The Fidelity of Fall

Oh, there’s something beautiful in the foothills! The hogback and the foothills near my home are ablaze with the deepest hues of spices and herbs this autumn. The air is cool and fragrant with earthen scents. The beauty whisks one’s breath away. Something resonates deep in my thoughts while hiking in that glorious palette of color…. I remind myself no human scheduler or logistician programmed the mountain’s transformation from summer green to autumn sienna. The … Read more

Bread and Salt

There’s more to bread and salt than meets the palate! This adventure started a couple of years ago when I happened upon a restaurant in the mountain town of Frisco, Colorado. There on Main Street in that pristine and quaint community rimmed with purple peaks all around, hung a sign denoting Bread+Salt. That sign immediately captured my attention. Bread and salt? From the sidewalk I wondered if that charming restaurant featured anything else. As it turned out, there … Read more

Unexpected Things

I came across this photo from earlier this summer when I was hiking in the mountains of Colorado near my home. I am as astonished now as I was then to happen upon this little tree growing out of this enormous multi-ton rock. Somehow it spoke of unexpected things—big and small. Somehow it suggested supple possibility emerging out of unwavering granite. I wondered how enough soil had accumulated in the small depression on the top … Read more

A Mesmerizing Tale

Oh, a magnificent story can captivate even the most complacent listeners! Rimsky-Korsakov’s shimmering Scheherazade elevates storytelling through the magic of four movements in a symphonic suite that draws on the Indian, Persian, and Arabic tales of The One Thousand and One Nights (commonly known as The Arabian Nights). The symphony includes all the elements of a literary masterpiece: A Problem or Dilemma; Unforgettable Characters; Passionate Dialogue; Rising Actions of Intrigue; A Satisfying Conclusion The Colorado Music Festival … Read more

A Step into Breath

Ever feel the need to simply step away, breathe some fresh air, and discover a different vantage point? “The future is more beautiful than all the pasts,” assures French philosopher, priest, paleontologist, and geologist Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. His hopeful sentiment offers a sense of promise for perhaps the mundane tasks of day-to-day routines. A change of scenery may sound enticing but sometimes it’s difficult to accomplish because of all sorts of reasons like responsibilities, finances, … Read more

Good Beginnings

Good beginnings happen in Nature, the act of writing, and in personal journeys… The winter snows have melted and saturated the earth. Out of mud season in the mountains comes something fresh and new. Look! There it is, finally, a bright lithe leaf uncurling its green self into the world! I’ve been waiting for the leaves to pop from the branches on my aspen trees all season. It’s been a process like watching water start to boil, but alas … Read more

The Poetry Orchard

Why narrative poetry matters . . . Another name for a narrative poem is a story poem. It’s as old as fruit in the garden, or for purposes of this discussion, as old as apples in the poetry orchard. To my way of thinking, narrative poetry is at the genesis of all literature. In ancient times when most of the world was illiterate, oral tradition thrived as the popular and compelling mode of communication. It … Read more

Something Ancient

Sometimes life delivers surprises. Think of Abraham who for much of his adult life longed to have an heir. In the Christian, Judaic, and Islamic traditions, elderly Abraham finally becomes a biological father and the patriarch of a long ancestral lineage of future generations. God gives him not only an heir, but a nation and a land. Whew! What a dynasty. And imagine the surprise of a Bedouin teenage shepherd boy in 1947 when instead of redirecting a wayward goat from … Read more

Words on a Page

Oh, great beauty abounds in language and in the written word! Ralph Waldo Emerson expressed it so well: “When I read a good book . . . I wish that life were three thousand years long.” What is it about a story or poem that has the power to stir our souls? What propels writers throughout history to orchestrate their ideas into pure music on the page, a literary symphony of words? Imagery, symbolism, metaphor; great literature lays it out for the … Read more

Bright Ball of Light

Remembering the child in our hearts pointing to the sky . . . Do you remember as a child looking up in wonder to the luminescent ball floating in the sky? Did it take your breath away then? Does it take your breath away now? Christopher Robin and I walked along Under branches lit up by the moon —”Return to Pooh Corner” (a song by Kenny Loggins) The Swedish-American poet and triple recipient of the … Read more