The weather is like a family member here in North Dakota. It figures prominently in everyday plans, travel, and small talk. I use this term (borrowed from poet Kathleen Norris in her book, Dakota–A Spiritual Geography) to take stock of what I’m thinking, observing, and how I’m processing the world. Here you will find an odd-lot assortment of ruminations, random questions, and snippets of prose.
Feb 2018 It is Day 9 of the Ten-Day Coughing Crud that’s making the rounds. Today is also my first outing in a week to grocery store. This week has been an unplanned experiment in solitude. On reflection—and there’s been plenty of that—I passed with flying colors. Bring on more brain clearing! One observation: there’s always more food in the house than you think!
Found this quote by the poet Mary Ruefle in her book, My Private Property: “I am never lonely, and never bored. Except when I bore myself, which is my definition of loneliness—to bore oneself.”
Jan 2018 “If I wanted to understand a culture, my own for instance… I would turn to poetry first. For it is my confirmed bias that the poets remain the most ‘stunned by existence,’ the most determined to redeem the world in words.” ~C.D. Wright
Dec 2017 “Occasionally all of us in positions of traditional privilege—whatever those might be—need reminders that our own worldview is not a universal default, shared by all humanity.” ~Julie Steiner
Nov 2017 “November always seemed to me the Norway of the year” ~ Emily Dickinson
Oct 2017 “Anyone can love the mountains but it takes a soul to love the prairie.” ~ Willa Cather
Sep 2013 Could I be lucky enough in my lifetime to see the return of anything close to polite society? (refer to my post below on Jul 2012)
June 2013 Going forward, one goal will be to find a balance between wisdom, reason, and fearlessness.
May 2013 A friend mentioned she was taking a day of PTO. I realized I’m really a North Dakotan when my first thought was power take-off.
Mar 2013 As the sun moves to and from its apex in the spring and the fall, I find myself looking around the house to explore where the light pauses to play. Perspective.
Feb 2013 “My attitude toward progress has passed from antagonism to boredom. I have long ceased to argue with people who prefer Thursday to Wednesday because it is Thursday.” ~G.K. Chesterton (NYT Magazine, 02/11/1923)
Aug 2012: Harvey Larson to his daughter in 1972. “Bon: Let’s not take a back seat, if we have a road to travel let’s ride right up front.”
July 2012: The morning sun oozes into my office window and onto the desk like melted butter poured on pancakes.
July 2012 Self-evaluation: Sometimes I think I’m nostalgic: longing for a different time. Sometimes I pride myself on being au courant. Sometimes I think I’m nothing more than an anachronism: an obsolete cultural artifact.
Jun 2012: We have lost touch with the countless choices we make in life and have fooled ourselves into thinking much of life is out of our control. Nothing could be further from the truth.
May 2012: Why doesn’t the urge to pee happen BEFORE I wash my hands?
Apr 2012: ”A poem is never finished, only abandoned.” ~ Paul Valery, French critic & poet (1871 – 1945) He speaks not only to my poetry but all my writing.
Nov 2011: The night air is filled with the smell of Cottonwood leaves, Missouri River sand, and the sound of Canada Geese chortling on the water’s edge.
Oct 2011: We can understand why SOME people won’t come to North Dakota in the winter, but why is it that people could not possibly come to North Dakota in the summer? They don’t flinch at going to Texas, Georgia or Florida in the summer?
Jul 2011: How is it that 3 cabbage worms can eat more leaf lettuce than I can grow?
Jun 2010: How is it that someone who loves good food as much as I do can forget to eat?