How about Rapunzel?

My niece is pregnant, waiting for the new little person to shape and mold. But he or she (perhaps she knows which, I do not — not that it matters so much any more…), will need a distinctive name, and pronto.

I love words in general, and names specifically, so I can’t stop thinking about this.  I started to notice that a lot of names I might like to give to a baby are already on cars.

Ranger (my favorite)
Insight (a little abstract)

Jolie, don’t worry; I have more.


Trump, escucha! Estamos en la lucha!

In my long(ish) life I’ve been to a few actions and demonstrations, the matters at hand ranging from the desire for a new stop sign to a plastic bag ban to the plea for reproductive rights for everyone.

Today’s immigrant demonstration was particularly pithy, what with the young man who wondered why his mother sacrificed everything in Central America to take her family to the US, and found out it was to evacuate him, her son who she knew was gay long before he did, to safer ground; the trans woman employed at a  prominent local university without citizenship status; and the undocumented women with children here legally, one at her hip, at imminent risk of a shredded family. All have everything — everything — to lose, by the stroke of a pen from the man in whose front yard they spoke.

to my friend’s friend on Facebook, who thinks Donald Trump is morally superior to Hillary Clinton

I don’t know you, and it’s probably not worth engaging, but I would say you clearly need more information.

I recommend today’s Washington Post editorial, but it’s very long with words of more than two syllables, and would take a lot of concentration.  It’s boldly called, “Donald Trump is a Unique Threat to American Democracy.” But the currently available piece on the New Yorker Radio Hour by the fellow who ghost-wrote The Art of the Deal is also available, and you can just listen. (When you hear the two different voices, that is the female interviewer and the male writer, so don’t be confused about that.)

While you’re thinking about this, when you aim to disqualify Hillary Clinton because she is allegedly married to an adulterer, does the known adultery of candidate Trump trouble you? If not, how do you hold both of those ideas in your head at one time?

one in twenty

I know almost nothing about soccer, but while in Reykjavik last week I attended my first soccer game, Iceland against England in Euro 2016. I showed up at the hillside gathering at the civic big-screen TV because the game — it’s more than a mere game, I suppose — was the talk of the town. I’m told by my friend the sports journalist* that five percent of the country of Iceland was on this hill in Reykjavik to watch Iceland defeat England in the doubly historic event, first for Iceland’s playing at all, and second for the ass-kickery that the English team suffered.

One of the very few things I do know about soccer is that fans are rowdy, even more than hockey fans, so I assumed that pandemonium would break out even before the game was over (they last 90 minutes I had learned), when it seemed the final score of 2 to 1 would hold (and soccer fans need not gear up to cheer foro double-digit scores). But in fact, the crowd politely waited for the clock to run out, cheered loudly in place, managed some gentle hugs, then walked home quietly. I had to wonder, “What would England have done?”

*I don’t really have any such friends, but on the bus to Keflavik airport the next day, I had a burning question about the match and asked the guy across the aisle from me. He happened to be an English sports journalist, one Andrew Butler of the Sun, in country to cover Iceland-England, ever so nice but still in a little shock. He had thought he’d have an easy night, posting a couple of sweet paragraphs about how Iceland had nobly lost to dominant empire England as ordained, drinking a few beers, and retiring after a ho-hum assignment. Instead, he had filed a several stories of the “war delared” nature, about the unimaginable loss and the fallout.

rings of eternal strength

Friend, artist, and current Berkeley Springs neighbor* Michael Gotwald gave me two iron hoops he no longer needed for the wheels for his non-existent buggy.  I buried the bigger one in the meadow and mowed a fairy ring around it.

The smaller one is suspended at the end of the porch, creating a visual hook but not a barrier. Inside it is a small element of fired clay.

*His sweet place on Hageman Street is for sale.

after the party


These are the white objects in the house the morning after a great party. Now I am sixty years old.

wilds of West Virginia


If you think these are not wild carrots, please do not let me know until tomorrow, after they have been sauteed in butter and eaten.