ah yes, and now we have Worpsewede, Bloomsbury.   And we can call on a fertile fertile field.   And we might name it, too. It doesn't matter.  The field yields its own harvest


Read More ➤

This column is sponsored by Friends of the Sun


Column Open Mind

Being Present is The Only Good Option for True Mental Health

Offie Wortham

Oct 28, 2014

An effective and holistic approach in psychotherapy is to help individuals reduce their anxiety and depression by focusing their attention on the present instead of on the past or the future. The wisdom of encouraging individuals to live in the present has been a major part of all of the living spiritual traditions for the past 3,000 years. Spiritual traditions and religions generally have a central unity of purpose … taking people along different paths all leading to the same goal, to live in the present. Spirituality knows there are many paths to the same goal. Spirituality embraces all the worlds’ spiritual traditions, but at the same time, is not constrained by any religious dogmas or forms. It is my goal in this paper to show that we can exercise this same wisdom to help our clients cope with their depression, anxiety and distress by learning to live more in the present. For some the ebb and flow of one’s personality may not fundamentally change. What may change instead is in how one responds to their emotions. Then over time this can lead to change, to emotional growth. But focusing on this in the here and now rather in forward-looking, goal-oriented context is a challenge.


I believe that to obtain liberation from our fears and concerns we must live in the present where we can achieve peace of mind by concentrating on doing the right thing right now.  Along with effort to shift a person to live in the present, instead of the past or the present, is the equally important goal of changing a dysfunctional lifestyle of mindless consumerism. The financial strains, and the neglect of spending quality time with a spouse or the children is a major cause of free-floating anger, child neglect, and domestic violence. As Eckhart Tolle has pointed out, “Dissolving the idea of possessiveness frees one's spirituality to grow into new awareness of your true nature which is ultimately love, joy, and peace regardless of what people own or their situation in life.”


A search of the teachings from various spiritual traditions reveals the following information to support this idea:—

Thich Nhat Hanh: “Nothing remains the same for two consecutive moments. The Buddha implored us not just to talk about impermanence, but to use it as an instrument to help us penetrate deeply into reality and obtain liberating insight. We may be tempted to say that because things are impermanent, there is suffering. But the Buddha encouraged us to look again. Without impermanence, life is not possible. How can we transform our suffering if things are not impermanent? How can our son or daughter grow up into a beautiful young child? How can the situation in the world improve? We need impermanence for social justice and for hope. If you suffer, it is not because things are impermanent. It is because you believe things are permanent. When a flower dies, you don't suffer much, because you understand that flowers are impermanent. But you cannot accept the impermanence of your beloved one, and you suffer deeply when she or he passes away. If you look deeply into impermanence, you will do your best to make them happy right now. Aware of impermanence, you become positive, loving and wise. Impermanence is good news. Without impermanence, nothing would be possible. With impermanence, every door is open for change. Impermanence is an instrument for our liberation.”


Native American - Indians are very oriented to living in the present. There is a tendency toward an immediate rather than postponed gratification of desires. Living each day as it comes is emphasized. This value is closely tied to the philosophy that one should be more interested in being than in becoming. One result of the disparity between the Indian's present orientation and the European's future orientation is that frustration often results when Indian students are pressured to forgo present needs for future vague rewards. Goals are necessary to accomplish anything that needs focused attention. Goals change a hope for something into a plan to make it happen.


<extract> Read More ➤


Fall

Tasneem Tawfeek

Sep 20, 2014




For so many parents, teachers, and students, the month of September marks the official start to the academic year. For some, it is a dreaded time...after all, it also marks the end of summer vacations and time spent relaxing. It marks the temporary end of serene moments on the lake or relaxing by the ocean side while witnessing yet another one of nature's beauties. For others, it can also be a bittersweet moment of time. Yes, another fun-filled summer might be over but returning to a sense of routine is almost welcomed and invited. In addition, the change of seasons becomes something to look forward to, and although the beauty of summer ends in this month, we all know that the autumn season lies ahead of us. We might miss the sounds of waves crashing, yet we also look forward to the splendor that accompanies yet another season. We trade sun-filled days for cool, gentle breezes. We trade lemonade for apple cider, and we trade those walks on the beach for telling camp stories around a cozy fire. Most of all, we trade those picture perfect views consisting of lush, green forests for another type of serenity...the serenity that hides behind almost every color of the rainbow during the autumn season. Every year, that fall foliage that nurtures us so greatly stands before us as another reminder that nature serves to soothe us more than we realize. Unfortunately, what remains the same throughout each season is the reality that we need to be more actively engaged in ensuring that we are doing our part in nurturing the very nature that we rely on in our everyday lives. When it comes to the beauty of fall foliage, I can't help but to think of the bigger picture. Take global warming as an example. Is it possible that an environmental concern such as global warming could have a direct impact on the stunning array of colors that we look forward to each autumn? According to environmental experts, the answer is yes.


<extracts> Read More ➤


The Courage to Create

Toni Ortner

Sep 25, 2014

                                                                        

Avid readers find themselves drawn to a book even though they are not familiar with the writer’s work or subject matter. Oddly enough, insights gleaned from that book relate precisely to the reader’s current circumstance and or/ questions. The brain works by physical connections. Memory works by connection.  People work by connection too. We are not isolated from others. Writers, painters, biologists, physicists arrive at similar theories although they have no connection with one another’s work and reside at opposite sides of the earth. We are all moving to a higher level of consciousness and if a piece of new information facilitates that process, it is vital to convey it to others even if they do not wish to hear it or accept it.


Dr.Rollo May, the famous psychoanalyst, in his book titled The Courage to Create points out that innovative creative thinkers have always been a threat to established society because the new ideas they champion destroy the structure and conventions of the established society. Picasso is quoted as having said that” to create means first to destroy.” We cannot forget those who have been crucified for ideas that challenged the norms of their times. The list is endless.  Although the individual is burnt at the stake or crucified, the idea he/she proposed, the vision remains intact and blooms like a flower over centuries.  Apes do not have a Jesus Christ or Joan of Arc.


Dr.Rollo May was fascinated with the creative process and the work produced through the fusion of the conscious and unconscious. He speaks of the “heightened consciousness” experienced when one is immersed in the act of creation: the feeling of floating suspended in time, the lack of appetite, the increase of heartbeat, the intense concentration, the sheer joy as if one were flying; indeed, one is released temporarily from our conception of time and space that Einstein regarded as illusion or our way of coping with our short life span by dividing time into past, present, and future. We cannot travel at the speed of light while here in our bodies on earth, but the artist and writer in the act of creation feels he/ she moves at the speed of light. Everything that has been muddied or dim is suddenly clarified and abnormally vivid: long buried memoires surface as if they are occurring now. Ideas that seemed vastly different form solid rational connections.


<extracts> Read More ➤


Column in between

Julia Ferrari

May 27, 2014



Every time I begin to feel lost or overwhelmed, I take a moment to slow down and look outside of myself to see other lives around me and to reflect on how each of our lives comes together, despite problems, to allow us choices— to live this life to reach our potential & meet our challenges. I believe each of us carries with us a direction, with lessons to learn and fires to light within ourselves. Many paths stretch out in front of us as we start our lives, some are painful and others are fulfilling but they each can bring us closer to our interior life. We don’t always take those forays into the unknown, those roads we can’t see the end of, because what we don’t know can scare us, and fear can be a strong entangler … However, through paying attention to our intuition, that inner voice that nudges us in certain directions (if we listen close enough) we can catch a glimpse of a possibility that is not mapped out.


