An Ode To New Friends

Graduation seasons begin early around here. Though Black Forest Academy still has a good six weeks of school left on the calendar, social media means that we get to participate virtually in the early graduations of universities in America, from which mortarboards and monochromatic robes have begun to fill Facebook and Instagram. This is always…

The Teachers of JB 11

It’s a hot day, a last sort of school day. Really, it’s the second-to-last day we’re working with wet clay in Ceramics 3, where I’ve been filling in for a colleague on maternity leave for the last month or so. The seven students, mostly seniors, are buzzing about, putting finishing touches on their pieces. They…

Fernweh

Fernweh: (n.) an ache for distant places, the craving for travel A few years ago, a small niche of young American women on Pinterest with some experience in German taught me a new word: Fernweh. While its antoymn Heimweh has a direct English translation–homesickness–Fernweh (pronounced FAIRN-vay) claims no English equivalent. The closest approximation, in fact, is another German…

After The Wedding

Still I always look up to the sky Pray before the dawn Cause they fly away One minute they arrive Next you know they’re gone “O”, Coldplay After the wedding, we wake up slowly. Even Emily and I, who slept on the cool tile of the of the solarium, don’t immediately get up when the…

From Sausenburg

    The pavement bends up behind the Catholic church, and we leave the smallest city in Germany down in the valley, turning a corner to find ourselves in the bottle-green halls of the summer Black Forest. It’s been a long time since my trail map was a constant companion, since Emily and I traced these little diamond-marked…

Moving In

We didn’t always live on Mango Street. Before that we lived on Loomis on the third floor, and before that we lived on Keeler. Before Keeler it was Paulina, and before that I can’t remember. But what I remember most is moving a lot. Sandra Cisneros, The House on Mango Street We finish just before lunchtime, then prepare plates…

Reading Every Word

“There is much beauty here, because there is much beauty everywhere…” Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet There’s a moment in the first installment of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, when Sam pauses at the edge of a field full of sunflowers, a few steps behind his hobbit companion, Frodo. “If I take…

Summer At My First Home

Home. In the last two years–my first away from the Pacific Northwest of my American childhood–the word  has stretched and grown, taking on new meaning in strange places, expanding to include cultures I’m just beginning to understand and people I’ve quickly grown to love. But though this strange life now includes many homes, Washington State…

There And Back Again

Nobody tells you when you get born here How much you’ll come to love it, And how you’ll never belong here. So I call you my country, And I’ll be lonely for my home And I wish that I could take you there with me. “Land of My Sojourn,” Rich Mullins It’s still dark at…

On Spring, Solitude and Serendipity

“Let him who cannot be alone beware of community… Let him who is not in community beware of being alone.”” –Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together It is almost nine and mostly dark by the time we get back down to village. It’s our second night staying in a house on the cliff 450 steps above Vernazza,…