Magic mushroom

I’ve been struggling to even out my sleep schedule. Last night I suddenly knew what I needed: a cup of reishi mushroom tea. Reishi grows in the forest, and abundantly on dying hemlocks. I photographed the one above in the Chattahoochee National Forest. It’s a large, hard mushroom, with colored bands and a red waxy cap. … read more Magic mushroom

Poverty amid plenty

I am taking a video inventory at the rental house, in case it burns to the ground. My voice is clinical and flat as I pan the camera around each room, peering into cupboards, narrating. Here in the kitchen, we have an electronic food scale and a manual scale, we have pots and pans brought … read more Poverty amid plenty

What you can do tomorrow

Fellow citizens of the United States: No matter who you are or where you are, no matter your party or lack thereof, you can do more than vote tomorrow. Vote – yes, of course, if you haven’t already. You can make sure you are ready to vote on ALL the positions and issues on your ballot … read more What you can do tomorrow

Editing on deadline

[Oct. 26] I didn’t really sleep last night. Should have been a good night’s sleep, because I was dead tired from two days of driving back from Virginia and the emotional exhaustion from the intensity of that visit. But duty called. I was up half the night waiting for page proofs. What a feeling. It’s … read more Editing on deadline

Rabbit tobacco

When I was studying herbs five years ago, I learned that a common weed was used by the Cherokee to treat people who had a particular psychological malady: being haunted by a ghost that caused them to want to run away. I’ve been having that ailment lately. Some days I just want to be somewhere else. … read more Rabbit tobacco

The woman with the dirty T-shirt

She wavered at the car and the crosswalk, not exactly weaving but not quite steady either.  Her hair was six ways to Christmas, unbrushed; her skin was blotchy and eyes baggy without makeup. Her shorts were too short for a 50-something woman out in public, her T-shirt was stained and crumpled. It seemed she hadn’t … read more The woman with the dirty T-shirt