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“Quality of Life, Spirit of Place”

 

Vermont Views Magazine

Home Page

Features,

Articles

&

Columns


in between

How Very Rich and

Deep our Lives

Julia Ferarri


Love In Action

You and Me

Elizabeth Hill


Write Walk

Green Mountain Mourning

Susan Cruickshank


Monkey’s Cloak

Mexico City closed today

Charles Monette


Our Man In

Weston-super-Mare

Doug Hoyt


Meanderings

Mountain laurels in June, mountain laurels in bloom

Charles Monette


An A-musing Life

The Vital Un-Silencing

Nanci Bern


Our Man In

Belgium

Doug Hoyt


Old Lady Blog

Two Pieces

Toni Ortner


Real Vermont Stories

Real or Not Real? Famous Words of the Vermont Supreme Court

Beth Kanell


Our Man In

Kilkenny, Ireland

Doug Hoyt


Finnish Fandango

Watching the maestro

Anneli Karniala


Love In Action

The Hills of Nova Scotia

Elizabeth Hill


Vermont Authors Reviewed

Beth Kanell, The Long Shadow

Laura Stevenson


Selected Letters

Blurb Writers At The Edge

Distler, Mayo, Innes


Water’s Edge

Walmart Universe

Nicola Metcalf


Write Walk

Random Birthdays

Susan Cruickshank


Meanderings

Another foggy morning

Charles Monette


Our Man In

Kilkenny, Ireland

Doug Hoyt


Write On!

George and Agnes

Howard Prussack


Meanderings

River of the Lonely Way

Charles Monette


Love In Action

Special

Elizabeth Hill


Open Mind

“When will they ever learn, when will they ever learn?”

A major essay;

part 3 of 4

The Immigration Act of 1924, or Johnson–Reed Act, including the Asian Exclusion Act and National Origins Act

Offie Wortham


Write Walk

Uncle Paul, Big Macs

& Thank You’s

Susan Cruickshank


Monkey’s Cloak

A robot picked my strawberry today

Charles Monette


Meanderings

Into the grey

Charles Monette


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


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


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


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


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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PHOTO OF THE DAY


Barrel Jellyfish

Stock photo


Photo: Barrel Jellyfish, Falmouth, Cornwall


The largest jellyfish around the British Isles. I don’t think you have these here in the US.



PASSAGES


David Hockney

Text selections by Vermont Views


We don't all see the same way at all. Even if I'm sitting looking at you, there is always the memory of you as well. And a memory is now. So someone who's never met you before is seeing a different person. That's bound to be the case. We all see something different. I assume most people don't look very hard at anything.


In art, new ways of seeing mean new ways of feeling; you can't divorce the two, as, we are now aware, you cannot have time without space and space without time.


The urge to draw must be quite deep within us, because children love to do it.


There is nothing wrong with photography, if you don't mind the perspective of a paralysed Cyclops.


What an artist is trying to do for people is bring them closer to something, because of course art is about sharing. You wouldn't be an artist unless you wanted to share an experience, a thought.


It takes a long time to make it simple.


The camera can't see space. It sees surfaces. People see space, which is much more interesting.


Faces are the most interesting things we see; other people fascinate me, and the most interesting aspect of other people - the point where we go inside them - is the face. It tells all.


Modernism in a way, early modernism, for instance, in pictures, was turning against perspective and Europe. And all early modernism is actually from out of Europe, when you think of cubism is African, is looking at Africa, Matisse is looking at the arabesque, Oceania. Europe was the optical projection that had become photography, that had become film, that became television and it conquered the world.


Read more PASSAGES >>>


Recent Passages By: David Hockney, Allen Ginsberg, Abigail Adams, 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


Toni Ortner, Writing Shiva.

2017

Laura Stevenson


When Toni Ortner's father lay dying, he told his family to forego the Jewish seven–day mourning period (sitting Shiva) in which friends visit the bereaved family and, as Ortner's Prologue puts it, "tell stories about the beloved who died." The family obeyed that instruction, though not its corollary, which suggested they celebrate his life with caviar and martinis: her mother "packed up the cottage in one day" and left for Florida.  Twenty-seven years later, Ortner has written what she calls her own Shiva: a collection of twenty-five stories about her family's life in Woodmere, Long Island, the first twenty from the 1940s and 1950s, and the last five portraying her parents' illnesses in 1982 to 1990.


