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Vermont Views Magazine

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Recent

Features,

Articles

&

Columns


Meanderings

Mud bumps of April

Charles Monette


The First Glass

Speech to the congregation

Vincent Panella


Write Walk

Mud

Susan Cruickshank


Love In Action

Red-Handed

Elizabeth Hill


Finnish Fandango

TO READ OR NOT TO READ!

Anneli Karniala


Archetypal Hippie Speaks

Division Tactics

Jeri Rose


SCREENplay

Wildlife

Lawrence Klepp


World & US Energy News

Environment there and here, Special Report by Phil Innes

Phil Innes


Old Lady Blog

Trapped, part II

Toni Ortner


Urban Naturalist

A Loud and Colorful Advance Party Marks the End of Hogle Sanctuary's Winter Silence

Lloyd Graf


Monkey’s Cloak

And Still

Phil Innes


Open Mind

What is Trump’s “Base”?

Offie Wortham


Old Lady Blog

Trapped

Toni Ortner


Water’s Edge

Two Knives

Nicola Metcalf


Love In Action

Dance Everybody Dance

Elizabeth Hill


Open Mind

Why are 380 people in prison in Vermont without a trial?

Offie Wortham


SCREENplay

At Eternity’s Gate

Lawrence Klepp


Monkey’s Cloak

All’s relative

Charles Monette


Meanderings

February thermoplasticity

Charles Monette


Finnish Fandango

SAFETY IN NUMBERS?

Anneli Karniala


Archetypal Hippie Speaks

Lessons We Must Learn

Jeri Rose


SCREENplay

Stan and Ollie

Lawrence Klepp


in between

What In your Life

is Calling You?

Julia Ferarri


Love In Action

ElizaVanGoghbeth

Elizabeth Hill


Monkey’s Cloak

Kairos

Phil Innes


Write Walk

The Newfane Hill

Walking Club

Susan Cruickshank


Write On!

Unpacking Weaponized Masculinity

Greg Hessel


Vermont Diary

Five Chill Words


From The Archive

Evolution of democracy from economy to ecology


Water’s Edge

Ruminations on Kale

Nicola Metcalf


Vermont Diary

490 — a Record!


Vermont Diary

Caravanserai


Write Walk

Auld Lang Syne

Susan Cruickshank


Monkey’s Cloak

Ultima thule

Charles Monette


Open Mind

Transcultural Awareness Dining

Offie Wortham


Love In Action

A Ladybug’s New Year

Elizabeth Hill


An A-musing Life

One Moment, Please

Nanci Bern


Open Mind

Secret Voting in Congress, The Answer to the Gridlock

Offie Wortham


FOODISH

Scandinavian Christmas Dishes

Feature Article

Anneli Karniala


Vermont Diary

Newz and the perennial season


Meanderings

Sunday quiet

Charles Monette


Finnish Fandango

WHAT'S THE RUSH?

Anneli Karniala


in between

An Encroaching Lawlessness

Julia Ferarri


Water’s Edge

Morning on the Mountain

Nicola Metcalf


Old Lady Blog

For the gardener who is gone

Toni Ortner


Meanderings

Moments of Silence

Charles Monette


Write Walk

Shower Etiquette

Susan Cruickshank


Love In Action

Choosing Hope

Elizabeth Hill


Monkey’s Cloak

Walls Have Ears

Alan Rayner


SCREENplay

Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Lawrence Klepp


Water’s Edge

Italian Impressions

Nicola Metcalf


Urban Naturalist

An Austere Hogle Sanctuary Sleeps in Beneath a Chill Sunday Morning Sun

Lloyd Graf


Write Walk

Apple Cottage Cheese Pancakes

Susan Cruickshank


Open Mind

Why do we really have a drug problem in Vermont?

Offie Wortham


SCREENplay

Colette

Lawrence Klepp


Love In Action

Of Home

Elizabeth Hill


Monkey’s Cloak

a rainbow swirling jet stream

Charles Monette


Finnish Fandango

Apple-bobbing and Remembering the Dead

Anneli Karniala


An A-musing Life

Witch Hat To Wear

Nanci Bern


Write On!

TYRANT!

Phil Innes


The First Glass

TEXAS TOAST, VOLUNTEERING FOR BETO — Parts I & 2

Vincent Panella


Vermont Diary

Has Bean Has Travelled


Meanderings

Apache foggy morning

Charles Monette


Love In Action

Spiritual Smorgasbord for Soul Sisters

Elizabeth Hill


Finnish Fandango

BUT (YOU SAY) IT'S ONLY A BOOK !

Anneli Karniala


Write Walk

Where’s the Gravy?

Susan Cruickshank


Vermont Diary

Twelve Good Men


World & US Energy News

Just one day in the energy life of the planet

September 2018

George Harvey


Selected Letters

Why I chose to look ugly, and the reasoning behind it.

Susan Polgar


SCREENplay

The Wife

Lawrence Klepp


FOODISH

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Dates and Balsamic Vinegar

Feature Article


Finnish Fandango

Got Milk? --

Not this kind, you don't!

Anneli Karniala


The First Glass

Typewriter days

Vincent Panella


Meanderings

Beyond the bees

Charles Monette


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


Part 5 The Artist’s Wife in the Garden at Skagen 1893


Part 6 Gathering Paradise, Sandy Skoglund, 1991,

color Cibachrome photograph


Part 7 The Savage Sparkler, Alice Aycock, 1981, steel, sheet metal, heating coils, florescent lights, motors and fans

Toni Ortner


Water’s Edge

A Touch is All it Takes

Nicola Metcalf


Write Walk

Ladies I Need Your Help

Susan Cruickshank


Gallery One

#1 Sennen

#2 Surfing at Portreath

#3 Air Mail?

