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  • A wall that doesn’t scream Keep Out
    Thin Places

    A wall that doesn’t scream Keep Out

    Long before the Border Wall, fences have been provocative: keeping something in or out; the good side, the bad side. The idea seems to slice the world into two clear pieces, us and them. Life is more complicated and subtle than that. Young Robert Frost got right to it in his 1914 poem, Mending Wall, which begins:

    Something there is that...

  • The shock of the sting

    The shock of the sting

    For those who pay attention to accidents and coincidences, a hornet sting might be an occasion of interest. So when my wife got...

    • Jan 2, 2019 02:03 pm
  • Memory ‘loss’: a failing or a release?

    Memory ‘loss’: a failing or a release?

    Memory is a Thin Place, at times a deep, dark forest, equal to any National Park. What lurks? On Christmas, my 91-year-old uncle...

    • Nov 6, 2018 03:33 pm
  • Reconnecting with Night

    At least a third of our life is spent in The Night, that thin place which has always disturbed and terrified humans. Dwell for a...

    • Sep 1, 2018 12:00 pm
  • 100 amateur archeologists

    100 amateur archeologists

    Buried in the swirl of summer events is a favorite, that yearly Drowned Lands Historical Society’s tour of a Native...

    • Jul 1, 2018 12:00 pm
  • A not so empty field

    A not so empty field

    A road isn’t typically an interesting place. But a trip down Maple Grange Road in Vernon offers a compacted, telescopic...

    • May 2, 2018 12:28 pm
  • Deliberately ‘a little undone’

    Deliberately ‘a little undone’

    It’s unusual that a new community project root and flourish quickly. Often there are mistakes, rethinking and...

    • Mar 1, 2018 02:52 pm
  • ‘Pop-up’ places of wonder?

    ‘Pop-up’ places of wonder?

    Thin places are doorways into “other” worlds, experiences that surprise, refresh and enchant. Our region is blessed...

    • Jan 5, 2018 02:58 pm
  • Growing pains

    Growing pains

    A quaint village, with its bookstore and post office, its village green by the train tracks, doesn’t happen by accident.

    • Nov 1, 2017 05:00 pm
  • Dirty dancing

    Dirty dancing

    In 2000, the NY State Council on the Arts offered to fund more NYC dance and music performances in rural Orange County, giving...

    • Jun 27, 2017 01:53 pm
  • Un-photo of the week

    Un-photo of the week

    Please save me from one more picture of the sunset over the Moodna Creek or trumpeter swans on Washington Lake. This Sierra Club...

    • Apr 27, 2017 03:15 pm
  • Blow up your bubble

    Blow up your bubble

    We often prefer places and people we know, sidestepping the anxiety and chore of the unfamiliar. In this new political climate,...

    • Feb 24, 2017 02:27 pm
  • Where does your god live?

    Where does your god live?

    A few weeks ago, I was in a discussion, sponsored by the Warwick Historical Society, about Sacred Spaces: what they are, where...

    • Jan 4, 2017 12:13 pm
  • An extra twist of the eccentric

    An extra twist of the eccentric

    WE OFTEN LEARN about ourselves by looking at how others have put their lives together.

    It’s the stuff of basic...

    • Oct 26, 2016 10:21 am
  • You can’t go home again

    You can’t go home again

    ON A HIKE, I overheard bits of a conversation: “non-native, eradicate, alien, threatening, new laws, protect.” I...

    • Aug 31, 2016 02:52 pm
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West Milford, NJ