For me, art was one of the first interests I followed as a youth, despite being discouraged by a kindergarten teacher for not measuring up, and it continued to press at me at the edges of my life. I remember being twenty-four and not knowing what I wanted to do as a career, there were so many possibilities and no clear path to my identity, it seemed. Painting, calligraphy, and poetry became threads that started to be woven. Then, while living in Boston, I responded to an ad in the “Real Paper” involving letterpress and the small press movement, and that began, most unexpectedly the direction of my life.

Within the context of the hand printed books I was encountering, printmaking began to interest me, but then one day I saw a title page—as a shape, not just as information, and the world of typographic design opened up in front of me.


<extracts> Read More ➤


Column Beer & Bangers

On the Road: A Visit to J.D McCliment’s Pub and MacLaomainn's Scottish Pub

Terri Kneipp

Jun 30, 2014


The Beer & Bangers crew has been adventurous venturing far from their usual confines of the Big B into such foreign territory as Putney and Chester, VT.  The crew chooses locations based on the possibilities of either a good selection of brews and grub from past personal experience, word of mouth or sheer luck of stumbling upon an establishment. Not all who participate enjoy beer, so other beverages are explored including wine, cocktails and good ole ice tea being a connoisseur of the latter myself still learning the finer nuances of the heartier brews.


J.D. McCliment’s Pub (http://www.jdmcclimentspub.com/) in Putney is well established with a steady stream of customers, both local and visitors. Along with a casual, indoor dining area with a pool table upstairs, weather permitting there is an inviting outdoor deck. The beer selection was minimal with mostly bottled domestic beers with a Shale being one exception which was excellent. Ice tea was freshly brewed and decent, nothing exciting but fine. Now, the meat of the meal, so to speak, received mixed reviews. The Turkey Burger was thought good with the Ruben being perfectly acceptable. After that there was debate, one member thought the Fish and Chips fine, while one indicated the fish was over cooked. The Bratwurst was passable, but would not be had again with the Corned Beef being too salty. Overall the atmosphere was pleasant with adequate service, albeit slow which seems to be the rule in local pubs rather than the exception. The crew agreed they might to go back to enjoy an evening outside with lively conversation and a beverage of choice where food wasn’t the focus but accessible. It was noted that an authentic Scottish pub it was not; for that, one need only head to Chester.


Read More ➤


The Value of a Short Lived Amnesia

Jeri Rose

Oct 13, 2014


          The first time it happened I had traveled to Florida with my parents when I was ten. We had checked into a hotel and gone to sleep. My parents had a bed, but I had a cot against the wall. I had never slept in a cot before, and I was surprised to have to share a room with my parents. When I woke the next morning, my face was to the wall and everything was totally unfamiliar, so much so that I had no idea of where I was and had no idea of how I had gotten there. I lay there with a perfect amnesia wondering where I was and therefore who I was. I knew that I had been beaten or at least that I recalled, but was that all a dream disconnected from this reality that I was now in where I did not know how I had gotten there nor where I was? What was this life I had awakened to? I was completely confused until I looked out the window and saw the palm trees and then it all fell into place that I had traveled to this place in Florida from New York and the terror of my familial abuse was real and who I was no longer a fiction in a new unknown place.


          Tonight it happened again. I woke unable to think where I was. Specifically, I could not remember where the water I used came from. I knew that the last place I lived had a spring that we collected water from and put into large tanks which gravity fed to our home. I knew I was no longer there, but where was I now? I spent several minutes still partially asleep with closed eyes trying to think not where I was, but how water now came to us, and I could not dredge up the means of receiving this most precious resource. I ran the past method over and over in my head trying to think what the new mechanism for water delivery was. The miasm of confusion left when I woke enough to realize where I now live. Reality restored was a major relief.


          I cannot say that same relief occurred in the Florida situation. For a few moments, while I did not know who I was, the possibility that all the impossible insanity of having parents who beat me had been some dream from a nightmare meant that I was living an entirely different life. Being in a cot, meant that this life was poorer, as I was no longer in my lovely bed. I had been dreaming of some princess life where I was tortured. Now I was in a tawdry surrounding devoid of that palpable horror. When I got the connection of where I was and how I had gotten there, I knew my parents and their rage were real and not something I had concocted in a dream world. This was not a relief.


<extracts>  Read More ➤


Column Chess

Math and Chess for America’s Schools

Phil Innes

Aug 23, 2014


A letter addressed to Lady Michelle Obama, by Rob Mitchell, Murfreesboro, TN, cited a Canadian report:


Case Studies

 

As reported in Developing Critical Thinking Through Chess, Dr. Robert Ferguson tested students from seventh to ninth grades from the years 1979-1983 as part of the ESEA Title IV-C Explore Program. He found that non-chess students increased their critical thinking skills an average of 4.6% annually, while students who were members of a chess club improved their analytical skills an average of 17.3% annually. Three separate tests to determine how chess affects creative thinking were also done as part of the same study. It concluded that on average, different aspects of creative thinking had improved at a rate two to three times faster for chess playing students, as opposed to their non-chess playing counterparts.

Subsequent studies by Dr. Ferguson further supported these original conclusions. In the Tri-State Area School Pilot Study conducted in 1986 and Development of Reasoning and Memory Through Chess (1987-88) chess-playing students showed more rapid increased gains in memory, organizational skills, and logic.


In Zaire the study Chess and Aptitudes, was conducted by Dr. Albert Frank at the Uni Protestant School, during the 1973-74 school year. Using sufficiently large experimental and control groups, Dr. Frank confirmed there was a significant correlation between the ability to play chess well, and spatial, numerical, administrative-directional, and paperwork abilities. The conclusion was that students participating in the chess course show a marked development of their verbal and numerical aptitudes. Furthermore, this was noticed in the majority of chess students and not only those who were better players.


"Can chess promote earlier intellectual maturation" was the question posed in the Chess and Cognitive Development study directed by Johan Christiaen from the 1974-76 school years in Belgium. The results again clearly confirmed that the group of chess playing students showed significantly more improvement then the non chess-playing students. In 1982, Dr. Gerard Dullea mentioned this study and proclaimed "…we have scientific support for what we have known all along-chess makes kids smarter! (Chess Life, November 1982) In a similar study done in a test series in New Brunswick, Canada called Challenging Mathematics, the mathematics curriculum used chess to teach logic from grades 2 to 7. The average problem solving score in the province increased from 62% to 81%.


<extracts> Read More ➤


Column Energetics  US and World Energy News

George Harvey   

¶ who is stopping us?


September 24 Energy News


Opinion:

¶   “300,000-Plus People March for Climate Action, In Pictures” The Sunday morning rush hour is not usually known for packing people into subway cars like sardines. But September 21, 2014 was not your average Sunday commute as hundreds of thousands showed up for the People’s Climate March. [Scientific American]


¶   “A strong economy depends on climate action” When we act on climate, we seize an opportunity to retool and resurge with new technologies, new industries and new jobs. We owe it to our kids not just to act, but to lead. When we do, we’ll leave them a cleaner, safer and opportunity-rich world for generations to come. [The Hill]


¶   “Climate action – who is stopping us?” Fossil fuel industries are the only obstacle to a safe future and a stable climate, says Greenpeace International executive director Kumi Naidoo. But even the rich in industrialized countries know that they can’t hide from devastating climate change in their gated communities. [eco-business.com]


Science and Technology:

¶   Growing use of natural gas fails to benefit the environment because it slows the spread of renewable energy sources, according to a study released today. While natural gas releases less carbon dioxide than coal when burned to produce electricity, it hampers growth of cleaner energy such as wind and solar. [Mynextfone]


World:

¶   The Ernst & Young Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index ranks 40 markets worldwide on the attractiveness of their renewable energy investment and deployment opportunities. China is in first place, ahead of the US. Political uncertainty in the UK and Australia have dropped them in the rankings. [CleanTechnica]


¶   Mexico is facing an energy problem. A growing population and an expanding middle class are driving energy demand to increase 4% per year.  Mexico has a 60 GW energy demand, but that number will expand to 110 GW by 2024. And they want to solve this dreary problem with renewables. [Energy Collective]


<extracts>  Read More ➤


Column O Citoyen!


