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“Quality of Life, Spirit of Place”

 

Vermont Views Magazine

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Recent

Features,

Articles

&

Columns


Write Walk EXTRA

Rabid Fan & Conversion

Susan Cruickshank


Finnish Fandango

Crossing The Finnish Line

Anneli Karniala


Meanderings

The Blazing Sun

Charles Monette


Love In Action

To Have a Piece of Cake

Elizabeth Hill


Write Walk

Is that You Aunt Helen?

Susan Cruickshank


Old Lady Blog

Focused Light from a Different Star


Part 1

Self Portrait Frida Kahlo 1940

Creation of the Birds,


Part 2 Remedios Varo 1958


Part 3 Join, Elizabeth Murray, 1980


Part 4 IXI by Susan Rothenberg 1977    

Toni Ortner


An A-musing Life

Letting if flow

Nanci Bern


Archetypal Hippie Speaks

Lessons We Must Learn

Jeri Rose


Monkey’s Cloak

hell to swelter

Charles Monette


The First Glass

Sleeping With Herodotus

Vincent Panella


Water’s Edge

Maine morning

Nicola Metcalf


Selected Letters

How Can an Educated Person be Poor in Our Affluent Society?

Anonymous


Archetypal Hippie Speaks

“Thus, I was of the opinion...”

Jeri Rose


Open Mind

Affirmative Action should be based on Need not Race!

Offie Wortham


Love In Action

Mother and Child

Elizabeth Hill


SCREENplay

Ten Minute Plays

Lawrence Klepp


Meanderings

Understory vines

Charles Monette


An A-musing Life

Of hippos and their snacks

Nanci Bern


Write Walk

I See You

Susan Cruickshank


Love In Action

Fifty Years of Gratitude in One Beautiful Weekend

Elizabeth Hill


Vermont Diary

Don’t free Tibet, yet


Monkey’s Cloak

to Mother Teresa

András Adorján


Selected Letters

Compassion is volunteering to feed the hungry

Jane Southworth


Archetypal Hippie Speaks

Perfect

Jeri Rose


in between

Searching For All the Moments We Put on Hold

Julia Ferarri


Open Mind

So what is Donald Trump

Offie Wortham


Write Walk

Fake News & Side-Seams

Susan Cruickshank


Write On!

In Light of Pee

Nicola Metcalf


Love In Action

May Hem at 510

Elizabeth Hill


Old Lady Blog

Horoscope & Water Wars

Toni Ortner


Meanderings

Here comes the sun

Charles Monette


Monkey’s Cloak

I set myself afire

Charles Monette


Write Walk

barking soliloquies

Susan Cruickshank


SCREENplay

Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool

Lawrence Klepp


Love In Action

Blooming through the gloaming

Elizabeth Hill


Monkey’s Cloak

Ode to a Goddess

Charles Monette


Open Mind

Black Man/Black Panther

Offie Wortham


Meanderings

Peaceful

Charles Monette


Love In Action

Shawabty and Snowdrops

Elizabeth Hill


SCREENplay

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Lawrence Klepp


Monkey’s Cloak

I’ll stay here till I get here

Charles Monette


Old Lady Blog

Writer and Agent

Toni Ortner


Vermont Diary

The American Way


Guest Column

Covered Bridge Cathedral

Susan Cruickshank


SCREENplay

The Darkest Hour

Lawrence Klepp


Love In Action

Not So Plain Jane

Elizabeth Hill


An A-musing Life

The Resolution Revolution

Nanci Bern


Write Walk

The Man on Newfane Hill

Susan Cruickshank


Guest Article

LETTERS FROM CUBA — 15

Some sentences from Cuba

Mac Gander


Guest Article

LETTERS FROM CUBA — 13

What’s time to a shoat?

Shanta Lee Gander


Open Mind

“Social Relationships”

Offie Wortham


100 Years Ago

January 1918


Monkey’s Cloak

Untitled

Phil Innes


Vermont Diary

Like a Dan Shore Report


Love In Action

My Weekend with Lenny

Elizabeth Hill


Chess

Madonna vs. Julia Roberts

and other matches

Frank “Boy” Pestaño


The First Glass

This Poet Walks Into A Bar...

Vincent Panella


SCREENplay

Lady Bird

Lawrence Klepp


Special Feature

REFLECTIONS ON AN EVENING WITH LINDSAY CLARKE AT BATH ROYAL LITERARY AND SCIENTIFIC INSTITUTION, 6 SEPTEMBER 2017

Ken Masters


Monkey’s Cloak

Whither the storm?

Todd Vincent Crosby


Urban Naturalist

“...spanning 6 1/2 to 7 feet”

Lloyd Graf


Vermont Diary

Women,

you can’t get there from here


Selected Letters

Who do fools fall in love — Letter from a friend

Offie Wortham


Open Mind

Multiculturalism is the opposite of Integration

Offie Wortham


Love In Action

The Fruitcake Caper

Elizabeth Hill


in between

OUR EXPECTATIONS

Julia Ferarri


An A-musing Life

Cut To The Core

Nanci Bern


Monkey’s Cloak

75 at tea

Todd Vincent Crosby


SCREENplay

Wonderstruck

Lawrence Klepp


Monkey’s Cloak

All souls’ elegy

Charles Monette


Love In Action

Little Miss Buster

Elizabeth Hill


Old Lady Blog

Gapstow Bridge

Toni Ortner


Urban Naturalist

A Slow Day at Hogle Sanctuary is Salvaged by a Furry Visitor's Aquatic Star Turn

Lloyd Graf


Monkey’s Cloak

You cancelled your vacation

Charles Monette


Love In Action

Thay

Elizabeth Hill


Meanderings

Light footprints

Charles Monette


An A-musing Life

A Remembrance of Yom Kippur Angels and the Dancing Rabbi

Nanci Bern


Archetypal Hippie Speaks

Bread and Circuses 

Jeri Rose


The First Glass

DEMOLITION

Vincent Panella


Urban Naturalist

Nighthawks

Lloyd Graf


SCREENplay

Wind River

Lawrence Klepp


Old Lady Blog

A Cross By The Sea

Toni Ortner


Love In Action

A Man Named Shin

Elizabeth Hill


Guest Article

Highland Fling

A series of articles, part 3

Tyndrum

Alan Rayner


Meanderings

Full Circle Meander

Charles Monette


Selected Letters

A Rational Solution to our Dilemma in Afghanistan.

