Leave no trace

What Annie Dillard has to say about how to learn to write: By “ruining [the page], but asserting your freedom and power to act, acknowledging that you ruin everything you touch but touching it nevertheless, because acting is better than being here in mere opacity.” ******* I went to the Utah backcountry last week with […]

Dedication

A María David, bárbara del desierto, que mantuvo la fe cuando otros la perdían. I like this dedication. I like the name María David. For a long time and still and in many places (including the US) women’s names are qualified by men’s names to equate possession or belonging. I don’t like that. But I […]

Mexico

Every morning a group of boys probably between the ages of nine and thirteen showed up at the beach on a fancy golf cart with off-road wheels. Four or five of them crammed themselves in and held on to the back and held on to their surfboards when they left for the day. I’m pretty […]

Speak Spanish to me

I’ve been listening to a lot of Spanish music lately. Mon La Ferte and Bomba Estereo both came out with new albums this year that are fun and funky and that’s where I started but then I kept going. Back to Julieta Vanegas, Juanes, Manu Chao, Calle 13 and Shakira–the Spanish-singing stars of the aughts. […]

Time off

What makes the difference between a trip and an adventure? It is the length of the journey? Or the space between you and home? Are adventures built from no cell phone reception? Or from sleeping on the ground? Or from not knowing what’s next? From being lost–or at least feeling lost? I went away last […]

La Junta, CO

Once I rode my bike from Vancouver to Los Angeles. The first leg of the trip smelled cold, wet and salty. Like fish and chips. Like morning fog. The same way northern Spain smells and sometimes New York City. The next leg of the trip smelled like dry sun. Brown burnt grass. Mexican food. Deserts. […]

More astonished

A few weeks ago I was alone, pushing my bike up a very, very steep gravel hill somewhere in southern Vermont on a lovely Wednesday afternoon. Sounds nice, yes, but I was not having a good time. I’ve been sad. (Sad?) Depressed. On and off for a while. Months? It’s not a big deal. It’s […]