About Fairpoint — A Letter

Robert Oeser

Oct 30, 2014




President Lawrence Schloss

Angelo, Gordon & Co


It is my understanding that Angelo, Gordon & Co., has a sizable interest in Fairpoint Communications and as such can bring some pressure to bear to ensure that the company resumes good faith bargaining with the IBEW represented workers.  I urge you to encourage this line of action. 


As someone who has benefited from having been able to retire with a pension, I now volunteer several days a week at a soup kitchen located in close proximity to where the IBEW workers are picketing in Brattleboro, VT.  From speaking with them, I can tell you that the company needs some new direction, to revitalize both its employee relations as well as its customer relations. If those relationships are mended, other benefits will follow. If the emphasis is only on the bottom line, all relationships will be negatively impacted. 


A story related today is instructive: reportedly, a Fairpoint manager turned away a contract employee from a worksite upon finding the contractor unqualified. Another subcontractor showed up at the jobsite with bald tires. Need I say that snow is expected this weekend?


The IBEW workers relate that they have had to become proficient in work-a-rounds in order to make less than optimal equipment function. 


The way forward is clear: respect for the workers, respect for the bargaining process, a decent wage, the hope of retirement and the desire to do right by customers. 


Can you help get that message heard?


Read More ➤


Climate Change Café Hosts Community Conversation in October


Tim Stevenson

Oct 5, 2014

   

The Climate Change Café will host a community conversation on the topic, “Climate Change is Here: What Are We Doing About It?, What Else Can We Do?” on Tuesday, October 28, 6:00 PM, at the Brooks Memorial Library community room, Brattleboro.

 

As always, the Café is free, and light refreshments will be available.

 

Begun last month following the highly successful Peoples Climate March (PCM) in New York City, a climate community conversation will now be a regular feature of the Café. Its purpose is to provide a forum for citizen activism, initiatives and ideas that will help people become more resilient and community-sufficient in dealing with climate change, as well as build the necessary grassroots movement to create the political will to mitigate and reduce the burning of fossil fuels.

 

October’s Café will be devoted exclusively to the community conversation and will feature discussions that explore what prevents us from taking action  around climate change, as well as how we can work collaboratively on this issue in our neighborhoods, communities and towns. We will also have updates from some current projects.

<extract>

Read More ➤


Column The Great Adventure

The Feminine in the Twenty-first Century

Like A Girl

Terri Kneipp

Jul 1, 2014


Yes! Like A Girl


Wow. I feel remiss. Evidently I was supposed to feel responsible for the inappropriate ways men have ogled me since I was 12 or to think only girls should have to dress conservatively for school. This week has been full of stereotypical negative phrases, images and responsibilities about or toward girls and women being bandied about, discussed in multiple arenas, debated ad nauseam in other words, my mind is spinning. Between school dress codes to a broader discussion on modest dress to limiting phrases, let’s dive into the deep end.


Early in the week on a ladies forum, the talk turned to modest dress: what was appropriate, how to help men behave themselves, should cleavage be shown or not, etc. This in itself is a powder keg ready to start a maelstrom. My first thought was that it’s not my job to “help men” control their impulses; but, also that it was demeaning to men, assuming they couldn’t control themselves. Give the guys some credit: they all aren’t lecherous, leering dolts who are unable to be respectful using common decorum in every day life. Luckily, I found a video for Christian men from a Christian man (http://johnpavlovitz.com/2014/06/20/young-men-sex-and-urge-ownership-and-why-its-not-the-girls-problem/), so if you are not a Christian, you may not see an issue, that isn’t the point. My point is taking the responsibility for any action off of anyone other than the person who is committing the action. If a crime is committed, it should never be the victim’s fault.  If I choose to wear a tank top that shows a little cleavage, heaven forbid, because it is summer, I have an ample chest and it’s freaking hot and some man stares, that’s on him. I am not dressing a certain way to elicit a given response, but I am also not going to over react unless the behavior is obnoxious and intrusive. Being bundled from head to toe in puffy ski gear, I have had men make comments that weren’t appreciated and I dealt with them as any mature woman would, swiftly, clearly and leaving no doubt of my meaning. With that said, dressing fairly modestly is what works for me.


Read More ➤

This column is sponsored by Delectable Mountain Cloth

BOMBSHELLS

The Devastating Mistakes of Abstract Perception

– and how to disarm them through awareness of ‘natural inclusion’


PART ONE

Alan Rayner

Oct 2, 2014





PREVIEW

Abstract perceptions of reality always either encase natural phenomena entirely within non-existent boundary limits, or entirely disregard any source of distinction between natural forms and their surroundings and neighbours.  Unlike natural boundaries, such as skin, abstract boundaries are simplified, orderly and definitive. They completely isolate the insides from the outsides of things and places. Hence they treat Nature either as a whole object in itself, or as a collection of whole objects that are divisible into fractional parts and separated from one another by variable amounts of space and time.  In conventional mathematics, these entities are defined as numerical and geometric figures (discrete numbers and shapes) and in conventional language they are defined as nouns (discrete subjects and objects). Energetic actions of various kinds upon or between these entities are defined as verbs. For the sake of convenient calculation, description and argumentation, Nature is frozen into isolated units of space, energy, time and matter within a superimposed frame of reference that does not actually exist.  The only envisaged alternative to this categorization is to merge all into formlessness. As the pre-Socratic Greek philosopher, Heraclitus, understood, however, nature is always and only properly imagined as variably fluid. Fluidity rules everywhere, and space, time, energy and matter can neither be separated from one another as isolated entities nor united into absolute singularity. 


Through our human habit of imposing these abstract boundary limits onto nature, we introduce something fundamentally anti-natural into our worldview, which not only steers us away from perceiving true nature, but disrupts and damages our natural neighbourhood in a huge variety of ways. Because this habit has such a tenacious grip on our thinking, it can be called "abstract fundamentalism". We adhere to it because we (both in Academia and in society at large) think it is sufficiently useful and correct to "freeze" nature into abstract entities, and to relate with nature as if these entities actually existed.  They do not, and the consequences of living and thinking as if they do have brought devastating consequences for us, psychologically, socially and environmentally.


There is a way out of this devastation, without any loss of useful knowledge, through recognising the principle of ‘natural inclusion’ as the co-evolving flow of energy and space as distinct but mutually inclusive, informative and receptive, presences. Sadly, however, humanity has been habituated to abstract fundamentalism for so long that all of our institutions are built upon it. Whether we speak of engineering, economics, politics, the sciences, or any other field of study or expertise, the predilection for abstract conceptualization remains firmly in place. We try to solve our problems of living using the same kind of thinking that gave rise to them. But the natural truth remains:-

 

Abstract fundamentalism, the imposition of definitive discontinuity onto natural continuity, cannot solve the problems of living it causes.

<extract>

Read More ➤


Op Ed

Witness to Genocide: Israel/ Palestine: A JOURNEY TO PEACE

The Op Ed writer is

Namaya

Aug 24, 2014



We are all tremendously saddened by the ongoing wars in Israel and Palestine, but it is a war that few Americans and outsiders can full understand.  Namaya, the poet and performance artist, has created this program “Witness to Genocide:ISRAEL/ PALESTINE: A JOURNEY TO PEACE and would like to present this at your school, church, or community center.