Offie Wortham


An A-musing Life

Charlottesville

The Heart of the Serpent

Nanci Bern


Monkey’s Cloak

Malvern Hill

Charles Monette


SCREENplay

Dunkirk

Lawrence Klepp


Open Mind

So Who Came

To Your Funeral?

Offie Wortham


Monkey’s Cloak

Cicero’s Hands

Mike Murray


Open Mind

2030 — a short story

Offie Wortham


Love In Action

How To Fold A Presby Cap

Elizabeth Hill


Meanderings

A July summer’s midday morn

Charles Monette


in between

Reflection

Julia Ferarri


An A-musing Life

The Art of Flight

Nanci Bern


Vermont Diary

For The Birds


Archetypal Hippie Speaks

Jumping Through Time

in My Life

Jeri Rose


Love In Action

Baby Buddha

Elizabeth Hill


Open Mind

A Transcultural Awareness Experience

Offie Wortham


Old Lady Blog

A Blackbird with Snow Covered Red Hills 1946

for Georgia O’Keefe

Toni Ortner


Monkey’s Cloak

overflowingly so

Charles Monette


The First Glass

John Dante’s Inferno,

A Playboy’s Life -

by Anthony Valerio

Vincent Panella


Love In Action

From the Hands

of Our Fathers

Elizabeth Hill


As I Please

The Black Place II 1944

Georgia O’Keefe

Toni Ortner


SCREENplay

Their Finest

Lawrence Klepp


As I Please

The Langlois Bridge at Arles, 1888

Charles Monette


Archetypal Hippie Speaks

Rights and privileges 

Jeri Rose


Open Mind

Does Lifestyle Matter more than Race?

Offie Wortham


Love In Action

Robin in the rain

Elizabeth Hill


As I Please

Bansky

Robert Oeser


The First Glass

Luck

Vincent Panella


Vermont Diary

Change of Season


Selected Letters

Immigrants in Vermont

Philip B. Scott, Governor


Old Lady Blog

The language I speak

is a language of grief

Toni Ortner


As I Please

Homage to Milton Avery

Elizabeth Hill


Archetypal Hippie Speaks

Tarnished Gold

Jeri Rose


Monkey’s Cloak

Other voices

Charles Monette


SCREENplay

Elle

Lawrence Klepp


An A-musing Life

The Great Exodus-Salamanders and Passover Crossings

Nanci Bern


An A-musing Life

One Sip at a Time

Nanci Bern


Love In Action

This Land

Elizabeth Hill


Vermont Diary

The British Aren’t Coming — Alas


Open Mind

But The Goalposts Keep Moving!

Offie Wortham


Meanderings

‘Beware the ides of March’

Charles Monette


Write On!

Grey Tower

Phil Innes


The First Glass

Writing like a Painter

Vincent Panella


Archetypal Hippie Speaks

Archetypal Hippie Speaks

Racism vs Sexism

Jeri Rose


Monkey’s Cloak

Ice floes slow

Charles Monette


Urban Naturalist

The Sanctuary in Late Winter:

a Long-Deferred Visit to Hogle Offers Rewards and Raises Concerns

— part 2 —

Lloyd Graf


Love In Action

Mein Yertle

Elizabeth Hill


SCREENplay

Lion

Lawrence Klepp


Urban Naturalist

The Sanctuary in Late Winter:

a Long-Deferred Visit to Hogle Offers Rewards and Raises Concerns

— part 1 —

Lloyd Graf


100 Years Ago

Births Jan-Jun 1917


O Citoyen!

Four Pennies

Robert Oeser


With Prejudice

Flesh of My Flesh:  Reflections on Prejudice & Love

Shanta Lee Gander


With Prejudice

Finding America

Vincent Panella


Story Page

Matinicus The Marvelous Cat

MM Kizi


Meanderings

White as Snow

Charles Monette


Love In Action

People Power in Pink

Elizabeth Hill


Open Mind

Populism

Offie Wortham


Meanderings

White Buffalo in the Sky

Charles Monette


Monkey’s Cloak

Venus Smiled

Charles Monette


An A-musing Life

A resolute spirit

Nanci Bern


StudioTWO

The Owens


The First Glass

For the Birds

Vincent Panella


Chess

“The Mating Game”

Phil Innes


Love In Action

New Year’s Reflections on

“Charlotte’s Web”

Elizabeth Hill


Vermont Diary

Spiritual Theft in the

Year of the Monkey


SCREENplay

Manchester by the Sea

Lawrence Klepp


Meanderings

White Mountain

Charles Monette


The First Glass

San Diego, Ocean Beach – November 17, 2016

Vincent Panella


SCREENplay

Allied

Lawrence Klepp


Monkey’s Cloak

Oh, Holidays

Nanci Bern


Old Lady Blog

Gone/ All Gone

Toni Ortner


An A-musing Life

Mushroom Soup with John

Nanci Bern


in between

FEAR

Julia Ferarri


Archetypal Hippie Speaks

Racism vs Sexism

Jeri Rose


Meanderings

Last leaves leaving

Charles Monette


Love In Action

Braveheart

Elizabeth Hill


Urban Naturalist

Hogle in Fall:

a Subdued Sanctuary Hunkers Down for Winter

Lloyd Graf


Vermont Diary

Quality of Life


An A-musing Life

11/12 and Counting

Nanci Bern


World & US Energy News

Nov 15 Just one day in the energy life of the planet

George Harvey


Meanderings

As if

Charles Monette


Open Mind

What Will Become Of The Trump Faithful?