#4 Tall Ship at the Brixham Pirate Fest

#5 You can’t have a pirate ship without pirates

Anne Lenten, Ed.


Love In Action

Rainbow Connections

Elizabeth Hill


Vermont Diary

Woodier


Urban Naturalist

Blink little fire-beetle, flash and glimmer

Lloyd Graf


yore

Gardner Motor Cars

Feature Article


Monkey’s Cloak

You Can’t Do That

Charles Monette


Selected Letters

How To Evaporate Hate?

Black Panther meets Klansman

Offie Wortham and Curtiss Reed Jr.


in between

Losing the Garden

Julia Ferarri


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


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


Monkey’s Cloak

Untitled

Phil Innes


Vermont Diary

Like a Dan Shore Report


Love In Action

My Weekend with Lenny

Elizabeth Hill


The First Glass

This Poet Walks Into A Bar...

Vincent Panella


SCREENplay

Lady Bird

Lawrence Klepp


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


SCREENplay

Their Finest

Lawrence Klepp


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


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


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


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


The First Glass

For the Birds

Vincent Panella


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


Major Sponsors


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PHOTO OF THE DAY


Running on top of the water

A play by Charles Monette

Photo:  times of performances at the Hooker Dunham Theatre


A good review of the play written by Vermont Views columnist Charles Monette appears in this week’s Commons, as reviewed by Jerry Levy.


The play on Robert Lowell is something pert for the life of our times, suggests Dr. Levy.



PASSAGES


Thomas Hardy

Text selections by Vermont Views


I am the family face; Flesh perishes, I live on, Projecting trait and trace Through time to times anon, And leaping from place to place Over oblivion. [Suicide note by a boy who killed himself and his two younger siblings:] Done because we are too menny.


Time changes everything except something within us which is always surprised by change.


If Galileo had said in verse that the world moved, the inquisition might have let him alone.


The sudden disappointment of a hope leaves a scar which the ultimate fulfillment of that hope never entirely removes.


If way to the better there be, it exacts a full look at the worst.


“Justice” was done, and the President of the Immortals (in Aeschylean phrase) had ended his sport with Tess.


It is difficult for a woman to define her feelings in language which is chiefly made by men to express theirs.


Yes; quaint and curious war is! You shoot a fellow down You’d treat if met where any bar is, Or help to half-a-crown.


Though a good deal is too strange to be believed, nothing is too strange to have happened.


Read more PASSAGES >>>


Recent Passages By: Thomas Hardy, John Ruskin, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Amy Lowell, Bernardo Bertolucci, Buffy Sainte-Marie, John Keats, David Niven - Actor, David Niven - PhD, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Joan Didion, Pablo Casals, Geoffrey Chaucer, Muddy Waters, Aretha Franklin, Dorothy Maclean Read their work here




VERMONT AUTHORS REVIEWED


Robin MacArthur,

Heart Spring Mountain.

Harper Collins: Ecco, 2018

Reviewed by Laura Stevenson


A Compelling Vermont Novel from Robin MacArthur


As Heart Spring Mountain opens, Tropical Storm Irene is raging through southern Vermont. Bonnie, long a heroin addict, shoots up and walks out into the storm to stand on a bridge, watching the torrent rise and shouting her exhilaration to her long-absent daughter, Vale. Far away in New Orleans, Vale gets a late-night call from Vermont; her aunt ("a near stranger"), tells her that a bridge has collapsed, and her mother has been missing for eight hours. Vale hasn't phoned Bonnie for two months, hasn't seen her since she left home eight years before, but she returns to Vermont and starts looking for Bonnie. Her search gradually draws her into her larger family, which has lived on Heart Spring Mountain since 1803. MacArthur gracefully dispenses with such novelistic props as letters, photograph albums, or diaries, and instead lets three generations of that family speak for themselves in short, interlaced chapters, each carefully dated. We follow the 1956 first-person narrative of Lena, who lives in her grandfather's hunting cabin with her one-eyed owl, Otie. We follow the dementia-tinged 2011 narrative of Hazel, Lena's 90-year-old sister, the owner of the farmhouse the family's ancestors built in the early nineteenth century. We meet Deb, gradually piecing together her progress from a hippie commune in 1974, through her marriage to Hazel's son Stephen, to the present, where she becomes Vale's compassionate anchor and Hazel's nurse. In the book's two center sections, which contain wonderfully intricate plotting, the present-tense historical narratives from the mid-twentieth century combine with Vale's search to reveal long hidden family secrets. Be forewarned: the gradual, subtle revelation of these secrets is best appreciated by readers who jot down family names and relationships as they read along.


The resulting book, like MacArthur's 2016 short story collection Half Wild, portrays a Vermont little known to outsiders. Here again, we find women living in cabins, shacks, and trailers with no running water and seldom-running cars. It also portrays a Vermont that is largely unfamiliar even to Vermont "natives." The non-chronological sequence of the chapters demonstrates the value of the Abenaki mindset that Vale finds in Evan Pritchard's book No Word For Time, in which past and future are important primarily in how they relate to "now." <extract, read on>


Read the full review and other reviewed titles in this column.

The Devil in the Valley — Castle Freeman, Jr.

Vermont Exit Ramps II — Neil Shepard and Anthony Reczek

Half Wild: Stories — Robin MacArthur

A Refugee's Journey: A Memoir — Walter Hess

Vermont Non-GMO Cookbook — Tracey Medeiros

Robin MacArthur, Heart Spring Mountain.




