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EQUINOX: Saturday, 21 March, 1981

Louis awoke in his chalet to the sound of tearing winds. The night had been deep and full of tossing dreams beneath the powerful sway of the full and cloudy moon. He lay in fuzzy, semi-sleep. His eyes burned, and he did not wish to rise.

The March wind rushed along the earth and slammed against the chalet walls. There was no shuddering, yet the sound was powerful. He could imagine that the sea below his hill would be quite

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Kinship and prejudice: Are migrants kin?

Our primate hardwiring militates against welcoming migrants. It’s that simple. And that complicated.

Individual human beings always act out of self-interest. There’s nothing wrong with this. It’s a simple animal survival drive. Beyond this, we are driven by a natural need to help our personal “species” survive. If we act for others, it is for our children, our families, our clan—our kin.

However, part of what makes human beings so successful among primates is our mental ability to extend our

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I had forgotten

Death meditating, lotus position

For several months I have felt as if I were slipping back into clinical depression again.

The outward signs are here. The fogged thinking, lack of enthusiasm, fussiness, longing to sleep. The undertone of despair. All too generalized to ascribe to any one or cluster of causes.

Yet somehow the subtle bodily symptoms I’ve come to recognize over the decades are not really present. As a scientist in the medieval sense—someone who seeks to know—I’ve looked inwardly for years at

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“A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief”

"Portrait of Jesus," Jacob Barosin (c. 1955)

When I was a little Lutheran preacher’s kid in 1950s Ohio, the most familiar images of Jesus were ones with children gathered round and sitting on his knee. These accompanied songs like “Jesus Loves Me.”

I was blessed with caring parents and a child-friendly neighborhood, and my father’s sermons were about Jesus’ compassionate humanity. These childhood portrayals of Jesus did not clash very much with my personal experience of family and community.

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Reposting: “Imbolc: In which Walhydra admits that she does harbor a smidge of hope”

On Monday, January 29, 2007, I published this essay on my old Walhydra’s Porch blog. Coming out of the darkness of this particularly dark winter, I feel like it’s worth sharing again. (See Gather Victoria’s post, “Feast of Light: Reviving the Magical Foods of Imbolc,” for a new piece on the festival.)

By now the gentle reader knows what an unrepentant grouch Walhydra wants everyone to think she is…but there’s

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