Offie Wortham


Monkey’s Cloak

Clouds

Charles Monette


Write On!

Castle Dor


Vermont Diary

Words or Deeds


SCREENplay

Sully

Lawrence Klepp


Love In Action

Living in the Twilight Zone

Elizabeth Hill


100 Years Ago

Births

in 1916


Chess

Susan Polgar:

Little Known Feminist Icon

Alicia Colon


Natural Inclusivity

What is ‘Natural’ Science?

Alan Rayner


Meanderings

Evil frog monsters

Charles Monette


SCREENplay

The Girl on the Train

Lawrence Klepp


Archetypal Hippie Speaks

Who Sleeps Daily in S.C.?

&

S.C. City Council

Jeri Rose


Monkey’s Cloak

Why just now

Charles Monette


in between

After a Fire Puja

Julia Ferarri


Vermont Diary

Out of the closet


Old Lady Blog

LESBOS, GREECE

Toni Ortner


The First Glass

Journal Entry –

October 3, 2016

Vincent Panella


Meanderings

Another way up

Black Mountain

Charles Monette


SCREENplay

The Light Between Oceans

Lawrence Klepp


Love In Action

Déjà Vu at Asteroid Chasm

Elizabeth Hill


SCREENplay

Café Society

Lawrence Klepp


An A-musing Life

A Snow Bunny in Summer

Nanci Bern


Meanderings

The mountain was soft

Charles Monette


Archetypal Hippie Speaks

Malaise

Jeri Rose


Meanderings

Black Mountain

Charles Monette


Vermont Diary

Out of time


The First Glass

Who Art In : Moment : Youth

Vincent Panella


Urban Naturalist

THE HOGLE PANORAMA

Lloyd Graf


Love In Action

The Pony Man

Elizabeth Hill


Vermont Diary

Lots of words to it


Monkey’s Cloak

Beyond the pale

Charles Monette


Monkey’s Cloak

North York Moods

A series of observations and poems by Alan Rayner, part 7

‘Bridestones’


Love In Action

“The Missionary of Water”

Dr. Masaru Emoto

Elizabeth Hill


Selected Letters

Marbles

Offie Wortham


Old Lady Blog

from a forthcoming work...

Toni Ortner


in between

A QUIET RAIN FALLS

Julia Ferarri


Open Mind

The power of “Instant” News in producing stress and anxiety

Offie Wortham


An A-musing Life

Frost in the Summer

Nanci Bern


Vermont Diary

Birthday boy


Love In Action

Neptune and Jupiter

Elizabeth Hill


Monkey’s Cloak

North York Moods

A series of poems

by Alan Rayner, part 5

Howard’s Castle


Open Mind

Malcolm and Ali

Offie Wortham


Vermont Diary

SHOCK of the Present


Open Mind

Can we bite the bullet until after November?

Offie Wortham


Monkey’s Cloak

SHAVUOT

Nanci Bern


Monkey’s Cloak

five directions, five fingers, five roots

Charles Monette


Vermont Diary

US Politics for Forns from Yurp [part deux]


Monkey’s Cloak

UP NORTH

Phil Innes


Write On!

Women of the Mounds

Charles Monette


Open Mind

Colleges where your child can earn a Degree for Free

Offie Wortham


Love In Action

SEND IN THE CLOWNS

Elizabeth Hill


Vermont Diary

Ticks and Tourism


World & US Energy News

Just one day’s news

in early May

George Harvey


Old Lady Blog

Lights out or the weather of the apocalypse

Toni Ortner


Write On!

Daniel Berrigan

Charles Monette


Vermont Diary

Over the Mountain


Love In Action

The First Lady of the World

Elizabeth Hill


Monkey’s Cloak

May I

Charles Monette


Vermont Diary

Is the experiment with republics now over?


Archetypal Hippie Speaks

“How Drumpf wins”

Jeri Rose


Vermont Diary

WEIRD WYOMING — A LETTER TO ENGLAND


Vermont Diary

QUINTISH


Love In Action

THE DANCING FOOLS

Elizabeth Hill


Vermont Diary

PC, Euphemisms, including death and toilets


Urban Naturalist

AMPHIBIANS AND OTHER CRITTERS COPE WITH EQUINOCTAL CONFUSION

Lloyd Graf


Selected Letters

Tennessee Tensions

Rob Mitchell


Vermont Diary

Couple pointers

for President Trump


Old Lady Blog

Call from a Scientologist friend

Toni Ortner


Archetypal Hippie Speaks

The Hinge of Perception

Jeri Rose


Monkey’s Cloak

Bird of transcendence

Matti Salminen


Vermont Diary

FLIGHT PATH OPTIONS


Monkey’s Cloak

Tibetan dream song

Charles Monette


in between

One hundred and twenty six years

Julia Ferarri


CURIOUS TOPICS

Gull Summit — Prime Minister concerned over Hitchcockian behavior


View From A Bridge

Golgonooza

Brian D. Cohen


Love In Action

SUMMER, 1947

Elizabeth Hill




Vermont Views Magazine


A unique community supported cultural magazine exploring Quality of Life and Spirit of Place in our bio-region, with extraordinary photographs, 22 regular columnists plus feature articles, galleries & essays, new articles and photos every day. 100s more articles in the Archive.






Contact the magazine HERE


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For PERMISSIONS to reprint some or all of any article write to the publisher vtviewsinnes@gmail.com

Otherwise all work is © All rights reserved by Vermont Views Magazine, the writer, or both.



PHOTO OF THE DAY


Nursery Rhyme: I am a little tea-pot &

‘The Flooded Clay Pit’ by Cornish Poet, Jack Clemo


Photos by Phil Innes


I am a little tea-pot,


Short and stout.


This is my handle.


And this is my spout.


When water is boiling


Hear me shout.


“Just lift me up


And pour me out."