NOT QUITE THE THING

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SHORTS


Nurses, Immigrants, Religion, & forget the Almond Milk

Vermont Views


STATISTIC: Nurses remain the most revered of 20 occupations rated for their honesty and ethics. Members of Congress and telemarketers are the least revered. — Gallup


STATISTIC: In contrast to most prior refugee situations, Americans are more likely to approve (51%) than disapprove (43%) of letting Central American refugees into the U.S. — Gallup


STATISTIC: Seventy-two percent of Americans say religion is important to them, but few think its influence on U.S. life is increasing, and a record-low 46% say it can solve most problems — Gallup


STATISTIC: What people don’t know is the environmental damage almond plantations are doing in California, and the water cost. It takes a bonkers 1,611 US gallons (6,098 litres) to produce 1 litre of almond milk,” says the Sustainable Restaurant Association’s Pete Hemingway. Over 80% of the world’s almonds are grown in California, which has been in severe drought for most of this decade.


Read More shorts



MEANDERINGS


Mud bumps of April

Charles Monette


Driving northwest on Black Mountain road, I soon encountered the Mud bumps of April heaving & bumping my car to a slow avoidance of their bounce.  The road dried to meet me as I climbed higher towards the mount.  Stay to the right, skirt ‘round the middle, slow down, and roll along.


Up at the head gates of the trail, the dirt road was dry, slandering in the sun.  A good day for it!  April 17th was the finest day yet to return to the surprisingly un-soggy solace of the woods.  Twas dry up there!


Walking west, the 1st grey stone wall was sunning lighted gray exactly where I’d left it.  Well, it might’ve moved a little.  Looked a little older and tired, or perhaps just reflecting my gaze.


Thought I’d go somewhere new today, visit a section of mountain I hadn’t been.  So, I stayed right at the left fork, and was soon in unfamiliar territory.  Shadows abounded in the tree, leafless forest. Thoughts of film noir, femme fatales danced in my head.  The black n’ white blinds of Double Indemnity, brown leaves striped by dry black branches astride a dead tree.  I stopped for a minute clocked by the noonday shadow.


The shadows were dark and dangerous.  The muted dead brown leaves lay quiet beneath them.  Such a thin fine line… coolness out of sun imperceptible.


<extract> Read more of this and other articles by Charles Monette >>>



THE FIRST GLASS


Speech to the congregation

Vincent Panella


Palm Sunday, 2019, Centre Congregational Church, Brattleboro.


This is my short speech to the congregation as a Loaves and Fishes volunteer.


Good morning, and thank you. My name is Vincent Panella, and I’m a retired teacher and a writer. I’ve been living in Vermont since 1976. I volunteer at Loaves and Fishes for the Friday meal – as you know we also serve a meal on Tuesdays.


So, if I were to tell you what it’s like to work there, I’d like to characterize it in a few words – so let’s say, satisfying, inspiring, and tiring. Satisfying because I’m lucky enough to be able to give up one day a week to a good cause. Inspiring because this is a tangible way of adding some good to a world lacking in compassion. Tiring because one never stops moving until the last fork is put away.


Growing up in an Italian family in which food was a part of physical and mental sustenance, it was natural when I looked around for a place to volunteer that I would gravitate to the kitchen.


So with all that said, let me try to describe my day on a job from eight in the morning to one or one-thirty in the afternoon, a job in which it’s impossible for me to describe every thing I do – but I will try.


When I arrive at the kitchen at eight or so, Ruth and Phil and John and Josie are already cooking the soup and meat courses and preparing desserts and planning for the day’s meal and for next Tuesday‘s meal as well. I have evolved into the salad bar and prep man. The first thing to do after talking with Ruth and the others about what to prepare, is to check the walk-in cooler and whatever food has been donated from the supermarkets and local businesses like Amy’s and the coop. We also set up a coffee bar for early arrivals, which are usually people who just like to hang out or come in from the cold, but who also help with whatever jobs they’re willing to do or offer to do.


<extract>  Read More >>>



WRITE WALK


Mud

Susan Cruickshank


I thought I knew mud in Vermont.  


When living in Newfane, a dirt road takes me up and down a hill––a hill that city folks would call a treacherous mountain––to get to my little nook in the woods. I know about trenches of wet earth that threaten to take out the innards of my car if I don’t navigate my path with steely precision. Quicksand roads that turn my vehicle into a bumper car, pulling it right and left, higgly-piggly; roads that would challenge even the most competent of drivers.


Holding the steering wheel steady as the mud plays tug-of-war with the wheels for control, I’ve learned about the fine line between ‘gunning it,’ to take advantage of physics’ momentum, and when to drive real slow in order to avoid the deep-rutted walls that stand at attention like imposing citadels ready to carve out the bottom of my car like an advancing glacier. Mud in all its mess and dirt is a formidable opponent that requires its challengers to bring all of themselves when entering into mud’s domain – honed reflexes, grit and nerve, along with a touch of bravado. All of these are required before stepping behind the wheel to face the shifting road.


My intense dislike of this mighty foe has grown over the years, that is, until this year when awareness opened. 


After a particularly grueling trip down and back up Newfane Hill one March day, I dispatched a text to a friend and neighbor who would be returning that evening after being away for a week, to warn her of the dire driving conditions. When she returned without incident, she reported that the roads had improved dramatically since she had left. 


<Extract> Read More Susan Cruickshank >>>



LOVE IN ACTION


Elizabeth Hill


A friend is one who thinks you are a good egg even if you are half-cracked.

~Anonymous


I admit it was mostly my fault. My friend Michelle and I had cooked up the whole ridiculous idea which—to us at fourteen—seemed like an exciting secret adventure even though it was a bit out of character for two goody-two-shoes girls like we were. In order to pull it off, she stayed overnight at my house. The house was very small, so to be allowed to have a friend stay over was, in itself, a very rare event.


