By chance, I start reading a book of letters exchanged between a photographer and a prisoner, an exchange in 2020 that opens a view into these two men, into our country, and into art. I devour the book. The book’s title is The Parameters of Our Cage, and I keep thinking about the cages culture constructs and we construct in our own lives. It’s a question I’ve returned to, over and over in my life. So much of my life’s hours have been devoted, in one way or another, to writing. As the pandemic has created higher walls and sturdier cages, writing, art, human imagination, are increasingly powerful. Utterly necessary.
I wake to a perfect zero degrees this morning. Our house is thankfully warm and pleasant, but the cold is ever present. There’s immense snow south of here, but again the storm has sheered off to sea.
The most profound art is generated out of the depths of a personal place, then becomes an entity in its own right thus developing a different layer of function that requires a social aspect or nature.C. Fausto Cabrera
With both my daughters in their teens now, I spend a stupid amount of time thinking over what makes our lives, what fills our days, how has their childhoods unwound?
Yesterday, looking up from my laptop at the kitchen table, I realize this — kid with cat — is the main action around here. Thank goodness.
Before a Cat will condescend
To treat you as a trusted friend,
Some little token of esteem
Is needed, like a dish of cream…
— T. S. Eliot
Our Kitchen, Hardwick, Vermont
Garden antics update by Gabriela Stanciu. Perhaps this could also be titled, One Thing I Did on My Summer Vacation.
So how this all started was my mom had a giant woodchuck in her garden, and we were trying to trap it. My Grandfather said do you have any skunks around here, and my mom said no I haven’t seen any up here and I have lived up here for 17 years. So we put a banana in the trap for bait. The first couple nights we didn’t catch it. On the third night we put a melon rind in the trap. The next morning me and my mom go out to see if anything was in the trap and something was but it wasn’t a woodchuck. Guess what it was–a skunk!!!!!!!!!!! So I ran up to get my dad. He said he would be right down from his cabin so I ran back down. My mom called our friend who knows a lot about animals and he said to put a blanket over the cage and then let it out so you don’t get sprayed. Me and my grandfather were looking at Youtube to see what to do. We were going crazy because we didn’t want to get sprayed and also we didn’t want to catch a skunk. We wanted to catch a woodchuck. So then my dad came down. He got a long pole, unlatched the doors, and then opened them up. It took the skunk a little while before it went out, but it finally did, and we put the cage in a different spot.
Augueries of Innocence
To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour….
He who respects the Infants faith
Triumphs over Hell & Death…
–– William Blake
Photo by Molly S.