American Sweetgum

I’m too old for tree climbing, but it turns out being aloft is good for thinking and Kate wants me to think. The sun has disappeared behind the horizon, though there’s still a bit of warmth in the sky beyond the city lights.

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Selections: "Morning Beat"

North

Buttery sunshine spreads smooth over juniper dabbed dirt. Blue heron plunges from pine fluff, skims lake green as gunpowder tea. Shores smell of moss, dead carp, of stink-bait. Light exposes an orgy of insects, glints the bustle like an unearthly galaxy of eye-level stars: black butterflies, bluebottle fly wings.

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Selections: “Polar Plunge"

I’d been noticing the fish girl around Station for weeks. I’d see her in the early morning hours at the lab, dumping coolers of live fish into seawater tanks in the aquarium, or sometimes she’d be tucked away in a corner doing headstands.

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Selections, "The Seedbank of Mount Sutro"

Mount Sutro, a hill in San Francisco, is difficult to characterize. At 908 feet, it’s a very tall hill that comes close to being a small mountain. (Another 92 feet, and it would have that distinction.) Many hundreds of years ago it might have started life as a hybridized sand dune/chert rock outcropping: it sits to the south of the Great Sand Bank of the outer lands of the city where offshore gusts threw sand from west to east with impunity one hundred years ago.

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Selections: “We Move the Chicken Coop: Chickens Inform the Creative Mind”

According to Howard Gardner’s book Multiple Intelligences, our society prizes logical-mathematical thinking above other kinds.  It follows that I did well in school because my talents fall in the linguistic-mathematical range beloved of givers of standardized tests and late twentieth century teachers.  

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