It was warm outside that night. Michelle and I stayed in my room and pretended to be asleep until my parents settled down in their bedroom next to mine. Once Dad started snoring loudly enough to cover our whispers—sometime after two a.m.—Michelle and I tip-toed into the kitchen and filled up the hoods and pockets of our summer jackets with apples and oranges.


Our plan was to walk ten miles south to the town where two of our regional bused-in classmates lived—one boy named Rich—with whom Michelle was completely smitten, the other, a short-term crush for me.


Once ready with our fruit and flashlight, we snuck out the back door and into the night. Giggling much of the way, we crossed town, dodging in and out of hiding every time a car passed by. We successfully made it through the business district and nearly to the opposite end of town where we would get on the main thoroughfare- less than a mile and a half from where we started.


It was then that a police car pulled up next to us. The officer got out of his car and asked us what on earth we were doing, being out at that time of night! As he began to lecture us about the dangers of the night, I could see that his patrol car was rolling backwards down the slanted street where he caught us.


Extract Read More Elizabeth Hill >>>



Finnish Fandango


TO READ OR NOT TO READ!

Anneli Karniala


My sister taught me how to read before I started first grade.I remember so clearly sitting beside her on that couch with the flowered cushions and wooden arm rests in West Barnstable. She was six years older. And I was agog that she could read those school books, because I wanted to read also -- just like she could!


[Caption: Painting by Jean-Honoré Fragonard, 1770-72] When she was finished with her homework, she'd have me sit next to her and she'd put a ruler under a line of words in her textbook. I recall that I liked her geography book a lot. She patiently had me sound out syllables of words, correcting when necessary the breaking-the-rule rules of the English language, the letters that are there but are silent, the stress on certain syllables, the words that sound alike but don't look alike. It was all so amazing. And I learned....I learned to read, and never stopped after that.


And this was my sister who knew not a word of English when we immigrated to the United States from Finland when she was 8 years old! She went on to be a member of the National Honor Society in high school with super high grades. Then upon graduation, and with several scholarships in hand, she attended one of the prestigious Seven Sisters Colleges in Massachusetts. Pretty awesome for a little girl with long braids from the old country who couldn't speak English! 


Of course, one of the drawbacks of having a smart sister always happened on the first day of school for me. The new teacher for that year would go down the list of names on roll call, get to my name, invariably mispronouncing it, but also saying, "Oh, are you Mirja's sister?"  And of course I'd have to say yes, but always feeling like I wasn't "me" to the teacher, but was always "Mirja's sister". Oh well, that's one of the little-sister hangups in life, isn't it!


Extract Read more Anneli Karniala



ARCHETYPAL HIPPIE SPEAKS


Division Tactics

Jeri Rose


If you think being a Jew is different from being any other human group,whether you were born a Jew or not, you are a racist. The same goes for thinking that women are significantly differently from men. It is sexism to think the sexes are significantly different from one another in the essence of being human. Sure we can analyze and codify differences among people. We can note differences in bone structure between those from Europe and those from Africa. These differences arise from isolated genetic breeding. However, there is only a basic experience of reality that is human and our literature and art express our sameness, even though our societies have differences, as humans, we display a commonality of experience that marks us as one human race.


It does not matter if you think some group is better or worse. It is racism to think that we are different in some essential way from one another. Racism is not necessarily a bad thing as a conveyor of hate; it is simply wrong. There is one human race expressed as male and female. There are people who hypothesize that keeping people divided in their concept of how we think about each other, serves the purposes of those who rule us. I think that might be true; however, looking at human interactions, we see that the separation point of view may arise from within ourselves whether or not it is abetted by those who have control of media and the encouragement of our societal considerations.


Babies are born with temperament for fearing what is new or curiosity to explore what is new. They exhibit these traits before they are socialized to express them. Thus I posit that both ways of responding to the world are natural to us and based in aspects that promote survival. Being wary keeps one alive but so does curiosity. The conservative and the liberal are both valid viewpoints and can add to human civilization.


<extract> Read more Jeri Rose >>>



SCREENplay


Wildlife

Lawrence Klepp


Wildlife, the directorial debut of the actor Paul Dano, came and went quietly early this year, but it’s now available on streaming platforms, and it’s worth pursuing if you have a chance. In a year of outstanding female performers—Glenn Close, Olivia Colman, Viola Davis, Rachel Weisz, among others—the riveting work by Carey Mulligan in this film was largely overlooked. Based on a Richard Ford novel, the movie is set in a small town in Montana in 1960. The town, like many small Western towns, has a bleak, windswept, middle-of-nowhere ambience, but there’s a soaring mountain backdrop that is impressive in itself and lends the film a pathos of distance, a sense that life, or happiness, may be just over the horizon.


Mulligan and Jake Gyllenhaal play Jeanette and Jerry Brinson, a working-class couple in their mid-30s with a 14-year-old son, Joe (Ed Oxenbould). The family is barely making it financially but seems united and happy. But then Jerry gets fired from his job at a country club, having joined several members, at their invitation, for an off-hours game of golf and a drink afterward, thus violating club protocols. Jeanette, always smiling, always encouraging, is at first optimistic. She’s sure Jerry will quickly find another job. And, if necessary, she could work part-time, and they might move to a cheaper house, one even smaller and more nondescript than the one they’re renting.