At the center of these memoirs is Toni herself, to whom loving adjustment to her family's ups and downs is a way of life. By the time she is three or so, she has learned that "Fathers are never home. Fathers go out to make money." And money is all-important. Mothers aren't home all that much, either, with the result that some of the most amusing sketches are those of the maids with whom Toni spends the bulk of her time. There's Beatrice, who insists Toni's window must be open at night and the room completely dark—yet whose one story is about the Lindbergh baby's kidnapping. There's Amelia, whose terror of "lightning balls" is so great that when thunder begins, Toni rushes around the house picking up all pieces of metal and finally joins Amelia, who is praying, in the closet. There's Smelly Mary, who never does her laundry; there's Sara, who steals jewelry and silver, and who later orchestrates a full-blown robbery. Toni is less at the mercy of maids as she grows older, but inevitably she clashes with her determined mother, ruining a good performance in a piano competition by shocking the judges, resisting the sewing lessons that are supposed to let her design her own clothes, taking on a job as a stable boy when her mother refuses to pay for riding lessons ("Whoever heard of a Jewish girl who rides horses?").


While the book is dedicated to Melvin, by far its strongest character is Sylvia.  Unafraid when the house she has rented on Fire Island is in the center of a hurricane when her children are young, she is similarly stalwart decades later in the face of repeated bouts of cancer. Toni may be shocked to the point of fainting when she hears of Sylvia's operations, and Melvin is desolate in the hospital, but Sylvia is steadfast even as she tells Toni what she will inherit. Sadder in some ways are the final pictures of Melvin, who is fading quickly with lung cancer just after the house in which the stories are set has been sold. Everything he has worked for – the pictures, the furniture, the silver, the furs—is being packed up around him as he gasps with the help of oxygen. And he tells Toni's daughter, "Only love counts in the end. Remember that."  Toni's book is as loving a tribute as any parents could wish for.


<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.

Jackson Ellis, Lords of St. Thomas

Chris Bohjalian, The Flight Attendant

Beth Kanell, The Long Shadow

Kimberly Harrington, Amateur Hour: Motherhood in Essays and Swear Words

Jessie Haas, Rescue

Toni Ortner, Writing Shiva




NOT QUITE THE THING

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Caption It!

MM Kizi


Series 27 images



SHORTS


Sick of hospitality, health, standing up, and Jews

Vermont Views


STATISTIC: Research released by caterer.com has found that 97% of school pupils and those leaving education have “written off” the idea of working in the hospitality industry in the UK. That may be wise. Another study by the Royal Society for Public Health found that 62% of hospitality workers don’t feel looked after by their employers; 74% have suffered verbal abuse and 24% have required medical or psychological help. — Gallup


STATISTIC: Americans of all ages increasingly take life sitting down, researchers found, but adolescents sit more than other groups. The study found adolescent Americans typically increased their total sitting time from seven hours to just over eight hours a day in the decade to 2016, the largest amount of time spent sedentary and the biggest jump of all the groups studied, experts said. Adults also sat for about an hour a day more over that decade, but sat less overall, increasing sitting time from an average of just over five hours a day to just over six hours. Dr Yin Cao of Washington University in St Louis, the author of the study, said: “It’s very concerning when there’s such an increase in sitting time on a national level across all age groups, especially taking into consideration the health risks that come with this.” — Washington University in St Louis


STATISTIC: Nearly 20% of Americans say that it’s acceptable for business owners to refuse to serve Jews if doing so would violate their religious beliefs, according to a new survey. The 19% who said such discrimination was acceptable is up from 2014, when 12% thought it was okay. — Public Religion Research Institute.


Read More shorts



IN BETWEEN


How Very Rich and Deep our Lives

Julia Ferrari


When we think about our own significant and varied personal history, it can seem as if our lives are the contents of a movie reel, unrolling…with glimpses of some particular event —events that are remembered and treasured, many forgotten … and some better off not remembered in detail, at all. The good ones, those memories we remember with fondness—those are the moments we can hold close. Those moments become a place we can return to in memory again and again, even though as they were being lived they were just ordinary moments passing beneath us. Indeed, there are likely many such moments in which, at the time they are happening, we are unaware that they will eventually become those precious ones.  