A trailer sample can be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5CltHSUoHr0&feature=plcp


This is a multimedia performance on the narrative of the Jewish Diaspora, the Palestinian people, and the Israeli occupation of Palestine (West Bank and Gaza.)  The performance combines stories, music, poetry, photography, and art based on Namaya’s story of living and working in Yemen, Morocco, and his travels through Palestine, Israel, and the Islamic world.  Namaya also speaks of his Jewish family’s journey out of Eastern Europe through such stories as “L’Chaim” and of Jewish life during the Diaspora.


Caption: Witness – in commemoration of Krystallnacht and the occupation of Palestine, in the witness that there can be peace in Palestine and a future for the children of Israel & Palestine.


Namaya said, “I tell this story out of necessity. In witnessing the destruction of our Jewish communities through pogroms and the holocaust, having touched the walls of Prague and Budapest with the names of my extended family who perished, and also seeing the present inhumane occupation of Palestine… I am obligated to tell this story. In telling I hope to create an opportunity for a future for the children of Israel and Palestine.”

The  program is a one person performance with multimedia, art work, and music.  It can be performed in a theater, school, or gallery space. At the end of the performance, there is an opportunity for discussion of the performance in the spirit of compassionate listening.


<extracts> Read More ➤


Real Food ! 

White Stew

Phil Innes

Oct 19, 2014


This is a stew where all the ingredients are white or nearly so, and you can vary ingredients to suit yourself, even adding one colorful thing for contrast.


Get starting by sautéeing some onion and if you use it, celery — this makes both much sweeter. I also pre-cooked some chicken by frying it until 2/3rd cooked, then removing bone from thighs. You could as well boil the chicken and reserve the stock for the stew. Breast meat ‘looks better’ but has less taste and chunky texture. For a vegetarian stew add marinated tofu instead.


I also used an unusual vegetable, white eggplant [illus]. Cut into coins, and mix with plentiful oil in large bowl, sauté.


Otherwise in a large pot successively add some or all these ingredients:


Chicken

Garlic [rough chopped]

Eggplant

Onion

Celery

Parsnip

Turnip

Potato

Tofu

Mushrooms

Seasoning [I used a lemon-garlic mix]


Liquid should just cover ingredients.


You can finish the stew by adding cream to it at the end with the heat off, or perhaps serve plain Greek yoghurt at the table. Serve over rice or with chunky bread.

<extract>

Graphic Traffic

An orientation to illustration and illustrated books for writers

By Marlene O’Connor on Jan 16, 2013

Photo by Vermont Views

Street Dance – Flight, personal piece


Here are illustrations of Marlene’s work and she has also contributed notes on how to sensibly engage graphic artists, illustrators and publishers as a generous addition to orienting the writer to the subject.  

Read More

This column is sponsored by www.zephyrdesignsvt.com


Dec 28th, 2011

Photo Brooks House Fire


Things started quietly enough with normal amounts of snow but the people in the municipal building could hardly anticipate multiple disasters in 2011  

Read More


Kipling’s Questionnaire

Last Entry Mac Gander

Photo Rudyard Kipling at Naulakha near Brattleboro.


130 years ago in 1880/81 Rudyard Kipling completed the 26 question questionnaire. Kipling subsequently moved to Brattleboro and Dummerston, living here from 1892 to 1896.


At the time it is said that Kipling was known by more people in the world than was any other person. I would like to publish your own responses in Vermont Views Magazine to the very same questions Kipling answered.




Please add your answers below the 26 questions on the questionnaire page, or write in for a set of emailed questions.


Read More


StudioONE

Len Emery



The Project:


Goffstown Slaughterhouse



Here is a small representative sample of a fairly large project at a slaughterhouse in Goffstown.


The Photographer


Len Emery


"I come from an engineering background with all of its inflexibility and predefinition. Conversely, photography is often fleeting and very much undefined. I try to capture the image as it happens, the instant framed from my perspective for all to see my interpretation. I try to use the environment as an element of the image, allowing it to enhance and sometimes be the image. I then try to draw the viewer into the image as I was drawn in when I first saw it.


I am a pilot as well as a photographer and use my flying skills and camera together when doing contract aerial photography. All of my photos are typically of Vermont and in particular the villages and valleys of the Black River basin area.


See More ➤


Studio TWO

Featuring

April at Gallery 2 Vermont Artisan Designs 106 Main Street in Brattleboro, is currently showing a range of works.

Featured in this photo exhibit are blue glass by Ed Branson [illustrated]; painting of sugaring by Paul Madalinski; horse by Joseph Fichter; circus photos by Jeffrey Lewis; stained glass canoe by David Wissman; paintings by Dane Tilghman. See More ➤


Studio 3

A seven color print, ‘Migration’, by William Hays


William Hays, printmaker

To view the images sequentially, click the link to Studio 3 and press ‘Play Slideshow.’

To illustrate a companion article on print making by Brattleboro artist William Hays, the subject kindly forwarded me these 7 images of a print in the making. The full article will appear as a Monthly Feature.  See More ➤


Studio 4

Group Photo Shoot

October 20, 2014

“Not far from Main Street”


Len Emery

Phil Innes

Merritt Brown

Greg Worden


See More ➤


If You Lived Here

Brattleboro – A Comeback Town

Brooks House Grand Opening, Ribbon Cutting and Open House

Sep 30, 2014 


 WHO:             The Honorable Peter Shumlin, Governor of Vermont, Bob Stevens and Larry Cassidy, Brooks House Development and Joyce Judy, President, CCV, Dan Smith, President, VTC

 WHAT:            Grand Opening of the 24 million dollar redevelopment of the Brooks House

 WHEN:            Friday, October 3

 TIME:              5:00 p.m. – 6:15 p.m.

 WHERE:           Atrium, Brooks House

                        Main Street, Brattleboro


Background: Paris has its Eiffel Tower, Sydney has its Opera House, but Brattleboro, Vermont (pop. 12,000) has its own iconic building—the Brooks House. Built in 1871, the Brooks House has played a pivotal role in Brattleboro’s history. In its day, it was one of the premier hotels in New England and possibly the largest Second Empire style building outside of New York City, was a popular summer resort, well known in both Boston and New York, and the ballroom hosted lavish parties. It’s also had its fair share of fame. Rudyard Kipling used to play poker in the Tower Room and sip lager in the Tavern.

Read More ➤


If You Lived Elsewhere

Rough Tor

  Aug 20, 2014



Rough Tor


Rough is pronounced ‘row’ to rhyme with ‘cow’. Rough Tor (/ˈraʊtər/ row-ter), or Roughtor, is a tor on Bodmin Moor, Cornwall. The site is composed of the tor summit and logan stone, a neolithic tor enclosure, a large number of Bronze Age hut circles, and some contemporary monuments.


From the summit of Rough Tor, many signs of settlements and field systems are visible, indicating that it was a well populated area in former times.

Neolithic


The summit of Rough Tor once had a neolithic tor enclosure. The summit is encircled by a series of rough stone walls that align with natural stone outcroppings on the tor. The walls would have originally completely encircled the tor. The walls would have had numerous stone lined openings. In the interior of the circle there are remains of terraces leveled into the slopes, which archaeologists believe formed the foundations of circular wooden houses. There are also cleared areas near the terraces that have been garden plots.

Bronze Age


<extracts>

Read More



Khaleesis replacing Amelias? Not hardly.


Worried about naming your child Khaleesi — Perhaps she will sue you in twenty years? Far safer to stick with Amelia. When it comes to popular baby names, Amelia has held the top spot since 2011.