&


‘The Flooded Clay Pit’

          These white crags

Cup waves that rub more greedily

Now half-way up the chasm; you see

         Doomed foliage hang like rags;

         The whole clay-belly sags.

 

          What scenes far

Beneath those waters: chimney pots

That used to smoke; brown rusty clots

          Of wheels still oozing tar;

          Lodge doors that rot ajar.

 

          Those iron rails

Emerge like claws cut short on the dump

Though once they bore the waggon’s thump:

          Now only toads and snails

          Creep round their loosed nails.

 

         Those thin tips

Of massive pit-bed pillars – how

They strain to scab the pool’s face now,

        Pressing like famished lips

        Which dread the cold eclipse.





PASSAGES

Sponsored by Emerson’s Furniture


V. S. Naipaul

Text selections by Vermont Views



In England people are very proud of being very stupid.


If ever you wish to meet intellectual frauds in quantity, go to Paris.


If a writer doesn't generate hostility, he is dead.


I'm the kind of writer that people think other people are reading.


It's very attractive to people to be a victim. Instead of having to think out the whole situation, about history and your group and what you are doing... if you begin from the point of view of being a victim, you've got it half-made. I mean intellectually.


The first 50 years of the cinema were absolutely great years. Original minds were at work establishing the ways to tell a story. And what is happening now is a copying, a pastiche-ing of what was done by great men.


An autobiography can distort; facts can be realigned. But fiction never lies: it reveals the writer totally.


One isn't born one's self. One is born with a mass of expectations, a mass of other people's ideas - and you have to work through it all.


The longer I live the more convinced I become that one of the greatest honors we can confer on other people is to see them as they are, to recognize not only that they exist, but that they exist in specific ways and have specific realities.


In England I am not English, in India I am not Indian. I am chained to the 1,000 square miles that is Trinidad; but I will evade that fate yet.


I became very interested in the Islamic question, and thought I would try to understand it from the roots, ask very simple questions and somehow make a narrative of that discovery.


Read more PASSAGES Sponsored by Emerson’s Furniture >>>


Recent Passages By: V. S. Naipaul, Candice Bergen, Kingsley Amis, Jerry Lee Lewis, Jiddu Krishnamurti, Annie Besant, Nasreddin, Lionel Trilling, Peter Dinklage, Tyrion Lannister, Rupert Sheldrake, Søren Kierkegaard, Lyndon B. Johnson, Anatoly Karpov, James Baldwin, Lech Wałęsa, Henning Mankell, Anaïs Nin  Read their work here




NOT QUITE THE THING

Sponsored by Delectable Mountain Cloth



Caption It!

MM Kizi


Series 25 images







WRITE WALK EXTRA


Rabid Fan & Conversion

Susan Cruickshank


[Editorial Note: A Lost Article from Susan Cruickshank originally received as a letter, and now resident in her column.]


I am a Celtics basketball fan.


I know players names and their numbers, not all, but I do know those of the 2018 Eastern Semi-Finals dream team.


It didn’t start out that way.


In fact, just figuring out the dynamics of the retired lawyer’s living room was what took precedence over paying attention to any movement on the television screen. It wasn’t until the third night of the playoffs that I realized I had taken Luna’s seat. I thought she was just being friendly and wanting to cuddle, but when I figured out the right corner of the couch was preferred seating for this senior boxer, I moved.


But that first night, that magical first night of the semi-finals, when the Cleveland Cavaliers and their silver bullet, LeBron James, had their backsides whooped by the giants in green, I didn’t know that I had made a faulty seating choice. I also had no idea that by the end of that game I would become a newly inaugurated CELTICS fan, bathed in the afterglow of beauty in motion. At tip-off I was still more interested in watching the antics of the seasoned rabid fan who sat beside me yelling at the television while I did arm exercises, moving my right hand from the tortilla chip bowl to guacamole, to my mouth.


And 1! And 2!


REPEAT, while using my spare hand to pet whatever cat that had decided to walk by my lap to investigate who the interloper was who was sitting in Luna’s place.



Extract: Read More Susan Cruickshank >>>




Finnish Fandango


Crossing The Finnish Line

Anneli Karniala


Part 2 of the generous introductory column


The Finnish woman who had received this package, could speak and write some English still, and she had written a thank-you letter to Mrs. Lyons, and that is how a correspondence and lifelong friendship between the two families was born. In time, a decision was made by the Finnish family to immigrate to America. And the Lyons family offered the Finnish family a place to live for as long as necessary; the Finns would live in a small cabin adjacent to the Lyons's summer house, by the sea marshes on the north side of the village of Barnstable, on Cape Cod. The last leg of the immigrants' journey was then the automobile trip from Boston airport to Barnstable.


It has to be said here, that the Finnish man had been a soldier, a ski patrol leader, in the Winter War (1939-1940) against Russia. Then in 1941, in the Continuation War also against Russia, he was a Finnish platoon leader, then a lieutenant. He was at the Eastern Front in Finland, attempting to protect and retain a sizable area that eventually would be taken by the Russians. He was seriously wounded, shot in the face, more precisely the mouth and lower jaw, and also in the torso, and in an upper arm.  After the war, he became a special examiner with the Helsinki Police Force.  As he explained for the remainder of his life in America, "I had a pretty good Russian dentist...he took out all my teeth at the same time!" And then he would grin his scarred and crooked-mouth grin. Shrapnel remained forever in his tongue, his back, and in his arm.  


His lip, jaw, and chin had to be reconstructed surgically, in an albeit hastily-constructed field hospital, using skin grafts from his upper chest for the chin, and from the inside of his mouth to create the lip. The temporary result resembled a connecting tube of skin from his chest to his lip.  His main food after that was months worth of thin gruel sipped through a straw. The Finn was in the hospital for over 2 years while undergoing 18 operations. He always claimed that the hospital had to be built so fast that the anesthesia used was "some old stuff they found somewhere because it really didn't take when they were operating!" Luckily for him and his Finnish soldier buddies in the hospital, he was mobile enough to take part in some fairly innocent tomfoolery, and the wounded soldiers also broke the boredom and their pain by playing jokes on the nurses.  This Finn was fortunate to be cared for by a Finnish nurse who quickly became the love of his life.  And it was she, who was there sitting next to him on that grueling 27-hour flight from Stockholm to here, there, everywhere, and finally to Boston.  However, she and the children, especially the youngest child, were air-sick for much of every flight-time, all the while making those bosses richer ... the bosses of the paper upchuck-bag company!


