I’ve logged more experience than most with simplicity and the complexity you discover inside simplicity, minimalism and asocial behavior, endurance and landscape.
Here is the truth: I think some deep wisdom inside me (a) sensed the stress, (b) was terrified for me, and (c) gave me something new and hard to focus on in order to prevent me from lapsing into a despair coma — and also to keep me from having a jelly jar of wine in my hand.
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David Budbill is the author of Judevine: The Complete Poems (Chelsea Green Publishing Company) and editor of the Judevine Mountain Emailite (www.davidbudbill.com). His most recent project is the poetry and music CD Songs for a Suffering World (Boxholder Records).
Michelle Cacho-Negrete is a retired social worker living in Maine. She is currently writing a book-length memoir, from which her essay in this issue is taken. Her work is forthcoming in Psychotherapy Networker. She conducts writing workshops for groups and individuals.
Gillian Kendall lives in Australia and reads manuscripts for The Sun. Her travel memoir Mr. Ding’s Chicken Feet, about her experience teaching English on a Chinese merchant ship, is forthcoming from University of Wisconsin Press. Some checkered-neck doves are building a nest in a tree she sees from her study.
Alison Luterman performs with Wing It!, an improvisational theater troupe, and writes and teaches in the Bay Area.
Lorenzo W. Milam is the author of Sex & Broadcasting (Mho & Mho Works) and a contributing editor of RALPH: The Review of the Arts, Literature, Philosophy, and the Humanities (www.ralphmag.org). He lives in San Diego, California.
Jaime O’Neill recently celebrated his sixtieth birthday. For a decade now, he has been trying to write himself handsome. It’s not working. He contributes regularly to the San Francisco Chronicle and the Sacramento Bee, and teaches writing at Butte College in Oroville, California.
Susan Parker’s memoir Tumbling After (Crown) has been optioned for film rights by HBO. She teaches writing classes in the Bay Area.
Jamie Passaro lives in Eugene, Oregon, with her husband, Bob, and their two sweet mutts. She enjoys writing about her friends, family members, and neighbors but is considering switching to fiction to give them a break.
Leslie Pietrzyk’s second novel, A Year and a Day, is forthcoming from William Morrow in March 2004.
Sy Safransky is editor of The Sun.
Sarah Pemberton Strong is the author of the novel Burning the Sea (Alyson). She lives in Somerville, Massachusetts, where she is at work on her second novel, The Fainting Room.
Jon Amburg is a photographer and painter who lives and works in Boston.
Karen S. Bard is a writer and photographer living in Pomfret Center, Connecticut.
Photographer Nicole Blaisdell has only one morning rule: no meditation = no mocha. She lives in Bozeman, Montana.
Sarah Blodgett lives in Pine Plains, New Jersey.
Val Brinkerhoff lives with his family in Elk Ridge, Utah, and teaches photography at Brigham Young University, in nearby Provo.
Marshall Clarke is a freelance photographer living in Baltimore, Maryland. He worked with the American Friends Service Committee to create an after-school photography program for young children.
Photographer and writer Steven Donoso lives, loves, works, and plays catch with his two boys on the Maine coast.
Bill Emory lives and takes photographs in the Rappahannock and James River watersheds near Charlottesville, Virginia.
Robert Hecht is a photographer living in San Francisco. He is inspired by painter Paul Klee’s words: “Art does not reproduce the visible; rather, it makes visible.”
Photographer Jeffrey Hersch lives in Denver, Colorado, where he takes pictures of cold, dark places.
Dan Koeck is a professional photographer living in Fargo, North Dakota. He loves photographing people and has posted samples of his work online (www.portfolios.com/koeck).
Photographer Russ McClintock lives and works in Chicago.
Photographer Gordon Stettinius lives in Richmond, Virginia.
Mark Townsend is a photographer living in Brooklyn, New York.
Hiroshi Watanabe is a Japanese photographer living in West Hollywood, California. He took this month’s cover photo in El Arbolito Park in Quito, Ecuador. The sculpture pictured is a twenty-foot-high dome made of steel bars — the kind used to reinforce concrete — which have been bent and roughly welded together. It is the centerpiece of the park, and has also turned into a jungle gym for children. “By our standards,” he writes, “it looks very dangerous, but the parents seemed to be just fine with letting their children climb up and play.”
Photographer Harry Wilson is an endangered species living in Bakersfield, California.
Editorial & Photo
Rachel J. Elliott