Astonished Barb Blog

My Writing Journey: An Update

Here’s an update on my writing journey, a sort of status report. The scenery has been varied, and I’ve done a lot of miles. What I have to show for it is much better writing skills than before and a few polished projects that must be getting closer to publishable! After seven years (not full... Continue Reading →

In the Swim Again

I’m swimming again. I'm swimming again. In the water, I feel capable. Why not? I’m doing it. My body feels the stretching it is undergoing and the pulls I have accomplished. Currents and eddies pummel my surface. My knuckles graze the lane line more times than I would wish. When I reach the end of... Continue Reading →

Waiting for Coho

There’s a truly absurd play in which two people sit on chairs waiting for Godot to show up. We wonder why they are waiting or if he will show. Spoiler alert, he doesn’t. Sometimes that’s what it feels like to wait for the salmon--the chinook and the coho--to appear. I walk along the bank to... Continue Reading →

Logging our Land: My Mental Journey

I had to own it. We were cutting down 60- and 70-year-old alder, Douglas-fir, bigleaf maple and a few hemlocks and western redcedars, and as we did that, we’d be killing a lot of whatever else lived there in the forest--ferns, lilies, meadow rue, baneberry, and non-green things that couldn’t fly or crawl away. Who... Continue Reading →

Plants are the True Alchemists*

Long ago, alchemists concerned themselves with refining base materials like lead into substances with higher spiritual value, like gold. I argue that alchemists still lurk among us and that the alchemists are the plants.1 Plants take air and water, combine them using energy from the sun, and make a substance holding energy that powers life... Continue Reading →

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