Wanted to share my latest piece with you all! My dear friend Sarah approached me last month to commission this painting of an American white ibis (Eudocimus albus). She’s from Miami, and wanted a painting of this bird that feels so emblematic of home. Have you been to Florida? There are so many beautiful stilt-legged […]Read more "American White Ibis or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Paint a Bird (Tutorial)"
There is an old building near where I live in northeast Washington, DC, where something is terribly wrong. Or rather, it’s not that anything is wrong or evil there. Things have simply drifted out of balance.Read more "The Seminary"
Summer is full of vegetable emergencies. Luckily, soup is designed to handle most emergencies.Read more "Recipe: Chilled Beet Soup"
I have found aphids on the tomatoes and the kale, like fat microscopic green sheep, slowly sucking the leaves dry; cabbage worms on everything, eating beautiful laminated holes out of the greenery; I have found mealybugs, white and fluffy like little clouds or downy feathers; and one long-limbed brown spider, elegant and stretched out as if drawn in two strokes with a sumi-e brush, who might have been the one that bit me the other day.Read more "Garden Update: Little Lacewing"
When I wake up it is into what feels like another dream. That’s why. Being awake is not so different from sleeping. Today marks four weeks from the day we decided to stop leaving the house. Shortly thereafter the city caught up to our decision; all nonessential business closed, and people were ordered to shelter in place. Because nothing changed for us when this order was made, I didn’t fully comprehend it until last night: That even if we wanted to go out to a bookstore wearing masks, there are no bookstores. There are no record shops or jingling doors to walk through or bars with beers on draft. Everything is closed. DC is a ghost town now. No one leaves their homes. The entire city is dreaming, just like me.Read more "Idle as a painted ship"
The birds are comforting because, like I said, they truly don’t care about this. They don’t know what’s happening. It’s springtime. A week ago, I watched a gumdrop-red male cardinal feed his tan-colored girlfriend mouth to mouth like kissing, in my driveway. A week ago I watched a crow gather stripped tree bark for a nest. Seasonal migrants are crossing through my DC neighborhood on their way northwards. They will only be here for a few weeks. They aren’t mammals, the coronavirus won’t hurt them. They aren’t humans; they haven’t heard about this. Thank god.Read more "Bird Report, March 30"
Last night I took myself out to eat Korean food alone at 2 am and then I sat in my car by myself and ugly-cried while playing loud music. I’m, like, a little insane right now, even for me. I just looked at a calendar and I’m giving myself a bit of a pass. Exactly […]Read more "Take a breath. Have a sandwich."
Listen while I tell you a story about a landscape. This is a place where vertical-walled mountains scrape the sky, a sky that is forever gray, like a pensive afternoon. (The afterlife as a “perpetual rainy Thursday afternoon in March,” thanks Tony Kushner.) The mountains are black and furry, black-furred with trees, green when the […]Read more "Loon on dark water"
This is the first post of a series on everyday animal behavior. I grew up in woodland, so deer, foxes, and owls were normal visitors to my backyard. And they were always up to something worth wondering about, living their own dramas. Now I live in Baltimore city—and the rats and roaches I meet here […]Read more "The Murdering Crows"
It’s a little weird that the world should keep turning; and my dear friends will maintain their own unique mental illnesses without such a man to write lyrically about them, in particular, unto them; and that his peculiar speech impediment–the lipped swallowing of R’s into W’s–will no longer exist from that mouth. He was a […]Read more "On the Timely Demise of Oliver Sacks"