This Finn, journeying to an unknown land, embodied Finnish 'sisu' (sih' - soo) in many ways. 'Sisu' is guts, determination, perserverance, courage, and resilience, among other qualities. The Finn had fought Russians in his white ski patrol uniform and later while leading other soldiers. He had 5 brothers who died in those wars. He was shot and wounded himself, and ended with a facial disfigurement that he, for the rest of his life, laughed and joked about. He learned the new country's language, read everything he could get his hands on, and continued to make errors in English grammar and pronunciation with his thick Finnish accent until his dying day. But none of this hindered him in creating a successful construction company. The cost, though, was working 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year, many years without a vacation, bidding on jobs, some of which he got and some he didn't. He smoked heavily and had his musculo-skeletal system wrecked by physical labor. Yet he never complained.



Extract Read more Anneli Karniala




MEANDERINGS


The Blazing Sun

Charles Monette


Could sense the blazing sun behind the quietly rising mist to the east.  A lightening, a brightening lifting in dissipation.  One of those heat advisory days: ‘Hey folks, it’s hot.’


Black mountain road showed signs of rains rushing.  Heavy rains rushing swiftly, but no major washouts.  A credit to the road crew.


Hot temps were on my mind as I entered the trailhead engulfed by Tuesday’s sultry morning mist.


Palm Springs    116    Redding, California    105

Phoenix            114    Portland, Oregon        98

Las Vegas        110    Boston                        97

Death Valley    117    NYC                            96

DC                    102   Brattleboro                91


Green trees stood alike… calm, upright-lush in muted defiance of this heated warming.  They had enjoyed the respites of the heavy rains. Yet, I experienced an eerie feeling as I ambled up the trail.  The humid air blanketed the mountain with a heaviness, a weariness that slowed me, fogging my brain as well.  Even though I was walking a lush green mountain, I could sense the hot spots around the earth.  A wall of fire was not about to jump and torch the next ridge, yet the distant fires were palpable, and would make their way here one day.


Pine needles were gathered on the trail in moist clumps.  Small rocks lay washed naked on smooth dirt like sluice in a miner’s pan.  The rains had rushed beside them, washing away grains of dirt clinging to them.  Mushrooms were abounding… white, beige, red and orange.  This trail was getting steeper and more slippery so I decided to turn back before I landed on my keister.  This is the first time I’ve ever used keister in a sentence.  It seems appropriate.  An alternate spelling is keester.  Slang for buttocks or rump, it also defines a satchel or a suitcase.   Well, whaddya know?  I digress.


  Read more of this article by Charles Monette >>>




LOVE IN ACTION


To Have a Piece of Cake

Elizabeth Hill


Recently, while visiting my life-long friend in West Virginia, we went to see a play called “The Cake” that was part of the 2018 Contemporary American Theater Festival in Shepherdstown. The production was wonderful, poignant, hilarious, and thought provoking. Since then, my mind keeps revisiting scenes in all its subtle and not-so-subtle-moments.


Playwright Bekah Brunstetter—born into a conservative North Carolina family—scripted the play at the same time the Supreme Court was grappling with the Masterpiece Cakeshop vs. Colorado Civil Rights Commission case, involving a gay couple having been denied a wedding cake on the basis of the baker’s religious beliefs.


Brunstetter’s play is set in North Carolina. It is a present-day story of a lesbian couple—one, an African American from Brooklyn—the other, a Caucasian hometown girl who, together with her fiancé, came to North Carolina in hopes of getting married there.


As scenes from this play remain in my consciousness, questions that I didn’t anticipate continue to come up in me. For instance, I sometimes make portrait cake toppers for weddings of friends and family. Each one is made with love and care. I gladly make them for all types of relationships, which makes it challenging to step into the shoes of someone who feels they must adhere to beliefs they consider to be religious law.


I ask myself- “Would I agree to create a caketopper for someone whose values and actions strongly oppose mine?” As in the case of the Colorado baker, might I feel that request to be an infringement on my own civil rights?


Each character in “The Cake” tapped a place of empathy in me—enough to open my mind to consider their various points of view.  As the story unfolded, each character was faced with potentially mind-altering challenges.  Unfamiliar ideas about marriage equality, gender roles, race, regional culture, and religious beliefs rattled core beliefs of each one.


Extract Read More Elizabeth Hill >>>




WRITE WALK


Is that You Aunt Helen?

Susan Cruickshank


Her fine white hair, unkempt, was pushed off of her pale, drawn face. She was tucked into crisp white hospital sheets; a thin white blanket had been laid across her shrunken body. Her frail shape, ashen and small, was framed by the white wall that stood behind her. The effect was stark and depressing. The only things that held any colour in the room were her blue eyes. Wide like an owl’s or those of an infant: searching, deep, blank. She stared at me and I stared back.


I didn’t recognize her. 


I didn’t recognize her at all.


Was this Aunt Helen or was this her roommate?  I hadn’t seen my aunt in over 20 years, not since Uncle Paul’s funeral.  She had married into our family, had married my uncle, when they were both in their late-50s; so much of his story had already been lived, and it was easier to lose track of her when he had died. But today on this crisp fall afternoon, when the sun’s light was soft, and the trees were shocked with saturated colour, Aunt Rita, my mother’s sister, and I had made the trek to this long-term care centre in the west-end of Toronto for an overdue visit.


So much time had passed.