<extract> Read More SCREENplay



WORLD & US ENERGY NEWS


Environment there and here

Special Environmental report by Phil Innes — Column George Harvey


In Iceland:

¶ Katrin Jakobsdottir, the 41-year-old chairwoman of the Left-Green Movement, has been elected Prime Minister of Iceland. One of the most well-liked politicians in Iceland, Katrín, a former education minister and avowed environmentalist, has pledged to set Iceland on the path to carbon neutrality by 2040. As Iceland’s fourth prime minister in only two years, Katrín will take office at a time when national politics have been tainted by public distrust and scandal. A democratic socialist, Katrín is viewed as a bridge-building leader that may lead the country towards positive, incremental change. “She is the party leader who can best unite voters from the left and right,” said Eva H. Onnudottir, a political scientist at the University of Iceland, according to the New York Times. “Because this coalition includes parties from the left to the right, their work will be more about managing the system instead of making ‘revolutionary’ changes.”


In an era when climate change is making it necessary for countries around the world to implement sustainable energy solutions, Iceland presents a unique situation. ... The story of Iceland's transition from fossil fuels may serve as an inspiration to other countries seeking to increase their share of renewable energy.


About 85% of all houses in Iceland are heated with geothermal energy. ... Renewable energy provided almost 100% of electricity production, with about 73% coming from hydropower and 27% from geothermal power.



In the USA:

¶ President Trump's first EPA Administrator, Scott Pruitt, resigned effective July 6, 2018, amid a series of scandals. Deputy Administrator Andrew Wheeler, a former coal industry lobbyist, started serving as acting administrator on July 9, 2018. Wheeler was confirmed as EPA Administrator on February 28, 2019.


The mission of EPA is to protect human health and the environment. EPA's purpose is to ensure that: ... the United States plays a leadership role in working with other nations to protect the global environment.


The EPA has 14,172 employees, and has a budget of $8,200,000,000.


<extract> Read More World & US Energy News



OLD LADY BLOG


Trapped part II

Toni Ortner

  

I don’t know how long I stood in the middle of the corridor watching the doors opening one by one.  The doors did not open sequentially. They opened at random every few minutes. Each time a door opened a person emerged either in a wheelchair or on crutches or using a walker.  Some of the wheelchairs were designed so the person sitting in it could move along the corridor without help. They all were moving in the same direction that led away from the entrance. If I wanted to get out of the mall, I had better walk against the traffic and move from where I stood at Door l03 down to Door l. I told myself to keep calm and not to panic.


There was a pretty young woman with long dark hair tied up in a bun with a blue ribbon that was being pushed along. I thought she must have multiple sclerosis; she was humming a tune and drumming her fingers on the arms of the wheelchair. I was right in front of her so she must see me. I waved hello, but she looked at me and through me. Not a single resident seemed to be aware of anyone else. Each inhabited his or her own world. They were acclimated to physical decline. 


I walked and walked and was up to Door 56 when a buzzer sounded, and then an alarm went off. The people who were walking scurried quickly back into their rooms. Door slammed, and within a few minutes I was alone again. <extract>


Read More Toni Ortner >>>




URBAN NATURALIST


A Loud and Colorful Advance Party Marks the End of Hogle Sanctuary's Winter Silence

Lloyd Graf


<extracts> Finally there are signs that the figurative bird repellent is beginning to wear off. Vultures appeared in Sanctuary and town skies in the 2'd week of March, and quickly became a welcome, if delayed roosting presence on both north and south ends. Robins migrating from southern climes recently joined the sparse but rugged group of over-wintering companions on the scene. For me, though, Hogle's silence ended definitively (and literally) on the morning of March 17, St Patrick's Sunday. I parked by the Sanctuary's Eaton Avenue entrance under partly sunny 9:30 AM skies and started down the trail toward the boardwalk and viewing area. As it developed I had to give up my descent at the top of the riser zone and survey the boardwalk, the massive old cement pump station, and some of the waters from on high. The most traveled part of the Eaton trail has recently been, and remained on that day a treacherous packed-down strip of ice. The remnant of once- navigable snow alongside the trail has also been largely iced over. The Eaton approach still remained tricky as recently as March 21 though the risk factor may by now have given way to the mere nuisance factor of mud season gunk.


Suddenly I was treated to an unmistakable and unexpected spring anthem: a series of loud, shrill, overtone-laden “kon-ka-reeeeee's “, the signature calls of Red-winged blackbirds, filtered down from the Eaton Ave neighborhood I was now returning to. As I emerged from the woods, I was greeted by visual confirmation. Some 12-15 blackbirds were artfully distributed on the barren branches of an Oak or Maple tree in a yard on the east side of Eaton Ave's north-south stretch. Back-lit by the eastern sun, the birds all appeared similarly dark, but occasional flashes of red epaulet combined with continuing vocalizations served to establish that I was viewing a small flock of Red-winged blackbirds.


This was exciting to me, in that Red-wings are among the most visually striking, and entertainingly aggressive of all spring harbinger species. The fact that they are also voraciously insectivorous is both encouraging (their efforts will be appreciated very soon, when mosquitoes and flies make their appearances) and perplexing, in that their favored prey insects were not yet obviously there for them as they huddled in the 31F chill. One assumes that the Red-wings must have known what they were up to, though they have not been sighted since that Sunday, neither by me nor by residents whom I buttonholed. Let's hope they're holed up in some life-sustaining local haven or have found well-stocked bird feeders.


