Nonsense

As I write, the estimated size of Google’s index is 46.5 billion webpages. But how much do webpages (a metaphor) really tell us about our digital lives anyway? Think of all those smartphones, all those apps. There’s so much dynamic content that Googlebots can’t crawl. Continue Reading

Slow as the Seep of Water

Holy Saturday morning. Byron and I sign the register at Bandelier National Monument for the 22-mile round-trip hike to Painted Cave. We tighten the straps on our backpacks, hike out of Frijoles Canyon, and settle into a rhythm of ascent, bodies leaning slightly forward against the pull of our packs. By the time we reach the mesa between Lummis and Alamo Canyons, the clouds have moved in. The rain starts, just a mist at first, becoming thicker until the dust turns a darker brown. Alamo Canyon is a tapered slash. I imagine that when we reach the bottom, we will be able to stretch our arms out and touch the rocks on the other side. The carved layers make geological time real. The steep switchbacks shove my toes forward in my boots. A lizard scuttles across the trail. Small stones roll under our feet. At each turn of the switchbacks, the rocks make irregular steps down that jar our knees. Continue Reading

A Collection of Essays

The page has always been as dynamic as we’ve let it be. It’s an artifact, of course, and its artifacty properties have become more obvious in the age of the digital. But artifacts like this are hardly fixed. As any reader knows, when we read or handle a printed page, we degrade it, if just a little. If not why would special collections require us to put on the creepy gloves? Why do our paperbacks wear out and the spines on our books crack and the places where we dogear pages slowly wear away? Continue Reading

Sitting in the Moment: A Night with Ruth Ozeki

SittingInTheMoment-Title2

“I want everyone to sit zazen. Just for a few minutes. It’s probably going to seem like a long time, but we can do it. Everyone sit up, find a position that feels comfortable, and close your eyes.” Murmurs of confusion began, but within a few seconds all audience members were sitting still and listening to Ozeki’s voice as she guided a meditation starting on the head down to the toes. Continue Reading