Remembering and revisiting positive or special events in our lives can make us feel very deeply, yet they were happening in moments that were fleeting, just like this moment. I remember one December when I was a young girl, as winter school vacation was out, we travelled in our camper down to Florida for Christmas. My mother was the traveller in the family, so she influenced us all and bestowed on me a deep love of traveling. We were driving late into the evening hoping to find something still open and found a park just as dusk was closing in. That winter night I remember seeing the amazing sight of Spanish Moss hanging like ancient beards from old oak trees in this very different climate, and the feeling of welcome from the cheerful, tiny but bright, multicolored Christmas lights that were hung at the entrance to the park. I remember the child in me feeling the realization that this holiday was celebrated here (in a warm climate) with the same joy for sharing as from where I had just come, many miles north. Being very young I had not yet spent that holiday in a different place, and the physical fact that it was celebrated here in a warm climate instead of a place that was cold was expanding for my young mind. I remember it like it was yesterday, and feel its essence still. 


Another remembered essence was one afternoon, working with my partner, Dan Carr in our print shop. I was working at the composing frame, correcting and justifying type for the book we were working on and Dan was in the casting area, casting type when I suddenly, distinctly felt the moment in time. It was, I believe, in the mid to late 90’s, and we had been doing letterpress for quite some years on a daily basis, five days a week for at least 8 to 9 hours per day. So we were perhaps producing along the order of what a professional metal letterpress print shop might have been doing in the 1930’s or 40’s when the technology was at its prime. (Our equipment is still that of a modern 1930’s-40 ’s shop with the exception of a few much older pieces.) I remember knowing that Dan and I were at the top of our game, that we could do the work with skill and precision, and in a fluid manner. There was a sudden realization, with the sun coming in the shop windows, that we were in that place, doing what we loved…what our hearts and intuition had guided us to, and we had embraced it fully, without reservation, despite all the pitfalls (like no health care, only one [used] car, and no paid vacations. That moment became felt in me as an encounter with the essence of my life and vocation…of the totality of my choices.

 

Extract Read more Julia Ferrari



LOVE IN ACTION


Elizabeth Hill


There’s a land that I see

where the children are free...

~Bruce Hart


July 4th, 2019 weekend has now past. Across this land, Americans of many diverse backgrounds, ethnicities, religions, lifestyles, sexual orientations, abilities, and cultural  backgrounds celebrated the birth of our Nation. Like many other countries around the world, our United States were formed through conflict and bloodshed that nearly annihilated the Indigenous people who first inhabited this land.


For some years now, my daily practice has been to consciously notice and appreciate simple things that bring joy into my life. Though I must keep informed about what is happening in our country and around the world, lately it’s become essential to quell anxieties and fears that inevitably arise by caring for and strengthening myself in body, mind and spirit, in order to increase my capacity for gratitude and hope. 


I think many would agree that our county’s current state of affairs is different than during the fifties and sixties. However, the underlying fears, mistrust—and hatred that festers and is escalating among our people now—reminds me of those long ago turbulent times.


Have we Americans not made any significant progress toward unity, equality, justice for all, embracing diversity, and welcoming those who have escaped horrendous circumstances and risked everything in their desperate though legal right to petition for a better life here in the USA? 


Extract Read More Elizabeth Hill >>>


WRITE WALK


Green Mountain Mourning

Susan Cruickshank


When I left Newfane Hill that day in early summer, I took a walk. A walk I couldn’t take alone. I wanted to, wanted to have enough strength, to be brave enough, to shake off the past and move forward. I wanted to reclaim the spaces I had walked before, but I needed someone to walk beside me to begin.


The hiking trails at Harris Hill in Brattleboro, Vermont had been a regular haunt for Annabelle and me. It was one of the first places where we had learned to walk with one another without being connected by leash. We had started out small, walking attached, connected by our umbilical cord past the parking lot and ski jump, past the first incline, before I unhooked metal clasp from mental ring, unclipping our tether. And looking deliberately into my friend’s eyes, as I offered a bribery treat for good measure, I released her into Freedom’s arms.


It always took my breath away when I did. Both in anxiety and wonder. An internal commentary fighting with the present moment insisting that she would run into the forest lost forever. But then I would look at her, at Miss A’s graceful form born to run, and again I would suck in a gulp of air as I watched her zoom up the hill. Her smiley face smiling, her feathers blowing in the mountain breeze, all assuring me that it was right to risk in this way.


We walked out trust and comfort on this hill and it was the last place that I could revisit after Annabelle passed away last winter.