Red-wings are great favorites of mine, in part because of their vivid looks (that is the males' epaulet-flashing sinister good looks; the females are tastefully brown-mottled with a subtle russety suggestion on the tips of back feathers) , remarkable vocalizations and consumption of nuisancy insects, and in part owing to the manic, shrill high-energy ferocity with which they defend their territories and nests against any and all intruders. An anecdote from Chicago days 3 decades ago serves to illustrate. Strolling through Lincoln Park, a prosperous, neighborhood often referred to as a “yuppie town”, and specifically through the Lincoln Park Zoo on a glorious warm spring morning, I came upon a knot of people, many resplendent in Sunday morning finery, gathered around a Tapir's outdoor stomping ground. It was quickly evident what had attracted these folk's attention: the Tapir, a large, sturdy, and as it developed, studly male, was experiencing the glandular surges of spring in a distinctively masculine way. One after another, would-be passers-by of various genders and ages joined the clutch of gawkers captivated by the beast's equine-scale endowment. So awe-struck were they, that they were unaware, at least initially, of the entry of another testosterone-fueled character onto the stage: a furious male Red-wing. Enraged by the proximity of the human gaggle to his and his mate's nest in a nearby tree, he first circled the group screeching avian expletives. Then as his ire escalated, he started dive-bombing people's heads, especially ladies' up-do hairstyles and Easter season hats. By the time the crowd dispersed, some members having left to avoid avian strafing runs, others as the tapir's rampancy gradually waned, the Red-wing had knocked a hat off one woman's head and disarranged a couple more.


Extract Read More Lloyd Graf


OPEN MIND


What is Trump’s “Base”?

Offie Wortham


The characteristics most likely to be shared by a member of The Base are a non-college white person, over 50, evangelicals, and the rural. They have few positive contacts or relationships with people of other religions or ethnic and minority groups. Therefore, they create stereotypes. These are not merely voters for Trump, but they are those who appear to support him through thick and thin, those who, in his words, would still vote for him even if he shot someone on 5th Avenue. These are people who enjoy his tweeting and his insults to others, and they are a reflection of his mind and actions.


Non-college men appear to have been trampled by globalization, the dissolution of manufacturing employment, and other negative economic factors for the last few decades. The causes are mysterious, but these men and their mates seem to be deeply angry and identify with the political extremism manifested in Trump.


Although white men without a college education haven’t suffered the same historical discrimination as blacks, other minorities, or women, their suffering is not imagined. The Hamilton Project has found that the full-time, full-year employment rate of men without a bachelor's degree fell from 76 % percent in 1990 to 68 % 2013. While real wages have grown for men and women with a four-year degree or better in the last 25 years, they've fallen meaningfully for non-college men. They who agreed with the statement “people like me don't have any say about what the government does” are also likely to be a part of Trump’s base.


Trump has been a master of generating fears of non-white outsiders, by likening Mexican immigrants to rapists, calling African countries “shitholes”, promising to deport illegal immigrants and to build a wall between the U.S. and its neighbors, pledging to keep Muslims out of the country during the Syrian diaspora, and playing coy with his relationship with the KKK.


<extract>    Read More Offie Wortham >>>



MONKEY’S CLOAK


And still

Phil Innes

Photo: Phil Innes


spitting snow

right into the eye

immediate

not nearly a courtship

direct

far before thought

afore flirting

not heavy heated russian romantic snow

with massive chords

nor pragmatic

vermont economies

though through eyes

which witnessed

way back

somehow a surviving

memory and pattern and

surviving innocence

and still an option

and still


<extract> Read more Monkey’s Cloak



WATER’S EDGE


Two Knives

Nicola Metcalf


1986. It was a bright and fresh Saturday morning. The mild weather of early spring beckoned. I headed out for a macrobiotic cooking class in lower Manhattan from my apartment in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, right on the edge of Red Hook. I lived in a 4-story apartment building made of concrete block walls where I shared an apartment with two other 20-somethings. Our space was large and light filled by NYC standards, with high ceilings and large windows.


I packed my Japanese Nakiri knife in its box, and placed it in my leather shoulder bag with the foldover top. I was in a good mood, given the weather and relaxation of a weekend after working 9-5 as a temp in midtown Manhattan. Mid morning, I walked the block and a half to the subway stop, anticipating the pleasure of learning more about macrobiotic cooking. I bought my token at the booth, and entered the dank smelly stairwell leading to the elevated train platform. A busy train had just emptied as I made my way, walking against a flood of people hurrying down to street level.


After climbing 2 stairways, I reached the final, long and very steep escalator. As I approached the bottom of the escalator, the last few riders stepped off. The coast was clear. Slowly the escalator carried me up, up towards the platform and fresher air.  When I reached the top, a man stepped out from the wall to my right, holding a large knife. No one else was in sight. My first impression was he was a scarecrow, so thin and gaunt, tattered, stuffing falling out of him. High hollow cheekbones, sunken eyes, with sallow brown skin he waited for me, a wasted human being. Stunned and terrified as the truth penetrated, I turned before the escalator brought me to him. I ran and leapt down the upward moving stairs three, four, five at a time, frantic heart racing to catch up with the release of adrenalin. As I turned, my bag fell off my shoulder.


<extract> Read more Nicola Metcalf >>>



ARCHETYPAL HIPPIE SPEAKS


Division Tactics

Jeri Rose


If you think being a Jew is different from being any other human group,whether you were born a Jew or not, you are a racist. The same goes for thinking that women are significantly differently from men. It is sexism to think the sexes are significantly different from one another in the essence of being human. Sure we can analyze and codify differences among people. We can note differences in bone structure between those from Europe and those from Africa. These differences arise from isolated genetic breeding. However, there is only a basic experience of reality that is human and our literature and art express our sameness, even though our societies have differences, as humans, we display a commonality of experience that marks us as one human race.


It does not matter if you think some group is better or worse. It is racism to think that we are different in some essential way from one another. Racism is not necessarily a bad thing as a conveyor of hate; it is simply wrong. There is one human race expressed as male and female. There are people who hypothesize that keeping people divided in their concept of how we think about each other, serves the purposes of those who rule us. I think that might be true; however, looking at human interactions, we see that the separation point of view may arise from within ourselves whether or not it is abetted by those who have control of media and the encouragement of our societal considerations.