At last count there were only 146 Khaleesis in the US, compared to five in 2010. In 2013 in the UK there were 50 Khaleesis and  11 Theons.


And as for Bilbo, I found this letter on an on-line baby-naming site:— <read on if you dare>


More in your ear ➤



Curious Topics


Vermont Zombie Hunting — a true story

Jul 28, 2014

They say true stories are best, so here is one from Zon Estes.


A new Vermont experience.
I'm working in the yard. I hear people talking, yelling. (Occasionally people walking on trails around find their way toward our house.) When they were clearly in the yard, I walked over toward them.


Them is about a dozen guys. What caught my eye was the shirtless fellow wearing a pink tutu, leading a few of his buddies off a slight distance. Then I saw that most were painted--either on the face or all over. Oh, and sunglasses.


When they saw me, they explained that they were looking for Zombies. By now, there must've been two dozen mostly naked, jazzed up guys, ready to roll.
I directed the Zombie hunters toward a commonly missed turn. I can still hear them in the woods, up on the hillside. Blowing whistles and bellowing.
“Where the hell am I?”

Read More  ➤

send any answers or comments to onechess@comcast.net

100 Years Ago

Feature:  August 1914

The First World War Begins

Aug 3, 2014





Caption: German soldiers embarking for the front


August 1

The German Empire declares war on the Russian Empire, following Russia's military mobilization in support of Serbia; Germany also begins mobilization. France orders general mobilization. New York Stock Exchange closed due to war in Europe, where nearly all stock exchanges are already closed.


August 2

German troops occupy Luxembourg in accordance with its Schlieffen Plan. A secret treaty between the Ottoman Empire and Germany secures Ottoman neutrality. At 7:00 pm (local time) Germany issues a 12-hour ultimatum to neutral Belgium to allow German passage into France.


August 3

Germany declares war on Russia's ally, France.

At 7:00 am (local time) Belgium declines to accept Germany's ultimatum of August 2.



Read More ➤


Local History

May 5, 2013


A lyrical homage by Charles Monette



With 1878’s best intentions, some sturdy men began

Building Brattleboro’s narrow gauge in the southeast kingdom

Upside verdant country, the West River, to South Londonderry

Financed by bankers’ bonds bought in towns’ river valleys

Read More



Sep 7, 2013

Photo by Vermont Views


A photo essay of 40 images and caption


“Before The Fall”



Read More



Reviews Old & New


The Illusion of Separation


Giles Hutchins new book is now released.


‘Cutting through habitual denials and academic evasions, Giles Hutchins exposes the delusion at the root of our planetary crisis.  And with a holographic richness of resources and disciplines, he discloses—indeed activates—the attitude that might just provoke our needed evolution. This is a wise and urgent text: may it be heard, and soon!’ Catherine Keller, Professor of Constructive Theology, Drew University, author of On the Mystery

 

‘An amazing tour de force, the intellectual tour of our lives…Never before, that I know of, has the choice of life, true life, or the path of degradation been put before us with such clear equanimity.’ Robert Sardello, PhD, author of Love and the Soul: Creating a Future for Earth.

 

‘Wonderful…well written, well researched and full of insight, this book will open your heart and mind…’ Stephan Harding, Head of Holistic Science, Schumacher College, author of Animate Earth

 

‘With clarity and insight Giles Hutchins analyses the roots of our present collective mindset of separation, and yet shows how science and spirituality point to a deeper, inclusive consciousness. Here are signposts for a future that is vitally needed in the present moment, if we dare to cross the threshold...’    Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee, PhD, Sufi teacher and author, Spiritual Ecology: The Cry of the Earth.

 

‘A treasure of a book that I will share widely… a brilliantly written insightful tour de force’   Chris Laszlo, PhD, author of Flourishing Enterprise: The New Spirit of Business

<extracts>  Read More ➤


Brattleboro Skyline

A massive photo essay with captions

Jun 11, 2014


The Slow Living Summit and The Strolling of the Heifers 2014


Read More ➤


Localvore Directory

Click this link for locally grown and manufactured food products and how to find them directly


To add your business to the free listing of Localvores — contact the publisher at onechess@comcast.net


Phone numbers, websites, e-mails, travel directions and hours of business of a few dozen local farms and businesses making Vermont food products. Support your local food economy!


Just Added — Full Plate Farm

 

Full Plate Farm is a one acre vegetable farm conveniently located one and a half miles from downtown Brattleboro, VT.  We grow over 100 varieties of delectable, nutritious veggies using organic practices. We offer a CSA which includes all of our veggies, as well as berries and sweet corn from a few other local farms. We offer 12 different share options, so that you can choose how much produce you get and when. We also offer options between some of the veggies in your share as well as a “swap box” so that you will always have a choice to trade out a veggie you don’t like for one you do. Every week we include recipes and cooking suggestions. 


Read More ➤


This column is sponsored by the Brattleboro Food Coop http://brattleborofoodcoop.coop


Write On!

Pablo and the Chief

Charles Monette

Oct 21, 2013


I was about 35 miles west of Cubero, New Mexico, hitchhiking from San Diego.  Late afternoon, sun high in early February. I was wearing an Italian smoking jacket and a poncho liner over blue jeans. 


Barbara had flown back to JFK from San Diego two days earlier.  I was looking for our 1963 VW bug that we had abandoned after it broke down in the desert 75 miles north of Yuma, Arizona bout ten days previously.  I never found it.  This was February 1973.  We’d left it and hopped in a white van that was headed to where we were going, San Diego, Barb’s brother’s place.


Back home in Bayville, a few friends-in-the-know had said that we were crazy for heading off to get married after just meeting two weeks before.  Her best friend said, “You can’t elope!”  Well, we did, and that’s why I was hitchhiking home when Barb was already back at work at Jack La Lanes in Hicksville. 


There wasn’t much traffic on the highway, and it was a wide expanse… hills, scrub bushes, tumbleweeds hot and dry.  I was eating an apple my last ride had given me.  It was tart and juicy. 


A 1950’s vintage black Ford pickup passed, then slowed to the breakdown lane after noticing my thumb.  I ran to catch up as it rolled to a stop and Pablo said, “hop in back.”  I tossed my Swiss Army backpack in with the cargo and hopped in.  There was a bale of hay situated in the center just behind the cab.  There was a sliding glass window that Pablo slid open to talk as he motioned me to sit.


“Where ya headin?” said the old Spanish cowboy.


“Cubero”, said I.


“What in the hell for?” was his chuckled reply.

“I’m Pablo, this is the Chief”, he introduced me to his silent, two hands on the steering wheel overweight Tonto-looking accomplice.


<extract> Read More ➤


Are you wearing Dhaka?

When it comes to fashion, applying even the most modest ethical criteria is ridiculously hard. All the big chains – including Primark, which had a supplier in the destroyed Rana Plaza building on Dhaka's outskirts, and has promised "to provide support where possible" to the families of the 187 workers known to have died – have ethics policies that can be viewed online. None has a clearly labelled and readily availably Fairtrade or equivalent line on the shop floor.


Read More ➤



Archive

Hundreds of previous articles



A collection of contributed work, articles and columns from around the community, including transcripts from 80+ recorded interviews from the ‘In Conversation With’ series.