I stared hard at this woman, taking in her details when my Aunt Rita, who had been out in the hallway talking to a nurse, entered the room and exclaimed, “Helen!” REALLY? I was stunned; turning my gaze back to this unrecognizable woman, searching even more intently, trying to find something in her face in which my memory was acquainted. 


Nothing.


Extract: Read More Susan Cruickshank >>>




OLD LADY BLOG


IXI by Susan Rothenberg 1977     Flashe and acrylic on canvas


Toni Ortner

From a forthcoming title: Focused Light from a Different Star

In response to women artists of the last two centuries and the work they produced. You can review all 4 entries in Toni Ortner’s current column — here is part 4


Larger than life

without saddle   bridle   rider

the wild horse gallops across the canvas.


Neck outstretched he flashes past like a half remembered image from a dream

like the millions of horses that vanished during the Ice Age at the end of the Pleistocene.


Hoofs pound dirt to dust

layers of thick red paint laid down like blood or rust.


How we love our Appaloosas   Morgans   Quarters . 

We ride   race   breed   tame.

We live in cities where there once were woods and plains.


The glaciers are melting.

Remember the Eohippus and the Caballine.



Read More Toni Ortner >>>




AN A-MUSING LIFE


Letting It Flow

Nanci Bern


I have let my garden go this year. It is growing in wild abandon, ignoring my well placed circles and lines of plantings from years before. It is scoffing at my incessant weeding habits of the past. It has plummeted into extravagant plumes of plants that I had no idea lingered below just waiting to erupt. They sidled up to my perennials with a come hither sway to their leaves, and the party was on.


There is a feeling in this place now that is like an electrical charge. It is scented with the red hot of unexpressed passion. What a panorama for my grounding practice.


Grounding, to me, means to become present to where you are, and to expand toward what is beyond at the same moment. A metaphorical and energetic for some, myself included, cord comes from the very core of the earth and swoons with delight at the fragrance of the loamy touch of where we stand.


It winds through my feet, then my center and out the top of my head, where by now, in lilting strokes of anticipation, this waving ribbon will connect me to the great cosmic dance where it will twirl with the deftness of the accomplished hoofer of the universal ballroom experience. That sentence was as long as the string itself. Ah, solid ground, how you waltz me about. What could be better?


Oh, really big ocean boat, how you unearth me and spin me with your watery sentience. I am upon the deep, wet sea of the great unconscious. I sense Jung lurking about in the briny mist. My rock tethered interior is now unmoored and afloat on the waves. My feet become part of the waters of constant movement. I feel like I can sink into its depths instead of my usual travels through the solidness of earth. It rises to meet me, but this aqueous shindig is dancing me right into the walls, that for some reason keep moving.


My center of gravity has shifted. It needs to be as fluid as the waves that are tussling us about, ever so gently. Continued...


Read more Nanci Bern




ARCHETYPAL HIPPIE SPEAKS


Lessons We Must Learn

Jeri Rose


When I was in the cloud forest of Costa Rica, I experienced personally that the weather was near perfect. The trees were tall and spread their branches forming a roof above which was a continuous layer of clouds. If I got a bit cool, all I had to do was go where one of the giant trees had fallen breaking the continuity of the canopy, and as a result of that one tree being gone, the hole in the canopy produced a hole in the clouds above...the sun came through. I would sit on the trunk of the fallen tree and warm up and once warmed by that extremely hot sun, I would return to be under the canopy where the clouds also existed above and be comfortable again. That experience taught me so much about the inter-dependency of trees, sky and weather.


Read more Jeri Rose >>>




MONKEY’S CLOAK


hell to swelter


Charles Monette


a snowball from hell freezes the Senate floor

fake climate antagonists’ jigs up, cold once more

fossil fuel industries outspend clean energies

tis the season of significant melting


windows of the firmament allow rain from the sky

rogue icebergs calve, tsunamis wave high

Greenpeace glides o’er earth’s gases green

go forth man… resurface the earth and subdue it


Celsius meets Fahrenheit, blacktop bubbles dry

Chino, California 120.2 degrees, climate’s corpus delicti

hectares burn, polly ‘ticians still spurn

extreme heat stuns nations… Japan to Norway


compost gets lost ‘midst organic renewal

god’s spirit dances, waters’ face flows cruel

7th day’s rest awakens to let there be light…

warmer air, drier land warns somethin’ ain’t right


scorching heatwaves’ droughts, floods, fires throughout

‘that ain’t cool’, heaven’s sapphire shouts…

even Plato’s cave offers little reprieve

All in the plan, this land was made for you and me




THE FIRST GLASS


Sleeping With Herodotus


Vincent Panella


There's a Hemingway story called Now I Lay Me in which he fears sleeping at night ever since he was struck by a mortar during World War I – ‘blown up’  as he puts it. To fall asleep in darkness would cause his soul “to fly out of his body,’ that is, he would die. To stay awake he remembers a trout stream he's fished, pool to pool; he remembers fish caught and lost; he recalls looking under rocks and rotten logs for anything that will stay on a hook – grubs, worms, grasshoppers, and once a salamander whose tiny feet clutched the hook so desperately that his like was never used again. Hemingway returns to the attic in the house where he was born and examines jars of snakes and assorted specimens left by his father. Finally he thinks of the people he knows and says two prayers for each. By then it’s daylight and he can sleep.


For those of us with the opposite problem, how not to stay awake, the process is the same. In repetitious memory the insomniac must drift off without knowing it. And for those who haven’t fished for trout or observed the suffering of a salamander, who don’t have enough friends for the final prayers, good thoughts must be found. When waking up at three a.m. to the world's evil we need a strategy. Read More >>>




WATER’S EDGE


Maine morning

Nicola Metcalf


I walk the dogs back from Nickerkane Island, across the bridge, in the early morning. I have had coffee but nothing else, face unwashed, just getting the dogs out for their business. It is overcast and recently rained hard in the earlier hours while we were still in bed. A man has backed his truck up to the shed with all the lobsters pots hanging on it, next to the old tub with several colors of painting peeling off it in a lively mosaic. He is looking across the inlet thinking, and considering his options. As I start to ascend the hill, he surprises me by suddenly saying, without looking at me, “You’ve convinced me that it’s not going to rain today.” I reply, “really?” (as I’m not yet convinced), and he says,  “Yes.” He starts to unload lobsters pots off the back of his truck. Nothing more said.


