• Architecture
  • Remote Futures, Remote Pasts

    Salt crystals on the Spiral Jetty, Utah When a place is lifeless or unreal, there is almost always a mastermind behind it. It is so filled with the will of its maker that there is no room for its own nature. –Christopher Alexander, one of my ideological mentors, as quoted by Edward Hollis in The […]

  • Theater
  • Meredith Monk, In Eternia

    Photo: Meredith Monk A last four minutes of Meredith Monk’s most recent performance at the Brooklyn Academy of Music of Songs of Ascensionhas been posted on Alex Ross’ (The New Yorker) blog. From Ross: The video excerpt…comes from the final section of the work: first Monk delivers a solo, accompanying herself on a shruti box, […]

  • Aesthetics
  • Written on the Body

    Tribute, by Anne Truitt (Photo courtesy of Anne Truitt) More thoughts about Anne Truitt, mostly through commentary by others: Her son-in-law, art critic Charlie Finch, wrote an essay about Truitt that brings her work and her persona closer together. He begins the essay by describing Truitt as “the driest, most detached person I had yet […]

  • Poetry
  • The Thing Is

    The road to High Head Castle, first built in the Middle Ages and then destroyed by fire in 1947. The thing is to love life to love it even when you have no stomach for it, when everything you’ve held dear crumbles like burnt paper in your hands and your throat is filled with the […]

  • Wisdom
  • Other Laws

    Spiral carvings on Long Meg, a menhir that sits outside the Long Meg and her Daughters stone circle in Cumbria Here are a few more thoughts that percolated through me during my stay in the Lake District. The spiritual meaning of art belongs to the realm of the subjective or superconscious mind. Only when the […]

  • Current viewings
  • The Starry Messenger: Another Thumbs Up

    J. Smith-Cameron, left, and Matthew Broderick in “The Starry Messenger,” a new comedy by Kenneth Lonergan. (Photo: Sara Krulwich, New York Times) News alert: A fabulous review of Kenny Lonergan’s latest play, The Starry Messenger, appeared in the New York Times this morning. Thank you Ben Brantley for giving this carefully nuanced work its proper […]

  • Wisdom
  • Self Sowing

    The landscape in the Lakes, near Hesket Newmarket One of the reasons I have made repeated visits to the Lake District in England is because the land feels porous. It is as if the barriers are fluid and the membrane between earthness and creatureness has been rubbed into a soft and pliant translucence. Being in […]

  • Personal
  • Higher Ground

    Flooding in Cumbria The river claims the road Higher ground now means something to me that it didn’t before spending 10 days in Cumbria. The natives of this lush and rainy region near Scotland now refer to the days of rain that culminated in 12 inches in just 24 hours as the 1000 year storm. […]

  • Poetry
  • When the Land is Calling

    Doomsday The dark that’s gathering strength these days is submissive, kinky, silken, willing; stretched taut as a trampoline. World events rattle by like circus trains we wave at occasionally, as striped, homed and spotted heads poke out their windows. Feels like I’m wearing a corset, though I haven’t a stitch on. Burn the place setting […]