<Extract> Read More Susan Cruickshank >>>


MONKEY’S CLOAK


Mexico City closed today

Charles Monette

Photo: Charles River, Boston


particulate matter, tiny black matter

scatter to block the sun


delights and surprises shutter down,

wanderlust hungers for a taco… no one’s around


consciousness grabbed by catastrophe

hard to dignify, sanctify, quantify… air quality


under siege… Mexico’s dry season brushfires burn brush,

burnt brush ignites woodlands’ fiery blush


seasonal rains dry… pray to Tialoc, the Aztec God of rain

for a sprinkle, a drizzle, a splash to torrent the blain


one hundred fires a day

ever rising smoke blankets a haze


twenty million people share air in Mexico City

this morning it’s sullied… climate’s no pity


soot congests & clogs a Mariachi’s horns

border is closed, planes no longer airborne


shutter the park, batten the zoo, deadlock soccer, baseball fields too

children’s sad playgrounds void of laughter’s squealing yahoos


blackdamp inflames high ozone to the ground

dark deepening chaos’ windblown cinders surround


white dust masks turn sable as they filter black breath

driving bans jam jams… avoid megadeath 


NASA observes plumes on its flambeau Twitter feed

quick call a rainmaker, these clouds need a seed


LA will be closed…………………….


<extract> Read more Monkey’s Cloak



Our Man In


Weston-super-Mare

by Doug Hoyt


“Trudging slowly over wet sand ...

In the seaside town

That they forgot to bomb"   ~Morrissey

 

"It's supposed to be a seaside resort — more like a seaside last resort if you ask me." ~ John Cleese

 

"Everyday is like Sunday

  Everyday is silent and grey ...

  This is the coastal town

  That they forgot to close down

  Armageddon, come Armageddon!  Come!"   ~Morrissey

 

"The Germans bombed Weston-super-Mare in 1940, an event which has baffled historians ever since as they have toiled with the question... Why?”  "I despised Weston so much in fact that I once wrote a little poem about it:  'I do not care for Weston-super-Mare and so I'm glad that I'm not there.'”    ~ John Cleese


<Extract>

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MEANDERINGS


Mountain laurels in June, mountain laurels in bloom

Charles Monette


You must go to Black Mountain in the next few days to witness the brilliance of its mountain laurels in bloom.  They are plenteous, and on display in magnificent clusters of showy white and pink flowers.  It was exhilarating to be among them! To be surrounded by such a large population of laurel either side of the main trail.  Then to look deep into the woodland to see more bushes… here… there, over there crowned with the delicate beauty of their white/pinkish glory. 


These evergreen shrubs ranging about 3 to 9 feet in height grew in large thickets covering great areas of forest floor.  Upon close inspection, I noticed that buds resembled little white Chinese paper umbrellas, each with exactly ten red-tinged spokes.  When opened in bloom, they formed perfect, slightly cupped pentagonal flowers.  The symmetry and repeated harmony of their form was profound… ten spokes opened to a pentagonal flower in perfect balance all around. 

Awe inspiring awe!  (Photo credit: Susan Menees)


We entered the trailhead from the eastern, Black Mountain roadside of the mountain.  This was Saturday, June’s second day of summer.  The day couldn’t have been nicer!  A constant, refreshing breeze made leaf-laden branches of red oaks, birches, maples and more wave and bow and bob in homage to our arrival.  It was exhilarating to be with them on this 72 degrees, low humidity summer day. They too seemed happy and proud of the flora adorning the forest floor below them.

The sky was magnificent as well!  Huge white billowy clouds floated by across the azure sky.  When we reached the summit, a front of dark rain clouds began moving in from the southwest.  The strengthening storm seemed headed right for us.  A thunderbolt of lightning in the distance had us consider an early exit.  Sitting on the very warm surface of the granite dome, we watched.  After a while, the distant shadows of rainfall began to veer east… then southeast.  The celestial clash of light and dark was one of poetic-photo imagery.  Pockets of light shone thru dark in darting rays of the sun. <extract> Read more of this and other articles by Charles Monette >>>



AN A-MUSING LIFE


The Vital Un-Silencing

Nanci Bern


“Your silence will not protect you.” Audre Lorde

There are many ways to silence. Some are sought for healing and growth. It quiets the clatter of superfluous thought so we can hear our truth. This silence is the vibration of inspiration and the note of creation. Its intonation is the heart of mind.


Silence also comes from fear and hopelessness. Its hammer of stultification pounds down words without warning. One is hit with the molten scream of no sound. The more you resist, the harder it turns you like a glassblower until you relent to its heat.