Image: “Island School by Penny Markley”


Read more Nicola Metcalf >>>




SELECTED LETTERS


How Can an Educated Person be Poor in Our Affluent Society?


Anonymous


Magazine policy is not to publish anonymous letters.

Exceptionally, if the writer is identified to the publisher or editor, a anonymous contribution is warranted. This is one.


Some people are born into poverty, and never get out. Others, like me, slid down into it, like quicksand. I was raised by a loving mother and father who inculcated me with the Work Ethnic. After academic success (SAT 1600), and five degrees in completely different fields, (including a PhD) I lived a comfortable life in the suburbs of Santa Monica, San Francisco, Atlanta, Philadelphia, NJ, and NY.  Vacations in Europe, Canada, Florida, Las Vegas, and the Bahamas, and many foreign sports cars were all part of my lifestyle. I quit several excellent positions, (IBM, etc.) to explore interesting opportunities in a variety of fields. Lack of focus and multiple marriages were contributing factors.


I am now almost eighty years old, and don’t have more than $50 in my checking or savings account! I am not homeless, but I would be if I had not found a small room I could afford on my small Social Security check. Financially, I am poor. There have been times when the checking account was overdrawn, and I didn’t have more than $5.00! Emotionally and spiritually, I am in good health.


So where are my savings? Why don’t I have any money or property? Didn’t I save at least 10% a year? What about my pensions, (Never stayed on a job more than 3 years.) my 401-K, my Home Equity, my stocks or bonds, my Roth IRA account? Didn’t I wait until I was 70 before I began to collect my Social Security? (Had to take it at 62 to get on Medicare for health insurance.)


The truth is I lived on the edge. I was always being offered exciting positions and innovative opportunities, I was on a roll, and the finite nature of my lifestyle rarely struck me. I was busy educating three daughters and thought my PhD and great friends would provide a cushion in my older years. Being a leader in extensive community activities nationwide also occupied much of my life. As I got older and less employable, I used up all of my retirement savings to cover expenses. All three children attended Montessori schools! One went to a private elementary school in Langley, Virginia for the children of diplomats. Another passed intelligence tests to attend the Kindergarten for the children of the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania. For the third child we moved to Moorestown, New Jersey (Ranked #1 in the United States by Money Magazine as “The best place to live in America.”) for her to attend the most prestigious elementary school in the state. All went to college, but had to drop out because I could not afford to continue to pay their tuitions. Luckily, they are all now have professional positions, and are finishing up on their degrees on their own. read more of this letter and other letters to Vermont Views >>>




SCREENplay


Ten-Minute Plays

Lawrence Klepp


The annual Ten-Minute Play Festival at the Actors Theatre Playhouse in Chesterfield, N.H., one of the most engaging summer theater offerings in the area (and in one of the most picturesque locations), has come up with a particularly good crop of mini-plays this year, seven in all.


My favorite this time was David Sussman’s Film Appreciation, in which a young woman named Trisha (Stephanie Globus-Hoenich) meets Brian (Ryan Buck) at a Fellini film. She begins to notice that his whole conversation, including seductive overtures, consists of film dialogue… “I’ll have what she’s having”… “Go ahead, make my day”... “I’m making you an offer you can’t refuse,” etc. But she falls for him anyway, until she can’t stand the unrelieved life-as-a-movie anymore and asks him to leave. Then she dates three other guys (all played by Ian Hefele). One is a musician obsessed with jazz standards who talks in song titles (“Nice work if you can get it,” etc.). She promptly drops him, and the next guy is an actor who is all Shakespeare allusions, and finally an abstracted young man who communicates only in philosophical concepts and quotes. She concludes that men, who can’t help framing everything in the language of their obsessions, are just weird. And maybe life is a movie after all, so she goes back to the film guy, who remarks, “The troubles of two little people don’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world,” adding, “And stop calling me Shirley!” (channeling, respectively, Casablanca and Airplane).


Damien Licata is outstanding in two other plays, John Greiner-Ferris’s Taking Up Space (where he’s paired with Cris Parker Jennings) and Tom Coash’s Kamasutra (with Carrie Kidd). <extract>


Read More SCREENplay




VERMONT DIARY


Don’t free Tibet, yet

Editorial


Reports from the Himalayas on Tibetans are varied, but rarely edifying..  George Schaller recognized by many as the world's preeminent field biologist, in reports from the fringes of Tibetan tribes outside the orb of the Chinese, offered that the women could be smelled from 30 feet away because of the rancid yak butter in their hair; their children frost and wind burned with constant runny noses and filthy from head to foot, and the men anodyne shepards, these groups having escaped the attention away from the influence of the organized state to a ‘natural’ one.


Then there is Peter Caddy, co-founder of the Findhorn Foundation in Northern Scotland, describing Tibet as a ‘death –culture.’


What then to make of the ‘Free Tibet’ bumper sticker?


Research indicates that on the eve of the Chinese invasion of the country in  1949/1950 life expectancy averaged 33 years. If you were a woman this would be lower since there was no western medicine to ameliorate birthing difficulties, and the reader may imagine average age at which children are orphaned. Best would be about 17 years, but likely averaged 8.


This year the average life-span of Tibetans has exactly doubled to 66 years.


