That was January

2023: One of Twelve “Let’s live, Hannah! Where do you want to go? Anywhere in the world.” Mikael said. Wow! And, of course, I went! Here I am in the village of Vilaflor on the Spanish island of Tenerife, running the steep village roads and the surrounding volcanic mountains with Mikael, the mysterious man who’s…

“The Wood Carver” from Chuangzi

Khing, the master carver, made a bell standOf precious wood. When it was finished,All who saw it were astounded. They said it must beThe work of spirits.The Prince of Lu said to the master carver:“What is your secret?” Khing replied: “I am only a workman:I have no secret. There is only this:When I began to…

“The Dexterous Butcher” from Chuangzi

Prince Wen Hui’s cookWas cutting up an ox.Out went a hand,Down went a shoulder,He planted a foot,He pressed with a knee,The ox fell apartWith a whisper,The bright cleaver murmuredLike a gentle wind.Rhythm! Timing!Like a sacred dance,Like “The Mulberry Grove,”Like ancient harmonies! “Good work!” the Prince exclaimed,“Your method is faultless!”“Method?” said the cookLaying aside his cleaver,“What…

Universe, figure this one out!

To live as we say “in the now” has been my aim for a while.  I’m an exceedingly heady person, and it’s one of the reasons I’m so physically active. To trick myself out of my head, I’ve spent my life following open roads, mountains, never-ending travel, and daily doses of physical exertion. “Go feet…

Winter solstice summit with Loulynn

Loulynn sat in a heap of her own coat and gloves on the trail in the snowy forest singing and playing with the fluffy powder. I heard my Coach Mommy voice, the joy killer, say, “We have to make a choice to either go up or go down. But we can’t stop to play so…

Worldschooling Team in off season!

Eli, 8. Loulynn, 5. Hannah, 41 We are a ramshackle team but accomplish much; and we are in our off-season. Halloween through Christmas is a good time to slow down, stay put, and enjoy the festive, community offerings of small town life.  2022, our first full year living in Vermont, was a whirlwind exploration of…

Tessellations: the learning pathways of unschooling

I just kissed my son, Eli, goodnight as he nestled into a graphic novel about the invention of vaccines. Not sure I myself could muster the interest in such a bedtime read, and our kids impress us often like this, their innocent curiousness. He didn’t choose the library book I grabbed randomly this week (we…

Archives to Now: How to love an artist, the odd-eyed cat

The Beijing winter was one that ground me along: the piles of indistinguishable black and brown winter coats, the exhausted-blackened snow heaps, the barrels of smoke, the smell of sickly, roasted sweet potatoes and cumin-seasoned lamb meat blending with the fumaroles coming out of the public toilets, and holding my breath falling out the door…

Arm’s Length Cottage

I kept a quiet, little blog in 2010 called “Arm’s Length Cottage” chronicling our year in agricultural area of Yunlin County, Taiwan. From the archives: January 3, 2010 a thousand moons on a thousand rivers On our train to Taipei this weekend, I started reading Hsiao Li-Hung’s “A Thousand Moons on a Thousand Rivers.” So…

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