Thursday, December 27, 2012


This morning it snowed, and didn't stop, as I listened to an episode of Radiolab that pointed me toward the work of Wilson Bentley, a VT farmboy photographer in the mid-19th century who documented hundreds upon hundreds of individual snowflakes. Like this one, and like these:

These tiny flowers are beyond my powers of instagramming. Especially because I haven't ventured out into them yet, preferring the ever-changing view below.

Notice how the snow is sticking to the bottom of that metal railing? Must be wet and somewhat warm then, right? I'm going out there right now.

"When a snowflake melted, that design was forever lost. Just that much beauty was gone, without leaving any record behind." -- Wilson Bentley

Sunday, December 23, 2012


Winter solstice henna application

On this solstice, with its rainbows and windstorms, power outtages and the long, dark, damp morning, I felt tucked quite literally into the deepest part of the earth. (I do live in a basement, but that isn't what I mean.) I woke before 6 am, in order to be awake for the actual solstice at 6:11, and couldn't help envisioning myself as a bulb of sorts, readying as placidly as possible for whatever comes next.

I've been thinking about the solstice of 2012 for over six years, ever since encountering Daniel Pinchbeck's 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl, in which he writes the following:
Perhaps undertaking the quest for prophetic knowledge, in itself, causes reality to shiver and shift, as new possibilities open like the petals of an extravagant, multidimensional flower.
As a species, we've long invested our powers of "prophetic knowledge" in plants. We trust that as we dig in compost or plant a seed or check the soil's moisture or watch the skies, we also guarantee the continuation of patterns we trust and rely upon. I know many of you will agree when I say that folks in the global North have generally divorced themselves from these patterns in recent history, and that many of our fears and our tragedies stem (yes, that is a pun) from the wound of that separation. That the patterns themselves have become less trustworthy is certainly salt in the wound, but I believe at base that we are an adaptable people.

. . . there's so much to write about this, but I'll rein it in and affirm my intention to remain attuned to Pinchbeck's "multidimensional flower" as it unfurls, and my excitement that so many individuals in my life are doing the same, in a multitude of ways.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Waiting for Wilder

After months of mailbox silence, I finally received my copy of Wilder Quarterly last week, and it's every bit as beautiful, as color-saturated, and as delightfully curated as I hoped it would be.

There's an article about the gardens of the original Catwoman, a poetic description of the famous moss gardens at Kokedera Temple in Kyoto, details about all the classic sweater types and a recipe for burnt oranges with rosemary. Not to mention the photos.

Wilder is not necessarily an exhaustive source of information, nor is it trying to sell you anything particular. It's not glossy, or matte, but somewhere in between. And it taught me just how geodes are made, which I think I've repeated to at least four people.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Plants of the House

On Wednesday I skipped out of the co-op in the middle of my shift and excitedly trailed Gayle through the aisles of Doran's, the wholesale florists' shop where we source our houseplants and cut blooms.

a perfect lady slipper with a big purple tongue

We inhaled a good deal of fresh chlorophyll and scooped up a big cart full of kalanchoe, ivy,  lady slippers, croton, little lemon cypress trees, ferns and a few wily bonzai, in addition to other things I've since forgotten. 

a lovely little kalanchoe

In this drab time of year, more temperate climates (like the one we seem to be moving toward) retain their green hues in mosses and grasses, but generally the outside world is gray//brown//beige during our Decembers.  Although everyone has killed at least one house-or-apartment-plant, they are really generally easy, and taking care of something so simple and beneficial certainly helps me feel more alive in wintertime.

one of these plants is currently receiving therapeutic care

If you're in need of some plants-of-the-house, let me know! I'll happily troll the aisles of Doran's for you, and I have a small stockpile of fancy pots as well. Email with any inquiries or exclamations.