Babies are born with temperament for fearing what is new or curiosity to explore what is new. They exhibit these traits before they are socialized to express them. Thus I posit that both ways of responding to the world are natural to us and based in aspects that promote survival. Being wary keeps one alive but so does curiosity. The conservative and the liberal are both valid viewpoints and can add to human civilization.


<extract> Read more Jeri Rose >>>



IN BETWEEN


What In your Life is Calling You?

Julia Ferrari


For the past few months I’ve been stuck in a place where forward motion seems impossible and starting new things feels incomprehensibly blocked. So I’ve slowed way down and allowed myself to solve or be present with only one or two problems while just moving through this time, paying attention to what ails me, to how I speak to myself, listening to my inner critic — seeing myself and my life in a new light.


In life it is so easy to get caught up in our uneasiness, wanting to escape it as soon as possible. But sometimes it takes a slow and steady bearing of what is happening, of dealing with things as they are unfolding, to change them for the better. I remember when, soon after my husband died, I would lie awake night after night, thinking of all the things that were left undone and unaccomplished that day. This led to more sleepless nights until I saw it was not helping and decided I had to change it. As I lay down in bed I started to consciously list all the things I had accomplished that day, even if it was only one small thing. Then I would state the things I was grateful for and sure enough, I started to fall asleep again. This small effort slowed me down and showed me that when anxiety inducing situations happen, that increasing our anxiety about our progress is counter-intuitive. Every moment we feel anxious is a moment to look deeper, to see ourselves where we are. 


Pena Chodron in her book “Taking the Leap,” says “… our whole facade, the little song and dance we all do, is based on trying to avoid the groundlessness that permeates our lives. By learning to stay, we become very familiar with this place, and gradually, gradually, it loses its threat… We’re no longer invested in instantly trying to move away from insecurity. We think that facing our demons is reliving some traumatic event or discovering for sure that we’re worthless. But, in fact, it is just abiding with the uneasy, disquieting sensation of nowhere-to-run and finding that— guess what?—we don’t die; we don’t collapse. In fact, we feel profound relief and freedom.”


Many of us are self critical, berating ourselves for our mistakes. We can speak so sharply to ourselves, using searing language to disapprove of anything that irritates or displeases us about ourselves. We would not talk that way to another living soul, but in private we can be our own worst enemies, full of verbal abuse and scathing criticism.


Extract Read more Julia Ferrari



WRITE ON !


Unpacking Weaponized Masculinity

by Greg Hessel


About a year ago, a friend posted on Facebook, “#MeToo, and it’s a systems problem.  Otherwise it is just one giant game of whack-a-mole.”  As a consultant who has helped many organizations look at systems’ problems over the two last decades, I intuitively agreed with the post.  However, I was bothered that I could not identify the specific aspects of our system that have led to our epidemic of sexual harassment and assault. 


About the same time, I was rereading White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible White Knapsack, by Peggy McIntosh; a somewhat dated but classic diversity article that explores the many ways that whites in our society are privileged, and how most of those privileges are invisible to whites.  This led me to wonder even more about the systemic problems that contribute to sexual harassment, and why I couldn’t see them. 


With the help of some authors, friends and some participants in a recent diversity training I led, I want to offer this list as my first draft thinking of ways in which our system fuels the epidemic of sexual harassment.  I don’t offer it to let offenders off the hook in any way or imply that there is no personal responsibility for hurtful actions.  We all make choices and we need to be held accountable for those choices.  In fact, I believe one systemic contribution to sexual harassment has been not holding men accountable enough. 


That said, I don’t believe the problem will ever be solved if we don’t go beyond personal accountability and explore some of the broader system’s contributions.


<Extract>

Read More of this article >>>



From The Archive


Evolution of democracy from economy to ecology

Editorial Essay


...Not too long ago these [energy] subjects were spoken of as ‘alternatives’, but in the chaotic energy scene of today they are currently only an alternative to chaos itself. One may scoff at specific proposed solutions, but the main problems can no longer be denied.


Elsewhere, Brattleboro as an influential hub to an extensive bio-region, a region without a name, is taking steps to implement a topic suggested by Wendell Berry in an essay he had published at Orion Press, Winter 2001. He titled the central essay The Idea of a Local Economy. This too, said Berry, is not an ‘alternative’ to anything but disempowerment. ‘Without prosperous local economies, the people have no power and the land no voice.’


Indeed, I remember William Irwin Thompson, founder of the Lindisfarne Foundation, New York City, saying much the same in 1982 — that the evolution of democracy will occur when we begin to shift from economy to ecology, thereby an intelligence of bio-regions provides the basis for action within the region, and Berry’s Local Economy is also the base of an enhanced local polity.


Certainly just being ‘aware’ of the difficulties in the world is altogether too passive and we might also consider a term coined by Buckminster Fuller in terms of the right way to harness our technology and economy; Imagineering.


<extract> From The Archive



VERMONT DIARY


Five Chill Words

Phil Innes


About 39 years ago I found myself seated in a group of people from all over the world at an orientation to The Findhorn Foundation, in Morayshire, Northern Scotland. People were introducing themselves and where they came from, and then it came the turn of the woman sat beside me dressed all in black who had been knitting through the introductions.


“Anna from Auschwitz”, she said.


Following that, I adjusted by own introduction away from Cornwall, it’s world class beaches, air, palm trees and dolphins in the river, since that may have seemed a too-conscious levity, and mumbled something else.


