Weaponizing Fire

Ah, Monday. Yesterday was record warm and windy; Saturday was just record warm. Today is seasonably cool and dark, thick cloud blocking much of January’s wan sunlight.

The weekend was not just record warm. In much of New England temperatures were six or seven degrees above the old records for the date. This, probably inevitably, was both a welcome intermission in an already warm winter, and fuel for discussions of climate change. Continue reading

A Blessing

SpiritsSometimes blessings come, unannounced and unbidden.

Tuesday was the last day of class for the semester. Around 5:10, as the last student was giving his presentation, I glanced out the window. Just above, and northeast of our classroom, four or five vultures circled. I interrupted the poor student and invited the class to come to the windows. As soon as everyone had seen the vultures and turned away, the vultures departed.

I then explained my sense of excitement, awe, and gratitude.

One of my most beloved teachers, Ipu, Dr. Bernardo Peixoto, died three years ago. Ipu was a condor shaman; when he was here, in Vermont, he was often followed by literally scores of turkey vultures, the “little brothers” of the condor. They would circle above him, spiraling for long periods as we walked or talked. Continue reading