Read More Vermont Diary >>>




IN BETWEEN


Searching For All the Moments We Put on Hold

Julia Ferrari


Regarding that need to search for those lost moments in my life, I feel almost as if, in finding them I could re-live those moments of vitality and immediacy from the past. I could imagine finding them one by one, and re-living them. That ordinary sunny day at lunch, when the cat stretched in the warm southern exposure, that conversation during a long car ride filled with imaginative ideas about future books. I liked having someone to share my day-to-day existence, giving and sharing purpose. So what is my purpose now? I’m not sure anymore, except to maintain, to stay afloat, to keep my head above water until I see the Island in the distance. Glimpses, glimpses …


Read more Julia Ferrari




OPEN MIND


So what is Donald Trump

Offie Wortham


Your meeting with President Trump

Try to imagine that you are at a very high-class social gathering with your companion and you get into a conversation with Donald Trump. He will most likely be uninterested in events in either of your lives. He will tell you about his recent accomplishments, and plans for future adventures. If you are a male, he might lean over and whisper in your ear about how he would “like to grab the pussy” of that beautiful woman across the room. He might also brag about some of his many extra-marital affairs and how one of his mistresses, Marla Maples, was “The best sex I ever had.” If you are not shocked enough to excuse yourself from his presence, he will continue the one-sided conversation for perhaps another half hour.


He might talk about the success of his reality TV program, The Apprentice. Reviews now say that the ‘reality’ in Trump’s reality TV wasn’t real. “In every episode he acted out dramas of control over submissive contestants seeking his favor, wilting at his denial of it and fawning at his approval. Under Trump, winning was the road to serfdom. The subtext was pathos, not only on the part of the supplicants but also in the boss’s trademark phrase, ‘You’re fired.’ No matter how many people Trump rejected, he couldn’t force his own acceptance.”


According to the highly respected psychiatrist Robert Jay Lifton, and hundreds of other mental health professionals, “President Trump exhibits malignant narcissism, a sociopathy, paranoia, a delusional detachment from reality, and more. He has delusional levels of grandiosity, impulsivity, and the compulsions of mental impairment. He has a detachment from reality”, and of “a hypomanic temperament” (restless, impatient, easily bored, supremely confident, impulsive, and risk-taking with a minuscule attention span). He is also an extreme present hedonist who lives in the moment “without much thought of any consequences of his actions or of the future” and says “whatever it will take to pump up his ego and to assuage his inherent low self-esteem, without any thought for past reality.” It doesn’t take a psychiatrist to notice that our president is mentally compromised, with his furious tirades, conspiracy fantasies, and aversion to facts and attraction to violence.


<extract>    Read More Offie Wortham >>>



WRITE ON !


In Light of Pee

Nicola Metcalf


As a Quaker, we talk a lot about seeking “the light”, usually from within.  That can be within oneself or another person. When I went to India, my noticed my perception of light changing.  What I became aware of (in addition to dark poverty, dirt and garbage) was the light without.  When landing in Dubai en route to Chennai (not India but getting close) the lights sparkled with more brilliance than other airports I have visited.  I sat in the Matrimandir Temple in Auroville with its single beam of sunlight penetrating the space as a reminder to concentrate.   Warm inviting sunshine embraced me while swimming in the Bay of Bengal.  I delighted in the eye catching colors of saried women riding scooters sidesaddle.   We ogled necklaces layered thick in glittering gold in an upscale jewelry store.  The indian love of bright reflective things was in the atmosphere all around me.  One day stands out in this experience in particular.


It had been a long day of sightseeing in Tiravunamalai, southern India.  We had risen at 4:30 am to circumambulate 8 miles around the base of Aranuchala Mountain, visiting 8 small temples along the way.


Read More Nicola Metcalf >>>




SCREENplay


The Darkest Hour

Lawrence Klepp

...replacing Neville Chamberlain. R.A. Butler, a Tory politician in the Foreign Office, called him “a half-breed American whose main support was inefficient but talkative people of a similar type.” It was whispered that he was vulgar, he was a drunkard, he was unreliable.


It is hard to realize now how much Churchill, the enduring emblem of indomitable British fortitude and tradition, was distrusted and disdained at the time by most of the British establishment.





100 YEARS AGO


January 1918

Vermont Views

January – 1918 flu pandemic: "Spanish 'flu" (influenza) first observed in Haskell County, Kansas.






GUEST ARTCLE


LETTERS FROM CUBA #15

Some sentences from Cuba

Mac Gander

It is dawn in La Habana and I am listening to Bob Marley’s “Rebel Music” as my wife Shanta sleeps in the next room and I mark the end of our third week here. One week to go. Travel is exhausting. There is no moment in which one does not wish to be awake.


I am thinking of the opening trope in Denis Johnson’s “Fiskadoro,” where he invokes Marley as one of the three great gods still left in the Florida Keys after a nuclear holocaust, a book that ends with a war-ship returning to those shores after a 90-year quarantine, from Cuba, a grey ship that is taller than the sky.





GUEST ARTICLE


LETTERS FROM CUBA #12

What lies beneath: Our stories our ghosts

Shanta Lee Gander

Who came first?  Europa or Europe?  With some research, I could get an answer, but the story of a girl who keeps dreaming about two continents fighting over her and who meets her fate and immortality with a God turned beautiful bull is an old one









SPECIAL FEATURE


A Dance with Hermes

Ken Masters

‘Into this hallowed room (I remember a gratifying visiting Professor of Logic, who, whilst debunking “Eastern Philosophy”, and cutting short his fourteen pages of definitions of “consciousness”, waved his arms in the air, inviting in the energy to energise the very expression of his de-bunking – which intangibility I can not possibly recognise, classify, or exonerate) came one Lindsay Clarke, propagating one irritatingly intangible “(A Dance With) Hermes”, full of vital “presence”, whom I hoped I had seen off aeons ago.






URBAN NATURALIST


“...spanning 6 1/2 to 7 feet”

Lloyd Graf


Chipmunks, needing a position suited for chastising the lumpen bipeds who invade their territories by walking the Sanctuary trail have dug a burrow right by the trail-head entry post






NOW, HERE, THIS!


Welcome to mid-August!

Vermont Views


On the other hand, no need to water the garden.








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