Summer Land

 "Land really is the best art."-Andy Warhol

When the Wednesday of summer is near, I already start feeling Sunday's creeping approach. Mid-summer hums of crickets and creeks turn into a revving engine in my late July mind. But then I go past, walk past, or drive past fields and open land and I feel like time stands still for a moment. A pulse of truth recounting the way the world moves and shifts and how a 5:45 am alarm doesn't really have to signal a certain death (maybe?), because nature and centuries of trees know it's all just a cycle of life where beginnings and endings don't really exist.

Like Adrienne Rich wrote, "In times like these to have you listen at all, it's necessary to talk about trees." And the thing about trees, land, and art 'in times like these' is, you get to straddle the past and the future and let it drip into the right now, preferable with a big sun-flare for dramatic effect.

In the end, or middle, the answer lies in timeless land; part sherbet sky, Swedish roots, and Fairview drives with some late night talks and open rain-soaked windows thrown for good measure.


I found a piece of torn paper on this cobblestone street a few months ago, and I wanted to know the story. The ink was smeared, but I could make out a little heart. I kept walking, taking in the foreign air and people around me, and I remembered what I almost always remember when I notice a homeless handwritten note.


Once upon a grad school class, a friend and I were walking to our cars, and she told me a story that worked its way into my bones. Her husband had died of melanoma a few months prior. She had tons of pictures of him skiing, doing patrols at dawn—action shots worthy of Life magazine covers, but she confided that she had frantically searched every physical scrap of paper and hard drive in the house for any remnant of his writing. Any story, any sentence, any love note...and specifically, any to her. Any words that could be salvaged that stayed behind - in his voice - in his handwriting - his inner thoughts. At that point she had found nothing. But the moment I saw the piece of paper perched on the street, I breathed a breath of hope for her.

Heard in Class


This view has been mine for almost two years.  I see this site 8-10 hours every day.  Most of the time there are students in the seats.  When the seats are empty I feel the gravity of their presence even more.

This moment in time was after kids were talking about The Kite Runner.  17 year olds – most middle of the middle class. Most white.  Most girls…discussing real issues about situations and stories they will never experience. Experiences I will never experiences. Phrases were flying and discussion was actually happening amid lulls.  

And then she raised her hand and said, “it’s made me check my privilege a little bit more”.