Go to Archive ➤


Vermont Views Magazine

Unless otherwise stated all content claimed copyright © 2010 and 2014

all rights reserved by Vermont Views Magazine

vermontviews.org 


Write for permissions to reprint or extract,

to the publisher at


onechess@comcast.net


Vermont Views Magazine

Quality of Life, Spirit of Place





 

Vermont Views Magazine


Home Page

 

Articles,  Columns & Galleries

  New Articles

Just for a change of perspective


NAZCA LINES


including the famous spider


Photos of the Day sponsored by:

Fine Art

&

Contemporary American Craft

106 Main St.   Brattleboro, VT 05301  

www.vtart.com    (802) 257-7044

  Passages Daily  Mastery




“I would not have a god come in

To shield me suddenly from sin,

And set my house of life to rights;

Nor angels with bright burning wings

Ordering my earthly thoughts and things;

Rather my own frail guttering lights

Wind blown and nearly beaten out;

Rather the terror of the nights

And long, sick groping after doubt;

Rather be lost than let my soul

Slip vaguely from my own control --

Of my own spirit let me be

In sole though feeble mastery.”

Sara Teasdale


“If people knew how hard I had to work to gain my mastery, it would not seem so wonderful at all.”

Michelangelo


“Though you can love what you do not master, you cannot master what you do not love.”

Mokokoma Mokhonoana


“Life is like a game of chess.

To win you have to make a move.

Knowing which move to make comes with IN-SIGHT

and knowledge, and by learning the lessons that are

acculated along the way.

We become each and every piece within the game called life!”

Allan Rufus, The Master's Sacred Knowledge


“Beethoven said that it's better to hit the wrong note confidently, than hit the right note unconfidently. Never be afraid to be wrong or to embarrass yourself; we are all students in this life, and there is always something more to learn.”

Mike Norton

 

To This Degree


An image a day every day of the year

   


Today: A dentist at work


Overcoming the negative results of social practices and ego-cravings


INVENTIVENESS


Oct 31 2014 Scorpio 9  (1° to 15° Scorpio is RECONSTRUCTION in Act 3, COMMUNION)

 

Publisher’s Challenge

Challenge #6




Publisher’s Challenge


Respond to the current challenge by sending your contribution to the publisher here Selected responses will appear in this column.


Challenge #6

Oct 15, 2014

Hemingway as editor


Apart from some informal work for F. Scott, Ernest avoided editing, except of his own material where he was famous for extirpating adjectives. ‘Wipe them out,’ he thundered.


This challenge is to find and forward a piece of your own writing, between 100 and 400 words all adjectives eliminated.

Can be prose or poetry.



View Contributions to this

and other Challenges

 
Column O Citoyen!


About Fairpoint — A Letter

Robert Oeser

Oct 30, 2014




President Lawrence Schloss

Angelo, Gordon & Co


It is my understanding that Angelo, Gordon & Co., has a sizable interest in Fairpoint Communications and as such can bring some pressure to bear to ensure that the company resumes good faith bargaining with the IBEW represented workers.  I urge you to encourage this line of action. 


As someone who has benefited from having been able to retire with a pension, I now volunteer several days a week at a soup kitchen located in close proximity to where the IBEW workers are picketing in Brattleboro, VT.  From speaking with them, I can tell you that the company needs some new direction, to revitalize both its employee relations as well as its customer relations. If those relationships are mended, other benefits will follow. If the emphasis is only on the bottom line, all relationships will be negatively impacted. 


A story related today is instructive: reportedly, a Fairpoint manager turned away a contract employee from a worksite upon finding the contractor unqualified. Another subcontractor showed up at the jobsite with bald tires. Need I say that snow is expected this weekend?


The IBEW workers relate that they have had to become proficient in work-a-rounds in order to make less than optimal equipment function. 


The way forward is clear: respect for the workers, respect for the bargaining process, a decent wage, the hope of retirement and the desire to do right by customers. 


Can you help get that message heard?


[photo caption: Columnist Robert Oeser in discussion with Fairpoint strikers in Brattleboro]

[photo credit: Vermont Views]


Read More ➤

 
Column 4our

Writers: Charles Monette, Laura Momaney, Matti Salminen, Nanci Bern

Upon Getting Ready for Samhain (Halloween)–Why Are There No Mirrors in Tarot Cards?

Nanci Bern

Oct 25, 2014

                                           

Upon Getting Ready for Samhain (Halloween)-Why Are There No Mirrors in Tarot Cards?

What is a mirror? Is it a way to check yourself before you venture out in public so that you might not scare small children and the infirm? Are mirrors a decorating tool to make a room look larger than it is. There is nothing like a little illusion. We all indulge in it at some point. And why is it a bad thing to crack a mirror? If your vision of yourself is skewed, as a crack will do, how will you see yourself, how will the room look larger instead of crooked? Are mirrors a handy metaphor for spiritual development and relationship?


And, so I ponder again, why are there no mirrors in Tarot cards? Does the Tarot know something we don’t? Did the Tarot spirits obscure that particular thing from all our symbol seeking minds when creating a deck? What would a mirror on a card look like? Or perhaps we should just move on and trust that there is a reason for this. But, wait, what about that card, or that card, or that other card?

So what are mirrors about? How typical is it when something or someone annoys you that someone else says, “She is just a mirror of yourself.” What the does that mean? That I find myself annoying to myself? Does it mean they are a mirror and so they are my reflection? Well, if they are better looking than I am, that might not be so bad, but I don’t think that is what Martin Buber meant in ‘I and Thou!’


So what about that annoying ‘otherself’ who is chewing in your ear in the seat behind you at the movies?  Did I ‘call’ this chomper into my general gestalt because I am a chomper myself and so am reflecting back that I am annoying to others? Am I ‘chomping at the bit’ about some issue or something I want to do. Am I ‘chomping off’ something that is too much for me to chew? Is this showing me that I have the ability to choose how I want to deal with adversity? I can always move seats; which says perhaps that I deserve to be treated better and will make a move toward that. I can nicely ask said Chomper to go buy some cotton candy (although he may also be a lip smacker), and even hand him some change. I can accept the noise, as perhaps this person has had a horrible day and needs some compassion and not another confrontation or criticism; or maybe he has a horrible jaw disease that precludes any other more mannered tone of eating. Or maybe he is not even aware and would be horribly embarrassed, or maybe he is just a selfish jerk. Am I then, a selfish jerk?!

<extract> Read More ➤

 

Special Feature

An American in Cornwall


Carmela Wilkins, 19, completed a foundation course in art and design at Falmouth University in May and will return to do an undergrad degree in the UK. She is from Rhode Island, US. Photos in this essay are all from Falmouth Cornwall.


Why the UK?

I got bored with my surroundings after high school. Rhode Island’s a big place, but I was too used to it. The UK has always appealed to me because of the culture. People communicate differently from Americans. One main difference is sarcasm, which I found funny at first because I wouldn’t catch on. I’d have to ask “are you being sarcastic, or not?” and it took about four months before I was able to be cheeky in my comebacks.


What was the best thing about studying in the UK?

It’s between two things – the environment and the people. Before leaving for the UK for the first time, I wrote down my expectations of what it would be like, and how it would look. I thought England would have big grassy plains with wide open skies and farm animals. But it was completely different. I started going on road trips and really seeing England – the environment exceeded my expectations. And the people – the friends I made at Falmouth and outside of university. I’m still friends with them now and I plan on staying friends with them, they’re amazing.


What are the biggest differences between US and UK student culture?

I’ve heard from my UK friends in the States and my American friends in England that nights out are different because of the laws around drinking ages [in the US it’s legal at 21, in the UK, 18]. At the same time, teenagers being teenagers, we don’t let regulations stop us from doing things.


How did British students act around you?

I stuck out like a sore thumb in my first week – not only had I dyed my hair white, but I was also the only American on my course. People would say: “Have you been to all the 50 states?” And I’d say: “No, America is really large.” People were always intrigued by the culture.


Have you experienced any hostility because you’re American?