This happened to me. An obscene convergence of the urge to speak, overwhelm of what needs to be said, and dread of a reaction crashed itself on my spirit. I became mute. This was fostered by the sheer weight of the reality that the world has morphed into a dystopic battleground. I did not fight my inertia because I did not have the wherewithal to. I gave into it.


However, recently while sitting under a winsome sun of what has been a light-starved spring, a wind whipped remaining autumn leaves into a vague frenzy. “Entelechy", I said. I haven’t used that word since college. Was Aristotle lurking behind a tree? Was he kicking those leaves? The juxtaposition of the seasonal burgeoning growth and the gaunt remains of fall felt like what I had been feeling come to life.


Entelechy, the vital force of a ‘thing’ (me), is what I have been at odds with. The pull to illuminate the truth amidst the chaos of ignorant beliefs that are causing violence and damage and the flat out fear of dangerous backlash was my battle. Part of the vitality that propels me is what I have come to call righteous beauty. It is to stand in a place of justice, love and clear mind to create a place of elegance and truth of thought and being. I was unable to sit, let alone stand.


But enough is finally enough and not holding my pen has become painful. No, this is not a metaphor. I have a shiny new one that is threatening to poke me in the eye if I don’t pick it up. Our bodies do not lie, even if our minds do. <extract>


Read more Nanci Bern



OLD LADY BLOG


Two Pieces

Toni Ortner

  

For the 10 year old girl from Syria

  

The mirror stopped laughing when the bullets shattered the window.

Shards of glass flew through the startled air.

Familiar voices stopped when the wires were cut.


Description fled in dust.

It was the end of metaphor.

You huddled on the floor

in the dark arms of morning.


For Earl Thompson (Yakima Indian nation)

  

He tried to see red and blue horses galloping across a plain, but the horses would not come. His wife was crying by his side. He thought if he saw them he would live to see another day. It was a full moon night in April, and the willows were about to bud.  He tried to see red and blue horses, but something else appeared instead.


He was in a room without walls. A door opened into light. He stepped across the threshold into air.  He had lost his arms and legs and feet. He floated without wings. He turned around. In the distance was a woman weeping by an empty bed. <extract>


Read More Toni Ortner >>>



Real Vermont Stories


Real or Not Real? Famous Words of the Vermont Supreme Court

by Beth Kanell


The most famous quotation from a Vermont Supreme Court judge dates back to 1804, when [illus.] Theophilus Harrington (1762-1813), a man with plenty of experience but no formal legal training, examined a suit where an attorney for the “owner” of a fugitive slave presented a bill of sale for the fugitive, in an effort to get the “property” back.

 

The court that day met in Middlebury and it was Harrington’s first year. Even the court was new: Vermont’s constitution  established courts in each county in 1777, and the next year, the legislature created a Superior Court. According to the official Vermont Judiciary history (https://www.vermontjudiciary.org/supreme-court), the chief judge and four other judges were chosen each year by a hodgepodge of officials: the governor, the governor’s council, the House of Representatives. Meeting four times a year in four different locations, to spread justice around the state, these judges made decisions—but in turn, the decisions could be appealed, to the very same bodies that appointed the men in the first place.

 

A few years later, in 1782, the legislature restructured both the county courts and the upper court, which became the Supreme Court. The legislature got to elect its five judges, and these met as a court in each county once per year. Within seven years, legal training had prevailed and all the Supreme Court justices were lawyers, though clerking could take an aspirant to attorney status, without schooling.

 

Still, formality emerged slowly. It took until 1797 for the decisions to be put into writing and recorded. By 1823 those decisions even got published.

 

But not so in 1804. Numerous accounts of Harrington’s noted declaration cite each other, but there’s no existing court record of exactly what was said to decide that suit. What we do know is that when Harrington, as a first-year judge on the court, explained his reasoning to the attorney seeking the fugitive, chief judge Jonathan Robinson and assistant judge Royall Tyler concurred.

 

What was Harrington’s point? He insisted the bill of sale presented by the attorney didn’t go back far enough in time. Neither did the second one provided, showing purchase of the fugitive man’s mother. The frustrated attorney asked what documentation would suffice, and it’s reported that Harrington declared, “Nothing short of a bill of sale signed by God Almighty Himself.”

