Thrilled to create this accompanying art for Melissa Ragsly’s fantastic short essay about her first car, Carolyn, at Hobart—check it out.
Rosalie stood still, caught her breath. The sky continued to bruise dark. Henry had told her that frogs were signs of good environments. That they died off fast when the air quality was bad. He’d told her to bring one back in a container for him to experiment on.
I’m so, so grateful to the editors for picking this up.
In the eighth “We Know So Little” post at Pidgeonholes—and the last before a brief hiatus—I write about the Mother of the Forest, a giant sequoia stripped of her bark in the 19th century & left to (slowly) die, and how we refuse to acknowledge the righteous life all around us:
Sequoias, black cherry in your backyard, a park down the street flush with chestnut and silver maple, a magnificent sycamore outside your office window—trees will outlive us all, and suddenly granting them cognizance, some inner life, is a frightening prospect. You think of the branches you ripped from trees and the leaves plucked out for fun, all the initials you carved, all the hurt, all of it.
In the fifth “We Know So Little” post at Pidgeonholes—my recurring series about being awed by the world around us—I explore the Osage orange and other evolutionary anachronisms, these things lost in time that yet persevere:
A thing evolves, typically adjacent to other things—coevolution. So a plant, for example, might evolve its fruit to be eaten a certain way by a certain species in order to ensure its seeds are properly dispersed. But in the case of evolutionary anachronism, one of the parts of this relationship dies off. And yet, the plant’s relic behavior remains, visible to us, pumping away like a still-warm, body-less heart.
(And here, the storyteller laughs — you have to, like it’s built into the narrative, a piece of coding hardwired, a signal to whoever’s speaking to stop, tilt their head back, and guffaw wildly.)
The boy, shy and sheepish, sat back and made a nest in the tall revenna and silver grass.
“My cousin Rachel taught me a game,” he said.
“What kind.” She was wary of boys and their games. This much she knew already.
“It’s called jinx.”
A huge thanks to the editors for taking a chance on this. I’m grateful.
In the fourth “We Know So Little” post at Pidgeonholes—my recurring series about being awed by the world around us—I talk about giant honey bees, their shimmering defense, and explore what we’d hear if we only stopped to listen:
But we just don’t know—can’t know, can we?—the full implications: what it is they whisper to one another, this throbbing message sent in nanoseconds, sent near the speed of light, means, or how it’s interpreted by a world we’re convinced we’re above.
I was fortunate to do the artwork for singer-songwriter Jesse Young’s new album, Heart of Me, which is out now (both digitally and in physical formats).
See? There is a story here you know. This place, this ecosystem, these bears, the salmon, and you. They’re unable to escape the pull of home, of passing something down. You thought, for a long while, that you could escape, that none of it mattered, where you came from.
In the second “We Know So Little” post at Pidgeonholes—my recurring series about being awed by the world around us—I ponder turkey vultures on Long Island and the inescapability of the wild around us, no matter where we are:
Across the street, a neighbor comes out and makes a loud phone call to animal control. They’re afraid, can’t fathom this monster so close to their house and family. They wave their arms wildly, try to shoo the bird away. They don’t know what to make of this carnage.
Feel incredibly proud and honored to have done the artwork for musician Jesse Young‘s new album, Heart of Me, out March 1, 2019. I’ve known Jesse for almost eighteen years; he’s an incredible friend and a mesmerizingly-talented musician.
And this is something new to me, seeing something I illustrated on iTunes. Pretty pretty pretty neat.
Here’s the front and back of the album (and there will be a physical release, too):
You can pre-order Heart of Me on Bandcamp or on iTunes.