Not really. My friends would take the piss every now and then and point out when I said things like “pants” instead of “trousers”, or “jelly” rather than “jam”. They’d say: “No Carmela, you’re in England.”

But now that I’m in the States, it’s reversed. I’ve said to my sister: “You should go and put some trousers on.”

<extracts> Read More ➤

 
Column Open Mind

Being Present is The Only Good Option for True Mental Health

Offie Wortham

Oct 28, 2014

An effective and holistic approach in psychotherapy is to help individuals reduce their anxiety and depression by focusing their attention on the present instead of on the past or the future. The wisdom of encouraging individuals to live in the present has been a major part of all of the living spiritual traditions for the past 3,000 years. Spiritual traditions and religions generally have a central unity of purpose … taking people along different paths all leading to the same goal, to live in the present. Spirituality knows there are many paths to the same goal. Spirituality embraces all the worlds’ spiritual traditions, but at the same time, is not constrained by any religious dogmas or forms. It is my goal in this paper to show that we can exercise this same wisdom to help our clients cope with their depression, anxiety and distress by learning to live more in the present. For some the ebb and flow of one’s personality may not fundamentally change. What may change instead is in how one responds to their emotions. Then over time this can lead to change, to emotional growth. But focusing on this in the here and now rather in forward-looking, goal-oriented context is a challenge.


I believe that to obtain liberation from our fears and concerns we must live in the present where we can achieve peace of mind by concentrating on doing the right thing right now.  Along with effort to shift a person to live in the present, instead of the past or the present, is the equally important goal of changing a dysfunctional lifestyle of mindless consumerism. The financial strains, and the neglect of spending quality time with a spouse or the children is a major cause of free-floating anger, child neglect, and domestic violence. As Eckhart Tolle has pointed out, “Dissolving the idea of possessiveness frees one's spirituality to grow into new awareness of your true nature which is ultimately love, joy, and peace regardless of what people own or their situation in life.”


A search of the teachings from various spiritual traditions reveals the following information to support this idea:—

Native American - Indians are very oriented to living in the present. There is a tendency toward an immediate rather than postponed gratification of desires. Living each day as it comes is emphasized. This value is closely tied to the philosophy that one should be more interested in being than in becoming. One result of the disparity between the Indian's present orientation and the European's future orientation is that frustration often results when Indian students are pressured to forgo present needs for future vague rewards. Goals are necessary to accomplish anything that needs focused attention. Goals change a hope for something into a plan to make it happen.


<extract> Read More ➤

 

Weather

Oct 31, 2014





from NOAA

The National Weather Service


Brattleboro:


Cloudy, then gradually becoming mostly sunny, with a high near 52. Calm wind becoming east around 5 mph in the afternoon.


Tonight
A slight chance of showers after midnight. Cloudy, with a low around 36. Northeast wind 5 to 8 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.


National:


Unseasonably cold temperatures spreading into central U.S.


A strong cold front will usher a much colder air mass into the central and eastern U.S. for the end of the work week. Temperatures will be 10 to 20 degrees below average in some areas. Rain and snow will be possible across the Great Lakes on Friday as the system crosses the area. Heavy snow is possible in the central Appalachians Friday night.


Vermont Views

Magazine


A

unique

community supported

magazine

exploring

Quality of Life

and

Spirit of Place

in our bio-region

with

extraordinary

photographs

18 regular columnists

plus feature articles, galleries & essays

new articles and photos every day

To contribute an article

contact the magazine

here


Visit the

Archive

of

Articles



Sponsors

Click on a SPONSOR

link to visit

their website


Click on a SPONSOR

link to visit

their website


Vermont

Artisan

Designs


Brattleboro

Food

Coop


Neil Taylor

"The Blind Masseur"


Delectable

Mountain

Cloth


Friends of the Sun


Zephyr Designs


Sponsor a page in this magazine contact

the publisher

 
Notes on Creating by Audrey Flack from her title

Art & Soul

A PERSONAL TEST



I’ve rejected the idea of working life-size or of using body casts for my sculpture. The enlargement or reduction in scale reaffirms its nature as an artifact; the sculpture is not just a replication. It has been particularly curious and difficult to reduce an adult model down to a four-foot height.


The struggle of my brain, in scanning the model and reducing the scale with no mechanical assistance, has been a test.

 

Studio 4


Group Photo Shoot


October 20, 2014

“Not far from Main Street”



Len Emery

Phil Innes

Merritt Brown

Greg Worden


See More ➤

 

Monkey’s Cloak


run’way

Phil Innes

                             

(after dreaming I was Bob Dylan writing lines)




she wore a statue’s cloak

down where artists go to find

in the unsafe alley

a grant of any kind


way past

the golden dumpster

past the run’way

Amish girl


selling all her clothes

to men in suits

of just one syllable


Read More ➤

 

Daily Articles

To This Degree

An image a day for every day of the year.


Passages


Weather

Local & National


Pretty Often

Art & Soul

Notes on Creating


New

Feature

Articles


Column

O Citoyen!

About Fairpoint — A Letter

Robert Oeser

Oct 30, 2014



Column

Open Mind

Being Present is The Only Good Option for True Mental Health

Offie Wortham

Oct 28, 2014



Monkey’s Cloak

run’way

Phil Innes



Column

Untitled Work

True Story with Metaphor

Mac Gander

Oct 26, 2014



Column

4our

Upon Getting Ready for Samhain (Halloween)–Why Are There No Mirrors in Tarot Cards?

Nanci Bern

Oct 25, 2014



Studio 4

Group Photo Shoot

October 20, 2014

“Not far from

Main Street”



Write On!

Pablo and the Chief

Charles Monette

Oct 21, 2013



Real Food !

White Stew

Phil Innes

Oct 19, 2014


Monkey’s Cloak

Two Poems: Rough & A Waltz For Two

Michael Cioffi



Special Feature

An American in Cornwall

Oct 10, 2014



Column

4our

Mind Eternal

Matti Salminen

Oct 17, 2014




Real Food !

Meatballs

Mac Gander

Oct 16, 2014



Publisher’s Challenge

Hemingway as editor, yours!

Oct 15, 2014



Vermont Diary

An unusual Diet

Oct 15, 2014



Column

O Citoyen!

Brattleboro Citizens' Breakfast Invitation

“Medicare Facts & Medicare Fraud”

Robert Oeser

Oct 14, 2014




Reviews Old & New

The Illusion of Separation

Giles Hutchins new book is now released.



Column

Archetypal Hippie Speaks

The Value of a Short Lived Amnesia

Jeri Rose

Oct 13, 2014



Monkey’s Cloak

Library where everything is forgotten

Charles Monette



Real Food !

Braised pork-chops in tomatoes

Mac Gander

Oct 12, 2014



Column

Untitled Work

Summer’s End

Mac Gander

Oct 10, 2014




Monkey’s Cloak

REQUIEM

For Anna Akhmatova

(1889-1966)

Terry Hauptman




Column

4our

Learning for Enrichment

Matti Salminen

Oct 7, 2014



Real Food !

Roasting a whole chicken and living off it for a week

Mac Gander

Oct 6, 2014


Column

Post Oil Solutions

Climate Change Café Hosts Community Conversation in October

Tim Stevenson

Oct 5, 2014



Guest Article

Beyond capitalism

Donnie Maclurcan




Monkey’s Cloak

Neglected Soul

Matti Salminen



Column

Archetypal Hippie Speaks

When are we too young?

Jeri Rose

Oct 4, 2014



Column

Natural Inclusivity

BOMBSHELLS

The Devastating Mistakes of Abstract Perception

Alan Rayner

Oct 2, 2014



Real Food !

