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food in a hole on an island (in the universe)

There are few occasions in life when you can actually sense the universe turning around you, interrupting its normal, chaotic, forward flow to sit you gently in place and to organize the elements of time and space around you like the tumbling pins of a combination lock. I was on Isla Tengla, near Puerto Montt, […]

green dreams of new zealand

When Angus and I finally arrived in Pucón (two and a half hours late), Chris, the kiwi uncle, was there to pick us up. “No worries, mate,” he said as he lugged our bags to the back of his pickup and drove us the half hour out of town to his deer ranch. Dagmar, his […]

don’t forget to tip your bag-boy

I had never in my life started a slow-clap. The first time would have to be on a bus in the middle of Chile.

You’ve seen this phenomenon in movies. There’s some powerful, unconventional, emotional performance. The audience is quiet, stunned, uncertain of how to respond, until one person stirs, putting his hands together once…twice…and […]

this place

When I speak of my life here, “here” – Antarctica, McMurdo – is simply “this place.” This Place. It’s an enigmatic title. Vague. Simple, colorless words that fall flat, providing no descriptive imagery, no information. And yet it’s the only phrase that works – it’s general enough, bland enough to encompass the space that is…this […]