 

In the years that followed, Vermonters praised Harrington’s reported words as honestly representing the intent of the 14th state’s constitution. And after the Civil War, in 1886, the legislature promoted a monument to Harrington, at his burial site in Clarendon’s Chippenhook Cemetery.

 

All good background for writing historical fiction set in Vermont. But there are four major flaws in how “real” this story is. First, there’s no record of Harrington’s actual words, because court reporting hadn’t developed in 1804. Second, there are no accessible newspaper accounts to confirm this, either—Vermont’s early newspapers in current digitized form only date back to 1836. Third, we know more clearly today that the state constitution’s wording around enslavement—“no person born in this country, or brought from over sea, ought to be holden by law, to serve any person as a servant, slave or apprentice, after arriving to the age of twenty-one years, unless bound by the person's own consent, after arriving to such age, or bound by law for the payment of debts, damages, fines, costs, or the like”—allowed de facto enslavement especially of children, a shameful aspect of our history. (See Harvey Amani’s 2014 book, “The Problem of Slavery in Early Vermont, 1777–1810.”) And fourth, alas, opinion around slavery and abolition was far from unified in 1804, “even in Vermont.”

 

More on that final point, in another “Real Vermont Story.” It matters—to our integrity, and to the books I’m writing in the Winds of Freedom series.


<Extract>

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Finnish Fandango


WATCHING THE MAESTRO

Anneli Karniala


Having just checked my calendar, I see that the concert was already 5+ weeks ago. I could have sworn it was only 2 or 3! 


I had planned on attending a free open rehearsal of our Cape Symphony with Jung-Ho Pak, Artistic Director & Conductor. I had attended it last year and loved it, so wanted to go again this year. I've been to many of the Cape Symphony's concert evenings in past years, but last year was my first open rehearsal evening. It was a treat!


The late afternoon of that rehearsal evening, I was still doing documentation on my work-iPad for the patients I had seen that day.. Fifty-two years as a nurse, and the paperwork hasn't gotten any less -- on the contrary! Well, I was behind and didn't like that. I almost always finish by evening so I don't have to continue the next day. However, I was getting more and more frazzled, and my eyes were getting bleary from the damn screen. 


I really wanted to go to the concert rehearsal, but a nagging work ethic was lecturing in my brain: "No, no, you shouldn't go. Just take a break, then finish working. You'll feel better in the morning if you keep at it now. You can do something enjoyable tomorrow." 


But my rebellious streak and my gut took hold and I said out loud, "The heck with THIS! I want to go and I'm going. It's exactly what I need this evening, and if I don't go, I WON'T feel better in the morning, I'll just be kicking myself!"


I had 15 minutes before Jung-Ho Pak would be giving a little talk to the audience members about the music, before the actual rehearsal would begin. So I slapped a slice of cheese onto a piece of hardtack, grabbed a bottle of water, put the dog in his crate, and drove off while chomping on my bite to eat. I hadn't even changed my clothes. After all, this was a rehearsal evening. I knew from last year, that the musicians would be in casual clothes, and Jung-Ho Pak would probably again be in his jeans and a casual top.  


And what a remarkable 3 hours it was. I'm so glad I made the right decision to go. Sometimes it's best to listen to your gut!


Extract Read more Anneli Karniala



SELECTED LETTERS


Not everyday a Vermont Views columnist has a book published. Here is Daybook 1 by Toni Ortner with reviews by Arlene Distler, Tim Mayo and Phil Innes


This would be Steinbeck if he hadn’t fooled around in other people’s kitchens. This is a full-score Cohen with two more notes, not reaching anywhere, but ever taking in. The words come humming out of the dark to shatter crystalline on the floor as sharp edged duo-tone fridge magnets familiar and mysterious as if designed by Paul Klee — not made in China or the Old Country, made in the Wild East of New York is more like it. There are hiding demons in the text waiting to pierce you, and there are non-resident angels flirting with sin.

—Phil Innes, Vermont Views Magazine


Read more of this and other letters to Vermont Views >>>





WATER’S EDGE


Walmart Universe

Nicola Metcalf


We discovered many campgrounds catered exclusively to RVs.  I scrambled on my iphone trying to locate possibilities. My partner and I were tired, hungry and testy, arguing over how to make a decision. He accused me of being too particular.  I bumped up against his resistance to making plans ahead of time.  We knew Walmart parking lots were an easy solution, and this seemed like the right time to try one.  But first we needed dinner.