Red Sauce,

White Sauce

Mac Gander

Oct 1, 2014




Column

4our

Meandering knows no mean

Charles Monette

Sep 30, 2014




Weekly Feature

In Conversation with Eugene Uman

Sep 30, 2014



Column

Open Mind

Recommendations for Controlling Lobbying

In the

Vermont Legislature

Offie Wortham

Sep 29, 2014



A Word In Your Ear

Khaleesis replacing Amelias?

Not hardly

Sep 26, 2014


Selected Letters

Pete Seeger Tribute

Offie Wortham

Sep 25, 2014



Column

Old Lady Blog

The Courage to Create

Toni Ortner

Sep 25, 2014



Column

Energetics 

US and World Energy News

George Harvey

who is stopping us?

Sept 24, 2014


Monkey’s Cloak

The slightest notice

Charles Monette

Sep 23, 2014



Column

4our

The Lastlings

Nanci Bern

Sep 22, 2014



Column

Nurturing Nature

Fall

Tasneem Tawfeek

Sep 20, 2014



Column

Natural Inclusivity

Mistaking emotion for lack of reason

Alan Rayner

Sep 19, 2014




Vermont Diary


Strange brew

Sep 18, 2014




Column

Untitled Work

The Language of the Tribe

Mac Gander

Sep 17, 2014





Column

Post Oil Solutions

21 September

Tim Stevenson

Sep 16, 2014



Column

4our

Friends With Benefits

Laura Momaney

Sep 14, 2014



Non Profit of the Month


Turning Point

Sep 14, 2014




Monkey’s Cloak


Matrix…Nine…Words…Eleven

Nanci Bern

Sep 11, 2014



Column

Open Mind

"Over Forty, Over Educated, and Underemployed"

Offie Wortham

Pt 2 — Sep 11, 2014



Reviews Old & New

Tortoise Diaries: Daily Meditations for Creativity and Slowing Down

A note from the author

Aug 26, 2014



Monkey’s Cloak

Two Poems,

Personal Hawaiian and Heartsong of Hawaii Nation

Jeri Rose



Column

Archetypal Hippie Speaks

Double barreled slingshot 7

Jeri Rose

Sep 8, 2014



Monkey’s Cloak

Can we talk? 

Charles Monette

Sep 6, 2014


Column

Old Lady Blog

Amazing GRACE:

Global Citizens and Artists for Social Change

Toni Ortner

Sep 4, 2014


Column

4our

No Sword School

Matti Salminen

Sep 4, 2014



New Column Littoral Sojourn

Pilgrimage Part 1:

Len Emery

Sep 1, 2014


Open Mind

"Over Forty, Over Educated, and Underemployed"

Offie Wortham

Aug 31, 2014


Old Lady Blog

OUR MAN IN BLACK

Toni Ortner

Aug 29, 2014


Kipling’s Questionnaire

Len Emery

Aug 27, 2014



Publisher’s Challenge #5

“places of disinhabitation”

Mac Gander

Aug 19 2014



Reviews Old & New

Tortoise Diaries: Daily Meditations for Creativity and Slowing Down

Review by

Phil Innes

Aug 26, 2014



Vermont Diary

News

Aug 25 2014



OP ED

Namaya

Witness to Genocide: Israel/ Palestine:

A JOURNEY TO PEACE

Aug 24, 2014



Chess

Phil Innes

Math and Chess for America’s Schools

Aug 23, 2014




Untitled Work

Mac Gander

The Battle of the Somme River and the Story of Atlantis

Aug 21, 2014



Special Feature

DROLL OF THE MEREMAID

Lutey of The Lizard




Publisher’s Challenge

In 750 words or less

Fantasy Island

Aug 10, 2014



Reviews Old & New

Voices Like Wind Chimes

By Arlene F. Distler

Reviewed by: Mary W. Mathias

 Poet With a Painter’s Eye

Aug 9, 2014




Open Mind

Offie Wortham

IBM 1960

Aug 8, 2014



Write On!

Martha M Moravec

VERMONT HIPPIE ZOMBIES

Aug 5, 2014



100 Years Ago

Feature: August 1914

The First World War Begins

Aug 3, 2014




Nurturing Nature

Tasneem Tawfeek

Air

Jul 31, 2014



Curious Topics

Vermont Zombie Hunting — a true story

Jul 28 2014


Articulate

Kate Anderson

Leadership

Jul 15, 2014


StudioONE

Len Emery

Goffstown Slaughterhouse

Jul 11, 2014



The Great Adventure

Terri Kneipp

Like a girl

Jul 1, 2014



Beer & Bangers

J.D McCliment’s and MacLaomainn's Scottish Pub

Jun 30 2014



Monthly Feature

Photo Essay

William Hays,

print maker

February, 2014

Vermont Diary

An unusual diet




Bob’s forwarded cartoon reminds me of an old anecdote from a place where I lived.


I was for over four years a resident of an intentional and spiritual community, a Christ centered community, in the highlands of Scotland. That term was understood there as a level of consciousness, and likely from a group level. The same Bob as sent the cartoon said in a brief address at the soup kitchen today, ‘ where two or more are gathered…’ and that was the sense of potential at Findhorn, not to do with personalities but degrees of consciousness achievable together.


One of the founders of the Findhorn community was Eileen Caddy, and at one time in her life she was 'getting fancy' about her own food, thinking that to be truly spiritual one should only consume refined foods and yet she felt unwell while doing so. Thereby she sought divine guidance upon the subject, which famously was her want to do, and usually provided direction which though sometimes uncomfortable, nevertheless proved out in her life to be a best course.


It was not the usual guidance this time. ‘God’ said to her that she should go on a steak and whiskey diet.

Read More Vermont Diary ➤ 

 

Column Untitled Work


True Story with Metaphor

Mac Gander

Oct 26, 2014


This is a true story. I came home late afternoon Friday after a brutal week—mid-term grades, 60 papers to read and answer, students in crisis—wanting nothing more than a nap and a bowl of pasta before bed. My small new dog, Sammy, part cattle dog and part blue-tick hound, was clamoring for a run but I had no energy for it. Then my daughter came home with a friend, and they were going to take a run so I suggested they take the dogs with them. They did.


I have two dogs. Seamus is big, old, with the thickest fur—a northern dog. Sammy is not yet two, and he is still learning how to be a good dog, though I know he will get there. Running with the two of them is a challenge, since Seamus, who can go off leash in the woods, lags behind, while Sammy runs ahead and would run to Burlington, I think, if we let him off the leash. When the girls came back from their run it was getting dark, and Seamus was not with them. They had forgotten to look behind to make sure he was keeping up.


I sent them back out to walk the loop in the woods where they had run, and then my wife and I headed out as well, splitting up on two different paths where they forked. I felt a sense of crisis. Seamus is a dog with very deep emotional intelligence, but he is not very smart, even for a dog—the kind of dog who is always knocking things over and then apologizing—and we never have let him roam on his own for fear he would be lost.


He also is my boon companion, who stayed with me the years my father was dying, kept me safe when he and I lived alone for a while because I had gone crazy, and helped to nurture me back to a sort of health. I got the second dog because I know, in a very deep way, that I will outlive Seamus, and when he is gone I will need a second dog with whom to mourn his passing, since in my time with Seamus I have become part dog myself.


So walking in the woods without a flashlight, calling out his name and whistling, I felt a mad sort of anxiety. For a while I could hear my daughter calling in the distance in one direction, and my wife calling in the distance in another direction, but after a time—it was hard to know how long because in the dimness I had no sense of time—all I could hear was silence and then an occasional rustling when a breeze stirred up.


<extract> Read More ➤