I was reminded of this incident by two more recent ones; a review by Laura Stevenson of a title by Walter Hess — A Refugee's Journey: A Memoir; and with simultaneous news reports of increased Holocaust Denial in Europe and in the USA.


Though Anna’s chilly announcement before resuming her knitting is not the thing I remember as much as what happened a few days later. Again meeting at ‘The Park’ in a well-lit room with flowers and upon a mid-session break for tea I felt a claw like hand on my arm — a couple of young Dutch people were chatting with a young German one, discussing what sort of herb teas there were available? As innocent an anecdote as could be imagined, but Anna gasped to me, “(Phil) I cannot hear this language”, and I could see there was an immanent syncope, so I picked her up and carried her outside — then we walked around awhile until lunch, not mentioning the episode at all, not then not ever.


I will not remark on that more except to say, being a Celt, that one does not accept things as randomly happening, and there is always something pert, something important or significant to understand about encounters even of the noir-romance. Not about making something of this into a noble cause on behalf of others, promoting it as a subject for general conversation, or even undertaking a sort of psychic voyage into another’s dark. I wrestled with this for a month or so and eventually let it go, feeling that the response ‘better to light a candle than curse the darkness’ seemed a little too intellectual.


Then I chanced upon two children in the community playing with bricks and one telling the other how to stack them properly, but not succeeding until the knowledgable child demonstrated how to do it.


Read More VERMONT DIARY >>>




AN A-MUSING LIFE


One Moment, Please

Nanci Bern


I am in a car on a New England highway. It is a sunny winter day. This ride could not be more different than the one I took last month. I recall that day because it is 4 days before New Year's Eve and we still have had no snow to speak of. This does not make my inner snow bunny smile.


It was 1:00 pm. The drive from Vermont took the requisite 3.5 hours. The sky grew grey and menacing the closer I got to New York City and the anticipation of having a much missed hometown exploit. Snow was in the forecast. I hadn't been in a winter snow in my beloved concrete jungle in years. Not that I do not appreciate where I live now; but I am split like a log being halved for a winter wood stove.


My friend came to the lobby and introduced me to the doorman. He entered me in the computer so other building folks would know that I passed muster to be allowed to traipse in and out for the week. When I saw myself being popped into the thing a.k.a., the real doorman, I wondered if it was related to H.A.L.


So up we went to settle me in, then just as quickly we spun around to walk the streets of Broadway and West End. Oh, the grit and wait, the harsh swirl of wind (?) that was wrapping itself around my ankles made me stop. I took a whiff of the air with my now New England snout and knew we were going to be in for it. 'This can't be good', I thought. I tried to ferry my friend along all of our stops to avoid the ensuing deluge, but she wouldn't heed my warning.


Yup, we got caught in it. We got so caught in it that I stopped seeing a way out. The snow came down fast, wet and heavy. Frenzy ensued. <extract>


Read more Nanci Bern




FOODISH


Scandinavian Christmas Dishes

Real food from scratch, submitted by Anneli Karniala


One thing is for sure. When there are only about 6 hours or less of daylight during December, depending on location, Scandinavians know how to light up the darkness. It is with beautifully set tables, candlelight along with lamplights, and delicious, satisfying food.  


There are many food traditions in Scandinavia around Christmastime, depending upon country, and whether referring to a company luncheon, a December dinner for guests, Little Christmas Eve dinner (Dec.23), Christmas Eve dinner (the 24th), Christmas Day luncheon (the 25th, actually another dinner!), or 2nd Christmas Day dinner (the 26th). 

As you can see, there's a lot of eating.  And drinking. Of wine, beer, vodka, glögg, eggnog, Akvavit, snaps, aperitifs, etc.  Not much is low-cal!


On Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, for example, there would be several courses.  Typically, the first course would include fish (smoked, or pickled, or salt-and-sugar cured), sausage, head cheese (not a cheese).  Then the main course would perhaps have one or two of the following: roast duck, roast pork, beef roast, turkey, ham along with various condiments and sauces. The accompanying dishes could be any of the following: braised red cabbage, creamed kale, caremelized potatoes, potato casserole, rutabaga casserole, beet salad, green beans, peas. Various breads or rolls are also served.


Here are 2 recipes that are often prepared at Christmas in Denmark.


LEVERPOSTEJ (Danish Liver Paté)

GRAVLAX   (salt-and-sugar-cured salmon)

serves 10-12


Read on for ingredients and procedures


Read more FOODISH




SELECTED LETTERS


This note forwarded by Robert Oeser


Good afternoon, Hunger Council of the Windham Region members,


We are reaching out to you today to share an important announcement from the Department for Children and Families: The vendor who distributes 3SquaresVT benefits on Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards has received several reports of theft. Some Vermont participants have reported that their benefits were withdrawn from their cards through a bank in California — without their knowledge or permission. Similar reports have been received in other states.


The Vermont Department for Children and Families is working to replace the stolen benefits as soon as possible. Funds will be replaced by paper check to avoid further theft. There is currently a block on all transactions from California using Vermont EBT cards.


This theft of benefits is money for food stolen from low-income Vermonters. <extract, read more>


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GALLERY ONE


A photographic essay on Devon and Cornwall

Anne Lenten, Ed.


A series of photographs about ‘another place’ collected by the remarkable photographer Anne Lenten — Notes by Phil Innes


#6 Mining conditions haven’t changed much in 100 years




See more photos in this article Gallery One >>>










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.






NOW, HERE, THIS!


Take #7

Vermont Views


January 19th 2019


The good news is that it isn’t 3 feet, only 2. The bad news is that the second foot is going to be sleet and freezing rain. 


Whatever the snowfall amounts Monday 21st January looks brutal with a high with windchill of -7F.





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