Even though I had planned and packed plenty of home-cooked food that only required reheating, we had eaten out at restaurants for our first few meals.  This was because our cook-top blew the fuses on the first try, casting a blanket of disappointment and doubt over David’s handiwork.  He had been stressed gauging which size fuses were needed and where to find them, a process that took place over a day or so.  At this point, I wanted to be eating the perishable food waiting to spoil in the coolers.  David heard my concern and led the way, pulling us off a road leading to a construction site near a motel.  There I peed behind a dumpster and we fixed our dinner roadside.  We ate baked beans with sauteed hot dog slices heated on our newly working cooktop, thanks to new 60 amp fuses.  We played at being vagabonds. 


As it became dark, we headed to the nearby Walmart Supercenter.  We had been there earlier in the afternoon looking for a small and simple non-electric coffee maker since we’d left ours at home.  The place was quiet and cavernous with very few shoppers, and once again I marveled at American Capitalism.  Not surprisingly, Walmart had nothing small and simple in the category of coffee makers, only bulky Keurigs and complicated 12 cup machines.  There was a French Press, but it was too large to allow it valuable storage space in the van. 

Since we had forgotten to pack our hats as well, I asked where hats were located from an employee standing at one of the registers.  A tall woman in her 60s with an ambiguous shade of blonde hair, she held a spray bottle and cleaning cloth and was half-heartedly wiping down the register and its barcode reading wand.  The teller next to her was engaged helping customers make their purchases.  The woman gave me instructions in a southern accent I had trouble understanding.  She waved in the direction I was to go in, but was clearly was not about leave her station.  I couldn’t find them.  Another employee, one with a smile, graciously walked me where I wanted to go.


It was dark when we returned to Walmart for the night.  Shutting off the ignition, I looked out across the large and largely empty parking lot, sparsely dotted with trees.  Sure enough, just as we had heard about, six or seven other small vans, and one gigantic RV, were quietly posed for the night. Most rigs were parked beside one of several trees scattered across the lot, as if the tree marked a campsite, offering a gesture of camouflage and natural beauty.  People had parked evenly spaced from one another, and there was no sign of life behind tightly drawn, light-blocking curtains. I looked over at the van closest to us and spotted a woman slipping into the front cab from the rear, then quickly withdraw. We had quietly joined an underground community.  There we shared a common sense of purpose to gather somewhere free and relatively safe, outside the demands of a market economy.


<extract> Read more Nicola Metcalf >>>



WRITE ON !


George and Agnes

by Howard Prussack


George and Agnes Spaulding, who farmed just two miles south of our farm on Route 14, were intertwined in the fabric of our farm community for as far back as I can remember. Whether it was 4H, a Grange supper, the Tunbridge Fair, the Soil Conservation District, Farm Bureau or any other farm related event, they would be there.


I put up feed for George and Agnes for about 10 years, chopping haylage and corn at either end of the growing season. It was usually a two day affair by the time we moved machinery in, did the work and packed up and left, and it was a consistent window into their lives and the routine they shared for many years. There was a time that I was putting up feed for nine dairy farms each year, scattered around two counties. Everyone wanted to be first to get their work done to get the optimum forage quality, and it was a delicate balancing act to satisfy everyone and not lose any business. Some farmers offered to prepay in return for earlier service, others emphasized the large amount of business they gave me and that should put them at the front of the list. Within just a few short years, Agnes had established their farm at the front of the pack, simply by calling and stating the date she wanted it done by and not leaving me any choice! If there was an early cold snap in September and the corn in the valley had gotten a hard frost, I could almost set my watch to the phone ringing at 6:30 that morning, Agnes on the line. “It’s Agnes, we’ve had a frost and need you here tomorrow to put in the corn.” If it hadn’t frosted by mid-September, I could predict that before the end of the Fair that she would say “We’ll see you this week to put in the corn.”


While there, I would be back and forth in the yard hauling in dozens of truckloads of feed all day long and it seemed that each time I looked up, Agnes was doing something different. Making a few rounds with the lawnmower, in the house making food for an event, working in the garden, jumping on the tractor to mow a few more acres of hay needed to finish the crop, in the car heading to one of the grandkid’s games, or to Village Pizza, and always barefoot. She and George had a distinct division of the summer work; she did the mowing, baling and other chores while he tedded, raked and did the milking. One summer evening George was raking in front of us and it went well past the start of chore time. He finished up and didn’t stick around the field too long, stating that “Agnes is milkin’, and she don’t like milkin’, so I better go.” as he headed back to the barn on the tractor at noticeably higher RPM’s than usual.


