Radical amazement
Tunes for a Monday Morning

Recommended Reading

Photograph by Katerina Plotnikova

Grace Nuth alerted me to this beautiful post: "Dirt-Sense, Animal-Speak and Origin" by Aleah Sato. If you can get through the entire text with dry eyes, you're a better man than I.

"I grew up surrounded by magic," writes Sato. "As a little girl...I’d spend hours conversing with trees, an old mare, feral cats, birds, spiders and the moon that took me in like a lullaby, like a poem I could believe. It never occurred to me that there was something strange about wishing over weeds, speaking to the setting sun. As a child of field and wildflower, I loved the freedom of communicating in ways that stretched the impulse and ideal of communication, of the human alphabet. I believed in possibility and transcendence. I still do."

Sato had me from the very beginning (with quotes from two of my favorite writers), and the piece just gets better from there....

Photograph by Katerina Plotnikova

Other recommendations:

* "Mythically Speaking" by John Patrick Pazdziora, on his blog The Paradoxes of Mr. Pond; and a follow-up post, "Mythically Thinking," by Jane Yolen and John on the Unsettling Wonders blog.

* "Joy" by Zadie Smith, published in The New York Review of Books, back in January. It's somehow taken me all this time to read it, and it's a delight. A follow-up: "Happiness" by Jane Kenyon, in Poetry Magazine.

* "Virtues of Madness and Vices," a beautiful interview with poet Mary Ruefle by David Andrew King, in The Kenyon Review.

* "What I Learned from Thomas Edison and Steven Soderbergh and How it Applies to Novelists" by Julianna Baggott, on the Writer Unboxed blog.

The magical images above are by Russian surrealist photographer Katerina Plotnikova, based in Moscow.


"Poverty doesn't produce violence. Not having stories produces violence." Aleah Sato is like some
relative to me. Much of what I write about. magic in the woods and the animals, living uh, sparingly
and knowing I was going to leave the poverty around me for the love of art, poetry, books. But we
carry that around who have been there and the laughter and wisdom of the elder's stories, the smells
and truths of such life....I am truly tearful in reading his...and Katerina Plotnkova is becoming one of my
favorite artists and also, photographer.

I had a feeling you were going to like this one. It stuck a chord with me too.

I really loved the post ,beautifully done.

Oh, I feel honored.


I just stumbled across this - thank you for sharing the essay. The images you selected resonated deeply with me. The fox and girl image is lovely and potent. I am grateful for the connection and the share...

Your words are timely; I am considering taking the great leap into the void to pursue a life of writing and travel. Thank you for the support! You remain one of my literary heroines! <3

In spirit,

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