Photo Credit: Sam Lincoln, Randolph Center


<Extract>

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OPEN MIND


The Immigration Act of 1924, or Johnson–Reed Act, including the Asian Exclusion Act and National Origins Act

Offie Wortham


Part three of four of a major essay by Dr. Offie Wortham


         This was a United States federal law that prevented immigration from Asia, set quotas on the number of immigrants from the Eastern Hemisphere, and provided funding and an enforcement mechanism to carry out the longstanding ban on other immigrants.

 

An 1882 law had already put an end to Chinese immigration, but as Japanese (and, to a lesser degree, Korean and Filipino) laborers began arriving and putting down roots in western states, an exclusionary movement formed in reaction to the "Yellow Peril". Valentine S. McClatchy, founder of The McClatchy Company and a leader of the anti-Japanese movement, argued, "They come here specifically and professedly for the purpose of colonizing and establishing here permanently the proud Yamato race," citing their supposed inability to assimilate to American culture and the economic threat they posed to white businessmen and farmers. Despite some hesitation from President Calvin Coolidge and strong opposition from the Japanese government, with whom the U.S. government had previously maintained a cordial economic and political relationship, the act was signed into law on May 24, 1924.

 

The act set a total immigration quota of 165,000 for countries outside the Western Hemisphere (an 80% reduction from the pre-World War I average), and barred immigrants from Asia, including Japan and the Philippines (then under U.S. control). The act reduced the annual quota of any nationality from 3% to 2% of the number of foreign-born persons of such nationality residing in the United States in 1890 (though more recent censuses existed). The reduced quotas were set to last through 1927. No quotas on immigration from the Western Hemisphere were put in place.

 

According to the U.S. Department of State Office of the Historian, the purpose of the act was "to preserve the ideal of U.S. homogeneity.

 

The provisions of the act were so restrictive that in 1924 more Italians, Czechs, Yugoslavs, Greeks, Lithuanians, Hungarians, Poles, Portuguese, Romanians, Spaniards, Chinese, and Japanese left the United States than arrived as immigrants

 

The law was not modified to aid the flight of Jewish refugees in the 1930s or 1940s despite the rise of Nazi Germany. The quotas were adjusted to allow more Jewish refugees after World War II, allies in China and the Philippines. The immigration quotas were eased in the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 and replaced in the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965.


Similar to the start of European immigration, the Chinese started immigrating to the United States after a population explosion and a food shortage in China. Other push factors were the Opium War and the Taiping rebellion. While in the United States the Chinese endured constantly changing U.S. immigration priorities. When immigrants could be used for cheap labor they were instantly recruited and embraced but the second an economic shift took place in the United States, immigrants were given the cold shoulder.



<extract>    Read More Offie Wortham >>>



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 >>>



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





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



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 >>>



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 >>>



SELECTED LETTERS


Not everyday a Vermont Views columnist has a book published. Here is Daybook 1 by Toni Ortner with reviews by Arlene Distler, Tim Mayo and Phil Innes


This would be Steinbeck if he hadn’t fooled around in other people’s kitchens. This is a full-score Cohen with two more notes, not reaching anywhere, but ever taking in. The words come humming out of the dark to shatter crystalline on the floor as sharp edged duo-tone fridge magnets familiar and mysterious as if designed by Paul Klee — not made in China or the Old Country, made in the Wild East of New York is more like it. There are hiding demons in the text waiting to pierce you, and there are non-resident angels flirting with sin.

—Phil Innes, Vermont Views Magazine


Read more of this and other letters to Vermont Views >>>




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!




Its not over ‘til

Vermont Views


hey, at least its not going to get below freezing


— that is down here in the valley in Brattleboro, though not on the hills and not up North. Looks like Brattleboro is snow-free through Wednesday!





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A major essay; part 3 of 4 ‘The Immigration Act of 1924, or Johnson–Reed Act, including the Asian Exclusion Act and National Origins Act’ Open Mind

Vincent Panella Speech to the congregation  The First Glass

Jeri Rose Division Tactics Archetypal Hippie Speaks

Lawrence Klepp Wildlife SCREENplay

George Harvey Environment there and here, Special Report by Phil Innes World & US Energy News

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

Vermont Diary Five Chill Words

From The Archive Evolution of democracy from economy to ecology

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